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Old 23 Apr 2000, 23:44 (Ref:264)   #1
Gerard
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Gerard should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Since some of our members have been to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix (at least I hope they did get there), lets talk about it here.
How was your day, did you had to get up early to be sure to arrive in time, did you get stuck in the mud with your car, how long did it take you to get out of there, where were you standing alonside the track, who of the 10 Tenths crew did you meet and most of all, did you enjoy yourself?
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Old 24 Apr 2000, 10:44 (Ref:265)   #2
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Minardi fan should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Some of us can only afford to go to qualifying....

But Vicky and I had a lovely day. Ok, so we had to walk 3 miles to the circuit, and trample through an awful lot of mud, not to mention freezing ourselves to death during the first practice session (brrrrr).

Had good seats at Farm - you know, the bit just before Bridge, but I sadly missed my photo opportunity of Alesi blowing up RIGHT IN FRONT of me because I was checking my mobile phone..... (DAMN!)

We met Carrie (our Silverstone spy who told us how to get into Luffield B grandstand for the F3000 race) and Woody who IS MAD.

Good day all round.
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Old 24 Apr 2000, 23:58 (Ref:266)   #3
Carrie
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Carrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCarrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Oooo blimey, I'm the Silverstone spy now!! Yes, Woody is completely mad and I had to put up with her for the whole of race day as well I'll write a report on my weekend at Silverstone tomorrow when I might be a bit more awake as I only got back home tonight after spending today at Donington for the Touring Cars.
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 01:03 (Ref:267)   #4
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renniesmill should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
yes, me and my friends went there, i went down from milton keynes and they went there from london... my queue took me 30 minutes (from 6.45am-driving). but their queue took them 5 hours (from 6.30am-driving!), apparently we went for a different route, me from south and them from north...
same apply when leaving on race-day...
south exit is MUCH quicker...
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 01:46 (Ref:268)   #5
Liz
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Carrie, write it up and I will kidnap your story for the newsletter.
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 20:26 (Ref:269)   #6
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Carrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCarrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Liz, I’m really not sure this will be well enough written to go in the newsletter, if anyone reaches the end of my ramblings on the forum I think they’ll be doing extremely well. Okay, here goes.
Friday
Got to the circuit shortly after 8:00 and I’d arranged to meet my friend Kerry at the Bridge Shop, so managed that and set out to find Woody, bumped into her a bit further on and had a bit of a wander through all the merchandise stalls. Kerry was on her continuing quest for a little model of Irvine’s 1998 helmet, but we didn’t have any luck in tracking one down, should have bought one last year when we first saw one, however at that point we didn’t realise they’d be so difficult to find afterwards.
On Friday you could go in any grandstand, so we decided that Luffield was a good bet if the weather turned inclement. We left Woody and found ourselves some good seats in Luffield A and got settled in for the morning watching the Porsches (someone should have told Richard Burns that you’re not meant to slide a car through Luffield like that lap after lap!) and the first F1 warm-up. Great fun to actually see the cars for the first time this season and as ever I sat there shooting off photos like photography was going out of fashion and trying my best to deplete the world’s supply of Kodak film!
By the time first practice was over we were getting a bit cold, decided it was time to wander to warm up a bit and as we both had centre transfer we headed over the bridge to have a look round the F3000 and Porsche paddocks. More photos and a bit of driver spotting later and we bumped into Woody and her mates again as well as Redshoes who’d decided to escape the confines of the Paddock Club. Time then to find somewhere to watch the second warm-up from, we left Woody and the gang at Copse while Redshoes and me decided to head down to Stowe – bad move, halfway there the heavens opened and by the time we got to the Stowe grandstands we were soaked to the skin and it was actually hailing! From Stowe you could see the cars coming out of Copse because of the great plumes of spray behind them, quite surprisingly, all the cars stayed on the track through Stowe, although some of them were very twitchy. It was after second practice that the news about the public car parks being closed on Saturday was announced, met up with Kerry again and at that point we were both very wet and even more fed up, however, we decided that we were going to do everything possible to get to Silverstone the next day.
One point about the car parks, yes, there’s no denying that they were a mess even first thing Friday, but there were a lot of people whose attempts at driving out of the car parks can only be described as silly. We had no trouble getting out.
Saturday
Sometimes parents can be extremely useful and my dad agreed to drive us too and from the circuit – the only drawback to that being that I used double the amount of petrol. We managed to get the car as far as the golf course at Whittlebury and walked from there, so we got to the circuit just as the warm-up was starting and watched that from Copse. Saw Schumacher spin the Ferrari in the pitlane, couldn’t quite work out how he achieved that! The driver who was most impressive through Copse was definitely Ralf Schumacher, he gave the impression that on that part of the course he was faster than anyone else.
We headed to Becketts for the second warm-up and for me the low point of the weekend. I decided to brave the Silverstone catering facilities and ordered a toastie. Along with a couple of other people I was waiting at the side of the snack bar while this was cooked when I was suddenly punched in the back by a bloke whose only comment was ‘I want the ****ing sugar!!’ Obviously nobody had ever bothered to teach him the words ‘excuse me please’. Very sad when people feel that is the way they should behave at a racetrack and I hope he wasn’t there on Sunday or there’d no doubt be lots more people getting punched everytime he found the crowd moving slowly!
We moved round to Luffield for qualifying and wasn’t it a great qualifying session. I thought I’d end up with Kerry in tears when Irvine got provisional pole, luckily he only stayed in that position for a few seconds as she admitted afterwards that if he’d finished the session there I would have had to cope with her in floods of tears! During qualifying, I noticed that nobody seemed to be checking tickets in the grandstand behind us, so we got in there after the qualifying had finished and also let Minardi Fan know that we’d got into the stand, so, met up with Woody, Minardi Fan and Vicky and got in the stand just in time as shortly before the F3000 the heavens opened. Unfortunately that little cloud burst meant the F3000 race started late under the safety car and so we had to leave before the race finished in order to walk out to Whittlebury for our lift home.
Sunday (is anyone still reading this!)
Left the place I was staying at 6:00 and heard on the radio that the A43 was essentially a car park with all the race traffic. I used to live in Northamptonshire, so it was at this point that knowledge of the back roads into the circuit was extremely useful and I was parked up by 7:30. Woody and her mates had got there before me, so they were finding us a spot to watch the race from on the infield at Abbey. Wandered round to where they were (and spotted Murray Walker on the way) and then sat for a couple of hours waiting for the fog to clear. Once it did and we finally had the F1 cars on the track the excitement and anticipation began to build. After the warm-up Woody decided she needed an airhorn, so we set off in search of one and arranged to meet up with Craig and Invader, as we waited for those two to reach us Jackie Stewart drove past us on a moped. All too soon it was time to head back to the infield and wait for the race to start; I wonder if the drivers get as nervous as the crowd waiting for the race to start. The race was fantastic, although the cars managed to sound quiet in comparison to Woody’s airhorn. Throughout the race Woody was busily waving an Italian flag for Fissi and a Wurz flag, plus her sister had a Scottish flag for Coulthard and at the end of the race I found myself holding onto one end of the Scottish flag as the driver’s did their slowing down lap. So, that was that, the British GP over for another year and we sat watching the thunder clouds approaching from Buckingham.
I left Woody to wander over towards the Paddock and as I got there they were just opening up the track for people to walk on, so of course you can’t walk on the track without jumping over the pit wall to have a look in the pitlane. I managed to get myself and umbrella and camera over the wall and it was time to finish the day by getting snap happy and getting photos of all the pits.
You might have thought that after 3 days at the GP that’d be enough, not for me, next stop on Monday was Donington for the BTCC.

