Creating unforgettable moments with your children is priceless and I love a mini adventure. Join us as we embark on a thrilling day at Donington Park to witness the adrenaline-fueled British Superbikes Championship.
With a mummy free Saturday and the legendary Donington park just down the road from us, it presented an ideal opportunity to see friend of S&B and BSB's rising star Kyle Ryde in all his glory. Equipped with a backpack brimming with all the necessary baby supplies and drinks and snacks securely stashed, I entrusted the girls with the responsibility of capturing the day's memorable moments through photography.
As we stepped out of the van, the air reverberated with the symphony of revving engines, while the sun generously bathed us in its warm rays. A gentle breeze sneaked its way through the parked vehicles, providing a refreshing respite. Our first destination was the paddock, where the team lorries awaited—a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the sport that sets British Motorsport apart and appeals to me personally.
As I fed the youngest member of our group, we settled on a bench, enjoying the opportunity to observe the bustling atmosphere around us. Junior racers buzzed about, adding youthful energy to the scene, while the superbike riders conducted interviews and mingled with their fans. It was a different kind of spectacle compared to the frenetic scenes often witnessed in football matches, as here, fans and stars coexisted in a harmonious manner. Suddenly, we caught sight of Kyle Ryde, prompting us to approach him, extend our greetings, and wish him the best of luck.
Bathed in glorious weather, we were grateful for the picnic blanket that accompanied us. The scent of fuel wafted through the air as we settled down for a snack break at Melbourne Hairpin. With the girls comfortably seated, we eagerly observed a few laps, their eyes widening with excitement as they witnessed the thrilling battles for position, audacious overtakes, and awe-inspiring speeds. A barrage of questions came my way, and I did my best to keep up, even if I didn't have all the answers.
During a lull between races, we took the opportunity to venture out. At Fogarty Esses, we quenched our thirst with a refreshing cold drink from a nearby stand before venturing through the tunnel to explore the various stalls. However, on our way, we witnessed a young lad losing control of his bike as he approached the straight—a moment of disappointment for him, but an intriguing sight for the girls.
We successfully navigated through the lively stalls, reaching the bend at Hollywood without spending a single penny. It was quite a task to ensure that none of the girls ended up fully clad in leather, helmets, and boots. After a mere two hours, my 10-year-old had transformed from skepticism—"I won't enjoy it, it won't be fun"—to an enthusiastic Superbike fan, waving flags and eagerly spotting their favorite riders. It warmed my heart to see them embrace something new. As practice sessions ensued, rider number 77 zoomed past us, his helmet seemingly brushing against the track—truly a breathtaking sight.
What impressed me the most was the safe environment for the kids to run around in the infield. It felt akin to a local park, with a tantalizing donut stand beckoning from the distance. However, we were irresistibly drawn to the Old Hairpin, where we settled on the grassy bank, our lips coated with sugary sweetness. From there, we marveled at Kyle's record-breaking lap, witnessing the elegance and fluidity of his movements—it was akin to poetry in motion. The incredible feats these riders can accomplish on their bikes are nothing short of awe-inspiring.
The entire day spent at Donington Park, immersing ourselves in the British Superbikes Championship, transformed into a cherished adventure between a father and his daughters. As we left the racetrack, they eagerly inquired about when we could return for another thrilling experience.