The 2007 European Championships were surely one of the best run and most entertaining ever - the wasacross team put on a great event on a fantastic track - so thanks to them for all their efforts.
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Euros Day -2 [Someday xxth July]
Originally we'd planned to set off to the Euros on Saturday 21st - but the flight was changed and it would have meant missing the connection from Helsinki to Vaasa, so we went on Friday morning instead. We met up with Mick and Neil Cragg & Derek and Paul Bradby at the airport in manchester. Mick & Neil were coming on the same flights as us but the Bradbys were setting off 10 minutes later on a 'european tour' three-leg hop across to Vaasa, taking in Norway and Sweden before arriving at Vaasa.
The plane from Helsinki to Vaasa was a tiny SAAB propeller plane - quite scary as i'd never been on anything so small, but it was actually a good flight and aggressive landing - these pilots don't hang about, turning around on the landing stip and 'ragging' it back up to park. Amazingly also walking across the tarmac to the airport building was the Bradbys - their three country hop bring them in to Vaasa airport at exactly the same time as us.
We got the rental car (fastest rally car in the world) and followed the Cragg/Bradby machine to the Euros track - wow! it couldn't have been much over 5 minutes to the track from the airport on extremely quiet tree lined roads. The organisers were still in full swing despite the late hour (about 9:30pm) - apparently they had been 'at it' for 24/7 for 2 weeks now. The facilities looked good but there was still a lot to do. Three large plasma screens had arrived to show results in the pitting tent and on/in the rostrum.
The official hotel of the European Championships is the Sokos hotel in the centre of Vaasa. The parking is underground and for the Euros we all get a free parking pass - a new one each day. The hotel has a bar and restaurant downstairs and a night club on the top floor. It's also attached to a shopping mall, so there's plenty to do before the Euros start.
Euros Day -1 [Someday xxth July]
Today a few drivers went to the track to work on their cars and of course claim their pitting space. The tables are divided up for each driver and the tables are organised by country. The UK team are spead across 4 large tables. The spanish guys were there from early on in the day along with a couple of british drivers - more turned up as the day wore on and hangovers relaxed but we couldn't see too much point in spending all day in a hot tent when we could build the cars in the hotel room with drinks and food!
Work on the track and facilities is still in full swing and the local organisers have been working very hard as can be seen every time we turn up to see something new added or tidied up. Still there was no 'grand stand' style seating for spectators but maybe that will appear soon as promised.
Tomorrow is the official start of the 2007 European Championships and will feature 6 rounds of 2WD practice starting at 8:30am with Heat one on the line.