runs a golf and coun­try club: the Whit­tle­bury Park con­cern that oc­cu­pies land ad­ja­cent to Sil­ver­stone. But dur­ing the week of the Bri­tish GP, he’s ef­fec­tively a camp­site man­ager. That isn’t do­ing him a dis­ser­vice: for one week he barely sleeps, en­sur­ing that ev­ery sin­gle per­son who stays at the Whit­tle­bury site (on the far side of the Mag­gotts/ Beck­etts cor­ners) has an en­joy­able week­end. And that process com­mences the Mon­day after the pre­vi­ous year’s event.

When F1 Rac­ing vis­its Sargeant, it’s late May and the grass is be­ing cut around the site. It will be cut again, and again in the lead up to the race week­end on 8-10 July. After a tour of the land, you be­gin to ap­pre­ci­ate the scale of the op­er­a­tion. He’s ef­fec­tively build­ing a mini city – over just a few elds.

“We will have 9,000-15,000 thou­sand cam­pers dur­ing the Bri­tish GP week­end, plus a few thou­sand cars,” he says. “That keeps us busy, as all those peo­ple want elec­tric­ity, wa­ter, toi­lets and show­ers. Ev­ery­thing is planned to the tini­est de­gree.”

Sargeant’s fam­ily has owned the land for years and he’s been help­ing Bri­tish GP cam­pers en­joy their stay since he was a boy. He also has a very loyal team, peo­ple with “sen­si­ble day jobs”, who ev­ery year come and help, for the love of the event.

“We have all been do­ing it for so long, we know what to do in a cri­sis,” he says. “But we do have con­tin­gency plans for pretty much ev­ery­thing you can think of; con­tam­i­na­tion to the wa­ter sup­ply, if we need to evac­u­ate the site, wet weather, bomb scares, out­breaks of dis­ease – we can keep on top of it.”

The pro­por­tion of re­turn­ing cam­pers is roughly 85 per cent and they usu­ally stay on the same plot of land each year – meet­ing the same neigh­bours they had 12 months ear­lier. In ad­di­tion the Whit­tle­bury Park es­tate is also home to the F1 Rac­ing fan vil­lage and has restau­rants and bars on site, too.

“We go the ex­tra mile to en­sure ev­ery­one has a unique ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Sargeant, “but or­gan­i­sa­tion is so large that plan­ning for 2017 will be­gin as soon as this year’s race stops.”

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