whats up tau'ers
got back to the states on monday
wish i could have stayed longer but the cost of the ticket change was pretty ridiculous and i realized that i have a bunch of shit i need to take care of here. i might be able to return some time in the fall but we shall see.
anyway the trip was fantastic. i savoured every minute of not being in an office and generally not giving a fuck all while being in beautiful paris and at the sensational grand prix.
sadly i feel that i have done a great disservice to all of you and to myself by not taking more pictures at the grand prix. i took some video but as you will see below it is pretty sloppy. unlike le mans the gp happens so quickly i found it hard to take pictures. it was also raining sporadically throughout the day. i will post some pictures later but for now here is the video i slapped together with a very shitty editing program.
i landed in brussels on saturday before the race and had to rendez vous with my brother at the train station to get our asses to spa before dark so we could pitch out tent/ find somewhere to sleep for the night. of course when i land my cell phone with a french plan does not work in belgium so i had no way of getting in touch with my brother. son after getting off the train i saw a 'quick' which is essentially the french/ belgian mcdonalds. i happen to love mcd's and quick. i immediately thought that we should have made that our rendez vous point in advance. anyway i keep wandering around the station for 30 min not finding him and decide 'fuck it ill just go to the quick' sure enough, my brother is there in the quick. i down a burger and a beer - so great that they serve beer at fast food joints- and we head to the platforms to find our train.
i had purchased tickets in advance but they had not indicated the train change we had to make to get to spa. after asking around we got conflicting info from people that worked there. we approached a guy on the platform and asked him. he had no idea but the blind man next to him told us we had to change at a certain stop to get to spa. .... we took his advice. we later laughed at the fact that we had taken the advise of this 90 year old blind man.. but i digress...
we get on the train and start drinking some jupiters - belgian bud light from what i gathered. we got to talking about toy story 3 and had some raucous semi drunken laughter about the scene where the kids come out in the day care center and buzz closes his visor. shit that movie was funny. also intense. the scene with the incinerator and the hand holding fucking too much. then the most pronounced deus ex machina i have ever seen in a movie. fucking brilliant
anyway they ticket lady comes to check our tickets no doubt and we got different info on what we had to do to get to spa. we had to get off at verviers and take a bus from there.
so we did. about two hours outside of brussels we found ourselves in verviers and boarded a bus with some dirty young drifters and a gaggle of japanese girls. about 30 minutes later we were dropped in francorchamps. i had advance info that there was camping near the circuit but no concrete plans or information further than that. we wandered down towards what we thought was the entrance to the track. we passed a bunch of parking and then found a sign for camping. parking was listed at 10 euros per day but nothing was indicated for camping.
we approached a couple of guys who resumably worked at the camp site and asked them how much for camping. they all had beers in hand and were pretty toasted it was around 5 i think. the guy answers 100 euros.
'haha very funny how much really. '
'well you have one tent - two guys in one tent hahahahahaha'
'yes haha so how much for one tent'
'uh ok well we dont have that much well be back'
fuck those guys we just walked 100 meters through the adjacent parking lot and found an opening in the fence behind a bus. walzed right in there and boom free camping.
we found a space near some germans that seemed free and set upthe tent with relative ease. we were in business. it felt nice to be situated and ready to go before it started raining and before nightfall especially considering ho hard we were winging it.
the campsite was pretty hick by any standard. this is defiantly the nascar of europe, more so than i would have thought. pretty hooligan stuff going down in the campsite mostly all in good fun but a couple of people who you could tell were just drunk and itching to 'kick ass' or whatever. we mostly kept to ourselves. the germans next to us were drunk and having a good time and very civil and nice. the british on the other hand... good god. on group of them nearly set their tent on fire and ended up spreading their hot coals all over the mud road the led into the campsite.
anyway we cracked open a few more jupiters and hung out in our tent for a while. i was exhausted after not having slept on my flight from the states and my brother had apparently gotten only 2-3 hours of sleep after a night of partying in paris. it stared raining and we realized that there were some pretty critical flaws in the tent's waterproofing. it was raining ever so slightly in the tent. enough that we would be fucked if it rained all night - whatever just keep the jupiters coming. the rain subsided and after chilling / resting in the tent for a while we head out to find some food, more beers, and entertainment.
we walk down to the 'town' leaving our stuff behind in the tent minus valuables and just hoped that it would be ok in the care of the drunken mob and the barrage of near constant fireworks being set off.
we walked the whole 'strip' in search of options for food. we did not want to spend very much given the expense of the weekend already. we did not actually see the town/city of spa but rather the small town just next to the circuit which i guess of francorchamps. this town consisted of a gas station a bank and a few bar-restaurants. thats about it. we found some pretty dank looking sausages and frites, perched on the back of a trailer and dug in. we then wandered around to a few different bars and observed/ took part in the embarrassing revelry that was going down. really crappy cover band playing just about anything including the horrible french 'star' johnny hallyday. good times were had by all. after we felt that we had had enough and had dispensed enough euros on draft jupiter, we headed back to the campsite. fireworks going off at a pretty steady rate, techno music blaring, barrel fires abound, and the occasional porno flick playing on a lonely tv. it was quite a scene. i forgot to mention this but it was also pretty fucking cold. probably around 50 at this point and it must have gotten down to 40 later in the night. damn cold if youre sleeping outside.
