Lucky couple bag all-expenses paid trip to F1’s season finale
Formula One fans Sarah and Richard Harber from Old Walcot, Swindon found the Golden Ticket at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, winning the couple a luxury all-expenses paid trip to November’s season-ending F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – rapidly emerging as the most glamorous meeting of the series.
The ticket was hidden in one of 20,000 Abu Dhabi gift bags distributed to race-going campers at the Whittlebury Park campsite, renamed the Abu Dhabi Fan Zone for the Silverstone event.
The lucky couple scooped two return flights to Abu Dhabi on the multi-award-winning national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, four nights in a luxury hotel and tickets to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, courtesy of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), Etihad Airways and Yas Marina Circuit.
Pictured: The Golden Ticket prize is unveiled to F1 fans Sarah and Richard Harber – l-r, Sarah Harber, Richard Harber, Nabeel Al Zarouni, TCA Abu Dhabi’s UK Country Manager.
Below: The F1 Golden Ticket prize winners are congratulated by Team Yas Marina and Nabeel Al Zarouni, TCA Abu Dhabi’s UK Country Manager
Abu Dhabi’s twilight race (21-23 November) is the season finale to the F1 year and could prove a decisive race for Lewis Hamilton’s championship hopes.
Richard Harber said the couple have never visited Abu Dhabi before, and are looking forward to celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary in the emirate.
“It’s like winning Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket!” said Richard. “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.”
“What an incredible experience to build up to,” added Sarah. “It’s one of those complete chance moments – we’re massively looking forward to it,” said Sarah.
The love of car racing runs in the Harber family with son Thomas, aged nine, also making the trip to the Goodwood festival of speed last month.
Last year’s prize winners, Emma and Michael Thompson, were present to pass on their congratulations to the couple.
“It’s never somewhere we thought we’d visit, but it was brilliant. We’ve even booked to go to Abu Dhabi again this year,” said Emma.
The prize was part of a promotion during the British Grand Prix to raise awareness of the Abu Dhabi race. Now in its sixth year, the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the emirate’s highest-profile event and is attended by sporting, cinema and entertainment celebrities from around the world.
Nabeel Al Zarouni, TCA Abu Dhabi’s UK Country Manager, said: “Massive congratulations to Sarah and Richard! We’re looking forward to welcoming them to Abu Dhabi in November. As this will be their first time in the emirate, we hope they have a fantastic time at the Grand Prix and enjoy exploring everything else our destination has to offer.”
“Abu Dhabi is even more alive than usual during the Grand Prix and Sarah and Richard can expect an unparalleled sporting experience. They will also find plenty to keep them entertained in the emirate away from the F1.”
Abu Dhabi will feature a powerful musical sideshow to the Grand Prix, with Yasalam, the largest city-wide programme of concerts organised by any F1 host city. Crowds will be wowed with a packed programme of world-class events including international performers each night at the du Arena, stunning firework displays and a flypast of Etihad Airways’ new Dreamliner.
The race takes place at the state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit – the only F1 track with shaded grandstand seating. Ticket prices for the four-day showpiece weekend, running from November 20 through to the November 23 Grand Prix, have been frozen at 2013 levels and are available at www.yasmarinacircuit.com and www.ticketmaster.ae.