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GP Week : Issue 55
A life less ordinary Saving a dollar or two is important during the Global Financial Crisis, soWILL BUXTON saved on the air fares and drove to the German Grand Prix IN these financially difficult times, Formula 1 struggles to position itself as credit-crunch friendly entertainment. Forgetting for a moment the great distances that the teams and associated members of the paddock have to travel, and the great expense that it therefore entails to work an entire season, there’s the not-so-small matter of the hundreds of thousands of fans who flock through the gates weekend after weekend. With tickets for race events costing hundreds of dollars at a 3 time, plus the added expense of air travel and accommodation, should a fan wish to attend a race not in his homeland, the costs mount up pretty damned fast. But there is another way. A cheaper way. A more entertaining way. A road trip. Now I personally know well the ins and outs of road trips and just how much fun they can be. The last major road trip I went on started in April 2004 and lasted approximately six months. It was in a Volkswagen Autosleeper campervan, and it was one of, if not the single best, experience of my life. The European season of that year’s F1 world championship was one long journey for me. I drove from race to race, stayed in the campsites with the fans and went to work in the paddock during the day. It was a life changing six months and an experience I long to repeat one day. But for one race only in 2009, the term ‘Road trip’ was back on the agenda. In these financially uncertain times, what better way to get to a race, thought I, than by driving? Forget the expensive air fares, forget the hotels ... let’s drive it. A chat with Ben, one of BMW Sauber press officers, at the Bahrain Grand Prix had resulted in myself and fellow journo Adam Hay-Nicholls, being lent a brand new BMW X6 for the week of the German Grand Prix. The trip was to start in Coventry, England, at an Oasis concert, and proceed to Belgium, where I would pick up Adam from a mate’s house (Adam lives in Paris, you see, and for the benefit of