DTM – Hockenheim 2019

Japanese motor racing has always carved its own path. While F3, Group C and Super Touring have all offered an international flavour, for many years its indigenous Super GT category has thrived without any intercontinental commonality. Recent moves to homogenise with DTM under the Class One moniker (a throwback to the DTM’s wild excesses of the mid-90s) means that finally Super GT has a playground away from its Asian homeland. When it was announced that the big three manufacturers in the top GT500 class were all sending cars to compete in the DTM finale at Hockenheim, I had to be there.

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Isle of Man TT – Part Three

Friday is the big one: the Senior TT – the biggest prize in road racing. Idle bar banter in the Railway has led us to try a spot to the north of the island where the speeds are among the highest anywhere on the lap. We want to experience that breath-taking rush from the bikes skimming our ankles as they pass. A wise local has suggested we try the Cronk Y Voddy straight, advising us to seek out the kink part-way along for the ultimate buzz.

This means another dash to find parking and a prime view, and more mildly frustrating running around the island with packs of enduros and sports bikes swarming impatiently. Still, the opportunity to once again gun it through the derestricted zones past the spectators remains incongruous but thrilling.

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FIA Hillclimb Masters – Gubbio

£56 return on Ryanair: that was enough to persuade me that I couldn’t afford to miss this year’s FIA Hillclimb Masters. The biennial feast for uphill racers this year targeted Gubbio in Umbria for its third edition. A few days of autumnal sunshine in one of Italy’s prettiest regions and perhaps the finest hillclimb field in history proved irresistible.

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Isle of Man TT 2018 – Part One

It’s rare that a race meeting kicks off with a 4.30am kebab but as we thread our way through Liverpool during the early hours of Sunday morning among the late-night revellers, it’s hard not to wonder what on earth is going on. Our three vehicle convoy is bound for the docks and a date with an unpleasantly timed ferry to Douglas on the Isle of Man. I think I’d rather still be awake and chomping a kebab; only coffee and bacon can save me now.

Our party comprises two motorcycles and one heavily laden Porsche 911 Turbo. Ahead of us lies – with luck – a smooth ferry sailing followed by nine days of hedonistic speed freakery.

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