USA Road Trip 2017 – Part Two

In the interests of true road tripping, we have again introduced a little jeopardy to a serious day’s motoring. We have tickets for NASCAR’s third-tier Camping World Truck Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Not only does this mean six hours of driving, but we have no time zone straddling to aid our progress.

We treat the multi-storey hotel car park as an opportunity to warm up the Challenger and it’s impossible not to giggle as the big ole brute rocks on its springs from the torque – virtually from idle. The noise is outrageous for a production sedan.

It’s unusual to tap a destination into a sat nav and find oneself with no directions for a full 200 miles but the I-40 East will convey us for almost 300 miles – right into the Smoky Mountains. Bearing in mind our location, vehicle and the extent of driving ahead of us, it feels right to deploy some real driving music: Credence Clear Water Revival. Now we’re in business.

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Italian Road Trip – Part Four

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We hit Florence at rush hour. Doing so as a passenger in my new and rather precious motor doesn’t do much to relax me. Mercifully, after many navigational errors (mine), honked horns (the Florentines’) and a couple of aggressive launches from the traffic lights (Mrs Motorcardiaries’), we finally find ourselves at Hotel Royal. This Fawlty Towers-esque establishment suffers from awkward access, ambivalent staff and a sense of rapidly fading grandeur. Still, there’s a sizeable car park and we’re five minutes’ walk from the bustle of central Firenze.

Continue reading Italian Road Trip – Part Four

Italian Road Trip 2016 – Part One

They say the best ideas always come about over a drink – and so the cliché is proven when some semi-inebriated route-planning on the overnight ferry from Hull brings to light that the legendary VLN race series is in action at the Nürburgring tomorrow. We have three hours from disembarking the boat at Rotterdam until the lights go out and 100 snarling GT and touring cars are unleashed around the full Nordsliefe. Can we make it?

At the risk of immediately removing all suspense from the scenario, ‘no’ is the short answer, for even with sections of derestricted autobahn and 480bhp on tap, progress is slow. We finally reach Adenau about an hour into the race, dump the car at Aldi, buy some basic lunch provisions and head for the trackside.

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