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Drive Lap Land at Silverstone Race Track

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Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Review of festive Christmas lasers around Formula 1 track
Social distancing is inspiring inventive new ways to celebrate the festive season and one of the most exciting is at the iconic British motor racing track of Silverstone.

Lap Land, Silverstone racing track, festive event
Crossing the Silverstone finish line in Lap Land

For the first time ever, visitors can drive around the same silky smooth track as their motor-racing heroes from Schmacher and Rossi to Hamilton while enjoying a festive light and laser spectacle. Although they are limited to 5mph.

At any rate, you'd miss the full effect of the bright displays and friendly elves if you going any faster. Plus you'd definitely be on Santa's naughty list - and he's waiting to see you in a glittering bauble on the final stretch.

The ingenious idea of Lap Land (even the name is clever) sees people take in the illuminations from the safety of their own car without coming into close contact with other people.

Ticketed entry times mean numbers of visitors are limited at any time, staff at the front gate scan you in from a distance and there are portacabin toilets with hand sanitiser and 2m distancing before you get to the track, so it feels well thought out.

Lap Land, Silverstone racing track, festive event
Fast cars and elves are among highlights at Lap Land

Driving Lap Land costs 35 per car, which is a fair amount for the experience and for a family of five is particularly good value for money. It's no wonder that the event is selling out quickly on pre-Christmas dates but it runs until January 3.

As you reach the world-famous Silverstone race track - home of the British Grand Prix - signs and elves encourage you to tune your car radio to Radio Silverstone and its soundtrack of Christmas hits and a DJ reading out messages from other visitors. It adds a great atmosphere to the experience.

For motor enthusiasts, there's the added bonus of driving along the old and new track with a surface that is super smooth underneath the tyres. You may only be going at 5mph, but there's a history attached to this place that can't help but spark a frisson of excitement.

Lap Land, Silverstone racing track, festive event
Santa in a bauble at Silverstone

Moving down the old pit lane, there's a Ferrari, single-seater race car and other stunning cars to look at in garages along with waving elves before starting the Lap Land route.

That route leads you along the new Grand Prix track to the Wing building, pit lane and famous Silverstone start and finish line. Christmas songs from the likes of Mariah Carey, Shakin Stevens and more provide a joyous soundtrack as you drive alongside lights, lasers, smoke effects.

There's even a tunnel of lights with lasers moving at 240mph - the same speed as a Formula 1 car.

Lap Land, Silverstone racing track, festive event
Go past the Silverstone stand during Lap Land

With thousands of festoon lights, 48 lasers and a finale of bursting flames, there's always something magical to look at as well as the motor racing sights.

There's a seven stars display honouring Hamilton's newly record-equalling seven world championships as you approach the start and finish straight. Then there's the ambience of passing the lit up Silverstone stands in red, white and blue. The ultimate highlight, however, comes from crossing the finish line through smoke and an arch of lasers paving your way.

With a maximum speed of 5mph, it takes about 30 mins to get around the actual Lap Land route. You can also add on an outdoor cinema screening of The Snowman to round off the visit and feel even more festive.

Silverstone's Lap Land really is an ideal addition for those wanting to enjoy socially distanced festivities in this Covid era. But more than that, it gives a memorable and fun experience on what many Moto GP and Formula 1 fans consider hallowed ground. A truly dazzling way to celebrate the season.

Lap Land tickets for 35 must be bought in advance from the Lap Land Silverstone website here. The Lap Land and cinema combination ticket costs from 50.

You can also tie in the Silverstone Experience museum beforehand by booking tickets online.
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Why? Enjoy Christmas lights at famous Silverstone race track
When: Until January 3, 2021
Phone: 0344 372 8200
Where: Silverstone Circuits Limited. Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8TN
Cost: 35 per car
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