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Harvster
Newbie


Joined: 08 Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Location: Derbyshire


PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:43 am    Post subject: Spa F1 (September 2019) Road Trip Advice Please Reply with quote

Hi all,

I am after some advice across all aspects of this please, I will tell you what I intend to do and then I'll stand back and let everyone shoot me down with the flaws to my idea, or hopefully the pros! I need some advice because not only is it my first F1, it is also my first time driving abroad.

I want to take my boy to the F1 in spa this year and was planning on my first ever European trip in the 996. My plan was to leave home (Derbyshire) on Thursday 29th August and stay with friends in Kent before getting up early and getting the P&O from dover to Calais on the Friday morning. Drive to Spa from Calais arriving at Spa approximately midday, pitch up a small tent in either the yellow/green camping areas that I will book (advice taken on which is best, if any) and then head off to the practice. Obviously staying Friday - Sunday night and then heading back Monday morning for a ferry crossing Calais - Dover early afternoon.

Have I thought this through enough? I would appreciate comments on things such as:
- Will the camping field likely to be boggy enough to get the Porsche stuck?
- Will the car likely get vandalised by drunks!
- Have I given enough time to get back to the ferry Monday?
- Is it an ok place to take the boy, he is 12..?
- Is super unleaded widely available in France/Belgium?
- Has anybody camped at Spa? I have heard stories of it being filthy, which might not go down well with the boy, he is autistic.

Sorry for all the possibly stupid questions but I literally have no idea and like to be organised. I have read what I need to have in the car if travelling abroad etc. so I think I am sorted there. I would just really appreciate some bits of advice from somebody that has been already.

Thank you all in advance.
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T8
General
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Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 15509
Location: Kent


PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.

I can't help regarding camping etc but the following may be of use.

I'd use the 'Le Shuttle' rather than the ferry unless your friends actually live near Dover.

The journey from Spa to Calais can be hampered by traffic around either of the major 'Ring Roads' so I'd allow 5 hours driving time to be safe.

Super-unleaded is more readily available in France/Belgium than it is in the UK.

Any 12 year old F1 fan will love the experience but 3 days may be too much especially after the journey. I'd maybe reconsider going to the Friday practice and schedule something more relaxing.

ps. I'd be very surprised if any F1 fans however drunk would do anything naughty to a car whilst parked.

Have fun thumbsup
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ex 2004 Polar Silver 996T Tiptronic
ex 2002 Seal Grey 996.2 C4 Tiptronic
ex 1978 Silver 924 Manual
 
  
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911rpd
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Joined: 29 May 2018
Posts: 11
Location: Surrey


PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Brugge last week with mine - spotted a few Shell garages with super fuel but you'll be paying for it - 169.6 for a ltr... so much for cheap fuel abroad!
The Ardennes forrest/region is a lovely place to drive through/around and I think the police are a lot more relaxed than the French - gb plates don't go down very well now - saying that have they ever!?!?
Enjoy the roads and I'll second for taking the tunnel....
 
  
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Harvster
Newbie


Joined: 08 Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Location: Derbyshire


PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thank you for the advice already!

I really wanted to take the ferry because I thought the lad would enjoy it more, white cliffs and all that... However I might consider getting the ferry across and the shuttle back then, that might be better!

Didn't realise about the fuel, crikey!

Suggestion about the Friday might be about right.

I was more concerned about how busy it would be regarding the car. You just never know do you and it is my baby! I have watched a few videos on YouTube of the Spa campsites and they look busy, would just be sad to have the car damaged whilst there but I guess you can worry too much can't you...
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madalaa
Fuji


Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 9424
Location: West London

2009 Porsche Boxster 987

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be very aware of speed limits as I came a cropper in Belgium on a recent trip when I had a bit of "brain fart" ........ which cost me 169 euro but it could have been a lot worse.
 
  
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G2
Barcelona


Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 1384



PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thread from last summer...different event but lots of info...

http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?t=128905

Hull might be a better ferry route?

Speed cameras in europe are painted grey and look like boxes or lampposts. Not as easy to spot as over here, get Waze app or something but be extra vigilant. Small transgressions are delt with by fine but not points.

F1 at spa is great...6hrs WEC or classic give much better access to cars/drivers ?

Spa weather is notorious for changing in a short time. Going for a hotel further out might be better with the boy?
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easternjets
Kyalami


Joined: 29 Apr 2016
Posts: 1990
Location: Darlington


PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I considered the ferry when doing the DSLKN trip last year but the cost was way too much so drove to The Tunnel instead, which will be closer for you than me but it is a tiring drive.
Watch for speeding in France
Watch for speed camera just as you come into Spa
Watch for variable weather at Spa it can be very hot then very wet
Take as much in the way of supplies as you can fit in the car
I wouldn't worry too much about your car as they seem more respectful of them than in U.K. and also there will be loads of high end cars there.
Enjoy the trip it is a stunning location and will be a great weekend.
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8213
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did this trip last year and went with an organised camp site, took the 996 and a large tent and really enjoyed the whole experience. I took the tunnel as always as it just gets you there quicker and is an experience in itself if you are new to it, I'm also from the East Mids and drove all the way in one go.

We camped with Camping F1, I only booked the camping and General admission F1 entry tickets through them and did everything else myself as I'm used to travelling with the car.

As you can sometimes expect the place was a little damp and I parked the 996 on a grassy hill and didn't have an issue driving around the site. I was also parked right next to the main thoroughfare to the track and I didn't have any issues with people and the car, if anything they were just taking pictures of it.

