Silverstone Grand Prix 2012

Preamble – Thursday 5th July

Left home just after 2 o’clock and had a reasonable run down to Cherwell Valley services on the M40, where I checked into the Travelodge. Slightly slower than expected, on account of the M6 Toll road being closed, causing traffic chaos on the M6: I fortunately caught it on the radio, and diverted to the cross-country route. 116 miles, 2h15m,51mph
Drove over to the circuit to sign on (14mile, 25 minutes). Considering the weather we’ve had, the camp site and car parks don’t look too bad.
Headed towards Bicester looking for a beer and some tea. Nice pint of Pedigree at Bure Farm, Barberry Place, followed by fish and chips from the chippy next door.

Day One – Friday Practise

Up early with 5.30 alarm; Travelodge breakfast-in-a-box (surprisingly  OK); made food for the day, and on the road by 6.30. Arrived at the circuit and in to the marshal’s  car park without any delay, apart from a little early morning commuter traffic around the motorway junction. Significant queues already forming for routine entry to the circuit but sailed in via the specified route to Winterhill.
Very wet day, with limited action in the second F1 practice; the GP2 and GP3 practise, and Porsche session ran to schedule; HFO session in very wet conditions was pretty tame — but then, if you owned one of those machines, you wouldn’t want to take chances with it, would you?
Listening to Radio Silverstone and the Twitter feed, it became clear as the day progressed that there was chaos in the outside world with people trying and failing to get in. The day ended with the organizers telling people not to come to the Saturday Practise.
Longish journey home, following the recommended route through Buckingham. Tea from Burger King.

Day Two – Qualifying

5.30 alarm again; journey to the circuit quick and uneventful.
Weather started OK but spell of heavy rain after lunch caused an hour’s delay halfway through F1 Q2. Late finish, leaving circuit about 7.30
Salad from M&S for tea

Day Three – Race Day

Once again, 5.30 alarm, and managed to be on the road by 6.25; straightforward run as far as Silverstone village, then slow traffic to the car park; on post just before 7.30.
Some sprinkles of rain for the GP3 and GP2 races, but basically pretty dry. Low cloud base meant Red Arrows display somewhat limited, but stil very impressive. Sun came out about 12.45 and a completely dry GP was run mainly in bright sunlight — actually took my jacket of for the first time!
Excellent race, with a great drive by Alonso; but deservedly won by Webber, who passed him about 4 laps from the end. Disappoinment for the Brits: PDR out on lap one with a puncture; Button again steady but unremarkable, just finishing in the points; Hamilton pretty good, but not good enough. In the end, Red Bull, Ferrari, Ferrari, Red Bull was a fair result.
Very slow getaway from the circuit and deadly crawl to the A43 and on to the A5 roundabout: a tad over two hours to cover about five miles! Once on the A5, good run to M6 and thence home:  just over 100 miles in about two hours, with a brief stop at Corley.

In Summary —
A great experience again, despite the weather; nice to have a bit of variety with some pit lane involvement; enjoyed the racing, both GP and support events (well, perhaps not the Porsches); good bunch of fellow marshals in the team.

Back next year? – if possible, yes!

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