The 2008 Belgian Grand Prix. I’d been an F1 fan for 16 years by then, but never so much as sniffed the fumes of an actual race car. Finally, after receiving a fairly substantial windfall from a class action suit at my old employer, I booked my first ever solo Euro trip. It wasn’t made with the GP in mind, but it’s nice when things work themselves out :)

Apart from it being my first ever race, it was Spa and it was that kind of rain-on, rain-off race we all love. From Kubica power sliding into Eau Rouge three laps from the finish and Bourdais being briefly shown in third place around the same time, to spending thirty-odd laps stood at the bottom of a grandstand at Eau Rouge with no ear plugs and not even a real camera (managed to leave my DSLR at my friends’ place in Aachen and, since I left at 3 a.m., I wasn’t about to go back, so settled for my HTC TyTN II), to my first ever Liege waffle hot from the griddle (no wonder they haven’t tasted the same since), to my giddy ass posing for a photo at the top of Eau Rouge at the race’s end and doing a full lap on foot at the end, it was just a perfect day. To top it off, it wasn’t even over until I got to my friends’ home, since Hambo managed to get himself DQed and knocked down to third.

Been to about a half-dozen races since - not one has come close.