MORE than 2,000 people attended the Almeria Festival of Speed (AFS) at the race track in Tabernas last Friday.
The AFS was organised by Spectrum FM radio and sponsored by the EWN, La Voz de Almeria and Cadena SER radio.
Circuit owner, David Garcia said he couldn’t believe how many people had turned up, especially as it was a working day. He said there had been more people than at last year’s Andalucian Championships, held on a Sunday. It was also one of the largest displays of cars and motorbikes ever held on the Costa Almeria.
Participants raced to record their best times on the track which reached a temperature of 65ºC, 20 more than at the previous weekend’s European Grand Prix.
The “hot laps,” that passengers paid for in race cars with professional drivers had to be cut short because of the heat. Ten air-cooled cars also had to pull out because they couldn’t run in such high temperatures. The hardy owners of display cars that were still there at 3pm, were given three free laps, in recognition of their endurance.
Despite the weather conditions, there were no accidents and people spoke highly of the event. Organiser, Richard Shanley of Spectrum FM said that he had been impressed by the professional and safety conscious way Kevin Healy of focused Events had run the track. Competitor, Stuart Robinson said that when Shanley said it had been a shame some cars cancelled because of the 47 degree heat, he had told him, “You are not God.” However, Robinson said that for 98 per cent of the crowd (including himself), it felt like they were, “in heaven,. He thanked all the organisers for an, “absolutely fabulous day.”
Homemade food as well as music and dancing by Rough Justice, The Eric Morecambes, the Julie Bruce Dance Academy and Carrie’s Dusty Boots added to the Festival’s party atmosphere. There were stalls by Los Amigos de los Animales de los Filabres and PAWS animal charities. Costa Coches and SRS Vehicle Services were on hand to answer any motorsport-related questions.
For just 5€ a piece, guests were given the chance to be chauffeur driven around the race-track in a luxury pink limousine and treated to a glass of bubbly. Freestyle stunt rider, Greg Rowbottom of Los Gallardos, entertained the crowds with his wheelies.
Shanley said that they now have a basic blueprint for next year’s AFS. They know what works and what doesn’t, and that hopefully the AFS II will be bigger and better (and hopefully a bit cooler), than the first. He said it had been a steep learning curve, but that overall he was very pleased with the inaugural festival. He thanked all display car owners and competitors for making it a day to remember.
See more than 800 photos of the AFS on Spectrum FM’s Facebook page: Spectrum FM Costa Almeria.