Every now and again you get to do something completely out of the ordinary..
And so to today.
I sit here with my macbook air overlooking the spa Francorchamps Circuit (about 40km south east of Liege in Belgium) from the Team Black Falcon Hospitality structure. Good coffee in hand, waiting for some Friends and looking out at an impending thunderstorm that seems to be heading this way.
This weekend is the Blancpain 24 Hour endurance race. The Spa circuit is rammed with Lambo’s, Bentley’s and in Team Black Falcons case the mighty AMG Mercedes SLS. My friends at Saudi Sports Group have been racing one of the Team Black Falcon Mercedes all year.
Tomorrows 24 race sees Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal and (on this occasion) his brother Saud Bin Turki Al Faisal both competing in the same event.
The set up here is immense as are the numbers. Just the bill for the tyres alone in a 24 hour race would make your eyes water and probably pay off most of your mortgage. And that is just for the one team.. There are more than 30 teams here with 2-3 cars each in the field of over 60 racers.
Tomorrow I head back across Belgium toward the channel tunnel and on to Wiltshire to meet up with family for the weekend.
This presents further opportunity to do some things that generally don’t form the normal course of events for an average Saturday.
On the 22nd October 1917 my Grandfathers brother Robert Davy breathed for the last time in a field close to the village of Poelcappelle, a mile or two from Ieper (Or Ypres depending on where you come from)
A man who survived being shot at the first battle of the Somme in 1916, Robert was patched up and returned to Belgium just in time for the Passchendaele campaign. He was not so lucky second time around and although we don’t know for sure, it is my suspicion that Robert was caught up in an artillery barrage early on that day.
Robert is remembered on the Tyne Cot Cemetery walls. I last visited with my father back in October 2007 on the 90th anniversary of the battle that proved to be his last. It is a connection I like to make and a journey that I have to take when over on this side of the channel.
Onward from there for a quick walk on Dunkirk beach and a final blast of military remembrance before heading home.
The glitz and money in motor-sport are transient. By Monday, the travelling circus of Blancpain will be gone and someone will have won the race.
Spa will become silent once again.
It will be equally quiet in Ieper where Robert and his comrades in arms are a permanent reminder of days gone by.
48 hours in different worlds.
Two very different worlds.
Lest we forget……