So, As it turns out I'm The luckiest man alive....
As a previous post mentioned I went to the Silverstone Classic at the weekend and I experienced some things I don't think I will ever experience again.
So, on friday evening me and a friend flew out to the U.K. for the Classic, we were staying in a house with my friends family in Northampton who because this is the internet will remain nameless. On the Friday night we were sat in the living room and discussing the event and then it dawned on us we had completely forgot to book tickets, a classic case of "no I thought you were" so panic ensues, we had flown all the way from Ireland purely for the classic and now had no tickets. If I'm honest my heart completely sank, I had been looking forward to this for months and now all of it had faded away in front of my very eyes. The man who's house we were staying in text every single person on his contacts with our story and thankfully one of his friends knew someone high up at Silverstone and we were told there would be two tickets for us Panic over and relax.
The Saturday night rolled around after a day of Go Karting, simulator and scalextric based fun and the person we were staying with went to get our tickets and what we were presented with when we got back was an unbelievable surprise, the two "tickets" turned out to be two passes that said "BRDC Guest" on them, I knew straight away what this meant, we were suddenly guests of the British Racing Driver's Club, a pair of chancers from the middle of nowhere in the south west of Ireland were now guests of the BRDC one of the most prestigious organizations in the world, I was in disbelief but after that the overriding emotion was pure shock horror... the dress code was "Smart Casual", First off that is quite open to interpretation secondly I actually had to google what "Smart Casual actually entails and Thirdly, I didn't bring any smart clothes, T-shirts were banned from the BRDC clubhouse, once again panic took over and a flurry of trying on borrowed polo shirts and shirts trying to find one that fitted or looked right, thankfully one was found and the dreaded dress code was sorted.
I've got a golden ticket
Then the day itself arrived, I was up early and looked out of our bedroom window, the weather was god awful, while last year silverstone basked in glorious sunlight but this year It was cold and wet and windy, should've known really it's July in the U.K bravely, brollys in hand we soldiered on.
After a long walk from the entrance to the BRDC section we were soaked and worst of all we had no idea how to get in the the bloody place, thankfully and elderly extremely posh gentleman hopped out of his shiny new Mercedes GLC, which on a personal note is a frankly hideous machine, and pointed us in the direction of a door, I thought to myself " God Luke you must look like such and idiot its so obvious this big glass door is right here *clunk* oh its locked" it was at this point I noticed several members of staff looking at us like we were insane, "That's the staff entrance" they muttered in a tone that suggested they thought we were total idiots, we walked back to where we were head's down and tails firmly between legs and we looked back at the elderly gentleman and he Looked at the two sodden young men who looked way too poor to be where they were and said "Oh I thought you were waiters, the clubhouse isn't open for another half an hour the gate is right there." We walked away cursing under our breath about how stupid and out of place we must of looked, after half an hour of wandering about the paddock looking at some glorious machines the highlight of which for me was Alan Jones' 1978 Williams
After wiling away that half hour I was cold, wet tired and hungry so we went back to the clubhouse and tried again this time it was open and I can't talk about my friend but I decided to just pretend like I belonged while in truth feeling anxious about immediately being thrown out for daring to wear a denim jacket. we walked up to the door, scanned our cards and walked in, if I'm honest my heart was beating like I'd just run a marathon, then something beautiful happened the extremely tall man with an incredible suit at the front desk said "hello gents" as we walked in "this is f-ing insane I thought" I sat down at a beautifully laid table and went to get my complementary breakfast, I sat back down and just went to my friend "I'm in the BRDC clubhouse in a borrowed shirt" He looked back at me and just agreed with me about the sheer ridiculousness of it all. After breakfast we went up to the lounge area which again was beautiful, showered in lovely furniture and famous faces along with beautiful art work and "BRDC" cushions which I heavily considered taking as part of me knew I would never be in this room again, then there was the viewing platform which shows you Brooklyns and luffield, a great view obviously, It was surreal but oddly I had this feeling that I actually belonged and as I walked out at one point during the day as we were in and out of there all day I thought to myself " I will come back here one day" and it was this weird amount of confidence in my future and i hope My thought is correct because I loved it there. It's very rare that I feel posh or pampered but my god I felt like it that day, a private shuttle bus between the international paddock and the clubhouse, free food and coffee for the day 25% in the silverstone store and a weird amount of benefits that were so unexpected but lovely in equal measure.
There were other highlights of the day, winning a race on the simulators, the simply glorious array of supercars that were there, for instance the Ferrari owners club had a beautiful selection of cars there, Seeing Tiff Needell doing some filming while not having the balls to interrupt him for a photo. Being mere inches from getting Sir Jackie Stewart's autograph ( still haven't forgiven myself for that one), driving a Vauxhall Corsa and being given out to for going too quickly but the best thing about the day was of course......
The Racing. God it was good, the mini's were amazing to watch, seeing a sierra cosworth spinning into the gravel hurt but was still interesting, the glorious pre '66 f1 cars and the awe inspiring DFV engined late 70's early 80's cars which were awesome to see going side by side through luffield but my personal highlight was the modern non-hybrid Le Mans cars. there was one with a judd V10 in the back which is a noise that will live with me for the rest of my days.
All things considered it was incredible day and if anyone in From the BRDC is reading I apologize for darkening your premises with my sheer commonness, and if anyone from drivetribe would like to send me again next year I would be more than happy to go and I might even bring my own shirt.
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