Eastern European Trip 2016

As most of you will now know, we like to arrange a brand new European trip each year, taking us to circuits we haven't visited before. This year's big BookaTrack adventure was a week long excursion to Eastern Europe. Across one week we visited three countries and three circuits - Brno, Slovakiaring and Hungaroring.

Upon arrival at Budapest airport on Sunday night, staff piled into our fleet of hired minibuses, ready to make the four hour journey to Brno. Five minibuses, with blacked out windows heading down the motorway in convoy as we approached midnight, you can imagine how this looked. After a quick stop at a motorway service station for some food, which involved cornflakes and chicken in one meal, we arrived at our hotel.

The next day was dedicated to collecting customers from Brno airport. After multiple runs everyone arrived and became swiftly settled in the Maximus Resort Hotel, ready for the welcome dinner.

The welcome dinners have become an integral part of our European trips. It is a great way for customers and staff alike to socialise with one another. As well as a private function room for our dinner, we also enjoyed our own personal bowling alley for the evening. You can imagine how competitive this became.

Tuesday 11th October was our first day on track, first stop Brno. Cold was an understatement for Brno. It is a fantastic circuit, and was definitely a winner with customers, but the three degree temperature was very much unexpected. Being given a blanket from the marshal at the pit exit was one of the best gifts I had ever received at that point!

A dry morning meant everyone was able to sample the circuit at its best. However, as the rain came, we were left with a wet afternoon. At the end of the day the consensus was Brno was in contention for the favourite circuit of the week award. Despite the weather we made it through without any stoppages, which was an added bonus.

With four trucks to load, the BaT team all stepped into loading mode and got the job done efficiently and quickly. We even had some help from customers, which was very much appreciated. In record time we were back at the hotel, defrosting and ready for our evening meal.

Minibuses were filled once more Wednesday morning, ready for the journey to Slovakia. As we dropped clients off at the aptly named Hotel Ring, onsite at the circuit, our trucks arrived in convoy. Once again it was all hands on deck to set up ready for day two, before we headed to our hotel, some 15 minutes away.

Unfortunately separated from customers for one night, staff were staying in a different hotel, different in more ways than one. It was certainly quirky to say the least, and gave a flavour of the local area. Greeted by various animals, including turtles, a rabbit and a bearded dragon called Carlos, it was certainly interesting.

With an afternoon to pass we explored the hotel, to find a bowling alley, and a spa, including a rainforest experience. If you find monkeys, birds and spontaneous thunder storms relaxing this was the spa experience for you.

A pleasant day on Thursday saw us make it through without wind or rain, the sun even made a brief appearance. There were a lot of pleasantly surprised faces during the day, as everyone remarked upon how the circuit exceeded expectations.

Having expected it to be a 'filler' in the middle of the trip, the Slovakiaring was a hidden gem. It's long straights lent themselves to high speeds, and with the mix of tight and high speed corners, it made for a great lap. The lack of reference points around the circuit made it difficult to navigate at times, but it was still a great venue.

It was time to move on once again on Friday morning, as we made our way to our final stop - Budapest. Staying in the centre of the city we were approximately half an hour from the circuit. Our final stay was in the beautiful Corinthia Hotel, which was certainly breath taking.

After checking in and grabbing a bite to eat, it was time to head to the circuit and unload for the final time. Upon arriving at the Hungaroring there was an immediate atmosphere, you could sense it was a special place. Now a well-oiled machine, the set up process was completed in great time once again. With a few more final preparations to complete on the cars, our team of mechanics immediately got started, to make sure they arrived back at the hotel in good time.

With an evening of local cuisine behind us, we returned to the Hungaroring Saturday morning for the final day on track. Greeted by sunshine and fairly warm temperatures, Brno seemed liked a distant memory.

As drivers returned to the pits, there was a sea of beaming faces and a lot of positive feedback. The undulating, narrow nature of the circuit made for an exciting lap. It was certainly a favourite throughout the paddock. Despite rain towards the end of the day, another stoppage-free outing made for a fantastic end to the trip, and once again all four trucks were loaded in record time.

The last evening was dedicated to our finale dinner, as we enjoyed one final evening with customers. Draped in our finery, everyone gathered in our private bistro at the hotel for the evening, as we enjoyed our four course meal.

Since arriving home, feedback has made it clear everyone had a thoroughly enjoyably week, and is very keen for the next adventure. We are still formulating plans for next year's trip, so watch this space.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the trip, from the organising and planning, to the staff who worked ridiculously hard throughout the week, and finally to all customers for coming along. We look forward to the next one.

See you soon,

Leanne




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Leanne Fahy
Marketing, PR & Events Executive
18 October 2016

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