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Hi All

next year I will be 60! I have been told that I am allowed a long weekend away, just me and my lovely wife. It has been suggested a Silverstone F1 weekend is within budget, but we need to start booking NOW.

I need experienced help to get me the best options as the last time I went to Silverstone it was just an Airfield with a track round the outside, you parked in a field and wondered about where you liked including the pits.

I will start the ball rolling with:
Three day tickets including a decent stand (Woodcote A?) with park and ride in Hinton. Friday/Saturday stay in the Holiday Inn, Banbury (M40).

Is this good? Or shoot me down in flames.

Will.
 

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Living the Life!
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Hi Will,
Sounds like a brilliant long weekend ......... a quick scan of the t'internet suggests that it should be good ....
 

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Jon Grainger
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This year I've been fortunate enough to visit both the Festival and the British GP, and both are very different.

The Festival is great if you are a car nut. The cars aren't pushed to the limit, so it's really a parade, but if you want to get up close, touch the cars, take reference photos, and admire them, as well as meet the drivers, this is the place for you. Rally stage is excellent too, standing next to a Skoda Fabia S2000 on tickover was a highlight.

The GP is different in the sense that it is all about the racing, so you will see spins, locking brakes and overtaking. If you want to see the cars and the drivers, this isn't the place for you. Only way you'll get autographs is to sneak over the bridge like I did, but I'm single and don't have a wife to think about. Forget the pits, only way you'll get in is to speak to the right people. A friend and I blagged our way in to the paddock after the 2011 race, and although it was great, this year we were not so fussed, as it's been seen and done. Great places to sit are-

Becketts-Great if the track is damp, lots of spins, see who is brave. Not great for race day though
Stowe-Equally great, but I wouldn't sit there on race day either
Club-Sat for the GP there this year, Club A, row H is on the aisle, great for the track invasion, see the cars through Stowe, Vale and Club.
Abbey-Sat here for quali, great spot by a mans corner. A must for quali, you really see who is brave through here.
Village-Sat here two years on the trot for the race, uncovered and covered stands, excellent view, see lots of the cars, over to the Beckets complex, noise is awesome.

In my opinion the others really aren't worth considering. Some swear by them, but for me it's a no no.

If you can do both, it's excellent, but if I had to choose one, GP everytime. We camp at Whittlebury Hall, be great if you could hire a motor home, they're reasonable prices if you go to the right places, and a five min walk to the track.

Regards, and hope its of some help,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies so for - particularly Jon's Stand review - just the sort of thing to stop us making a big mistake.

Appreciate the Festival of Speed info - once I have done an F1 meeting, next on the list will be FoS I am sure.

Still making up my mind - so any more input would be mucho appreciated. I will ask at Bolwextric CLub on Monday so that puts my deadline as Tuesday Teatime then we will have to get booking.
 

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Hi, been fortunate enough to attend a couple of grand prix a year for the last few years and if you fancy a trip to Silverstone then go for it. Grand Prix weekends can be pretty tough but rewarding so if you fancy a park and ride thing do it, at least someone else is worrying about the difficult stuff like transport and food.

My main piece of advice (I've been to 11 gp's in 7 years) is to stretch the budget to a Fanvision unit. Sort out the rental well in advance, you will not regret it. The old adage "you see more at home" has long since been false and a weekend plugged into what's really going on will be a revelation. Seriously buy cheaper tickets if need be, but do this.

If you are taking your wife and want a really pleasant weekend consider Club Silverstone, expensive but it does transform a muddy/windswept weekend on an airfield into an experience nearly as pleasant as an overseas new build. Having somewhere to sit and relax away from the grandstand is really nice even if the Pimms is a bit pricey. If you are the kind of folk who would choose a weekend camping over a night at the theatre ignore the above.

Finally if not going for Becketts as part of the club deal I would always choose Copse and would avoid Woodcote at all costs. You go to a GP to be blown away by the fastest cars in the world and underpowered F1 cars with little downforce to help putting the power down is not a great advert for these cars, a few hundred yards later they turn into Copse at 180 without a lift but have to change down (that lack of power again) such are the physical forces acting at they turn through 90 degrees, then they are gone and you snap your neck round to see who's next


Got a bit excited then, time to start planning............
 

