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Turkish Grand Prix

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#1 potmotr

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 12:22

Hi there,

I'm planning a trip to the Turkish Grand Prix.

Things I would like to know are:

* What is the view like from General Admission?

* How close to the track are you?

* Are you able to move around the circuit and take in lots of different corners?

* How difficult is it to get to the track from Istanbul? I've heard the traffic is a nightmare. What kind of time do you need to allocate to get to the circuit?

* What is the support card like? GP2, Supercup, but anything else?

* Can you drink in Turkey, and at the track?



#2 Talking Point

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 12:36

I'm afraid I can't really help with any of your questions, as next year will be my first time to Turkey as well. I'm going with SelectMotorRacing and Kevin (who runs the company with his wife) suggested either the Silver or Gold grandstands. I think he said the best one is the gold one at the end of the start-finish straight. I'm not entirely sure, because my dad booked the tickets in the end. But I do know that he advised against General Admission.
It's well known that the traffic is horrific getting to Istanbul Park. I remember the scenes from a few years ago when mid-way through the race they showed a birds-eye view from the helicopter and you could see there were still hundreds of cars queuing to get in! You may therefore think it's better to go with a tour company like me, but obviously that usually works out more expensive.

#3 spenserj

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 03:13

I did a tour for the 2006 race, but I don't think it is essential - it was the only way I could get the tickets I wanted. A shuttle bus to the race is essential, especially going across the Bosphorous. Once across the bridge, I didn't think traffic was too bad - the worst part was leaving after the race on Sunday - it took hours to get out of there. But, the GP race attendance in Turkey is less than half of what it once was. Also, food at the track pretty much sucked. We ended up grabbing food from town and bringing to the racetrack. I'd allow at least 2 hours to get to the track, although we made it in an hour Friday.

I agree that Gold Grandstands at the end of the straight are really good seats. They are covered (shade) and you have great views of the pits, cars coming onto the track, and of course the almost guaranteed first corner incidents. We were able to walk down to the very front of the grandstands quite easily and it is quite close to the track. Sound was amazing the pit exit right in front of us. Nothing like the sound of an F1 car spinning up. Good video screens too.

We walked around the track a bit on Saturday and it was long walks, dusty - they do have shuttles, but the wait was a bit long. I normally like to walk the whole track, but I admit I didn't in Turkey - way more of a hassle than Indy. Just roads and dirt - not much in the way of facilities around the track other than bleachers. I'm not sure I liked any GA areas I found - it was too hot to be exposed and the good spots were taken quite early in the day.

Another heads up if you are staying in Istanbul - food is fantastic - we didn't have a bad meal. But, the gauntlet of locals trying to sell you stuff (especially me being from the US) got old fast. I've traveled a bit and normally this kind of thing doesn't bother me, but in Istanbul it got pretty offensive. But, I loved walking around the Blue Mosque area and the Grand Bazaar. Lot's of cheap hotels in the old town area.

I don't remember if there was drinking at the track - I'm pretty sure there was. I know it isn't an issue in Istanbul as I had my share of local beer in many of the outdoor and rooftop restaurants. The GP2 races were great and they had a Polo Cup race (women) that was really fun - the tires on those little polos really squeal like crazy going through the first turn. in 2006, the whole event was really really good. Clean facilities and nice local staff working the race. I only have the USGP to compare it to - going to Canada this year.

Edited by spenserj, 16 January 2010 - 03:19.

#4 potmotr

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 18:37

Thanks mate, that's really useful information. :up: :)

#5 D82

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 14:49

Of course you can drink in Turkey... :rolleyes: