GP3

With Hockenheim Ring just a few minutes walk from the house, we can always hear the cars and motorcycles running.  But it’s not obnoxious.

Actually kind of neat.

Every two years, they hold a Formula 1 race here.  We tried to go in 2010, but it didn’t work out.

There were other things going on this year, so we didn’t plan on making it this year either.  But luck had it that we were in town this weekend.  So we walked over this morning, hoping to just get in for the day, but managed to score two seats for the entire weekend.

Another item to cross off the list.

Today was just a practice day, with tomorrow being practice, then qualifying for Sunday’s race.

As has been the constant story this summer, it’s actually “Julember”, more November than July (thanks Michael).  So we took our jumpers and rain gear.  Which we needed.  Unlike NASCAR, these guys will run in the rain.

And can turn right.

With perfect timing, the rain started just before the afternoon practice session.  There was some hand-wringing as the teams tried to balance the risk exposure to the experience gained.  So for the first 10 minutes, nothing.  Then they got out there and started throwing the cars around the track.  It was amazing to see in person.

Our seats are just after the Mobel 1 curve on the track, which means that we face Sachskurve.  The combination of the two curves means that we’re facing an extremely scrunched S-curve.  So the drivers come flying into the Mobel 1 curve to our left, accelerate into the Sachs portion of the track, approach a broad hairpin, then dive into Sachscurve before sweeping in front of the grandstands.  An awesome spot, since we can see the cars actually cross directly in front of us three times every lap.

If you click on the link for Sachskurve (above), immediately at the start of the video you can see the stands that we’re sitting in, then see how Kimi Räikkönen works through the curves.

So really, we’re in an optimal spot to see the action.  Although we had missed it during today’s session, Michael Schumacher over corrected coming out of the Mobel 1 curve and hit the wall directly in front of where our seats are.  But we were able to see a similar chain of events play out later in the day as the GP3 drivers got in their practice sessions.

Here’s Brazilian Fabiano Machado taking advantage of a much drier track than the F1 drivers had to work with.

GP3

It’s quite an interesting experience.  We can’t see 85% of the track, but thanks to the big screen projections, we can follow the entire race, then hear, then see the cars as they come screaming into Mobel 1 curve.  Today, in the rain, the fastest speed I saw displayed on the screen was 285kph (177mph).

The track should be drier in the coming days, so those speeds will go up.

And we’re looking forward to it!

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One thought on “GP3

  1. Pingback: Death Pipes « Bill Anders' Racing, Rambling & Photos

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