Posted: 01 Aug 2013
The first bit of advice for anybody going to the World Superbikes this weekend is even if the weather forecast is fine and dandy, take waterproofs! Wet weather and World Superbikes seem to have one of those love-hate relationships, where wet weather loves World Superbikes and World Superbikes (especially us fans) hate the wet weather… That being said, with the unpredictable weather in the UK at the moment you had better take your shades and sun cream as well.
These days you can only buy what Silverstone call “Roving” tickets for the event unless you buy a Grandstand ticket for Woodcote. Roving tickets allow you in whatever grandstands they have open with the exception of Woodcote. This is a win-win for both fans and Silverstone. The problem they had before when they sold General Admission tickets as well was 1) There are hardly any decent places to watch from at Silverstone without sitting in a Grandstand and 2) The grandstands looked ridiculously empty… It’s worth noting that they only open certain Grandstands and these are listed with the information that comes with the Roving ticket.
To be fair, the grandstands they open are fairly good and we’d recommend trying them all if you’ve got the time. Just be aware that Silverstone is a large circuit and getting around it on foot can take some time, the circuit organisers sometimes organise a bus route along the perimeter though. Our particular favourite grandstands are Luffield, Becketts and Village. The Luffield complex is, in our opinion, the best place to watch at Silverstone. You can see the bikes come down the Wellington Straight, into the famous Brooklands corner round on to Luffield then into Woodcote. The Luffield complex is an even better place to watch this year as the series is using the old paddock and National Pits straight, this means you are watching over the last two or three overtaking opportunities on the circuit.
Becketts is the grandstand to watch from if you like to be able to see a lot, not only do you have a clear view of the Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel complex before the riders head onto the Hanger straight, you can also see the riders coming out of the Arena complex into Aintree and onto the back end of the Wellington straight. The only issue with this vantage point is the cost of being able to see so much is being that little bit too far away from the action. Village grandstand remedies this slightly; you can see riders coming round Farm Curve, into Village, the loop and then round into Aintree and onto the Wellington straight while being relatively close to the action at Village corner. The positioning of this grandstand makes it very interesting to compare different riders’ lines as they enter the tightest corner on the circuit, the loop.
There are good spots to view without being in a Grandstand too, the banking up at Stow corner is particularly good but our favourite spot is Maggotts where there is literally a metre (and a metal fence) between you and the circuit. It’s an excellent spot if you want to take a few snaps and don’t have a fancy camera with a ginormous lens. The standing areas at Luffield and Copse are also quite good spots to view from.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on fast food, take pack-up. One thing we will say about Silverstone’s caterers is the food is of good quality… but it’s up to you to decide if £6 for a cheese burger is good value, whatever it tastes like.
If you like meeting the riders for autographs etc, today is the Paddock Day with free entry to both circuit and paddock. The riders are easily accessible and there’s not the hurried nature you can find within a race weekend. That being said, if you can’t make Thursday the paddock is usually open free of charge on the Friday, although you have to pay for paddock access on Saturday and Sunday.
Silverstone World Superbikes is a great event and we’d recommend it to anyone. This weekend you also get more for your money, with there being two Superstock 1000 and 600 races rather than one.