Do the SnoozeBox, Shake the SnoozeBox
What do Oschersleben , Spa and Marrakech have in common?
We yes they are all race circuits but they are all places were I have been in a comfy bed and then woken by the sound of screaming , roaring race cars. Oschersleben was a particularly funny occasion; Having read the Saturday schedule rather than Sundays, I thought I wasn’t needed until 11:30 for the AutoGP race but on Sunday that started an hour earlier. So as I rose from my slumber I suddenly panicked, F1 cars! No surely not, theres no way I could have been teleported to Valencia, Nor do WTCC cars sound anything like that! Perhaps an F1 display?
The Hotel overlooks Turn 1, but isn’t very sound proof, the intrigue lead me to poke my nose through the curtains……ARGH AUTOGP! My clothes flew on and within 2 minutes I was in the TV truck ready to produce, thank god for Green Flag laps! There is a benefit to being on site.
So last weekend was the ILMC visit to Silverstone and it was my first chance to work in the new Wing, a spectacular piece of architecture which places the pits in Buckinghamshire rather than Northants. I am afraid, that’s all I was impressed with. I was extremely lucky to have an AAA pass which meant I could drive to the paddock but teams and drivers had to get a StageCoach, who’s idea was that?! The feeling of being down that end of the track was something we will get used to in time but I was flabbergasted to see less space in the paddock than in the old pits, mainly due to there being a small meadow in pitlane. This 'park' has also made the pits narrower than most F1 circuits and with an odd gradient, totally hidden some of the garages from the crowd. There is no easy fixes for any of it. Crazy. It was also shocking to see the Le Mans machines litterally tearing up the track, with astroturf flying everywhere, blocking ducts, overheating engines and making everything look untidy.
The media centre was lifeless, mainly because there are no windows overlooking any part of the track and I saw committed fans who had come down for the pit walk adding to the great LMS atmosphere, queuing for a bus as the race began, criminal.
But whats this got to do with onsite hotels, Can you do this at Silverstone? Well the answer has been no, even Camping Is prohibited unless its GP weekend or you’re a marshal, but now there is a real viable option. When I first heard the name SnoozeBox, I chuckled, theres something about it which makes me have a mini giggle and when I heard they were stacks of freight containers I gulped. When I was told there were 4 rooms to a container I figured a tent would be more spacious but how wrong I was.
Based on the outside of Woodcote there are 10 freight containers placed in a loose L and filled with luscious décor. Initially I was only over there because the beautiful Speed Chills girls couldn’t been seen on a bus, so option 2, hanging out the back of my 2 seater Nissan 350z seemed more attractive. The moment I stepped through into the reception / hospitality area my whole perception changed. Ok so the marquee felt a bit like I was at a wedding, but there was wine and beer freely flowing and an incredibly friendly entourage of SnoozeBox staff ready to serve you. Anywhere is good in my books if they serve pistachios!
The Double bed is incredibly comfortable, the shower and toilet, a-grade, and it even has freeview TV, although being a flat screen you cant watch it lying in bed, you have to sit up which mildly frustrated me, but unlike an under developed 'New' pits this can easily be rectified. I was there for 2 nights and slept better than I ever do in my London town flat, despite John Hindhuagh’s best attempts to wake me on the tannoy and Hurricane Katia trying to blow me and the rest of the SnoozeBox into Buckinghamshire, I felt rested beyond believe.
I was slightly dreading the next few weeks at Silverstone, 4 days for the 24 hours, then 3 for British GT’s and 2 for BTCC, but now with my friends at SnoozeBox, I can look forward to a hassle free drive home and a super comfortable little pod to rest my weary eyes. A pleasantly enjoyable and novel weekend.