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I took the family over this year and we went with a tour package company Grandprix Tours. I imagine being local it would be much cheaper than what we had to do with hotel and airfare, etc... That said, we had motor coach transport to and from the track Heritage and Donnington museum visits, Force India factory tour and dinner in Williams' trophy room, all included in our package. My wife even loved it. I selected seats at Abbey which I thought were fine and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Our guide was memorable as well as the other folks we've met from around the world. Several that we continue to keep in touch with. Money well spent.

Regards,

-- Rakete --
 

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My advice would be to forget the British GP and go to the Goodwood Revival instead - IMO the best race meeting on the planet.

The British GP is appalling value for money and the Silverstone management couldn't organise a good punch-up at a football match. There are virtually no support races or other entertainment and your wife will be seriously bored if you go for the whole 3 days.

Goodwood, on the other hand, is an absolute gem and you can have a great time without even watching a single race. The whole event is an object lesson in superb organisation and the racing is just mindblowing. Pricewise it is somewhat cheaper than the GP and 100 times the value for money.

If you are set on the GP then all the above posts are relevant but I would add one note of caution. The current F1 engines make an absolutely hideous noise. I was there a couple of years ago and it was the first time in 40 years that I have been tempted to wear earplugs at a motor race - the following day I wished I had done! The noise is such a high pitched scream that hearing damage is a serious possibilty, particularly if you are in an enclosed space such as a grandstand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi everyone - each and everyone of you have thrown something valuable into the pot - thanks.

And the final outcome is: NOT the F1 at Silverstone next year.
Pat (wife) was trying to get this all booked as a surprise for me, but with all the options and costs she realised I needed to be involved. But I wasn't sure it would be the best option for me, her or most importantly us.

So taking all the comments here and elsewhere into the pot.
Why not F1 Silverstone. Put simply without spending shed loads of cash it would not be likely to get ourselves the wonderful 3 days that we would both be looking forward to and enjoy every minute. Also, going through the on-line booking process I could find no way of knowing exactly which expensive seats you would get.
If I do go for an F1 in the future I would think about Spa in Belgium, as a TV F1 watcher this is always one of my favourites and when Jim was singing its praises at Bolwextric I could see others nodding in agreement.

A few years ago we were lucky to be taken to the Goodwood Revival, it was great, though I gather expensive. I think just to get a good look and hear some F1 and other hot machinery I may at some time get along to the Festival of Speed.

While looking around for this I have changed my top runner for my/our 60th treat to British Touring Cars at Knockhill August Bank Holiday 2012. This works for us on a number of fronts. BTC is always good racing and support. Knockhill, when I watch this circuit on telly I often wish I was there. The date, August Bank Holiday (provisional) this would fit better with our jobs. Scotland is a long drive, yes, but for ages we have wanted to get include Scotland a B&B and walking holiday and this would combine well. When I look at the Knockhill web site every page grabs my interest, in comparison Silverstone's just doesn't. Just one example, at Knockhill this year the reasonably priced VIP upgrade, besides lots else included "coffee and hot breakfast roll/pastries on arrival". That would do it for me.

We can't book yet as date is not confirmed, so Knockhill is out in front at the moment but the race hasn't finished yet so comments on this new direction would be welcome.
 

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Living the Life!
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Why drive to Knockhil? The flights from London then car hire in Scotland might work out cheaper and a heck of of a lot easier than a 10-12 hour drive .....
 

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Fully understand that, although an experience like no other F1 is eye wateringly expensive, I've been both lucky and creative to attend GP's recently but yes, if paying full retail the thick end of a grand for a weekend in Northamptonshire does give pause for thought.

Hope you enjoy the BTCC if that's what you do, not my cup of tea but if you watch and enjoy it on TV at least you'll know where to stand for the plato/neal crash


Just to throw something else in there, in the craziest motorsprt year of my life I went to Sepang, Silverstone and Yas Marina, inspired by my tales my mates said they wanted to do Le Mans. When I said no way could I afford it (as you can imagine) we saw how cheap we could do it. The answer was £110eacch plus fuel and food. Had a great time watching the Pugs beat Audi.

