Silverstone ‘Safari’ Sees London Bus Take to Track in British GT Practice


A 1965 Routemaster bus circled Silverstone during FP2. (Credit: Craig Robertson/RacePhotography.net)

Passengers received a ride of a lifetime on Saturday when a 1965 Routemaster bus toured Silverstone during Saturday’s British GT practice for the blue riband Silverstone 500 event.

A unique opportunity – thought to be the first at a European racing event – saw guests and members of the media take to the track in the retro London bus for a high-octane two lap ride around the iconic Silverstone Grand Prix configuration.

30 GT3 and GT4 cars filed up behind the bus before blazing past the 52-year-old double decker at racing speed, surging by in single file after being waved through individually by the series safety car, in what proved to be an impressive spectacle for those onboard the Routemaster and in the stands.

The coach tours are commonplace in the Japanese Super GT series, with Saturday’s version proving to be the first time such a tour has been seen in Europe.

Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici commented on how an initial light-hearted conversation became a ground-breaking reality at the weekend:

“Seeing a bus – or anything other than a GT car for that matter – on track at the same time as a British GT practice session is usually the stuff of my nightmares!

“However, what began as a funny internal discussion soon developed into a viable opportunity to do something never before seen in Europe, not to mention an experience that today’s guests won’t forget in a hurry!

“Watching 600bhp GT3 cars fly past at racing speeds looking down from the top of a double decker offers a new and surreal perspective on motorsport, and one we’re now keen to replicate in the future.”