The smell of the damp air mingled with exhaust fumes, petrol, bacon sandwiches and hot coffee as we watched the cars warm up… All along the pit lanes garage doors were rolling open, revealing a plethora of road cars, race cars, track cars and classic cars all preparing to depart. With a final blip of the throttle and a flutter or nerves, the 450SL and Ponton race cars crawled out of hiding and onto the track… Welcome to Donington Park!
The inaugural SLSHOP track day began with coffee, bacon sandwiches and the driver briefing whilst the SLSHOP team finished up preparing the cars for a day of track action.
15 VIP guests and journalists were in attendance, along with a crew of SLSHOP support staff. Sam and his son Jake Bailey were on hand to give driving tuition, both of whom are accomplished and experienced racing drivers. Bruce Greetham, SL expert and well known Mercedes-Benz connoisseur was on hand to talk classic cars and show customers around the vehicles.
Drivers and passengers took it in turns to experience both cars, the SL being raw and raucus and the ponton feeling more old fashioned but with a lively and surprising rear end!
Both classic Mercedes-Benz race cars took to the track with a variety of much more modern cars. A plethora of home-made track focused BMWS shared the tarmac with a smattering of Porsches, some hardcore track cars and even an LS V8 engined kit car – which looked terrifying in the early morning damp!
The day passed without incident, other than one guest who decided to take a closer look at the gravel. We think he might have been trying to take some home to renovate a garden… He did indeed finish the day taking some gravel home, and the ‘Joe Fuller Gravel Trophy’ was launched.
Would you like to spend a day with the SLSHOP, getting a feel for these cars on the track, either as a passenger or driver?
Send us an email to register your interest for next year.