PH 2016 - Sunday Service Review
It's been a great year for Sunday Services in 2016 - here are the best bits!
We kicked the year off at Autosport International with the Pie & Piston pub returning for a second year. Despite having a bright yellow Porsche Cayman GT4 parked out front, it was the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat that drew the most attention. We'll be back again next month, so be sure to come and say hello.
BMW's Farnborough HQ, with the event almost doubly oversubscribed. The unique (for Sunday Services) format utilising their multi-storey car parks worked really well, and provided the added benefit of some strong acoustics. The sun shone down on a stunning display of cars, marking a successful start to 2016. Later that month we headed to Bruntingthorpe for a chilly but sunny morning amongst the looming aircraft. A stunning Porsche 918 Spyder turned up along with some very brave souls in their open-top sports cars; a thoroughly enjoyable morning was had by all!
March was a big one, kicked off by our first track event at Silverstone. It was a frosty start to the morning, but the track soon cleared and stayed dry, allowing plenty of fun for those both in and out of the pits. Amongst the cars joining us out on track in the bonkers 500hp Revo Audi A3 were an Ariel Atom, various Caterhams and a pair of Defenders. Next up was our third biggest event of the year, taking place at Mercedes-Benz World with nearly 600 members in attendance and possibly one of the strongest congregations of Cayman GT4s we've ever seen. The venue offered a spectacular display of historic cars to pore over, and passenger rides were on offer in the latest Mercedes-AMG fleet for those that hadn't just eaten their breakfast.
Santa Pod Sunday Service take place, and over 500 members joined us for the chance to burn some rubber down the drag strip. We then headed west to the Malvern Hills for the spectacular Morgan Sunday Service. For those that have never been, it's really worth the effort for the factory tour alone. Amongst the diverse attendees on the day a custom Smart/Golf GTI really put a smile on our faces and must have been the most photographed car of the day.
May included yet another first, with PHers descending on Revo Technik. Members were treated to a live mapping demonstration, taking Revo's own Audi S7 from 420hp to a staggering 562hp! Aston Martin opened their doors to us later that month, making PHers among the first to set eyes on the new Vanquish Zagato. A line up of past Zagato masterpieces and a stunning Vulcan on display in the foyer completed a very rare line up.
June and July saw a French double-header as we headed to both the Le Mans 24-Hour and the Le Mans Classic, with us piggybacking onto the Classic British Welcome and Retro Rides Rassembler au Chateau respectively. July was a busy month in fact, taking us to Donington Park for the Fast Car Show and to Skoda for an incredibly well organised display of cars and activities. The monster ice cream truck was brilliant; it's one not to miss next year!
Golf GTI Open, celebrating 40 years of the iconic hot hatch. Congratulations again to Nick Andrews, who stole the car of the show award with his beautifully kept small bumper Mk2.
Brands Hatch proved popular again in September with our Sunday Service held alongside the 24-hour Revolve cycle race. It was a reminder how well some of the simplest events work, joined as we were by a striking mix of cars ranging from a Renault 5 GT Turbo to a Jaguar XJ220. We were graced by the first Aston Martin GT12 we've seen at a Sunday Service too, so bravo to that man. And hats off to the cyclists for the hours of pedalling around the 2.4-mile GP layout; getting out of bed early on the Sunday was hard enough!
October saw us returning to Silverstone for another round of track sessions, proving even more popular at 600 strong with every session sold out. Whether you're a beginner or a more seasoned track day goer, these events are a great opportunity to get your car out on track for short periods of time. A week later we were joined by 100 brave souls in the depths of Wales at Wales Rally GB to catch some spectacular action at the Sweet Lamb rally complex. The unique stage offered great visibility and was really worth the effort for those that joined us there. We rounded off the weekend and the month with a foggy Sunday Service at the Classic & Sports Car Show in London. Luckily with free entry into the show, PHers were able to get away from the dull weather and see the spectacular cars on display including the beautiful McLaren F1 that won the 'Century of Supercars' competition.
Ginetta last year, we returned again in November for another visit. As with Morgan, it was warming to see and experience flourishing British manufacturing on a small scale. The McLaren 675LT stole the show, turning up towards the end of the morning; a bright orange beacon breaking up the miserable conditions on the day.
We rounded off the year with our biggest ever Sunday Service at Goodwood Motor Circuit - 800 cars filled the paddocks, start/finish straight and surrounding car parks. We were graced with good weather again (the third year in a row!) and Overclockers joined us with their latest VR simulator for PHers to battle it out; unsurprisingly this proved popular, so keep an eye out for them at more events next year.
I'm sure you'll agree that 2016 has been an absolute belter, and with rain only impacting one event we've been extremely fortunate. We'd like to offer a huge thanks to everyone who came along to take part, and to all of the companies and venues that hosted us this year.
What was your favourite event this year? Do you have any highlights to share with us? Leave your thoughts below.
Finally, the calendar for 2017 is almost full already, packed with favourites and exciting new venues alike. Keep an eye on the Sunday Service forum for the full calendar soon, so you can get planning. See you all next year!
Get up north a bit more this year and all will be well
In all seriousness though, great job PH and let's have some more in 2017
I'll be at hopefully more next year
It's shame there was no mention or review of the Topcats SS at the time too, mostly because (for-once) I had a PRIME parking spot.