Tag Archives: Road Trip

France Road Trip – 997 Carrera S

It’s 1 year on since the purchase of my 997 and on the realisation that I had only covered 1,476 miles between MOT’s, it’s about time a road trip was booked.

There is now a requirement for high vis and breathalisers along with the usual check list but adjustable head lights for driving on the continent saves one cost at least.

The plan was Guildford to Saint-Emilion via the tunnel taking the quickest route possible and enjoy the back roads on the return journey.

997 Carrera S

1st stop Chateau Grand Barrail, Saint-Emilion
Grand Barrail

2nd stop Le Manoir Les Minimes, Amboise


Convertible provided more picnic space than a Turbo or GT spoiler.

997 Picnic



Leonardo Di Vinci exhibition at Chateau du Clos Luce

Clos Luce

So, a year on with the 997:

Luggage space surprisingly good and the wind deflector kept the cabin quiet at motorway speeds.

Sat Nav never let us down but we did get through the cd changer – ipod/iphone compatibility would make a good addition.

I bought this car for fun, back road blasts and the fact that I’d always wanted a 911. As a long distance cruiser the Panamera would have been much more comfortable but every time we hit a B road I forgot about that.

More details on the 997 Carrera S Cabriolet.

Out – A28, A10 through Le Mans and Tours, 650 miles, 65 euros tolls.
Return – Back roads, 3 night stop in Amboise (Loire Valley), no tolls and nearly 1000 miles but much more enjoyable.
MPG – 26.7 reported with a real mix of driving.

German Grand Prix Road Trip

With a team of 14 we left London in an 11 plate Mercedes E250 Estate on 19’s and air ride (very comfortable for 4 x 6ft+ 14st+ portly squires), 03 Audi A4 3.0 Covertible (not so comfy for 4), MK1 TT 225 (very comfy for 2), big Citroen (carrying 2) and a very masculine looking Mini Cooper S (also carrying 2).


On Route


Driving in convoy and catching a 16:20 train to Calais on Friday 22nd July, via the Channel Tunnel, we stopped off in the Novotel Centrum in Bruges, Saturday in Koblenz (Hotel Haus Morjan on the river) and over to Nurburg Sunday am for the F1.


Even after the overhaul of Silverstone, a few of the guys commented on how organised everything was including nearly no traffic into or out of Nurburg. Map at the top outlines the Nurburgring and park zone B area 5 and 5a were excellent and free.

The days time was spent between the Info Centre, (where you have to buy cards to put money on before you can purchase food/drink – a bit annoying), gawping at the Porsche, Aston Martin, BMW M Power, Ferrari etc stands and then sitting in Tier 6 and later sneaking into 4.

Hamilton Wins German F1

German F1 Nurburgring

Can’t believe how close you can sit to the track and everyone needed ear plugs. Awesome race to be at and so much suspence with Hamilton storming into the lead in the first corner (why can’t Webber ever start well?), constant battle for 1st place with Hamilton re-overtaking Webber after he broke too late. Webber and Alonso pushed Hamilton back into 3rd and with some good strategy and tyre choices by Mclaren, Hamilton took the chequered flag with only a few laps to go, incredible! Not so much luck for Button with hydraulic issues and Vettel was off the pace. This is a fantastic venue for the F1 and we did see a ‘Save the Nurburgring Brigade’, so hope it’s not the last. Ears are still bleeding but left the F1 at 17:00 and made a 21:20 train – took 7 hours from Silverstone to Guildford I hear.

Le Mans Camping Road Trip

It’s 3 days on from Le Mans 2011 and I’m still recovering… but, would I do it again?! Of course!

Here’s what we did – As a team of 7 and joining a close friend for his stag do, we hired a motor home from Just Go at a cost of £800 for 4 days, which was collected on the Thursday prior to the weekend. Departing from Folkestone via the Channel Tunnel at 10:20, we had an entire carriage to ourselves with room to spread out and have a game of rugby.

Euro Tunnel Rugby

The drive down in the motor home took a little longer than expected and we arrived at our first traffic jam on the way into Bleu Nord, via Arnage and the infamous ‘burn-out’ roundabout.

Route to Le Mans

Pitching up at Beausejour around 18:00 with a couple of short stops and traffic jams on the way (didn’t feel that long due to us gawping at the number of classic Porsches, Ferraris and Astons), we found a quiet spot inside the track about a mile from the 2 chicanes before the main grandstand.

Le Mans Campsite

Unfortunately there was no qualifying to watch on the Friday, so we wandered up to the roundabout we’d heard so much about. Years ago, talented drivers turned up in Ferrari’s and Porsche’s and drifted around the roundabout. This year it was a bit more Honda Civic with fwd burnouts but every now and again something interesting turned up. There were French riot police on stand by and some very loud bangers and fireworks going off. This was entertaining on a boys trip for a bit but we would have much rather seen some more exotic cars turning up and the drivers not to feel threatened by drunk yobs standing in the road shouting ‘gummi gummi gummi’.

Le Mans roundabout

The 24 hour race started at 15:00 on the Saturday and we made our way over to the start of the 2 chicanes. Seated by a large crowd of Danish supporters for Tom Kristensen in the Audi, we felt in good company. Within a few laps of the race, Tom pitted and Alan McNish took over and we heard the news on the Le Mans radio station (91.2) about the crash. The radio coverage was a must if you aren’t within site of a TV or in the grandstand.

Everyone was in agreement that the Corvettes sounded incredible but you can clearly see the speed the GT cars have to scrub off pre-corner apposed to the full on Le Mans racers such as the Audi and Peugeot, however these cars sounded like hoovers and the GT cars were more exciting for the spectator.

In the evening we ventured out under the bridge, past Arnage and followed the general direction of traffic. On route, 5 out of the 7 of us fell in ditches due to no lights beside the road and possibly, slightly alcohol related, but hey, it was a stag do. The sharp right hander we ended up at next to the track was awesome. Witnessing the cars on full throttle from the Mulsanne straight, into a chicane, back on the power and through a fast right hander was exhilarating and this must be the best spot. The Corvette made my insides shake from the volume and the bass – I’m still looking at second hand prices of the Z06 and maybe Fast German could be expanded to include the Astons, Corvettes and Ferraris of this world.

Le Mans Lights

Le Mans Night

Le Mans M3 Crash

3 solid days of drinking, eating burgers and listening to Le Mans noise and I’m shattered. A long drive home and thanks to the UK for closing the M20.

Just Go Motor Home

That was good fun getting a 7ft 6 motor home through country roads. Fantastic pictures provided courtesy of James Lipman and unfortunately I can’t post the more stag related ones :-).