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Silverstone VSCC April 2024


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#1 Sterzo

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 15:27

I apologise in advance for posting a topic which is not history related, and relevant only to a minority of TNF members. However, I can't think of a better place to ask the question.

 

I want to spectate at this meeting on the coming weekend, April 20 - 21 after an absence from the circuits of several years. You cannot pay on the gate, but have to order on line. But must you have a smart phone to present your ticket at the circuit? And do you need to buy the ticket through the same phone? If I were to buy three tickets on my phone, how would we all get in?

 

Predictably, Silverstone's farcical ill-designed website gives no clue. Just as it doesn't tell you what races or on, or when they start. Nor does the invitiation to send an email allow you to send an email - it routes you (via recurring intrusive adverts) to a web enquiry page which doesn't work. Fortunately an email to the VSCC prompted a helpful reply by return, giving the races and start time - but I still don't know whether three of us will drive for two hours to find one or more of us can't get in.



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#2 sabrejet

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 16:21

I often use my phone, but equally I have printed off the ticket (A4 sheet) and it worked fine too. They just need to be able to scan the QR code, so paper should be OK.



#3 marksixman

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 16:30

Which goes to prove that modern tech can even do a good job of screwing up established tradition and engineering !   Perhaps some AI would help !!!!!!!!!!  No, perhaps not.

 

I do hope the weekend works out for you Sterzo, I am sure you will enjoy it.



#4 John Ginger

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 17:41

As Sabrejet has said, as long as they can read 3x QR codes (paper or electronic) you should be ok

There was an office, just before the entrance, on the right, where you could buy & print tickets, but fairly sure you need an account to do so, and of course, I would hate for it not to be there for your visit…

#5 john winfield

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 18:35

Two years ago, at Cadwell, I found that HSCC had stopped producing programmes, so last year I printed the essentials at home. Accessing the programme at the circuit, on a phone, just didn't work for me.
Happily, again at Cadwell, the VSCC were still printing and selling good quality programmes. I hope this is still the case, but it might be worth checking.

Edited by john winfield, 15 April 2024 - 18:35.


#6 Odseybod

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 19:24

Printed programmes are usually available at this Silverstone 'Spring Start' meeting. Incidentally, if you've an earpiece radio from Goodwood or a similar event,they're usually tuned to the same frequency as the Silverstone transmissions, so are worth bringing along (memo to self: check batteries). 



#7 Sterzo

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Posted 15 April 2024 - 19:56

Thank you all very much, that's great info folks. And I'll pack my Brands Hatch earpiece just in case the frequency is the same. Though if it's not "Bunny" Tubbs commentating I might complain.



#8 john aston

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 05:58

I endured dodgy e-tickets for years at Silverstone . I print them and on several occasions the QR reader thing didn't recognise the code, or at the GP even suggested that I was miles away from the entrance I had (not ) selected . Cue meltdown. 

 

So. I used the Silverstone app with trepidation last year  for the Classic . And it worked like a dream . I was almost disappointed !   



#9 68targa

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 07:28

I have found that the VSCC printed programmes are some of the better ones, usually with an informative article or two and all clearly presented - at least the Prescott ones have been.  Unlike the dreadful BGP programme which almost ignores the support races and has no substance at all.



#10 john aston

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 07:53

The Grand Prix programme I bought in 2022 was an overpriced disgrace , and apparently targeted at fans with a reading age in single figures. I complained to Stuart Pringle ,Silverstone boss and he replied to the effect that he couldnt agree more - and that F1 has sole control of content and sale of programmes. 

 

Many club race programmes are bloody awful too though .Often full of typos (Alpha Romeo anyone ?) and mind numbingly dull - who the hell needs long verbatim extracts of regulations ? Obviously (!) the odd one I've contributed to has been much better , with race previews and driver information. VSCC ones are usually excellent and Goodwood's are simply superb.   



#11 FastReader

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 14:54

I'm glad I've seen this thread as I wouldn't otherwise have known about Silverstone's new ticketing policy of no sales on the gate. I usually go to the VSCC Spring Start meeting (although not this year due to family commitments) where everybody drives up to the gate to pay and then parks on the infield. What could possibly go wrong with the new policy?   :rolleyes:

 

Anyway, I shall be there the following weekend for the Silverstone 500 British GT meeting and I am at least forewarned to buy my ticket online and in advance.



#12 dwh43scale

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Posted 16 April 2024 - 16:37

Regs on VSCC website provides details of what is racing which day but no more. However, website won't let you see an entry list unless you are a member.

