Was the major Mini @ 40 day.
As we had registered ourselves to be in the cavalcade
organized by Mini World magazine I had to get up 'early' in order
to get my Van on the grounds before the crowds came in. So I did
my morning-ritual, got in the Van and drove it onto Silverstone
circuit and parked it there awaiting the start later that
I was given some information and a form to sign which basically stated that I never could sue anyone over anything if I took part in the cavalcade. (Incidentally; I never signed it, nor did anyone ever ask me about it) Since the crowds weren't there yet I got a quick but good look at all the stands there and then proceeded on to the admin office to get my campsite booking sorted.
I don't know what's wrong with the booking-office at Silverstone, but something must be. It's not that the women I talked to didn't do their best trying to help me, but either they couldn't, or simply didn't understand what I wanted. In the weeks before I had called several times and had gotten different answers to the same questions which, while there, also turned out to be half true at that. When I finally did get my tickets the stickers needed to get on the campsite on Saturday and Sunday were missing. When trying to sort this the woman arranged for someone to escort me and my Mini onto the site and it took rather a lot of explaining to convince her that that wouldn't do; as my Van would stay on Silverstone that day, I already had my tent up since the day before and all I needed where the stickers I never got to get my Van back on. In the end I did receive them with a note on my bookingform that I had gotten them twice...
When I got back the rest were about ready to set off and I joined them. On the way onto the circuit I stopped at the guys of my Mini-shop; Mini Parts to say hi to them. They had driven up there in their special 6-wheeler pickup, which got a lot of attention over the weekend.
Over the rest of the weekend the group separated and joined up
again a lot. One of the first things we did was check out the
John Cooper stand to see if the Man Himself was there this time.
He had just stepped out so a couple of us started out with
checking out the jumble stands in search of some good used parts.
We then returned to the stand again and although he wasn't walking around he did come out when I asked. Got to meet him again and made some pictures of him with the rest of the lot. He still is the amicable man he must always have been; never to tired (and he must have been after that week!) to talk, smile for pictures, or sign a card. Carl even got him to sign his postcard he was sending back home.
|Boris @ Mini @ 40||Arnoud||Carl||BHMC Shells||Area 51 ?||Area 51½ ?|
As pre-arranged by Greg there was a noon meet at the Mini
World stand for all IL-ers attending. Got to meet even more new
faces to familiar names and had a chat with a couple before
heading on to look at the rest of the event. While walking around
I ran into Dave & Gomez (GT-Dudes) and their wives again.
Stopped to talk to them for a bit and then went on to see the Mini-races. Those of you who've never seen Mini-races should go and have a look one time. It's real close racing which makes for some spectacular viewing. Much more spectacular than any of the other races I saw that weekend (even of the 'big guys'), then again, I might be a bit biased :)
After the races I just lay in the sun there for a while,
enjoying the weather. Since my main goal for the week had been
meeting people rather than looking at Mini's (after 10 years of
Mini-events there's not that much new under the sun :) I had some
time to kill till the 4pm IL-meet.
On the way to the next meet I ran into Scott who was on his way home. Even though he had been very anxious the weeks before, he didn't even return to see the fashionshow (read; Babes :) the next day.
After the IL-meet I walked over to my Van to get ready for the cavalcade. Arnoud and Boris joined me, as did Carl who was looking for MTB whom he would be riding with. They had been lucky enough (even though they had come in later than I had) to get in the special Area 20 where the words MINI 40 were formed using Mini's. The cavalcade didn't start till about an hour later so we enjoyed the sun a bit more. Arnoud was also invited to join us, even if that meant he had to ride in the back of my Van.
|Calval-||cade||Line-||up||John & Yvonne E, Arnoud, me||The man and his Van|
|C00l dude, c00l Mini||Whatever it takes...|
|MTB in||Area 20||getting||ready||to...|
When the cavalcade started I got on the radio with MTB and
found they had picked up Carl and were already going onto the
track, well before we would.
At first it seemed like they were forming 4 lanes on the track, but the closer I got to the front, the more I realized that I was the first Mini in that 4th lane. Guess I must have created it :) Caught up with the Mini's of MTB and followed them the rest of the 3 tours on the track. Arnoud got out of the back of my Van and in the Pickup of MTB, which already had some people in the back taking pictures and shooting video too.
We weren't allowed to race of course, but we also weren't as orderly as I guess we were supposed to be. I did my share of putting some rubber on the tracks (hey, it's probably a twice in a life time experience).At one point I saw Carl getting into the driverseat of one of the MTB Mini's so Boris and I decided to do a swap too. (It's not insured there anyway, so that doesn't matter :) It took Boris a bit of time to get a feel for the Van, but then we were off again. In short we had a blast on there and judging by the sounding of horns, flashing of lights and waving the other did as well. By the end some 5 to 6 lanes had formed and Mini's were zig-zagging al over the place.
|Lots,||and lots,||and lots,||and lots,||and lots,||and lots,|
|and lots,||and lots,||and lots||of Mini's||on Silverstone||MTB|
|again,||again,||and again||Carl ?
(switch of me & Boris)
|and again||MTB & Van||Van & MTB||JW &
'some other Mini's'
|Is that Carl driving ?!|
We stopped near the exit to take some more pics of all the Mini's, wave at them (some using some unusual materials :) and watched (and helped) some who had gotten a tad hot being pushed off rather than driven off. Also enjoyed the view of some of the drivers ('Are you married ?, Would you want to be ?') and after a good look (was still wearing my sunglasses) I even recognized Robert & Ilona DL and Johnmar & Brenda DL driving by. With the sun setting the cavalcade and (one of) the highlight(s) of the Mini @ 40 party had come to an end.
The party wasn't organized by Rover alone. It was a
combination with Fox FM, celebrating it's 10 year anniversary,
who put on some shows with boys bands etc that evening. A whole
different kind of crowd had turned up for that party, some of
which Arnoud found to be camped right against the door of his
It's owner was looking more for trouble than listening to reasoning but after being ordered to move it by a marshal and being talked to by his friends he did eventually move it a bit. According to some reports I've read later some more people had trouble with a non-Mini-friendly crowd; some of the Mini's on display were keyed, stuff nicked etc. After dealing with the renegade kids we crossed the street again to have dinner with John & Yvonne and the rest of the gang. Erik and MiniTJE were also there and he graciously offered to give me a ride in it. In one word; brilliant. It's a shame it probably never will be roadlegal in the Netherlands...
From John & Yvonne's HQ (which was next to MTB HQ :) we
looked at the night-skyjumpers and the fireworks ('Looks like
Lebanon') which closed the day at 11pm. At some point a German
camera-team came over and asked us if we wanted to sing 'Happy
Birthday Mini' for them. Of course we would and so we did. This even made it onto German
Even though it was again a cold night (remember some of the group come from rather warm places :) we stayed up a bit longer and had a good time eating, drinking and talking again. I'm not sure what time it was when I got back to my tent. I do know I could find it myself this time and the neighbors hadn't gone to sleep either yet. Being the heavy-sleeper that I am, that didn't brother me one bit and I got shut-eye the minute I put my head down. Consequently I didn't hear the plod come by to tell the neigbors to keep quiete or else...