For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you will know that I was recently at Silverstone for Rounds 25, 26 & 27 of the British Touring Car Championship. It was a very interesting weekend as the Saturday I was a Silverstone Racemaker, a volunteer at the circuit and then Sunday I was with Team HARD on a VIP Experience.
I thought it would be interesting to give you an insight to my day with the team as this was my first time as a guest. Now these experiences can be pretty pricey, especially if you receive breakfast, lunch and dinner! I paid £99 for Sunday and I can say it was well worth it.
I have never met David Boor, the guy who I have been chatting to over the last couple of months to book the experience. So when I reached the main gate and saw a guy that looked familiar and was wearing team gear, I was very happy to see him. It was a nice welcoming before even reaching their hospitality.
Silverstone is a very large circuit, so it was nice to see a shuttle service from Team HARD to take us to the BTCC paddock. In my three years of going to Silverstone, I haven’t been on a buggy very often. My legs welcomed this as I know the distance it takes to get to the paddock.
From the minute I arrived everyone was happy and friendly, it was even better once we got to their hospitality as I know someone there. They couldn’t of had a better person to welcome you once you arrived, Andrea Hurcombe, who my dad knows from school, was on the door checking everyone in and giving us lanyards.
As soon as I received the lanyard, it felt real, that I was actually with Team HARD for the day. Shortly after breakfast was served, I’m not really a breakfast fan but oh my, this smelt amazing so I was hungry. They had a full English on offer which I loved, minus the black pudding and tomatoes of course!
We had a welcome talk from Simon Hill who explained how they day would pan out, I was amazed at exactly what was included. Other things that I never imagined, how cool going on the grid before the race and being able to watch it from their garage! Before all this we were invited to a garage tour, having a look around their three different cars.
The drivers and mechanics were on hand if we had any questions. It was amazing looking at the cars and seeing the detail up close. I must have looked silly in the way I was taking my photos, trying to get snazzy angle on everything. It was cool looking at the cars, there’s actually not much to them!
After the garage tour, came the fun part, GRID WALK! I was super happy to find out about this. We were allowed to come on the grid before the first race, watching all the cars coming out of their garage to do an out lap so they can line up on the grid. As there were so many guests, they split everyone between the three drivers.
I had to look out for Tony Gilham‘s car, it was pretty easy as they all have grid girls with boards, so it was just trying to find her. Once all the cars were lined up, we were allowed to take photos of the cars and girls on the grid. This is a special moment as it’s literally moments before the start of the race.
Few moments before the start, we had to go back to the garage as we are not allowed on the grid at the start of the race nor in the pit lane. It was super tense in the garage especially when we found out Gilham was coming into the pits! All the mechanics sprang into life and was getting ready for his arrival.
Turns out he had an accident so had to come in for some emergency repairs so he can continue the race. It was amazing watching them rush around the garage picking up spare parts and tools to fix the car. After he returned to the pits it was quiet racing, very enjoyable, even better than watching it from the grandstands.
Once the race was over, it was nice seeing the drivers and their family/friends congratulating them. With the rush over it was time to unwind and continue watching other racing. I did some exploring of the track, checking out the different trade stands. Before I had even realised, it was time for lunch.
The hospitality smelt amazing when we walked it, strong smell of food. Of course with it being a Sunday they had a roast on offer, I jumped at the chances as I just love my roast dinners. It was amazing and exactly what a roast should be, it felt like I was at my Grandparents.
With dinner over we decided to watch the racing from Luffield as this is normally an interesting place, especially with them speeding down from Wellington Straight. It was action packed from the moment they started, with tyres exploding and scary overtakes. Before we even realised it was time for the Driver Q&A.
Now this was comically with drivers explaining their performance, especially if they had an incident with a fellow driver. It was nice listening to them speaking and the enjoyment they receive from racing. After the Q&A, the drivers were signing and taking photos, which I loved as signatures are always nice to have. Pictures more so.
I was planning what to do next when David came over and asked if I wanted to go back on the grid for the last race. Of course I said yes! I wouldn’t let an opportunity like that go to waste. It’s cool being on the grid once, let alone twice. So for the last race we were back on the grid and watching the race from the garage.
Of course there was even more excitement with our drivers and watching them climb up the grid. After the race it was celebration time, with the podium presentation being on the start finish line. It was a special moment for Team HARD here as Mike Epps was presented the Jack Sears Trophy.
With a podium position comes the champagne the fun part, it was nice sharing the enjoyment with the team. Once this was all over it was time to go home and just relax. It was such a lovely weekend with the team and I would like to just say a massive thank-you to everyone there.
Woow, I didn’t realise the post would be that long! Thanks for sticking with me and hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments if you have attended any motorsports events and your thoughts on them. I know there will be plenty more in the future for me, you can keep up to date on my Twitter HERE and Instagram HERE.