 

 theresultslive.co.uk usually has more detail nearer the weekend and live timing on the day.

 

I have my tickets in the Silverstone app; they are activated and ready to go. Just need to sort out the step to see over some of the fences and hone my "shooting through the fence" skills for the others  ...

 

Actually, having been to my first Spring Start last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, I'm looking forward to the weekend - and it's only a half hour journey from home !



#13 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 07:47

The VSCC are still very secretive about their events.  In many ways they have not moved into the 21st century. They like to be a bit "right crowd and no crowding".  Closed website means people don't know about events, timetables or entry lists. It's hardly the way to promote the club.  Tit's the same with their very popular trials around the country. Only for their members but rely on local clubs to run the tests for them/



#14 Sterzo

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 13:23

In the VSCC's defence, they do have a decent website. More informative than any circuit's. If it's geared more to members than spectators, that's what I'd expect from a club. It's really the circuits which are absolutely dire. You can buy tickets on their sites but they tell you the square route of not a lot about the meeting you've paid for. As usual, Motorsport Vision are by far the best, but even they are frustrating.

 

I tried looking at Castle Combe's site. They repeat almost the same information for every meeting, and it's hard to to decipher what's actually on. And impossible to plan attendance from afar, or decide whether you need to stay overnight.

 

Meanwhile Silverstone have obviously employed an ad agency to bombard the poor punter with sales crap, and to hell with being helpful. Slightly disappointing for a non-profit organisation run by enthusiasts.

 

Modern technology is fantastic, but what humans choose to do with it is less endearing.



#15 john aston

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 16:27

Much as I like VSCC events I too find their website a PITA when it comes to events. Most clubs publish entries , timetable and many do  programmes on line too. Club don't get gate income but most are decent enough to tell me whether (in this case) it would have been worth a 300mile round trip.  But 750 MC at Croft , up the road for me will be my weekend fun.    



#16 FastReader

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 17:14

I had to look up PITA. I'm not very good at modern on-line acronyms.



#17 opplock

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Posted 17 April 2024 - 18:25

VSCC are celebrating their 90th anniversary this year. Perhaps it is a case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  



#18 john aston

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 06:25

If they'd  taken that attitude they wouldn't  have a website , nor possibly even an electric  telephone device .. 



#19 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 08:24

The VSCC is very much a large  "family" of old money folk. A lot of inbreeding as well. However New (more) money folk are buying the high end cars like Bentleys and doing the HERO types of events or getting entries at Le Mans Classic etc.  Often the thirs generation of the VSCC families are not quite so interested but also see the family car they inherited as the value of a decent house.



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#20 dfc

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 09:58

I've seen Silverstone's ticketing process become more restrictive over recent years and this has been one reason I've stopped attending the Silverstone Festival.  However, I've been able to enjoy the VSCC Spring Start meeting by printing a ticket bought on the Silverstone website and presenting this at the gate. I have bought a two-day ticket for this year's Spring Start but now find access to the circuit is possible only downloading tickets via the Silverstone tickets app onto a smart phone and having the smart phone with you on the day.

 

I value IT and even have a basic mobile phone but have no wish to purchase and use a smart phone, so I shall have to contact my credit card provider for a refund.



#21 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 12:27

I've seen Silverstone's ticketing process become more restrictive over recent years and this has been one reason I've stopped attending the Silverstone Festival.  However, I've been able to enjoy the VSCC Spring Start meeting by printing a ticket bought on the Silverstone website and presenting this at the gate. I have bought a two-day ticket for this year's Spring Start but now find access to the circuit is possible only downloading tickets via the Silverstone tickets app onto a smart phone and having the smart phone with you on the day.

 

I value IT and even have a basic mobile phone but have no wish to purchase and use a smart phone, so I shall have to contact my credit card provider for a refund.

 

You can have the ticket emailed to you and print it the old fashioned way. That's what I've done! I wouldn't want you to miss out ...



#22 dfc

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 15:20

Jon, How do I do that? I would like to go.



#23 opplock

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 17:05

You can have the ticket emailed to you and print it the old fashioned way. That's what I've done! I wouldn't want you to miss out ...

 

Old fashioned? I attended the DTM meeting at Norisring last year. I ordered a ticket online and the organisers gave several delivery options including one familiar to me and no doubt Jacob Rees Mogg. About a week later an envelope arrived from Germany containing a printed ticket. Heads will no doubt roll at Royal Mail. 



