Yesterday I posted the onboard video from my ride with Michael Schumacher and here are some photos and comments.
Some people asked how I managed to win this prize, so let’s start with that. I joined the Champions Drive Responisibly competion run by Bacardi. Few months ago I answered few questions on their website, left behind my contacts and that was it. Not expecting to win anything (as usual) I forgot about the whole thing. But then few months later I received an email from Bacardi …
They flew me and another 29 lucky people to Malaga in Spain. From there we moved to this beautiful place – Ronda. It was a 90 minutes drive through beautiful Andalucian countryside, a long and winding road .
This small town has two parts and massive hole that separates them. We stayed in this hotel, right by the bridge, right on the edge of the cliff. Beautiful …
Only five minutes walk from the hotel is the bullfight arena. I was told it is the oldest one in Spain but I am not sure if thay is true.
While walking around the town on Tuesday I spotted this gentleman from Start Sports talking to himself :
Anyway, let’s move on to Ascari. The Ascari Race Resort is only about 15 minutes drive from Ronda.
Upon arrival we were all seated in the meeting room where we were to meet with Michael Schumacher. But before he arrived the organizers introduced to us our driving instructors:
… and gave some instructions what to do on the track.
Mr. Schumacher was having coffee at that time following his arrival from Geneva. Then he came and answered few questions.
The interview started with talk about the Bacardi campaign and later turned to Formula 1. Here is about 2 minutes segment with Schumacher’s views on 2009 F1 season, Ross Brawn as well as his explanation of what happened to Felipe Massa in Barcelona (the fuel thing):
After this Q&A session we split up into 3 groups of 10. The program of my group was – driving the BMW on track, then go for the ride with Michael Schumacher in the Maserati and finish the day with a non-alcoholic cocktail mixing session.
We picked up our helmets…
And got into the cars:
First the instructors drove us around explaining where on the track to do what, then we went for it ourselves. We had about 15-20 mins of track time for ourselves. It was great but towards the end I was quite tired … After this sort of experience one can appreciate how exhausting real race must be …
And then came the highlight of the trip:
The only TV crew present (other than Bacardi’s own) on Wednesday were our belowed Star Sports:
Here is the Maserati:
The tyres on this beast lasted only for about 10 laps…
Here is me getting in for my ride:
This is the photo taking, at the end we all received the photo taken here framed and signed by Michael Schumacher.
Here are few shots of my ride:
You can see the onboard video here.
Few of the winners were Bacardi employees (as I understood in some countries Bacardi could not run the alcohol related contest for general public). Here they are talking with Mr. Schumacher:
After all the driving was over for our group, it was time to relax and get ready to mix some cocktails.
In the evening the farewell dinner back in Ronda. Even the Bacardi CEO and Chairman, Mr. McBride, showed up and gave little speech.
And that was very much it. Few days I will probably never forget …