BaT Italia 2013I first started doing track days back in 1998 when I picked up a Lotus Elise and as soon as I'd been to Donington Park for the first time I began dreaming of visiting all of the other legendary F1 circuits. In 2000, we rented the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona and in 2002 we finally secured dates at the daddy of them all - Spa-Francorchamps. Over the years we've visited many other current and previous F1 circuits including Estoril, Jerez, Magny-Cours, Dijon-Prenios, Zandvoort, Zolder, Nurburgring GP and of course our very own Silverstone.
However, the one country we'd never managed to visit was Italy. Back in the early days, there were all-sorts of issues with liability that we just couldn't see a way past - some of which still remain today (the Italians are not big fans of permitting passengers in-car on track days). For a few years we kept asking for dates and would occasionally be offered a single day at either Monza, Mugello or Imola, but never in the same week and rarely even in the same year!
In 2002, Sarah and I had the privilege of organising the track activities at Imola for the participants of the Gumball rally. Sadly, we didn't get chance to actually get out on track as we'd flown in and out within 36 hours and it's haunted me ever since - making me even more determined to organise a proper Italian BaT trip.
And so, as part of my annual ping-pong of emails to the various circuits I begged once more that Monza, Imola and Mugello give us dates in the same period and thankfully Monza and Mugello between them have managed to sort it for us. It's a shame we couldn't secure Imola in the same week - but after 15 years of trying, beggars can't be choosers!
For our pre-paid 2013 Platinum Members, this represents another £1000 worth of exclusive track time added to their already impressive array of available events which includes 6 days at Spa, the Iberia trip and 50+ UK track days.
The dates are Tuesday 1st October Monza and Thursday 3rd October Mugello. We're planning an informal visit to the Ferrari Museum on the Wednesday 2nd (vaguely en-route) if anyone is interested in joining us, just get in touch.
Circuit de Catalunya in my standard series 1 elise - the straight seemed to go on for miles! Spa-Francorchamps in the BLiNK Motorsport Honda-powered eRise - some of the best fun I can ever remember on-track. Finally, our first trip to the Nordschleife in 2010 to celebrate BaT's 10th Anniversary in the R300 I raced at Spa the previous year.
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28 February 2013
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