Motor racing is a sensory experience and it’s always refreshing when an event carries its own scent. The forests of Finland smell divine, with wild blueberries growing on the ground; a wholesome adjunct to the lunacy of rally cars flying over lethal crests. In central Florida, one is never far from the smell of the orange groves.
Continue reading Florida Road Trip – Part Four
From Fort Lauderdale, we head back south once again, this time skirting Miami and continuing onto the famous Florida Keys. The archipelago arcs south and west over 120 miles, ending at Key West. Our conservative schedule sees us in an AirBnB towards the upper end of the Keys in Key Largo – and not an especially glamorous corner. That said, we are a short walk from a bustling local restaurant which vends great beer and serves a cracking blackened mahi mahi. It also offers a first chance to try key lime pie which is a contrast to the type of gravy-laden pastry creations we are accustomed to in Yorkshire.
It would appear that anywhere in this area selling key lime pie will attempt to pass it off as ‘the world’s best’ so it’s hard to make an empirical judgement without trying every one (which is tempting). It is fair to say, though, that this is among the best desserts I’ve ever tasted and virtually warrants the trip by itself.
It is easy to forget in America that there is often purpose beyond merely eating and drinking. Key West beckons and it’s a relaxed three-hour drive. Much of the drive along US Route 1 is through lightly populated areas, though the many islands are linked by scores of bridges, offering tantalising glimpses of blue seas and coral reefs. The usual proliferation of bars and restaurants lines the highway though they are distinctive and characterful with many decorated with fibreglass sharks or manatees.
Continue reading Florida Road Trip 2019 – Part Two
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.
Continue reading DTM – Hockenheim 2019
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.
Continue reading Isle of Man TT – Part Three
£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.
Continue reading FIA Hillclimb Masters – Gubbio