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Kym Illman Newsletter – June 2024

What’s Kym been up to?

The past few months have been a whirlwind of excitement with Imola and Shanghai returning this year after neither taking place last year, plus an opportunity for Kym to play at being a tourist.

Things kicked off at the old-school racetrack that is Suzuka, Japan. Jayce was there with Kym for the Japanese Grand Prix, and whilst they might’ve stayed in one of the smallest hotel rooms on the F1 calendar, they had some great food returning to Kym’s favourite bar on the main street near the train station. They also enjoyed the opportunity to meet with some amazing fans at Kym’s meet n greet.

After the GP, Kym and Jayce raced each other back to Perth on separate flights, with Jayce beating Kym back by only a few hours. Kym enjoyed a week off in Lancelin before heading to Shanghai, China where F1 re-commenced racing after a 5-year hiatus. Kym engaged a local tour guide and was amazed to see how much the city had changed since his last visit. In fact, Kym said Shanghai was unlike any other city he’d recently travelled to despite the challenges connecting to the internet.

Following Shanghai, it was back home to Perth for a brief rest and opportunity to prepare for the next few months on the road. Then it was Perth to Miami – one of the longest flight routes Kym has all year. Don’t feel too bad for him though, he did have the luxury of spending 16 hours of the 30-hour journey in Qantas’ first class. See some of those 16 hours for yourself in his video below:

Although the Miami GP is usually met with mixed reviews, it turned out to be a hard weekend to beat, with Lando claiming his first F1 victory! The scenes were amazing, and even Kym himself got swept up in the excitement and emotion. Having been in F1 since Lando’s first race, watching him claim this much-deserved win was a real treat. It reminded Kym a little bit of when McLaren had a 1-2 finish in Monza and Daniel won – still one of his most emotional moments in F1.

After the Miami GP, Kym had some time to kill and asked fans for suggestions on where to go and what to see. Not being one to sit still and a man that likes his food, he devoted the next few days to eating a lot – his Cuban 8.7 out of 10 sandwich being a highlight, and hanging out in Key Largo. He also checked out the Miami Design District, watched an incredibly fast game of Jai Alai, as well as watching racing of a different kind (horses) at Gulfstream Park.

Next on the agenda was the old school race track Imola – the second of two races that didn’t occur last year. Before Imola, Kym had a short stop in Bologna with a day trip to Ferrari’s factory in Maranello – a visit he highly recommends to any F1 fans, and of course he has a restaurant recommendation for you if you are planning on visiting.

Imola was memorable for some beautiful tributes to Senna and Ratzenberger marking the 30-year anniversary of their deaths, then post-race Kym was joined by Jayce at Nice airport. From there they drove to Monaco, spending a few nights at the amazing Hermitage Hotel right in the heart of Monte Carlo before checking into a different hotel for the actual race period. During their stay at the Hermitage, they took some time to film around Monaco and explore the local hangouts, particularly Crazy Pizza, which Kym loved so much he insisted they eat there twice in one day!

The Monaco GP itself was nothing short of spectacular. Kym captured some incredible shots, especially of the aftermath of the opening lap crash – Jayce managed to get photos from on top of a building while Kym captured the action from the ground. Watching Charles Leclerc win his home race was an absolute joy for Kym as well. However, he had little time to soak in the emotional scenes post-race as he had to head straight to Nice General Aviation Terminal for his birthday charter flight to Nice.

Kym used his birthday (and a YouTube video) as a reason to treat himself, Tonya, Jayce, and sister-in-law Natalie to their first-ever flight on a private jet. All agreed it was an incredible experience and better than a commercial business class flight in terms of convenience through the airport and customs, and luxury and relaxation on board.

Now in Montreal for the Canadian GP, Kym and Jayce will bring their followers up to speed over the weekend and then head back to Barcelona where they’ll be joined by Kym’s older son Tyler, and his girlfriend Bree, as well as Jayce’s girlfriend Anika for the Illman family annual holiday.

Thank you for being a part of Kym’s adventures – he hopes to meet you at an F1 race soon, and as always, STAY PASSIONATE!