(Photo: Owain Rudge)
This past weekend, I was at Brands Hatch to watch the Blancpain GT Sprint Series and support races. The picture above is the Camaro twins from the GT4 support race, by the way – gorgeous things.
Anyway, it was frightfully warm, and now that the weather has picked up, and motorsports season has started, it’s likely that there’s going to be more than a few weekends spent in the sun at various racetracks around the country.
So how do you attend one of these races without melting? Here are my five top tips to survive the summer heat and enjoy your day at the races.
1. Know your circuit.
This is an important one – know where you’re going so you can find the best place to sit. You want somewhere where you can see the action unfold, but is also shady (if it’s incredibly hot), near facilities (bathrooms and coffee, two most important things) and not too much of a hike from the car if you’re lugging stuff or children around with you. I’ve been to Brands Hatch so many times that I know the best places to sit, and because of the heat I headed straight to the shady bit where the GP track meets the Indy circuit – trees, shade, bins and coffee within easy ambling distance.
2. Pack a picnic.
Don’t bother with trackside food in the summer. It’s overpriced anyway, usually some form of overly greasy burger and often, not that nice (there are exceptions and I am not tarring all food trucks with the same brush). This picnic I put together for the weekend was pretty epic. We had brie, a baguette, sausage rolls (handmade!) and a quiche. Plus crisps, cake and many other snacks. This also meant we could graze through the day instead of having to get up and buy snacks when we wanted them.
3. Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock.
Racetracks are usually located in pretty much the middle of nowhere, and often will take the full force of the sun, even if there are trees around and about for shade. Slather on the sun cream and make sure you reapply throughout the day. The only downside to the sun cream is that if someone spins out and kicks up gravel, you’ll be coated with a fine layer of dust for most of the day. I personally think of this as an extra layer of sun protection, but wipe off the dust before you reapply your sun cream. And don’t forget the tip of your nose, the backs of your knees and the tops of your shoulders. Guess where I normally burn, guys!
4. Wear a hat.
Wear a baseball cap at minimum, especially if you’re bald or shave your head – this goes for people with undercuts or shaved designs in their hair too. A floppy sun hat or something with a brim all around is better as it offers more protection (especially on the back of the neck), but if you can keep the sun off your head then you won’t get heat stroke.
5. Stay hydrated.
So many people forget to drink plain old boring water in the hot weather. Keep your hydration levels up and you won’t wilt as the day goes on. Racedays can be long, so the better prepared you are, the less tired you will be at the end of the day.
I don’t know how many of you readers are into motorsport, but these tips are useful for any event outdoors. Most are common sense for the summer, actually! Stay safe, enjoy the sun and if you are going racing, have a blast!