Not bad and probably the only thing BETTER than a gp IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just to say we have had our first day at the BTCC at Knockhill, only practice, some Qualifying and some support racing so far. And it is ALL GOOD. Not a queue in sight, everyone helpful and friendly, the worst thing is deciding the best place to watch from, I lost count of the times we said, this is it, this has got to be the best place ever to watch racing from.

Even the pits were open to all, you just wander about, most of the BTCC cars are on show with bonnets open, Pat got a massive smile and a Hi from Gordon S as he walked passed, so she was made up - which is a good thing. Can't wait for tomorrow
 

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Hi there,

Can I just throw my spanner in the works.....Le Mans Classic....July 4-7 2014. Even after crossing the Channel it is still cheaper than Goodwood, stay in a local château, book now to get the paddock passes and if you are 60 you will love it, and your wife gets a weekend in France!!! Weather cannot be guaranteed, may even be worse than Knockhill!! In 2012 we had cloudbursts and thunderstorms, never spoilt anything however, the atmosphere is just brilliant.

Just as you had made your mind up as well......

Regards Ray.
 

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Oops, I really should read things more closely....for some reason I didn't see that you were asking last year about this year...and completely missed your last post.

Glad you enjoyed your 1st day, hope the rest is as good. I think you will enjoy yourselves much more in the informal atmosphere of this meeting that at the GP, especially if you have memories from way back when.

Ray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just one word

FANTASTIC !

More details when I find a Wi Fi that works better
 

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Jim Moyes
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I bet I know what Will goes for next picking night!


Glad you're having a good time.
 

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*** Leo A Capaldi ***
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For someone like me who has "endured" the micro-climate at Knockhill many times, it is very pleasing to hear that a visitor has had a great time there...
Of course to us locals, the BTCC weekend makes Knockhill seem awfully busy! Spectating at Duffus Dip/Drop is a favourite.

Weather this weekend has been very good and continued today. Hope you managed a stop over in Edinburgh.

Leo
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Leo
what a difference a day makes. Having been delayed by another excellent B&B breakfast we arrived later than we should on the Sunday, we had to queue to get into the circuit, we recon about 15 minutes were added as opposed to driving straight in. We were parked just two minutes walk from the pits and soon installed ourselves on Scotsman corner. The place was heaving, but with the well landscaped spectator banking and awsome racing view almost all around the circuit everyone was guaranteed a good view.

We were lucky with the weather, but with a car boot full of foul weather gear I like to think we would have still had a good day if things had been different.

We will never know if what we finally decided on was better for us than an expensive Silverstone F1 long weekend, but I am very happy with my 60th celebration holiday. 1,500 miles in 8 days was a lot of driving but I got to see many more places of our wonderful country, including a variety of walks in the Potteries, the Lakes, Southern Scotland, Northumberland, Lincolnshire and Norfolk coasts. Besides B&Bs we stayed with friends near Glasgow, and even included a visit to my mum in Suffolk.

The car (Honda Jazz) supped petrol at 54.5mpg while we supped and ate far too much.

As for Edinburgh, we gave that a swerve, apart from the ring road. Though after qualifying we did get a superb view of it, with the bridges and wildlife all in the setting sun as we sat on rocks eating fish and chips at Dalgety Bay. Perhaps Edinburgh needs its own visit, but that will have to include a visit to Knockhill.


Jim - not sure about picking and full size racing and slot racing are not the same but I am torn. It's all "if only" stuff, but in the last BTCC race Hondas were on for a dream 100% podium till the big bang. On the day the local Mini Cooper (BMW) racing provided the "most entertainment", but if I pick those Wes is bound to have a hot one and he will beat me every time - AGAIN. Back to reality eh?

Many thanks for all the help with this thread and I still have the option of seeing F1 cars racing in anger sometime. When we arrived at the circuit on the Saturday we were directed to park near the end of Hislop straight. As we traversed the track close to the hairpin we were greeted by a swarm of BTCC cars charging directly at us just yards away, WOW - I knew then, we had made the right decision.
 
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