#24 Odseybod

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 17:22

I think the Mogg would only be stirred if the envelope was addressed using a quill pen producing a fine copperplate script.



#25 gerryrichards

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 18:59

The VSCC is very much a large  "family" of old money folk. A lot of inbreeding as well. However New (more) money folk are buying the high end cars like Bentleys and doing the HERO types of events or getting entries at Le Mans Classic etc.  Often the thirs generation of the VSCC families are not quite so interested but also see the family car they inherited as the value of a decent house.

 

This is a common mis-conception - I'm a VSCC member from a fairly humble background and could not have been made to feel more welcome.  My 17 year old can now just about afford to get into motorsport as they offer half price entries to under 30s.... 

And for the oldies like me, I've discovered that a fairly standard and not particularly valuable pre-war sports car is about the most affordable way to get into circuit racing (not cheap, it's never that, but a lot less than historic saloon or formula racing)


Edited by gerryrichards, 18 April 2024 - 19:01.


#26 john aston

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 06:08

From attendance at Harewood , Cadwell and the Lakeland Trial  the VSCC seems to embrace a very wide demographic . Secret squirrel website apart, they are an extraordinarily friendly bunch who are more than happy to share their enthusiasm . No privacy tape and no -go pit and paddock , but laid back and open. Accents from posh to provincial . 

 

If I may share two anecdotes (possibly not their  first outing) , years ago I took a friend to VSCC Cadwell . David had only been to big ticket events before - F1/F3000/F3 , GTs etc and was enchanted when the driver of a Type 35 Bugatti looked up from warming up the engine , beamed and wished him a very good morning. You didn't get that from self important, sour faced gophers in the BTCC paddock. And about 5 years ago I went to see my first VSCC trial , at Honister Pass . Within ten minutes of arrival I'd been invited to join the driver of a Ford Model A as passenger/bouncer but sadly a bad back meant I had to decline 


Edited by john aston, 19 April 2024 - 06:09.


#27 dfc

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Posted 19 April 2024 - 07:14

Jon Saltinstall,

 

Are you able to help re posts 21 and 22 above, please?



#28 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 08:17

Sorry - I was out of circulation visiting a friend who’d been rushed into hospital with sepcis. I spoke to the people at the VSCC (as I’d written some articles for their programmes) and they emailed it to me. It printed just like they always used to.

#29 dwh43scale

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 09:38

https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBn8Fx

 

A selection of shots from Saturday. Luffield is now fully fenced in unless you have a cherry picker to shoot over it ...



#30 68targa

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 15:36

https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBn8Fx

 

A selection of shots from Saturday. Luffield is now fully fenced in unless you have a cherry picker to shoot over it ...

So the last uninterrupted viewing spot at Silverstone for amateur photographers has now been blocked off  :down: :down: :down: :down:

 

Thanks for sharing your pics.



#31 dwh43scale

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 20:10

So the last uninterrupted viewing spot at Silverstone for amateur photographers has now been blocked off  :down: :down: :down: :down:

 

Thanks for sharing your pics.

 

Yes - on the National Circuit pretty much. Anyway - here's some from Sunday https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBnd8s

 

Having said that, as usual for VSCC at Silverstone, the media bibs outnumbered the spectators out on the circuit !



#32 Odseybod

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Posted 21 April 2024 - 23:15

Even a Meeja tabard can't eliminate the new timeshare apartments lurking in the background between Maggotts and Becketts, giving the impression your snaps were taken in some executive housing estate.

 

DSC-5481.jpg

 

However, a more worthwhile new development is the cafe in the Museum, which can be enjoyed without paying to go into the Museum and involves much less queuing than in the Paddock Diner. The coffee's rather better, too.


Edited by Odseybod, 22 April 2024 - 08:25.


#33 Sterzo

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Posted 22 April 2024 - 17:08

^ Good architects design buildings to fit the surroundings, picking up cues from the neighbourhood. They've done a brilliant job here, reflecting Silverstone's tatty condition, ugly sheds and nasty materials to perfection.

 

I managed to go after an hour working out how to buy an on-line  ticket. The real human on the gate leant deep into the car but still couldn't get his scanner to read it, and I'm grateful for his "Oh, go in, I've seen it."



#34 john aston

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 05:52

Silverstone was never going to be confused with Florence (or even Grantham) but it's gone from endearingly scruffy old airfield to the look of a distribution hub in Poznan. Everything - stands, toilets, cafe  - looks hastily assembled , fit for purpose but  devoid of charm and somehow temporary feeling .I'd make exceptions for the old pits - once state of the art I suppose - but now nicely patinated and with an old world charm, And I don't mind the Wing either , apart from the ludicrous fact that you can't see the track from the pitlane . At least the Wing has a form defined not only by function even though it is no Taj Mahal . 

