Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BTCC @ Silverstone

Sunday I got up even earlier than Saturday and unusually it had nothing to do with church.  This was my first Sunday this year not attending church.  We travelled for two hours in a roughly northerly direction to get to Silverstone.  This is my birthday present and its going to be a fantastic day. There are three rounds of the BTCC at each race day, and a number of other supporting races and events.  It took a while to get our bearings at Silverstone.  There is a lot for them to do to improve the visitors experience.  Jo had her radio with her, so we tuned into the circuit radio to listen to the commentary.
2010_0822 BTCC 19,20,21
BTCC is a complicated sport and I don't pretend to understand it - not like I do F1 for example.  However it is enjoyable, and the day as a whole was very good.  I'm learning more about it too. 

Here are my impressions of the races.
There's a lot of overtaking and quite a lot of pushing and shoving to achieve it.  They have the advantage of covered wheels so contact is not so serious.  The races are enjoyable because there's a lot happening and because of the crowd's reaction - and they're not that long!
We support Team Aon, but I'm not sure why, probably because Liz's boyfriend does.  They were a good team to support today, they won all three races. 

In the first race Tom Onslow-Cole was leading when he pulled off line and let Tom Chilton past.  Chilton went on to win the race.  Onslow-Cole said he missed a gear but that doesn't explain it - he was well off the racing line when the pass occured.
In the second race Onslow-Cole was leading again and again gave way to Chilton.  Team orders are allowed in the BTCC.  I still don't like them.  Onslow-Cole did not recover from the slow down and ended third.
Onslow-Cole won the third race because Chiltern was never higher than third.
Almost the perfect day for the team. Congratulations to Tom Onslow-Cole, driver of the day and the real winner.

We watched the first race from a Woodcote stand with a good view of the pit straight and Luffield.  All the action took place at Maggots.  We walked round to Maggots to watch the second race and the best action took place at Luffield.  We watched the final race at Luffield and had a good view of lots of the action.

Of the supporting races the Ginetta (GT50's) was the most interesting with lots of action, and the last of them was red flagged!  (Race abandoned is what a red flag means, in case you don't know).  The Formula Renault (open wheeled) was also good, as were Clio's which we watched from Maggots - a good place to be if you like to see cars struggling to slow down.  This race also included the cleanest overtake I saw as one car ran wide and the following braked later and passed on the inside.
The Porsche races were least interesting - nothing much seemed to happen.

The red arrows did a display, which we mostly missed and a Lancaster bomber did a fly past, you can just about see it in one of the pictures.

After the final race came the long and patient wait to get out of the car park.  The stewards had blocked part of the road.

Its was a brilliant day, but quite long and tiring.  - Thanks Liz.

P.S.  This also counts as one of our '25-things' as we have never been to a motor race together before.

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