The British GT Championship claims it has broken new ground over the weekend, with a believed ‘European first’ Safari. The idea, which has been in practice for several years in Japan’s domestic Super GT series, sees fans take to the circuit aboard a bus whilst practice sessions take place.
Travelling amongst 30 GT3 and GT4 cars, the iconic London double decker packed with guests and media took to the circuit ahead of the Championship’s blue riband Silverstone 500.
The bus, built in 1965, completed two full laps of the British Grand Prix venue as part of a 15-minute route. Malcolm Tales – a bus driver with 40 years of experience – was instructed to hug the circuit’s left-hand side at all times, while the McLaren 570S Safety Car following closely behind signalled when it was safe for British GT’s drivers to accelerate and overtake on the right.
“Seeing a bus – or anything other than a GT car for that matter – on track at the same time as a British GT practice session is usually the stuff of my nightmares!” Stated championship manager Benjamin Franassovici. “However, 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! Watching 600bhp GT3 cars fly past at racing speeds looking down from the top of a double decker offers a new and surreal perspective on motorsport, and one we’re now keen to replicate in the future.”