This weekend four lucky winners of the Ultimate F1 Road Trip competition, which JA on F1 organised with Shell, are making their way down to Spa by road from London with their guests, ahead of a dream weekend at the heart of the F1 action.
We’ll be posting content with their experiences during the weekend and a video early next week, but here is the first instalment, from Rob Sinfield (aka Grand Prix Diary) written in the back of a Chrysler Voyager as they sped towards Spa.
Rob Sinfield writes: The day started for us lucky four prizewinners and guests, at the Holiday Inn, Greenwich. You might have heard that the Paralympics are in town and with Greenwich being in the thick of the action, the hotel was buzzing with excitement. I think it was the excitement that was buzzing, it may have been the air conditioning but you get the picture.
We however, were heading out of town. The eight of us and our two Shell hosts (and drivers), Winston and Fiona, in two Shell V Power liveried cars, were soon on the M2 heading for the Euro Tunnel.
Our destination, as you know, is Spa Francorchamps and the daddy of all F1 races, the Belgian Grand Prix. For a small country, Belgium has certainly given the world many great things. Hercule Poirot, Tintin, Plastic Bertrand, great beer and frites with mayonnaise but this race tops all of that, so we were all more than a bit keen to get going.
Travelling on Friday meant we’d miss two F1 practice sessions but judging by the stream of Tweets coming through, this turned out to be a good thing. When it rains at Spa it really rains and the deluge that hit it on Friday would have had Noah concerned. As far as I could tell from the comfort of my chauffeur driven car in sunny northern France, F1 action in Belgium was minimal to say the least.
Once into Belgium we stopped near Bruges (the scene of my all time favourite film ‘In Bruges’, if you haven’t seen it, watch it but not in the presence of the easily offended!) for a picnic. Shell had decided that we should have a lunch based on the sort of healthy meal an F1 driver might eat.
Despite that slightly worrying scenario it was rather fabulous, though it’s a shame Juan Pablo Montoya is no longer in F1, as I would have loved an F1 themed double cheeseburger and fries. I did lower the ‘health’ tone a bit by buying a six pack of Jupiler beer from the shop next door but hey, I’m on holiday.
Back on the road, we were soon at our base for the next two nights, the rather plush Derlon Hotel in Maastricht, Holland. This, as far as I am aware, is in the wrong country but I’m assured it is only a brief hop over the border to Spa.
So, bring on Saturday. A packed itinerary with a few surprise treats thrown in from Shell, plus F1 qualifying and GP2 racing. I can’t wait…
Tomorrow on the Ultimate F1 Road Trip: The winners come into the the circuit; they’ll be based in a hospitality suite at the foot of Eau Rouge, but many surprises lie in store..