Going to the 2011 Korean Grand Prix at Korean International Circuit
- 11th October 2011, 18:30 at 6:30 pm #130332Keith CollantineKeymaster
Discussion area for people going to the 2011 Korean Grand Prix.18th October 2011, 14:27 at 2:27 pm #182248AlanParticipant
I had a great time in Korea, was pretty nervous about getting there due to the lack of information, but everything went smoothly (even shared a £30 taxi ride with 3 others) from Gwangju, which is a pretty nice city (3 hours by train from Seoul) – better than what I heard about Mokpo anyway.
Shuttle buses from Mokpo were running pretty constant though so you could get the bus from Gwangju to Mokpo for £2.50, then the free shuttle or you could get a bus direct to the circuit from Gwangju for £5, took about an hour to get to the circuit. The staff were ridiculously helpful, and as most of them are volunteers from the civil service, could speak English without an issue.
As far as the circuit goes, it’s pretty bland as it’s in the middle of nowhere, but there’s a bus running constantly around it so it’s easy to get around (much easier than Silverstone), there’s a lot of vendors selling at reasonable prices and I booked with 50% discount on my ticket so had a covered main grandstand ticket for less than £150. Even was lucky enough to meet some friends of the FIA Chief Steward so got access to the Paddock on the Saturday, with a tour of the Red Bull garage and watched qualifying in the Merc garage.
I think it’s a shame the facility is only used once a year, and that the original proposed developments near it won’t be taking shape.
All in all, probably my best F1 circuit experience, and the race wasn’t half bad either. :)18th October 2011, 14:36 at 2:36 pm #182249Viktor AnderssonParticipant
I was there!
Really enjoyed the race, with some really interesting battles along the field. However, there wasn’t the biggest crowd present (unsurprisingly), which sort of affected the atmosphere… There was actually an entire grandstand empty at the end of the start/finish straight (can be seen in the broadcast). We quickly took advantage of this since our seats were located at the middle of the straight, and saw some pretty neat wheel-to-wheel battle as a result).
Apparently there was no classification system regarding which tickets were classed as “good” or “bad,” so even though we purchased ours in mid-spring, we got pretty modest placements. It actually seemed as the first persons who bought the tickets ended up in the lower corner of each grandstand, with horrendous result for some friends of ours (who also found better places to watch the race from).
Other than the lack of spectators, my only complaint was the lack of support races. The only thing racing before the F1 on sunday was one kind of mix korean racing series, which included everything from (a handful) pretty serious V8 sports cars to very unimpressive hatchbacks. It would have been nice with a race from some Japanese formula series for instance.
I hate to say it, but I really can’t see this race survive many years in Formula 1, considering the current demand for F1 races from other countries/circuits. Mokpo is not a very big city (not very exciting one either), and I really can’t understand that the Korean Grand Prix doesn’t take place in the absolute proximity of Seoul, or Busan for that matter. The Turkish Grand Prix was just dropped because of lack of interest as well as difficult communications from the capital, and Korea has got that problem too. The only difference is that the severity of this issue, as the two largest cities of Korea is far, far away from Mokpo.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the race and I really enjoy the circuit layout, but I still can’t see the Korean GP being a long-lived one.18th October 2011, 15:13 at 3:13 pm #182250AlanParticipant
I agree about the race not lasting there Viktor, it does remind me of Istanbul – but maybe with Korea’s big car industry, they’ll try to get more involved. I think for the support race they should have split the categories into seperate races, would have made for more races, even though there were only about 5 V8s running (they sounded SO nice). An open wheel support race would definitely have been nicer, maybe with so many Asian races they could sort out GP2 Asia again.
I was in the main grandstand and you could move seats around there, I booked online at interpark.com and actually picked my seat (dunno if you could with the other grandstands), I did enjoy not being cramped in though.
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