Things are absolutely flat out here, as I try to get two US features and a pair of magazine columns done, before readying my Orange 911 Carrera 3.0 for the 2010 RGruppe Bergmeister Tour, and our subsequent trip to Classic Le Mans; back to our beautiful gîte in Dissay-sous-Courcillon.
The Dutch posse leaves Amsterdam at 07:30, heading for Belgium. The original idea was for the latecoming members of UK RGruppe (i.e. me and Hamish) to hook up with the German and Dutch cars (and the US IROC car which has been shipped in especially) somewhere south of Brussels at around 09:30, but that would mean getting an 05:30 train, so my leaving home before 3am.
Little brother gets in to Brum from Dublin at 8pm the previous night so, between getting the car done all day Friday and the Saturday night arrival in Geneva, I was staring down a double-barreled all-nighter. Not impossible with two drivers, but not much fun for either.
I considered missing the convoy and going straight to Geneva from Brittany Ferries’ Portsmouth to Caen route, which is actually quite a bit shorter, but a: it was booked solid and b: it kind of felt like cheating. I also considered an 11pm Chunnel crossing, driving to a hotel south of Brussels and getting 5 hours’ sleep before the Dutchies arrived, but that didn’t feel quite right: the tunnel is quick, but it’s a romance-free zone!
Then the thought occurred: what about sailing to the Netherlands overnight? Take a leisurely drive from Birmingham Airport to Harwich, slip onto Stena Line’s midnight boat to the Hook of Holland, which would get us into Rotterdam at around 08.30 CET as close to the tour start as possible, fully relaxed and rested. I ran the idea past Chaptermeister Stolk and he liked it too.
So that’s the plan. Pick up little bro, head to Harwich, put the Orange in the safe hands of Stena Line while we head upstairs, have a bit of dinner and chill out. We’ll then squeeze in some zeds in comfortable beds, before kicking off the 2010 Bergmeister Tour with enough energy to really get the most from the drive south to Thonon-les-Bains, on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Day two brings us to Briancon. Day three then takes us to Monaco, where Bergmeister Base Camp will be established at the Novotel in the old town. From there, our ten classic Porsches will spend three days running along some classic Monte Carlo routes and also the the famous Mediterranean Corniches: those unbearably photogenic roads, carved into the mountains where they meet the glistening sea. James Bond: eat your heart out! I’m looking forward to more France Porsche pictures like this:
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