Arrival at the circuit
May 5, 2006
It has been quite an intense day. Today began with the flight to London and then came my first experience of driving a right-hand drive car! I drove from the English capital to the circuit (a little over 100 kilometres) and I have to say that it was traumatic. It was very strange sitting on the right and changing gear with my left hand. In traffic there are few problems but alone in the country roads of Northamptonshire, I can assure you, is altogether another matter.By some miracle I managed to get the car to the paddock area, much to the amusement of my two passengers. Incidentally, they are also the photographers responsible for the images you can find in the Gallery.
It is my first time at Silverstone and I have to say that it is an impressive circuit. The track layout can be modified in numerous ways and the facilities are extensive and modern. The pit lane building, however, maintains some features found on tracks some ten years ago. The paddock and garage is full of stunning cars that will compete in the various championships to be held this coming weekend. Obviously, all our attention is on the F430 GTC and the F430 Challenge that will dispute our European single make series.
The fitting out of the motorhome and pit lane area coincided with the FIA GT and European GT3 championship qualifying sessions. For the sessions, cars ran on the ‘International circuit’ while the real fun starts tomorrow as they will use the ‘Grand Prix’ layout. As this is the first race of the season, there is much activity behind the scenes in the pit lane. The winter rust has to be shaken off and this counts for everyone, from the drivers to the teams that erect the hospitality tents. It promises to be an exciting weekend of racing and we are all eager to see what unfolds on the track.
Before settling down to eat, I would like to reply to your comments regarding the previous post reminding you that all the images from the Ferrari championships and the GT races are available in the Corse Clienti’s photography download area (click here to go to the site). This evening’s images are much less captivating; I took them myself and photography is not my strong point. However, I hope that they give you a flavour of the pre-race atmosphere. Personally, I enjoy these moments as it is possible to live the paddock in relative calm, chatting to the drivers, taking a look at the cars close up and going into the otherwise out-of-bounds garages. Standing in front of the immense but empty stands is an eerie yet fascinating experience.