Spa March 2016The Easter weekend marked a return to Spa for the BookaTrack name, with two days on circuit at one of the most exciting venues known to motorsport.
It couldn't have been better planning to have our annual March excursion during Easter, and aside from the expected travel chaos on Good Friday, we were fortunate to enjoy two good days on track.
You know track day season has definitely set in when your alarm sounds at 4:30am. The standard early morning departure saw us leave Casa Leroux at 6.30am sharp, destination Channel Tunnel. After a quick stop for breakfast on route, we arrived at the tunnel two hours early. However, after joining what seemed to be a never ending queue, the reality of travelling on Good Friday soon set in.
A few hours later the four of us in Jonny's BMW had finally passed check-in, collected our food from the Flexiplus lounge and were somewhere under the English Channel (but we're not mentioning food to other members of staff - it's a sore subject).
Some 12 hours after setting off we arrived at Spa, and with operation set-up complete we headed to the staff house. Saturday morning saw BaT staff spring into action as customers arrived for sign-on. Come 9am cars were lining the pit lane, ready for sighting laps. By 9.30am the track was fully open and the sound of engines filled the Ardennes countryside.
Spa always brings out an interesting mix of machinery, and the Easter weekend was no different. From our own Caterham R300 rental cars to a Capri 2600 RS, a McLaren, the usual array of Funcup cars and even the spectacular De Tomaso Pantera we were as spoilt as ever.
One of the many positives about Spa is their ability to carry out live recoveries. As such, red flags were kept to a minimum all weekend. The circuit staff have implemented a Full Course Yellow system, neutralising the pace of the circuit whilst cars are recovered safely. The real bonus being the elimination of stoppages and lost track time for our customers.
As you all know the weather in the Ardennes countryside is very unpredictable, it's highly likely you will experience all four seasons in one day, anytime of the year. In recent years our March trip weather has changed dramatically - I've gone from suffering sunstroke in the pit lane, to frostbite in the snow one year later. The lesson there is to pack everything from summer clothing to a full winter wardrobe. Fortunately, we escaped this on Saturday and enjoyed a dry day. Blue sky and sunshine even made a welcome appearance.
Upon arriving back at the house Saturday evening, dinner was cooking away nicely thanks to Phil and Linzi. Unbeknown to me, there was a surprise in store before tucking into our evening meal. A little celebration had been organised to celebrate my recent 30th birthday, including lots of cake and a Tiffany bracelet. For those not in the know Tiffany is basically the Aston Martin or Snap On Tools of the jewellery world.
Complete with a lovely new addition to my wrist, we headed back to the circuit Sunday morning, ready for day two. As everything was already set up it meant a few of us enjoyed the luxury of a later start time - almost unheard of in this business!
Track time came in abundance for customers once again on Sunday, with slightly lower numbers. The weather differed this time, the woolly hat even came out of hiding for a short period of time to protect from the icy chill. A rain shower during the morning added to the spectacle of Spa. However, a dry line began to appear just in time for the lunch break.
The umbrella was needed briefly during the afternoon, despite being surrounded by glorious sunshine and blue skies. We're still not sure where the rain cloud was hiding.
A good mix of cars returned for day two, with the usual assortment of Caterhams, Porsches, and Lotus', amongst others keen to sample the spectacular Spa circuit. Just one stoppage befell us on Sunday, but it's safe to say we had two successful days on track.
Arriving home from Spa the feeling of a brand new season has definitely cemented itself. The standard array of early mornings and long days are set to follow.
A lot of smiling faces around the Spa paddock and some good reviews from customers was a nice way to start the season. I'd like to say another huge thank you to the BaT team for my present - slightly overwhelmed! Now when you show me your wristband in the pit lane, I can show you my sparkly Tiffany wrist (never going to get bored of that).
We're looking forward to seeing you all over the next few months. We have now launched our exciting Eastern European trip, which will take place in October, click here to download the information pack. Prior to that we will have more European adventures, taking us to Zolder and Zandvoort during the summer, with bookings now being taken.
See you soon,
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Marketing & PR
31 March 2016
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