on the pics for larger versions
SILVERSTONE GP (23/09/99)
to try out club 96 then. This was a freebie (a saving of £250
or so) so we decided to have an easy start and arrive a little before
lunch. Weather forecast was abysmall for the whole week so instead
of paying for a very wet Gold Track day at Snetterton we went to take
a look at the monster of all UK circuits for free. I was also interested
in trying out a second club in case I need to add some extra days
to my season next year on top of those organised by CMS.
Of course I don't wish generalise across a whole mass of individuals but the overiding sentiment was not particularly helpful or inviting. People not returning club helmets, hanging on to them with some abstract excuse and generally behaving quite gaurded and sterile. So we had to miss our first session and hang around for lunch.
During this long break we wandered around some of the impressive machinery - plenty of race-prepared 911's, Ferrari 355's, elise sport 190's (at least they started life like that) and a number of Ultimas and BMW's. We started to initiate friendly conversation here and there (as you do) and unfortunately this is where things got worse. I don't consider myself particularly socially intrusive and am nearly always greeted with enthusiasm and warmth - its down to my eyes you know and my very human, and very real character (all true you know ;-) ). But many here were well boxed in, afraid of what may lay beyond the infantile, bigotted sphere of control within which they so desperately need to exist. Still, it was quite amusing attempting to interact with such individuals - I haven't met the like since my horrific days at public school.
We did finally get out on track after lunch and boy were we shit. I was just so confused by the track that let alone getting good lines, I had trouble keeping to the GP circuit as opposed to one of the many other combinations here. We still got helmets pretty late for this outing so we only got maybe 4 or 5 laps in. When I was just starting to get the hang of Luffield and Woodcote it was time to come in. Get this - we were so disorientated that we couldn't even find the right way back to the pits again, exiting through a coned off section of the track (an alley way leading to a hamburger stall I think) that kind of looked like the pits ! The Marshall sent us back round the track in utter disgust. I definitely needed some tuition as soon as possible but with the weather looking ever more threatening and it being so late in the day it really wasn't worth it.
enough, the heavens opened and it came chucking it down by the bucketload.
Stefan and I sat in my car and wondered if Oulton was all a dream
or not.. how could we get on so well there and then make utter goons
of ourselves for 5 laps at Silverstone. We were very tired and the
vibes down the pits weren't helping either but mainly we realised
the importance of getting 2 sessions in early morning if you are new
to the circuit. I think also that on balance, I prefer the smaller
tracks for the elise. Silverstone is just so wide and grandiose by
comparison - it is seriously taxing on your body and energy levels,
and it don't come cheap either.The solitary photo that we took and
that you see here is a pretty good measure of our enthusiasm during
this catcylsmic, disasterous day-out.
was getting worse and I felt like just getting some good kip, so we
left the circuit and headed for the shop Grand Prix Racewear in Ealing,
W london to look at purchasing.... guess what.... a helmet !
this is not intended as a circuit guide, the views expressed here are not those of a "highly experienced racing-driver" and others may well disagree