FORMULA One fanatics Sarah and Richard Harber won a trip of a lifetime while cheering on Lewis Hamilton at last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The Old Walcot couple have gone to Silverstone for the last 12 years and were staying at the circuit’s Whittlebury Park campsite when they found a golden ticket entitling them to an all-expenses paid trip to the sport’s season finale taking place in Abu Dhabi in November.
The ticket was hidden in one of 20,000 Abu Dhabi gift bags given to campers. As part of the prize, the golden couple will receive two return flights, a four-night hotel stay and race tickets.
“It’s like winning Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket,” said computer engineer Richard, 46.
“We’re really shocked. We’ve been visiting Silverstone for the last 12 years, but we’ve never been to a Formula One race overseas.”
The Harbers, who have a nine-year-old son Thomas, hope they’ll be celebrating Mercedes driver Hamilton being crowned World Champion during their trip. They were delighted to see Hamilton, who is currently second in the championship, taste victory in Sunday’s race.
Sarah, 41, a senior risk manager with Nationwide, said: “We had a great weekend, if a rather surreal one, and it was great to see Lewis win although we were a little disappointed that Jenson Button couldn’t quite get on to the podium and finished fourth.
“We are really looking forward to going to Abu Dhabi and fingers crossed we’ll see Lewis win the championship. I think one thing is for certain: the weather will be slightly different to what we are used to at Silverstone.”
The golden ticket competition was held to promote the twilight Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which has been part of the Formula One calendar for six years. The Harbers’ prize was provided by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
Nabeel Al Zarouni, the authority’s UK manager, said: “Massive congratulations to Sarah and Richard. We’re looking forward to welcoming them to Abu Dhabi in November. We hope they have a fantastic time at the Grand Prix and enjoy exploring everything else our destination has to offer.”
The race weekend will take place at the Yas Marina Circuit between November 20 and 23.
For more information about the event visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com.