Postcard from Monza 2014

As well as doing lots of research to improve our travel guide to the Italian Grand Prix for next year, we were also out and about today at Monza meeting the fans.

 All photos ©

We caught up with Rich Tindale, the organiser of Ride2Monza. The 25-man team had just arrived at Monza after a 9-day, 1300km ride from Silverstone in support of charity.

Why Ride2Monza? “I was diagnosed with Multiple Scleroris (MS) in 2007. I had always enjoyed cycling, so started by doing a London to Paris ride with my best friend Si, and we raised 5000 GBP for the MS trust. I love F1, so I had the idea of organising the Ride2Spa, which 25 of us did in 2012 and raised 23000 GBP for five charities.

Before we did Ride2Spa, Si’s son Jasper was diagnosed with leukemia. He had a bone marrow transplant and was in hospital for 2 years, on and off. Unfortunately, he passed away last October but Si was determined to do something, so we went ahead and organised Ride2Monza in memory of Jasper. There was a lot of motivation for all of us to do this trip.

I have lived with MS for more than seven years. The initial prognosis wasn’t very good, but I am just sticking two fingers up and saying I can do it. We were at the top of a 2500m mountain pass yesterday and I thought, well I am not supposed to be here, but it’s a challenge and I am up for it.”

Read more and donate on the Ride2Monza website.

We spoke to Katrina and Dave at Grandstand 9 on Seconda Variante. They travelled all the way from Perth, Western Australia. As well as Monza, they were also at Spa two weeks ago to see their hometown hero Daniel Ricciardo take the victory.

Sally, Heidi and Nolan from the UK, sitting in Grandstand 8 on Prima Variante this weekend. First time at Monza? Heidi: “For Nolan and myself, it’s our first ever Grand Prix.” Sally: “I worked at Silverstone about 40 years ago! I am so excited to be here and love the atmosphere, even though there’s only practice on today” Who are you supporting this weekend? Heidi: “Nico! Also Jensen and Alonso.” Not Hamilton Fans, being from the UK? Nolan: “We are anti-Hamilton fans! Sally: “He is a brilliant racer but not a good sport.”

Big fans of Kimi, Markku and his family drove all the way from Finland to Monza in their campervan and will also take in the World Series by Renault next weekend at the Hungaroring. This year is Markku’s fifth trip to the Italian Grand Prix and he always sits at the grandstands near the Parabolica.

Have you been to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix? Send us a trip report!

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