anyway we were both exhausted so we decided to try to get some sleep. not ideal considering the constant explosions going off and the general drunken partying that was going down throughout the campsite. we had sleeping bags but no pads to sleep on. damn is the ground hard when youre trying to sleep on it. as i mentioned earlier it was damn cold. i managed to pass out for a few hours but woke up for some reason around 4 am. i could get to sleep for a while but finally managed to get a few more hours of sleep.
the next morning we were both woken up by someone blasting i mean blasting ramstein's 'we all live in amerika' on repeat for abot 40 minutes. really bizarre. when i tried to get up, the side of my body felt like it had been in a car accident. i will bring a sleeping pad next time i camp anywhere.
eventually we came to, brushed our teeth with the hose/ sink they had next to the port a potty's and headed towards the circuit along with the horde of race-fan zombies.
we made it to the circuit at about 830 am just when the bmw single seater series was starting and even those little cars were impressive to see on the track. sent shivers down my spine to see them fly down to and then through eau rouge.
we had decided earlier to watch the majority of the race at pouhon since you can see a large portion of the track from one spot. you get a long run down out of turn 11 and then the view of turn 12. we posted up on the hill there (we did not have grandstand seating since the base tickets were already so damned expensive) with the rest of the proles. we watche dthe gp2 and gp3 race as well as the gt3 cup race. saw some pretty cool spin outs in the gp2 race and were getting damned excited for the real race. we started in on the jupiters at about ten am and had some damn delicious fries with mayo as is the style there. it bears mentioning that there were nearly zero females in sight either the night before at the bars or at the race. maybe, mayybe 1 female per 1000 odb?s.
in additon to the support races we got a real treat: all the drivers did a parade lap as passengers in classic cars waving to the fans. really really cool. schumacher, rosberg, hamilton, button in old mercedes? massa, alonso in ferraris etc etc. really neat to see that. it was also barichello?s 300th gp which was cool to witness.
i feel like ive been really long winded here and now i struggle to describe what the race was like. i struggle to describe the emotions or feelings of this stuff because i can hardly explain to people why i like cars in the first place. its just something that clicks. the best way i can describe it is that it was fucking badass.
in the formation lap i saw my first ever f1 car in person and it was a ferrari. that shit was awesome. just to see it in the metal was incredible. and the noise, even in the formation lap, was fucking intoxicating. i was also mildly intoxicated. the mclarens were also so so so gorgeous. somehow i felt that the red bulls were better looking on tv. ive always thought the red bulls were some of the best looking cars out there but they didnt ?pop? nearly as muh as the ferraris and mclarens.
we had out kangaroo tv and we watched as webber got crushed in the start. my video of the cars coming thru on the first lap is pure crap because i was watching the cars and not the camera. i found it hard to take decent video/ pictures due to the speed and all the action that happend in the race. it was hard to keep up even with the kangaroo tv. ive watched the race a few times since and i missed a lot. theres just no way to really follow everything when the cars are right there in front of you. the kangaroo tv is almost useless in this sense. when there are cars in front of you you are going to watch them, not the kangaroo tv even if the ?action? or leaders are on the kangaroo.
hamilton had an amazing race and was pulling away from button even in the first couple of laps. he was just flying. one of the best races of his career imo.
about midway thru the race we moved (quickly) to eau rouge. i didnt want to miss out on seeing an f1 car fly through eau rouge. on the walk across the ciruit to eau rouge we had to cross through the woods where we were surrounded by the sounds of f1 cars. it was a strange almost scary/ hellish sensation. the noise if just whipping around you coming from all directions. if you were on drugs you would most definitely have a meltdown.
seeing the cars at eau rouge was awesome. pouhon is a better/ more open view for gen admin tickets but eau rouge is just such a unique corner. as i had read before going, eau rouge is indeed so much steeper than you can tell from the tv shots and pictures. it could almost be classified as a black diamond if it were a ski slope. i cant imagine the sensation the drivers get going through there.
we caught the last couple of laps at eau rouge and headed towards the exit after depositing out kangaroo. on our way out, they opened the gates to the circuit and a mob rushed in. what choice did we have but to follow the herd of people onto the circuit. we hoped to make it to the presentation of the trophies/ champagne etc. we ran out asses off up the hill to la source and around the bend towards the start finish. of course the ceremony was over when we got there and we had just exhausted ourselves. i had smoked a pack and a half of gitanes since landing in Belgium and i was fucking destroyed after this senseless run. anyway it was very cool to be on the circuit.
we got back to our tent and just laid down for about an hour. we were both exhausted from the long day already and that run just knocked us out.
eventually we got up and headed towards the bus stop. luckily the line wasnt that bad and we were at the verviers train station probably within an hour and a half after breaking camp. train to brussels - quick burger - train to paris and just crashed when we got to the apt at around 1130.