19 July 2012

GP Trip Part 2

The final part of my Citycoach trip to the Silverstone Grand Prix: (Part1 was here)

Saturday was a bit different to what we had planned. Our driver had arranged for an earlier breakfast so we could get an earlier start after the delays in getting to the circuit on Friday. The trouble was the hotel had forgotten to tell the chef so breakfast was not served early so we couldn't make quite such an early get away as hoped. In all the confusion we ended up missing the coach! All my own fault. We got to the main entrance and asked where the coach was to be told it had already left. We then saw the coach drive up the other side of the road! We decided to go back up to our room and have a lie in. We later found out that we had been seen and the coach stopped and someone had run back to the hotel for us, bus seeing we were not there they had no choice but to leave us behind. Like I said it was all my fault so I was not too upset. It also gave me a chance to buy a new waterproof coat for Sunday.

We ended up shopping in Hatfield for a few hours (My wife enjoyed that!) and then watched the GP qualifying on the TV. Seeing how bad the weather was made us quite glad we had missed it as my old coat would never have coped with that much rain, and Jane, NOT a GP fan would have hated it. It also gave me an opportunity to get a few photos of Hatfields bus scene…

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Sunday and the big race day. Breakfast was again arranged nice and early and this time the hotel got it right – and so did we as we were up in plenty of time and had our last full breakfast before the drive to Silverstone. No major problems getting in this time so we had a full day to watch the GP. 

What a difference a day makes – it was warm and dry and even sunny later on. The full impact of the F1 cars at full power on a dry track has to be seen to be believed! It was an amazing experience I wont forget in a hurry. It was also very tiring as we had to stand pretty much all day as we were not organised enough to have brought chairs like many race goers.

As well as the race we had the Red Arrows perform for us. Well I say perform for us, they actually performed for most of Silverstone apart from us, as most of the display took place behind us behind the large Copse Stands.

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Just about the only time we saw them!

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The crowds!
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The drivers parade
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The sun came out too!
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We even got chance to get out on the track after the race had finished.

Due to drivers hours we were not due to leave the circuit till after 6pm so we were able to see the BBC Forum and some of the live music and grab some tea before the very long run back home. Traffic was very slow through Oxfordshire so we needed a final stop at Exeter Services before finally getting off the coach at about 12:35 am. We ended up getting home at 1am, totally shattered. Getting up for work at 7:30 was not great!

This has only been a flavour of the trip which I hope hasn't been too boring. Special thanks to Citycoach for organising the trip, many of the passengers are regulars and already planning to meet up again next year! The driver was excellent and a real credit to the company. Apparently he is due to transfer to Southern Vectis soon as he plans to retire on the Isle of Wight eventually.

Thanks again to Citycoach for offering the trip as a prize on their facebook page. It was extremely generous of them and I am extremely grateful that I won it! It just goes to show that its always worth entering draws like this as “someone has to win it and you never know it might just be your turn”


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