 

The best bit of Silverstone is the lake behind the grandstand at Vale on the infield - as an angler I've spent many spare moments between races spotting the carp, which are bigger every year , and very partial to the remains of my  baguette . 



#35 FastReader

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 09:31

Silverstone was never going to be confused with Florence (or even Grantham) but it's gone from endearingly scruffy old airfield to the look of a distribution hub in Poznan. Everything - stands, toilets, cafe  - looks hastily assembled , fit for purpose but  devoid of charm and somehow temporary feeling .I'd make exceptions for the old pits - once state of the art I suppose - but now nicely patinated and with an old world charm, And I don't mind the Wing either , apart from the ludicrous fact that you can't see the track from the pitlane . At least the Wing has a form defined not only by function even though it is no Taj Mahal . 

 

The best bit of Silverstone is the lake behind the grandstand at Vale on the infield - as an angler I've spent many spare moments between races spotting the carp, which are bigger every year , and very partial to the remains of my  baguette . 

Indeed. Any charm that the place once possessed has long been lost to its modern incarnation as a motor racing industrial estate.



#36 Odseybod

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 10:31

Sadly, times change.

 

1971-BGP.jpg

 

1976-July-VSCC.jpg

 

(From the 1971 British GP and 1976 July VSCC meeting)

 



#37 sabrejet

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 17:45

Silverstone still has a looooong way to go if it is to genuinely consider itself a modern venue. Food is awful (shades of 70s chip wagons and instant coffee), the staff often rude/abusive and the environment is awful. OK it's never going to be Brands Hatch in terms of circuit layout, but every time a new building goes up it's like they just took a catalogue and said "I'll have one of them" without any consideration of what it will look like in what is an inevitably flat landscape. Do they ever plant trees or attempt landscaping?

 

And I still have no idea how you can have any meeting where most of the grandstands are closed - and then put up fences so you can't get a clear view without using a grandstand!!!

 

We still go, because often it's the only chance you get to see certain series: it was the only reason we went to the WEC meetings there. But it's kind of like paying to see opera in a building site.



#38 68targa

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Posted 23 April 2024 - 19:50

It is fair to say that Silverstone revolves around F1 - every change they make is to accomodate the wishes of FIA and F1 inspectors (and probably their insurers) which probably account for the need for unlimited high catch fencing. The circuit has to pay its way and I can understand why they decided to build the timeshare 'lodges' for instance.  I don't have to like it and I don't but that's the way of the world now. 

 

I used to enjoy walking to entire circuit in all weathers in a sort of masochistic way.  Leaning on the scaffold pole railings at different vantage points and grabbing photos at some great spots  (inside of Maggots before it was changed).  The old Woodcote of course, and sometimes spotting the odd hare. It had a certain dishevelled charm but with a feeling of history.  Now I find it is a soulless concrete venue.

 

Still, no use moaning any more, at least I have been there and seen it at its best.



#39 john aston

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 06:53

It's undoubtedly F1 demands which mean that the track is in a separate time zone from the spectator and that run off zones are visible from space. But when you are there  for the Grand Prix it's so busy and the atmosphere so electric it doesn't matter very much . When I watched Max and Lando enter Copse at 185mph in 2022 it was as thrilling as anything I've seen on track. And like most people on TNF I've seen a lot. 

 

But even at the Classic, let alone a clubbie , it's like seeing a school choir in an arena except when you get big, noisy and fast cars on track . The decision to close some grandstands is annoying - they need security staff , I get that , but at the Classic the only stand open at Village is often rammed , and next to it are acres of locked stands . 

 

I've never found the staff anything other than polite though , and although the food is 1974 spec at small meetings it can be excellent at bigger ones. Of course it's expensive but it is pricey at any big event - from opera at Covent Garden to Shakespeare at Stratford or a rock gig for big band  . 

 

Museum apart ,it  does  also seem in denial of its past . What a contrast to MSV 's lovely approach at Cadwell , with lots of interpretation boards showing scenes from the past .   



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#40 bsc

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 09:24

Museum apart ,it  does  also seem in denial of its past . What a contrast to MSV 's lovely approach at Cadwell , with lots of interpretation boards showing scenes from the past .   