Gerard, do you regret asking for a race report now, I seem to have written you an essay
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 20:39 (Ref:270)   #7
TimD
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TimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridTimD should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Nice one, Carrie.

No worries about losing people before the end of the story. That was great.

I do believe you almost (I did say almost) had me wishing I had gone myself now.

Glad I left enough film in the Silverstone shop even for you. I did my level best to use it all a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 20:41 (Ref:271)   #8
Carrie
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Carrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCarrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid

Biggest disappointment of the weekend - the support package. This is supposed to be Britain's premier motorsport event and the support package consisted of 3 races over the whole weekend!! We didn't even have the Red Arrows this year. In terms of the support package, not good enough Silverstone!
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 21:25 (Ref:272)   #9
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WoodyTJ should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Hey Carrie - me thinks my name was mentioned a bit too much in that . . .

Excellent weekend followed up by an excellent day at Donington. I would not have missed that for the world.

Am I really that mad ?
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 22:23 (Ref:273)   #10
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Yes.
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 22:23 (Ref:274)   #11
Carrie
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Carrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCarrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Do you Woody You could always tell us all your account of the GP.
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Old 25 Apr 2000, 22:33 (Ref:275)   #12
Carrie
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Carrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCarrie should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
And what led you to formulate that opinion then Minardi fan? Woody was actually very quiet when you met her - or at least quiet by her standards
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Old 26 Apr 2000, 01:38 (Ref:276)   #13
Gerard
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Carrie, no regrets here.
That was a great story. I always liked the atmosphere around a race as much as the race itself.
The drivers provided the race, you provided the atmosphere.
Thanks.
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Old 26 Apr 2000, 11:50 (Ref:277)   #14
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THAT was quiet?

How much you must have suffered....

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Old 28 Apr 2000, 17:08 (Ref:278)   #15
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KC should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridKC should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Well, just got back into States last night. We managed to make it to Silverstone just one hour before the GP started after leaving Leceister at 5am (It can't be more than 80 miles). We hit the roundabout near Towcester about 6:30am and moved about 1 mile by 9:00am. We gave up and parked at the Farm Shop just outside a tiny village (Burcose Wood?) and then walked about 3.5 miles into the circuit. Arrived at the general admission area and stood at Copse for the next 2.5 hours. We got pretty lucky compared to the thousands who abandoned their vehicles on the M1 and walked about 12 miles in. We saw plenty of fans walking in from Towcester about 8 miles away. The race itself was excellent. I couldn't believe that DC won it all and made a spectacular pass on RB to do it. I was not happy about missing the Porsche Supercup race and about having to walk in from so far away. This is not how professional sporting events are held. I was honestly surprised at how poorly executed the support areas were done. The parking would have been terrible even if it had not rained. The lack of organization from the constabulary and BRDC boggle the mind. Why the queue was not moving I don't understand. Why there were not park-and-ride schemes available I find amazing as well. A huge portion of the higher-ups in the FIA and the BRDC love to call CART an amateur series run by fools and incompetents, but I waited in no line to go to the Houston GP which had no parking at the track. We drove about 5 miles to a park-and-ride bus location, rode the bus for 45 minutes and were dropped off withing 50 yards of your seats. All three days at Houston for less than the cost for Sundays general admission ticket at Silverstone. I guess that the British fans are much more forgiving about this type of treatment.

I do want to say this about England. If you have never been, make sure you do. The people are polite and easy going, even in London. Every major American citiy could take some serious lessons on how to manage public transportation systems from what I saw on the Midlands Mainline and the Tube service in London. The cities are seemingly full of fantastic places to see and visit as compared to America.
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