The Big 5 is Aston Martin’s yearly series of 5 “experience” events. It includes three track days (at Silverstone, the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps) and two driving-experience days (one at the Boxberg test center and one on-ice event in St. Moritz).
This Monday (September 17) the fifth Big 5 event was held: the track day at Spa-Francorchamps. Over eighty Aston Martins came to this historic race-track in Belgium.
66 Aston owners taking their own car to the track, others renting a factory car for the day.
The day before
My wife and I decided to make a weekend out of it and drove down to Belgium on Friday, in our Fire Red V12 Vantage, to be joined on Saturday by a friend who brought a Cobalt Blue V8 Vantage S. On Sunday, after a great day roaring the V8 and V12 through the Belgian hills, we returned to Francorchamps to meet with some PistonHeads friends. Taking the scenic route, right through the Spa city center, we were spotted by “Belgian Spotter”. Isn’t that a beautiful red and blue combo?
At Hotel de la Source in Francorchamps, close to the track itself, we met up up with 3 friends from the PistonHeads forum. By then, the parking lot was already filling up with all kinds of Astons. A Rapide, a Virage, a Vanquish Ultimate Edition and of course our 5 Vantages (4 x V12, 1 x V8 S).
Track day at Spa Francorchamps
One of the nice things about these events is the simple fact of seeing so many Aston Martins together. The Spa event was no exception. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen so many in one place. Well over 80 Astons, in all shapes and sizes. V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S, V12 Vantage, DB9, DBS, Virage, Vanquish, Rapide and yes, a One-77 too…
I even saw a Cygnet in the parking lot, it wasn’t being tracked though 🙂
On arrival, the participants were split into three groups. Throughout the day, all groups had thee 20-minute sessions each hour. In the first morning sessions, drivers were still being careful, getting to know the track and their car’s behaviour on the track. But during the day, most loosened up and top speeds of over 240 km/h were reached.
On-board video: PistonHead member John Gladman in his V12 Vantage:
Power Beauty Soul tour
Over 80 Astons together, pretty cool by itself. But that’s only counting the current and past models. Next to all customer cars and factory fleet cars, a very nice trio made a special appearance. The Power Beauty Soul tour, on their way through Europe, was present at the Spa event to show three future Aston Martin models:
The new Vanquish, the V12 Zagato and my favorite, the V12 Vantage Roadster.