Home  //  Circuit Guides Le Mans / FIA WEC Great Britain (6 Hours of Silverstone)
Written by @Damien_Marquez   
Friday, 18 April 2014 22:15

Being the home of British motorsport, there is more to Silverstone than just the F1 weekend. The opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is the perfect occasion to soak up the atmosphere of an international motorsport event that is as spectator friendly as it gets.

During the weekend, the teams and drivers are accessible to all as the paddock is kept open for the duration of the event. It is a fantastic opportunity to witness the work of the factory teams such as Audi Sport, Toyota Racing or even Aston Martin Racing in the thick of the action. 2014 marks the return of Porsche Motorsport and Mark Webber in the top category of sportscar racing. You may also get the chance to bump into former F1 drivers (Sebastien Buemi, Nick Heidfeld and Kazuki Nakajima to name a few) or Le Mans legends (Tom Kristensen, Alex Wurz, etc).


Photo: Toyota Motor Europe S.A./N.V.

The weekend is also unbelievable value for money. WEC tickets cost a fraction of what you'd normally pay for F1 and give you access to all grandstands open on that day to watch the cars from a different angle. Corporate hospitality packs a lot of bang for your buck too.

Support series include races 1/2/3 of the FIA F3 European Championship and round 1 of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). The 6 Hours of Silverstone take place from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th April 2014.

 

CONTENTS

1 // Location and accommodation
2 // Money matters
3 // Ticket prices
4 // Grandstands
5 // Hospitality
6 // Useful links to prepare your Silverstone trip

 

1 // LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATION

The Silverstone Circuit is located between Milton Keynes, Northampton and Banbury. The 70 mile drive from Central London takes just under two hours via the M1 and about 90 minutes for the 60 miles separating Birmingham from the track.

To get there, exit the M1 at Junction 15a and take the A43 in the direction of Oxford. The circuit is about 4 miles down the road and well indicated from Towcester onwards. From the M40, exit at Junction 10 and take the A43 towards Northampton. Brown tourist signage is posted from Brackley onwards.

Using public transport, there's a direct service operated by Megabus leaving London Victoria Coach Station at 7.30am which arrives at the circuit at 10am. This service also stops in Luton (Railway Station) and at Milton Keynes Central. The journey by train from London Euston to Milton Keynes Central is much faster and only takes 30 minutes. From there, the taxi ride to the track takes another 30 minutes. From Birmingham, it takes approximately 50 minutes to reach Banbury by train, also followed by a 30 minute cab ride to Silverstone. Add 1h15 to reach Milton Keynes if coming from Manchester Piccadilly. Finally, there's another direct bus to Silverstone on Saturday and Sunday originating from Bristol (Colston Hall) via Swindon (Stratton Park) and Oxford (railway station).

With regards to accommodation, the Whittlebury Park campsites will be operating during the weekend. The Snoozebox Hotel, whilst more expensive, is the only option for staying at the track. Otherwise, there are plenty of hotels in the vicinity. Check booking.com, our hotel partner, for rooms in Milton Keynes, Banbury or Northampton.


Photo: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI for FIAWEC.COM

 

2 // MONEY MATTERS

Only viable options from London, Birmingham and Manchester have been included.

Return train ticket:
• London Euston to Milton Keynes Central £26 / $45 / €35
• Birmingham Moor Street/New Street/Snow Hill to Banbury £24.50 / $45 / €30
• Manchester Piccadilly to Milton Keynes Central £53 / $90 / €65

Return Megabus ticket:
• from London Victoria Coach Station £30 / $55 / €40
• from Bristol Colston Hall £32 / $55 / €40

One way taxi ride from Banbury, Milton Keynes or Northampton: £35 / $60 / €45

One night accommodation:
• Whittlebury Park campsite £37 / $65 / €50 per plot for one night
• Whittlebury Park campsite £47 / $80 / €60 per plot for two nights
• Snoozebox Hotel £129 / $220 / €160 per room (individual night stay can be purchased via Booking.com)
• Hotel or B&B in Milton Keynes (the lowest priced accommodation) from £40 / $70 / €50 for a double/twin room with a review score of 7/10 or more on Booking.com.

