For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram. You will already be aware that I’m a massive petrol head. Motorsport is my ‘thing’ and I’m lucky enough to compete in rallies up and down the country when I’m not being Dad.
So when the ‘Wales Blog Network’ put an advert out looking for bloggers to attend the Speedway GP in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. I was straight onto the laptop to get my application in.
Luckily enough, I was one of the selected few to get tickets. Cheers Rhys and Helen. I owe you a beer or two 😉
For those of you who have never been to an event at the Principality Stadium (Millennium Stadium in old money). The stadium holds up to circa 75,000 at full capacity and has the ability to be able to close the roof, which helps create a large arena style atmosphere. It’s this feature that makes the venue perfect for this type of event, as its holds in the noise which for us petrol heads is the equivalent of cap nip to a kitten!
Tickets told us to be in our seats for just before 5pm, and boy I’m glad we were, as the evening got underway with a fantastic pyrotechnic show followed by an intro for all the evenings’ riders.
The Grand Prix included 16 riders. 15 of which are permanent riders who attend all the World Championship Rounds, with the 16th rider being a wild card entry just for the one event.
During the course of the night, these riders complete over 23 heats in order to decide who qualifies for the sudden death Semis and finally the Grand Prix deciding Final. Riders are awarded 3 points for a heat win, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd and nil points for 4th place. With the top 8 qualifying for the sudden death rounds.
23 heats may sound like it could become a little repetitive, but with each heat being 4 laps long and lasting on average just under a minute. The action is fast paced. With one heat containing more overtakes than you’ll see in an entire F1 season. Trust me, you have little time to get bored at this event.
Don’t forget these bikes have no brakes, so these guys really are throwing themselves around the track. It undoubtedly makes for great entertainment. You don’t have to be a petrol head to appreciate the skill and speed these guys attack the course with.
The main British interest of the evening was ‘Tai Woffinden’ who has won six GP’s during the course of his career, but interestingly enough, never the British Round.
Unfortunately, 2017 was not to be Tai’s year as he failed to make the semi-final rounds despite winning his first round heat. Instead Polish rider Maciej Janowski took the overall honours, much to the delight of the thousands of Polish fans packed into the stadium. The style in which they celebrated the win was more accustom to a football match than a motorsport event. Flags waving and football style chants. It really was great to see the passion of these fans.
Now as a family blogger. I expect many of you may want to know what I thought of the event from a family viewpoint. Well the answer to that is…………… excellent.
As a motorsport fan, watching live events usually means being exposed to the Great British weather. Whether that’s standing in the woods of Mid Wales, or at race circuits such as Silverstone and Brands Hatch. Motorsport fans are usually die hard people (Or stupid. You decide).
What this event offers that other similar events cannot is a superb family friendly venue. It has all the facilities any parent requires such as toilets etc. Along with food outlets and a great city centre location. Coupled with the excellent pyrotechnics and superb firework finale creates a motorsport event that is perfect for all the family. Not forgetting that this is a ‘World Championship’ round. Meaning the action on track is 1st class.
I for one, will certainly be returning to the stadium for the 2018 Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix. Which is being held on the 21st July. Hopefully I will see you there.