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GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

I finally got round to writing a short story of the day we had at the WTCC Brands Hatch & sent it into the AROC magazine, you can read it under the 156 Register section of the magazine.
I hope we can get another day sorted for 2008.
Cheers
Stu
PS. This is the story for you chaps not in the AROC.


1st UK Alfa Romeo GTA Meet.

Spring Alfa Day this year, I met up with Dai Black with his lovely 155 for the run up to SAD, but he wanted to meet up with the guys from ***************** ok I thought, when we finally got to where the 155’s were meeting, wow, what a great sight seeing all these fantastic cars all together for the drive to SAD & this got me thinking about a meet for GTA’s.
At SAD there were 8 GTA’s all dotted about the field, so I got chatting to a few of the owners about a meet this year, the time and venue were still an unknown but the seed had been planted.
Not long after this it was the Italian Auto Moto Festival in Bristol & 6 GTA’s turned up for this, again I had a chat with a few of the owners & they also seemed keen on the idea.
With only 390 147/ 269 Saloon 156 & 107 Sportwagon GTA’s registered in the UK you are more likely to see a Ferrari on the road than a GTA so I knew that only a handful could actually make a GTA meet, 8 being the most I had ever seen in one place before.
Ok, so a few owners fancy a meet but where should we meet & when?
Me being a long time Touring car fan thought why not go to Brands Hatch to see what could possibly be the last outing for the Alfa 156 GTA Touring cars in the World Touring Car series, with James Thompson & Olivier Tielemans driving the last two N. Technology Alfa Romeos still racing.
After talking to owners on several different Alfa forums, going to see the Touring cars seemed like a good idea, so that was it then, the first GTA meet would be at Brands Hatch on the 23.09.07 to see the WTCC.

Brands Hatch is a long way from South Wales so I decided to camp at brands on the Saturday with my lad Cameron, after an early start on Saturday morning we got to Brands about midday, what should we do now, put the tent up or go see what was happening at the circuit, no contest then. Walking around brands with my lad on such a nice day, racing cars everywhere, fantastic, we also got into the paddock so now it was autograph heaven for my lad, all the drivers we came across signed his autograph book including James Thompson to Andy Priaulx. I also had a photo of Gabriele Tarquini & Cameron together from the WTCC at Silverstone in 2005 which lives above my PC, I took the photo with me and the great man signed it, with a big smile, this made my Saturday.

Coming to the end of the day I thought I had better get the tent up before it gets to dark, then I had a phone call from a chap with a red 147 GTA saying he could not make it on Sunday but could he and come see me at the Brands camp sight in about 1 hour, Richard turned up in his stunning 147 GTA & after a very long chat about all things Alfa he was on his way.
This got me to thinking that maybe other GTA owners might not make it on Sunday.
Sunday morning, we had arranged to meet in a lay-by just down the road from Brands at about 10am, so for me it was up early pack the tent away, still not sure if anyone would make it, we drove to the petrol station just outside Brands to get some breakfast walking back to my car with some sandwiches for me and my lad, two 147 GTA’s one black, one red pulled right in front of my car, result I thought, that’s 3 GTA’s, after a chat we drove to the lay-by for the meet, it felt like ages waiting for any other GTA’s to turn up but slowly they started to roll in, 10 GTA’s all parked up in a lay-by, what a great site, everyone instantly got on & were very enthusiastic about seeing the GTA’s together.
A few more phone calls later and 2 other GTA’s would tag along later. Now how do we keep all the cars together, thanks to Simon for getting the police to stop the traffic both ways outside Brands so we could all pull out of the lay-by together and for blagging us onto the south bank when it was signed BMW Owners Club.
I had never used this entrance to Brands before, as we all drove passed the BMW only parking signs, it’s like a small narrow dirt track which actually has a small bridge over the track, it was packed with spectators watching the Ferrari’s racing, well they were until they saw 11 GTA’s rolling by, mike had just joined the GTA convoy, all turning around looking and pointing at the cars, great fun.
We parked up on the bank opposite the Paddock, right in front of the Seat owners club & right in front of us were the BMW lorries backing on to the pits, not sure what they thought about this, but it was fun for us.
After watching the 1st WTCC race we all went for a walk around the paddock which was very busy on race day, James Thompson trying to explain to us all why he could not overtake & win the first race, he came in second, not bad for a car that dates back to the 1990’s.
Looking out at the cars just across the track, we could see people having their photo’s taken with the cars, it must have made someone else’s day to.
In total 12 GTA’s parked up together with everyone making a great atmosphere but the end of the day came like a click of the finger, we had so much fun & had a such a great laugh we all said we will have to have a meet in 2008, where we don’t know yet but it will happen I am sure of that.
This could not have happened without the help from the guys from these Alfa forums.


www.aroc-uk.com/forums/
AlfaOwner.com
loveyouralfagta ~ Index

Thank you all.
Stuart Pugh.

Driving 250 Mad Italian Horses.

Alfa 156 GTA Restoration Photos on my Facebook link below.
Abarth 500 Legend Blue Photos.
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Ferryman_1957
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Read it already in the mag, jealous coz I wasn't there

Thanks for posting,

Nigel
 
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

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Originally Posted by Ferryman_1957 View Post
Read it already in the mag, jealous coz I wasn't there

Thanks for posting,

Nigel
No prob's Nigel, not sure where or if there will be a meet yet this year, i was hoping the 8c might be racing but the news on that has gone silent?
Maybe a trip the the Ace Cafe on one of there Italian car & bike nights?

Cheers
Stu
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

It really was a great day. I live just down the road and go to Brands Hatch as much as possible, without a shadow of doubt though in 20 odd years of going to Brands that was the most memorable day. Just as the nurburgring trip though the thing that really made the day was the people!
 
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

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It really was a great day. I live just down the road and go to Brands Hatch as much as possible, without a shadow of doubt though in 20 odd years of going to Brands that was the most memorable day. Just as the nurburgring trip though the thing that really made the day was the people!
I really was that good a day, hope to see you again mate.
Have a fun Crimbo.
Stu
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Nice story - there were some pics on here also were there not
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Sounds like it was great, sorry I couldn't make it.
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Hi Stuart - well done again for making the day happen - it was great and one of the best Brands Hatch days I've ever had - parking in the BMW owners area was one of my highlights!

Now..... EddieGTA - where was that link to the pictures - as a reminder of the day!

Thanks again Stuart and to all that I met on the day - I hope that it happens again!
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Here ya go, a reminder of the day....

WTCC 23/09/2007 - a photoset on Flickr
 
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

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Originally Posted by EddieGTA View Post
Here ya go, a reminder of the day....

WTCC 23/09/2007 - a photoset on Flickr
Oh for a GTA
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Nice one Stuart/Eddie
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Cheers to stu for making a great day for all of us
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Nice post Stu, hope to make it to the next meet.
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Re: GTA Day 2007 Story Of The Day.

Cheers all, it could have only happened with you chaps turning up, just waiting in that lay-by chatting was fun enough, but when we all drove off it really felt special.

If you guys have any ideas for 2008 just say.
Thanks
Stu
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