The site facilities were perfect and cleaned daily and with guests on stage at night time it made it more special, Eddie Jordan's band were playing and there were Q&A sessions from ex drivers, Brundle being one.
Noise at nighttime was not an issue, I think there was a noise curfew at a certain time?

On race day you really need to get in early to get a decent spot, we went for qualifying on the Saturday which helped us decide where to head straight for on the Sunday, we didn't get there as early as some die hard types did but still managed a decent view of the track from a hill side up above Bruxelles (corner), here you are close to toilets and a few food/drink outlets. We also took small stools to stand on to get above some of the taller people ahead of us. There were some long queue's to get trough the gates to the circuit so be prepared for that too.
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Harvster
Newbie


Joined: 08 Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Location: Derbyshire


PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all thank you everyone for all the replies. I have done a bit more searching around and the campsite is the only thing that is left troubling me I think. Being a bit further out we may get a quieter and cleaner atmosphere, we don't mind a 30 minute walk to the track wither.

T8 & 911rpd - Thank you for the heads up on the tunnel, I am considering getting the ferry to Calais and the tunnel back.

madalaa & G2 - Thank you for the speed camera warnings! Also I had read about the weather so we will prepare for all weathers!

easternjets - Interestingly the tunnel is twice the price of the ferry crossing for my dates (as far as I can see)!!

infrasilver - Thanks for the excellent post and advice. I would be seriously interested in the location of your campsite, I cannot find it on the maps. We will need a noise curfew I think, as the boy will need his sleep! My plan for race day was to arrive at the track around 8am to get a spot (hope that's early enough). I was planning on heading to the bank at Pouhon (turn 12) and then possibly moving mid race to bus stop chicane (turn 19/20) as I have heard these are good spots. The walk in between is in the middle of the track and isn't too long, however don't want to lose a good spot to gain a rubbish spot so if any comments on this I would be grateful.

So campsite wise I had my heart set on Camping de L'eau rouge but they are unfortunately full already. They recommended a temporary site in Masta which I am liaising with or I have found Elephant F1 camping. Any thoughts on either of these?

http://www.jeunessedemasta.be/

https://www.the-elephant.com/
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
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Joined: 04 Oct 2010
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Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the group we used, https://www.campingf1.com/ the camp site was a 30 minute (uphill) walk to the gate at Combes (although there were loads of Taxi's waiting at the camp site gates) and then as you say, you can get about the track via some of the direct pathways around the track infield.

I think on race day, once you get your spot it is best to stay there as every place with a view will be taken hours before the F1 starts, so make sure you are close to facilities and somewhere you can leave your chairs etc with someone looking after them while you nip for food or toilets, at Bruxelles everything was very close to hand and everyone was friendly.

On Qualifying day you can to see the whole circuit and view the track from most areas that aren't special access, this is the day we made the decision to pick our spot where we did.
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Harvster
Newbie


Joined: 08 Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Location: Derbyshire


PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

Just thought id post an update on my plans. So it's all booked!

Decided to go a day earlier so we can do the pit walk on the Thursday. So travelling down from Derbyshire to Kent on the evening of Wednesday 28th and staying over. We then have the Dover to Dunkirk ferry crossing at 10am (hopefully we can get some brunch on the ferry!). The driving to Spa when hoping to arrive between 3pm and 4pm, traffic dependant. We are then there for the whole weekend departing Monday morning to get le shuttle back at 2pm from Calais to Dover. We can then experience both the ferry and the tunnel I thought.

We decided to stay at the campsite in Masta, which although temporary looks smaller and might suit the boy better.

I'll try and post some pictures after the weekend, thank you everyone for your help!
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T8
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds great, have fun. Looking forward to the pics. thumbsup
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Bikeracer1098
Suzuka


Joined: 28 Mar 2015
Posts: 1042
Location: Camberley, Surrey


PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harvster wrote:
Hi everyone,

Just thought id post an update on my plans. So it's all booked!

Decided to go a day earlier so we can do the pit walk on the Thursday. So travelling down from Derbyshire to Kent on the evening of Wednesday 28th and staying over. We then have the Dover to Dunkirk ferry crossing at 10am (hopefully we can get some brunch on the ferry!). The driving to Spa when hoping to arrive between 3pm and 4pm, traffic dependant. We are then there for the whole weekend departing Monday morning to get le shuttle back at 2pm from Calais to Dover. We can then experience both the ferry and the tunnel I thought.

We decided to stay at the campsite in Masta, which although temporary looks smaller and might suit the boy better.

I'll try and post some pictures after the weekend, thank you everyone for your help!


Do you mind me asking the cost of the campsite & F1 tickets etc?

May be tempted to do something similar

Thanks
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Harvster
Newbie


Joined: 08 Jan 2019
Posts: 39
Location: Derbyshire


PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course. The campsite was 158 Euros for 4 nights (Thursday-Sunday) which seems to be the going rate whichever campsite you choose.

F1 tickets vary depending on which you choose but here is the official link where I purchased from:

https://tickets.formula1.com/en/3286-belgium-fom/?pgs=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgrKJzNKz4gIVCbrtCh3ThQvqEAAYAiAAEgJRzPD_BwE

I then got the ferry from Dover-Dunkirk for £65 and the return Eurotunnel (Calais-Folkestone) was £99.

I have guessed at approximately £350 for fuel (approx. 1000 miles in total) but maybe more/less depending on the price of super unleaded in France/Belgium. I have since found out they do a 'super super' unleaded (V Power Race 100 Octane) so that's really confused me!!!

Hope this helps!
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