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
The first week of our trip has seen us lay quite a few miles under the wheels of the Rogue Sport and it’s time for a slight change of pace. Leaving St Petersburg behind, we head north along the Gulf coast. As delightful as the historic district is, it perhaps doesn’t shout ‘Florida’ with quite the same unmistakeable glee as Miami or the Keys.
Continue reading Florida Road Trip – Part Three
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
In truth, I’ve never had any great desire to visit Florida. While I’ve always been fascinated by the Louisiana Bayou, the nodding donkeys of Texas and the beat of Nashville, the palm trees of The Sunshine State have never really spoken to me. And yet, here I am at 37,000 feet staring down at another ‘plane, careering through the sky at 500mph on my way to a two-week sojourn around the southern-most state in America.
Continue reading Florida Road Trip 2019 – Part One