A loaded double-decker bus racing with 600-horsepower GT3 cars? Seems legit.
Could we be looking at the next big thing in motorsports? No, we’re not talking about bus racing – anyone who’s watched old Top Gear episodes knows that’s already been done, and with humour, we might add. We’re talking about fan experiences, and such things don’t get much better than actually being on the race track. Yes, most racing venues host open track events for people to thrash their own cars, and some tracks usually have a VIP ride-along program to shuttle groups of fans around a course before a major race.
This particular event at Silverstone in the United Kingdom, however, is very different, and not just because of the vintage British double-decker bus. Fans on this motoring adventure were actually sharing the track with race cars from the British GT Championship during one of the practice sessions. The idea was apparently borne out of a satirical conversation among the British GT series management, though at some point things clearly turned serious.
“What began as a funny internal discussion soon developed into a viable opportunity to do something never before seen in Europe, not to mention an experience that today’s guests won’t forget in a hurry,” said Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici. “Watching 600 bhp GT3 cars fly past at racing speeds looking down from the top of a double decker offers a new and surreal perspective on motorsports, and one we’re now keen to replicate in the future.”
Obviously, one doesn’t just fill a double-decker bus with people and set it loose on a hot race track. Race drivers were in the know, and the bus was tailed by a McLaren 570S safety car that signaled drivers when it was safe to pass. The bus driver kept to the left side of track at all times for the 15-minute ride, leaving plenty of room for the parade of GT3-spec Ferraris, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and the like to go thundering past the riders on the bus.
There was no mention of cost for bus tickets, nor is it certain whether the race series will do this again in the future. However, if you see a yellow school bus packed with drunk race fans bombing around Daytona during NASCAR practice sessions, you’ll know where the idea came from.
Source: British GT Championship