I’ve been lucky enough to do some thoroughly entertaining things in cars over the last two years. As part of the Shell Network of Champions I’ve driven Ferrari 458s round Ferraris Fiorano private test track in Italy and I’ve been taken around the Yas Marina GP circuit in Abu Dhabi in a two seater race car. Volvo kindly let me razz around the Top Gear track in a ludicrously powerful S60 T6 (3 litre V6 engine pumping out over 300bhp through an all wheel drive system, since you asked).
I doubt I’ll ever drive a car as beautiful or powerful as the Ferrari 458 again. It’s an astonishing car, and Ferrari’s private track is a great place to drive it. Equally the Volvo was a bit mad, and the Top Gear track madder still. The track is almost just like some kids playground game, marked out on the playground with chalk or cones. How they make it look like an actual track is beyond me.
Now, thanks to Nissan, I’m about to add the legendary Nürburgring to list of tracks I’ll have driven on! Nissan are taking part in a Guinness World record attempt to get the largest number of electric vehicles driving in a circle. It involves loads of different manufacturers but Nissan are actually entering one of the 100% electric Nissan LEAFs from the Big Turn On Challenge. I was lucky enough to drive NissanLEAFcar21, and Nissan are entering NissanLEAFcar20, the one driven by Jeroen De Hooge, so I’ll be looking out for horn marks in the roofing material.
|car21, much like car20 hopefully|
The Nürburgring is one of the worlds most legendary race tracks, originally built in the 1920s but really came to the fore post war when a select group of Ringmeisters arose to dominate the GP racing – Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart and Jacky Ickx. I might have had lunch with John Surtees (he’s a lovely chap) but I’ve never been on a track that he’s dominated on. Or even been on for that matter, so this is a golden opportunity.
The weekend itself is all about the ADAC Zurich 24h Race but for us, the chance to get on the track and try to beat a world record will of course be foremost in our minds.
Coming with me, is fellow TBTO contestant and all round mad chap, Yuri, who blogs over at Urbanvox. Last I heard, he was juggling with the luggage allowance by keeping all his tech gadgets and taking out all his changes of clothing. That’s bloke power!
If you’re of a mind, you can keep an eye out on what we’re up to under the #TBTO hashtag.