Racing Back…

Driving should never feel routine. There’s always scope to mix a bit of adventure into every journey.

Hence, when I was sat drinking beer on a French campsite last week, contemplating the drive back to the UK from my annual rock climbing trip to Fontainebleau, in France, an idea was formed – use the journey to visit 4 different racetracks, in 4 different countries, in 4 days.  Here’s a few pictures from the journey; enjoy:

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Day 1, Track 1.  The old Reims-Gueux Grand Prix Circuit, France.

In use from 1926 to 1972, the old GP circuit at Reims has now been taken over by public roads, but the old grandstands, pits and race control buildings still stand, frozen in time since the last racecars left. A truly evocative place.

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Day 2, Track 2. The Nurburgring Nordschleife, Germany.

Reputations don’t come much bigger than this! For 90 years now, the 14 miles of sinuous tarmac which constitutes the ‘Green Hell’ has enchanted and terrified generation after generation of racing drivers. In typical 80Breakdowns fashion, we rocked up to lap the circuit sporting only a hangover and a crusty old Volvo estate, which suffered from brake fade before making it even halfway around, contributing to a leisurely 11:56 lap time.

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Day 3, Track 3. Spa Francorchamps GP Circuit, Belgium.

An early start saw us leaving the ‘ring at the crack of dawn, and arriving at Spa just as a private trackday was getting underway, punctuating the crisp morning air with dozens of roaring exhausts. A spot of sightseeing at Au Rouge proved a fine way to start the day, and whetted our appetite to book onto a track day here later in the year.

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Day 4, Track 4. Santa Pod Raceway, England.

The final racetrack of our convoluted journey home was Santa Pod, Britain’s foremost drag racing venue. Sadly our goal of seeing how fast the Volvo would run a quarter mile was thwarted by the sheer number of people wanting to take to the track, but as someone who’s never been to a drag racing meet before, it was still interesting to see what’s involved in this often-maligned branch of motorsport.

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So there’s how a routine 12 hour commute back to the UK turned into a 4 day adventure. And predictably, the next mini-roadtrip adventure is already being planned…

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