I just didn’t sleep on the night of the night of day 10. Whether it was excitement, fear that I would get lost and wind up at Brands Hatch, or just the fact that I knew had an early wakeup, sleep just didn’t happnen.
So I got on my bike at 5:30am (as the sun had started to appear at 2:30am after disappearing at 11:00pm) and set off. Fortunately I didn’t forget the 30km route to the track, but I discover that it’s almost entirely uphill from Newport Pagnell to Silverstone. This fact was hammered home by the fact that the return journey was 30 minutes quicker.
Nearing the track, a group of cyclists (they looked more like drunks) were taking a different route than the “google map” directions to the front gate. It turned out to be a ripper short cut through a golf course, a forest and a paddock to Copse corner. Winning.
I’ve never in my life encountered so many helpful gate/security staff. My first worry was where am I going to lock up my bike, but before I could ask, a lady said “You’ll enjoy riding your bike around the track today, inidit.” Winning x2.
The first thing inside the entry gate was a “bacon roll stand”, which saved my sleep deprived/sweat soakded life. Unlike the baseball, all of the concession stands were very reasonably priced, with food coming in at around £4.00 and drinks £2.20.
I did a lap of the track’s perimeter before play, before setteling in at the end of Wellington Straight/Brookfields/Luffield for GP3, Copse for GP2 and Becketts for Porsche Supercup.
The place was utterly chockers, ditto the grandstands, which were rather massive, yet very temporary looking in construction.
Before the F1 race I found a tree on the grass behind the grandstand and had an hour long kip, despite the constant whirring of the world’s busiest helicopter port.
Pre-race entertainment consisted of the Red Arrows, and they were freaking brilliant. Also, I was well pleased with my seat, top row of the Stowe grandstand A, so you could see the cars enter Becketts, exit Becketts, all the way onto the pit straight when you would lose them behind the Wing.
In the race Pirelli did it’s bit for the fans at Stowe by providing us with multiple blowouts. When these happened and no safety car was deployed, I was fairly appauled over the relaxed approach by the marshalls, who would slowly wander off the track as the cars were tearing down on them, lap after lap. Scary stuff.
There was no doubting who the favourite son of England is- and it’s definitely not Jensen, despite most of the crowd wearing McLaren kit.
For every lap after Lewis had his puncture, the crowd went absolutely batshit. It was amazing! It was as if there was nobody else in the race.
I sat there quietly all race long, until three laps to go I yelled something at Webber, which startled those around me.
At the chequered flag, I was able to make a dash through an adjacent paddock and freedom, beating what I’m sure would have been a ripper traffic snarl.
Stopped in at the Pury End and Potterspury villages on the way home, and also went for a ride through a genuine English willow cricket bat plantation.
Got home. Collapsed. Epic day!