I do really like the Cadwell interpretation boards - they're a good way of engaging visitors to the venue and, I suspect, not overly expensive to do. I consider myself to be reasonably well-versed in Cadwell's past, but still found a few nuggets of interest.



#41 john winfield

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 11:08

I do really like the Cadwell interpretation boards - they're a good way of engaging visitors to the venue and, I suspect, not overly expensive to do. I consider myself to be reasonably well-versed in Cadwell's past, but still found a few nuggets of interest.

 

Same here, the boards are excellent, dotted all around Cadwell's beautiful circuit.

 

Thanks everyone for posting the Silverstone photos, but they did leave me rather saddened.  I was almost a regular between 1964 and 1980, last went there in 2002, understand why the circuit has had to adapt, but know that I'll never go there again. Three times recently I've driven past the main gates located now, as Fastreader says, within Silverstone's motor racing 'industrial estate'. I always used to pop in, just for a glimpse, just for the thrill of hearing or seeing something of interest. If pressed for time I would at least pull off the Dadford road and stop for a minute in the quiet Club car park entrance, peering over the fields, listening for anything that might be whistling down Hangar Straight to Stowe, or screaming through Club. What a grim, unhappy mess that end of the circuit now is, its character lost forever.  So, back to Cadwell* for me and, although I'll be down near Silverstone again soon, it will be for a return trip to Stowe Landscape Gardens, where the architecture is easy on the eye, and the parkland unspoilt. The café is good too.  National Trust rather than Silverstone.......I'm getting old.    

 

*HSCC are at Cadwell May 18th/19th, and the VSCC are there on June 15th.


Edited by john winfield, 24 April 2024 - 11:33.


#42 Sterzo

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 11:56

The roadway of the Grand Prix circuit is excellent, so they've got the number one priority right. Also, to be fair (well, I'm trying), the facilities are better than in 1965, when part of the entertainment was watching the canvas walls of the toilet cubicles blowing away. I assume Jonathan Palmer is a BRDC member, and I'm slightly surprised if they haven't asked him to look around and make a few suggestions for low-cost improvements. Or plant a tree. Anywhere.



#43 FastReader

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Posted 24 April 2024 - 14:48

I used to enjoy walking to entire circuit in all weathers in a sort of masochistic way.  Leaning on the scaffold pole railings at different vantage points and grabbing photos at some great spots  (inside of Maggots before it was changed).  The old Woodcote of course, and sometimes spotting the odd hare. It had a certain dishevelled charm but with a feeling of history.  Now I find it is a soulless concrete venue.

You sound like me! Part of the pleasure of the old 6 Hour/1000 Km races was a slow walk around the circuit, stopping off at various vantage points to take a few photos. Not any more though and whilst I shall be there this weekend for the British GT Silverstone 500 I shall probably stay in the Luffield/Woodcote area where I can get reasonably close to the track even if I do have to look through a 10 foot high chain link fence.



#44 La Sarthe

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Posted 30 April 2024 - 12:52

Having attended the British GT race at the weekend, two more 'improvements to the viewing experience' were noted. For endurance events I used to enjoy a walk around the circuit but that's no longer possible. Between Copse and Maggots you're now prevented by a security guy from going any further - they haven't thought to include some sort of path around the new 'chalets' at Maggots. I asked him how I could get to Becketts and he helpfully suggested I walk all the way round the other way...

 

One of the good photography spots on the GP/International circuit was down at Vale/Club, where there was a relatively low section of fence. The fence is still there but they're now building a new stand where you used to be able to watch so that was a no-go zone.

 

Every year a little more life and enjoyment is sucked out of the place.



#45 68targa

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Posted 30 April 2024 - 15:06

Having attended the British GT race at the weekend, two more 'improvements to the viewing experience' were noted. For endurance events I used to enjoy a walk around the circuit but that's no longer possible. Between Copse and Maggots you're now prevented by a security guy from going any further - they haven't thought to include some sort of path around the new 'chalets' at Maggots. I asked him how I could get to Becketts and he helpfully suggested I walk all the way round the other way...

 

One of the good photography spots on the GP/International circuit was down at Vale/Club, where there was a relatively low section of fence. The fence is still there but they're now building a new stand where you used to be able to watch so that was a no-go zone.

 

Every year a little more life and enjoyment is sucked out of the place.

Thanks for the update. Looks like the only two spots for spectator photographers have now been lost without fencing in the way. I expect they don't want any riff-raff walking anywhere near the "chalets" although last year they allowed us to walk on the road behind them.