Spa November 2015November marked another trip to Spa for the BaT team, and it was certainly set to be somewhat cooler than our last visit. With our winter wardrobes transferred to our suitcases we were ready for the cold and the 10 hour drive.
The BaT Vivaro was the vehicle of choice this time around for five of us. With Chief Instructor Sarah Reader at the wheel, Phil, Kirsty, Melissa and myself piled in surrounded by coats, pillows and everything you could need for a comfortable road trip (minus the Krispy Kremes this time). After an essential stop for a cup of tea and a McDonald's breakfast we were armed and slightly more awake.
Following a gentle ferry crossing, a quick stop for fuel and an ice cream (shhh, don't tell everyone else), we finally arrived at Hotel Beau Site, ready for steak with peppercorn sauce. Sadly we were two members of staff down, with truckie Mitch and mechanic Dan delayed with a ferry crossing, however they vowed to make up for it with two steaks the following evening.
Friday morning wasn't as cold as we had expected, although the thermals definitely made an appearance. The set-up process is a well oiled machine here in the BaT camp now, everyone knows what needs to be done and executes the job with precision.
It was fairly quiet on track for day one, meaning everyone was very fortunate to enjoy ample track time, undisturbed by traffic, something of a rarity at Spa. The day ran smoothly, with just one stoppage as we approached the lunch break. A bright end to the day worked in our favour as the light allowed us to run until 4.45pm, which was better than expected after an afternoon of rain. With the circuit drying but still greasy, Jonny decided the final hour was the ideal time to take one of our R300 cars out on track, with staff taking it in turns to be the ballast alongside him - and it was a great experience as ever.
Another evening of good conversation and obligatory steak soon followed, as we prepared ourselves for a second day on track.
A dry morning awaited us on Saturday, however we were faced with a significant drop in temperature. The suitcase was definitely emptied and applied on Saturday morning. It's amazing how many layers you can wear when you really need to - and still manage to move! This is a skill I have perfected over the years thanks to many cold days spent at race circuits.
A successful day on Friday saw our bookings double in just one day, giving us twice as many cars on Saturday. Although we had a larger number of cars to contend with, the track was still reasonably quiet, ensuring everyone enjoyed another good day behind the wheel.
With everything from our BaT Caterham R300s and 620R SV to Fun Cup race cars, Porsche's, BMW's and an Aston Martin Virage, we had a strong mixture of machinery on track. Despite rain throughout the day spirits were bright around the paddock, as we finished our season in style, albeit a little soggy.
Back at the hotel, we had time to defrost with a lovely hot chocolate (highly recommended if you get the opportunity), before getting ready for the final evening meal. Another good night concluded our last Spa trip of 2015 and also our season, and yes, the steak with peppercorn sauce made another appearance somewhere on our table.
With alarms set for an early start, we enjoyed a final breakfast before saying our goodbyes and climbing aboard our transport home. Bad weather meant the ferry crossing was questionable, and so Jonny was kind enough to switch the Vivaro contingent to a Eurotunnel crossing - and we were certainly very appreciative for the switch, especially after experiencing the winds at Calais.
Spa is always a great way to end the season, and this year was no different. We'd like to extend a huge thank you to all of our customers for joining us throughout 2015, and we look forward to seeing you in 2016. And of course, thank you once again to Jonny and Sarah for another great trip - what a year we have had!
See you soon,
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Marketing & PR
03 December 2015
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