Thanks to Wales Blog Network I totally scored tickets to the British Speedway at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium! For those who have about as much of a clue as me, this means motorbike racing. When I first saw they wanted bloggers on board I didn’t think I’d fit but then I noticed they were asking specifically for people who had never been before. If you read my ‘I think I could be drifting into oblivion with this mumming lark’ post then you will know I was on the look-out for something a bit out of the ordinary, a bit exhilarating and the Speedway certainly delivered.
Background & Underground
In it’s 17th year at the Principality stadium Cardiff (still calling it the Millennium Stadium in my head every time) the speedway is the second longest residency at the stadium next to the rugby. It’s a well established event with a huge fan base. Some geek stuff – the bikes are 500cc with no gears or brakes!
I got to see the bikes close up on a pit tour the day before the main event. Our guide led us through the pits past all the rider’s stands. They were doing some final checks on their bikes making sure they were race-ready and revving the engines. Some of the more die-hard fans got to meet their favourite riders and see the draw for the first set of riders for the practise runs.
The stadium was really quiet for the practise runs, see in my video below I’m almost whispering. Watching the practise runs gave a good idea of what to expect at the main event the following day.
The Main Event
Race day was very exciting with hoardes of fans arriving to support the event, a lot of them having been to the free event day on city lawn. The official sponsor Monster energy drinks had the ‘monster girls’ who did an opening ceremony with flame throwing. We got into the stadium just as the riders were announced and the heats began. There are 23 races overall with each rider meeting each other at least once. The final race was the most exciting; you could tell each rider wanted it as much as the next, with Polish rider Maciej Janowski taking the 1st place. He was a very popular rider and the crowd gave him loads of support.
It was a really fun night off (well 2 days off in the end with the pit tour the day before as well) and just what I needed. I went with my friend Ceri from MyahzineTV and we both really enjoyed the whole event. Even though I didn’t know anything about it beforehand, it’s set up so that anyone can fully immerse themselves in the excitement really quickly. It was really special getting ‘backstage’ guest passes and I was made-up to get the opportunity through the blog. It was great to meet some other local bloggers too. Thanks again to The Welsh Blog Network.
- It’s billed as a family event and if you were hoping to take littlies you would certainly see lots of other families and kids. I personally would prefer to take older kids mostly due to the crowds. It is really loud as you can imagine with the bikes’ engines and there were a couple of collisions which I suppose could be a little scary for some smaller children.
- The speedway is shown live on BT sports.
- It doesn’t smell horrible! The fuel is made from potatoes so there is often a waft of what smells like cooking oil but I didn’t leave coughing with the smell of diesel in my hair like I thought I possibly would.
- Buy a programme to follow along with the race running order during the live event.
- Stay until the end. Once the 3 podium place winners have taken their trophies there is an amazing fireworks display show.
- Buy memorabilia on the way out. This is a bit of a naughty tip but the touts were flogging everything half price on our way out! 😉
- Book a horn free zone if you have anyone in your party who would not appreciate a very loud horn being blown next to them full blast at any given moment!
I would definitely go again, I had a great time. Tickets for 2018 are on sale now at speedwayGP.com
Have you ever been to the British Speedway before? Let me know if you’re a fan in the comments.