Last year something caught my eye on a Facebook post, I was intrigued and did a bit of research and we ended up going for the first time last year. We had such a great time that as soon as we were home we marked it on our calendar for this year.
The American Speedfest event at Brands Hatch is an American themed vehicle extravaganza, showcasing a whole selection of vehicles from vintage classics, to vehicles from film and tv. Not forgetting the highlight of the NASCAR Wheelan series races as well as live demonstrations from American muscle cars past and present. There’s live music, entertainment and food all helping to create a wonderful experience.
The event runs over both Saturday and Sunday in June, you can buy single ticket for either day or tickets for the whole weekend. They do have an area outside where spectators are able to camp for the whole weekend. If that’s your thing, I can imagine the atmosphere would be amazing.
We had a group of us that wanted to go this time so we booked our tickets online in advance. The online price was £18 per adult and children under 13 years of age were free. Which I think is pretty good value for money for an all day event. I believe you would have paid a little more on the gate.
Tip – We went to the event on Saturday, purely because with smaller children it wasn’t as busy as Sunday. It gave us more chance to look around and explore properly without feeling to overcrowded. Be aware though, they do not have all the display vehicles there on the Saturday and some of the timed events and shows are different. So it’s worthwhile checking which day is suitable for you before booking.
The gates opened at 8am and the on track action didn’t start till 9am, we decided to wait until 10am before we arrived. It wasn’t particularly busy at this time so we had a good chance to have a walk around and see some of the vehicles.
We had a bit of a wobble, H didn’t seem to enthused when we arrived and was a little reluctant to Look at anything , but a snack seemed to solve the problem. He takes a little while sometimes to get comfortable with the camera and he wasn’t feeling it on this day, so I didn’t really manage to get any photos of him with any of the cars.
In previous years they have displayed the Disney Pixar Cars, which is what drew my attention on that initial Facebook post. Unfortunately they haven’t been in the 2 years we have been. However last year we were very pleased to see the Plymouth Superbird ( ‘The King’. Dinoco Car as Henry calls it, from Disney’s cars) and wow, that did not disappoint. It more than made up for not seeing Lightening McQueen. We saw it on the track as well for a demo and I have never heard a noise like it. It certainly left an impression. This was the one we were all looking forward to seeing again, and again it did not disappoint. We even managed a photo or 2.
As well as the car displays there was a fun fair, trade stalls, a Wall of Death, live music and lots more. The transformers were also there for this event. There is also a restaurant that served a basic selection of American themed food. We decided to eat here as it was the best option for a high chair and M gets easily distracted. It is a little expensive for what is on offer so there are better value options elsewhere on the food stands.
Tip – The restaurant doesn’t start serving lunch till midday so we made sure we were there just before as it got very busy last year. That worked in our favour this year.
We found a good spot on the grass verge ready for the start of the Nascar race, before the race starts they open up the area for spectators to do a grid walk amongst all the race cars. It’s a chance to get real close and meet some of the drivers, who were all very approachable and were very happy taking photographs and signing pre made photos for all the fans. H went down there with Chris and came back with a couple of autographs and some sweets.
We watched the race and managed to see the whole thing this time, H really enjoyed it. We had a little wander around after the race around the fair and headed to the Live Action Arena, we managed to catch the end of the stunt car display. H was pretty impressed with the driverless cars and the near misses.
We were about to head off in the other direction when we caught the Superbird driving past, we knew it was doing a demo somewhere but wasn’t quite sure where. We pretty much chased it to where we thought it was going.
Good guess, we guessed right and ended up with a really good view.
There were 6 vehicles in the Live Action Arena and after entering the arena they all drove past and we were introduced to their owners. After all had been around some of them got the chance to do some burnouts. H loved this he was really enjoying it, the crowd were pretty excited and it was just an amazing atmosphere. The noise from these cars and the smoke was very impressive, even more impressive though M slept through the whole thing.
We made this our last thing to do, it was getting very hot and I could tell H was starting to get worn out.
We all left with beaming faces and as we were leaving we were already confirming coming back next year. We had such a great day, the weather was really kind to us as well and made it even more enjoyable.