Grasland and her chef Romain ensure drivers Chris Atkinson and Paulo Nobre, plus the other team members, are fed and watered on all rounds of the WRC.
With 60 kilograms of potatoes, 25 kilograms of tomatoes and 12 kilograms of fillet steak consumed during rally week, this is a big undertaking and preparation is key.
“Preparations begin well in advance,” says Grasland. “We start by working out the menus for the week as we need to provide something different but equally tasty every single day. We generally bring everything from our base in France because we’re sure of the quality of the products. It’s also way more practical than shopping on site, because we can’t always find everything we need in every country.
“We start to feed the team on Tuesday and we serve all meals until lunchtime Sunday, totalling 11 meals. WRC Team MINI Portugal is a multi-cultural team so it’s not always easy to meet everybody’s tastes, but with the majority of team members being Italian, pasta and espresso are products we use a lot of. We cook about 30 kilos of pasta per week and get through around 10 kilos of coffee.”
Of the team’s drivers, Grasland says their tastes vary considerably: “Chris eats very healthy food and likes to stay light, especially at lunch. He is a fish lover, his favourite meal when he’s on event is fish and vegetables, which helps him get the energy he needs to tackle the stages without being too filling.
“Paulo’s diet isn’t very complicated. He likes nice, succulent, well-cooked fillet steak. He also enjoys an omelette with the eggs still a tiny bit raw. He drinks a lot of mixed fruit juices and his breakfast is always a cold chocolate milk drink."
Atkinson and Nobre began Friday’s route of seven stages of Rallye de France Alsace having last night feasted on aubergine lasagne, gnocchi with blue cheese, diot, a special French sausage and chocolate and banana cake for dessert. At the midday halt in Colmar, Atkinson is 10th overall with Nobre 30th in his similar MINI John Cooper Works WRC.