 

3 // TICKET PRICES

Friday tickets can only be bought at the gates on the day. Up to four children aged 15 years and under go free per adult grandstand ticket (not applicable for hospitality).

Grandstand tickets include a £3 / $5 / €4 handling fee applicable to advance bookings. Prices from the organisers are in bold and hospitality rates are inclusive of VAT.

Click on the circuit map below for a full size image.


Image: Silverstone Circuits Limited

 

4 // GRANDSTANDS

Unlike Formula 1, there is no reserved seating on race day. Spectators have a roving grandstand ticket and shuttle buses will be available to move from one part of the track to another, albeit quite irregularly, so take a pair of comfortable walking shoes.

Grandstands open on Friday:
• International Pits Straight (covered)
• Woodcote B (covered)
There are no TV screens available on that day.

Grandstands open on Saturday:
• International Pits Straight (covered / TV screen)
• Woodcote B (covered / TV screen facing Woodcote A)
• National Pits Straight (covered)
• Stowe Lakeside

Grandstands open on Sunday:
• International Pits Straight (covered / TV screen)
• Woodcote B (covered / TV screen facing Woodcote A)
• Stowe Lakeside
• Section of Club (covered)
• Section of Becketts (covered)
• Section of Village B (covered)

Radio Le Mans provides live event commentary either via 87.7 FM or through the PA system.

The views from the International Pits Straight grandstand is no different to that of any other pit straight. Undeniably the best place to watch (and hear) the start and the finish of the race. Aside from that, it can be a bit disappointing when you compare it to others around the track.

From Woodcote B, you can see the whole of Luffield Corner, Woodcote Corner, right down the National Pits Straight. The cars are very slow and twitchy through Brooklands and Luffield corners - a good spot to take pictures.

Club offers exceptional views: from Stowe, down to Vale for pit entry, Club Corner and the International Pits Straight for the start/finish and pit stops. It is also the grandstand facing the podium.

Becketts is the only places where you can watch the cars on two different parts of the track, as cars can be seen on their way back through the Village complex. The change of direction of the Maggots and Becketts corners is a joy to watch and this grandstand also provides views of the cars going down the Hangar Straight towards Stowe Corner.

Opposite, Village B only offers views of the slow Village Loop - another great spot for taking pictures.


Photo: Toyota Motor Europe S.A./N.V.

 

5 // HOSPITALITY

Being priced at Formula 1 Singapore top grandstand level, the Le Mans Spirit Club hospitality package offers excellent value.

Hosted above the pit garages in the impressive Silverstone Wing, guests will have a panoramic view of the start/finish line from the balcony and enjoy the sights of the first three corners (Abbey, Farm Curve and Village Corner) from a dedicated grandstand. A large TV screen will be available in the restaurant to follow the race.

Guests will also experience a privileged access to meet the drivers and team personnel on the grid before the start of the race and will also have pit lane access at allocated times during the race preparations.

You can expect shuttle transfers to and from the car park, a full English breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, as well as the complementary bar.

 

6 // USEFUL LINKS TO PREPARE YOUR SILVERSTONE TRIP

silverstone.co.uk - tickets and information
fiawec.com/race-ticketing.html - Le Mans Spirit Club hospitality packages
whittlebury.com - Whittlebury Park campsite information and bookings
silverstone.co.uk/about/accommodation/snoozebox - Snoozebox Hotel
Booking.com - our reliable hotel reservation partner
thetrainline.com - train tickets
megabus.com - bus services

 

The author attended the 6 Hours of Silverstone in 2005 and stayed at the Novotel in Milton Keynes on the Saturday night.

Have you been to the FIA World Endurance Championship round in Silverstone? You can help us to improve this guide by leaving your impression of this event in the 'Write a Review' section of this website.

If you would like to add further information or correct any of the above article, please leave your comments below.

6 Hours of Silverstone spectator guide
 

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