1,200 miles across FOUR countries in 72 hours.

England-France- Holland-Belgium-Holland-Belgium-France-England. Phew! That was some drive! And it all started for me at midnight, Thursday the 24th of August when I ran out of fuel on Hangar Lane…

I won’t bore you with the details of how a Porsche 911 GT3 was left stranded on Hangar lane in the early hours of Friday, a mere few hours before I was supposed to catch the 3:27 Le Shuttle service to Calais. I will not also bore you with the details of how the situation was rectified. I will just say it involved a lot of sweat and jogging and a resigned and irritated Missus.

Anyway, disaster averted and I headed to Folkestone from West London, a journey of around 100 miles via the M25 and as I had lost over an hour with the fuel issue (insert rolling eyes emoji here) I could not hang about. Not ‘hanging about’ would become the recurring theme over the next three days. So I got to Folkestone to meet up with the rest of the ‘2017 Belgian Grand Prix  Road Trip Posse’  and catch our scheduled service which had now been delayed till just past 5am. And what a posse it was! No, I’m not talking about the guys, great as they were, I was talking about the cars they brought. There were three Porsches: a 911 GT3, a latest spec 911 Carrera and a Panamera, There were 2 Mercedes Benzes, including a stonking G63 AMG, side exhausts and all and there were TWO Ferrari California T’s. That made us a 3,500 BHP convoy…

We would be meeting our G63 driving friend in Calais as he could not join us on the shuttle due to height restrictions and we would be meeting one of the Ferrari drivers later on that weekend.

Friday. France.

We loaded the cars onto the shuttle and and 40 minutes later we were in Calais, France. Amsterdam here we come! I was designated ‘Red 1’ or Pilot. Basically I was in charge of navigating for the whole itinerary. That is 7 trips, across 4 countries in 72 hours. Thanks guys. The job of ‘Red 1’ is not as easy as it first seems, you have to drive at a brisk but not dangerous pace, a pace which all the cars and drivers can keep, while ensuring that the convoy remains intact. This means signalling turns well in advance, not making any sudden or dangerous maneuvers and driving with one eye on the rear-view mirror.  ‘Red 1’ one was also responsible for making sure the convoy does not fall foul of any speed cameras and traps en-route. It also calls for a lot of discipline, awareness and good judgement from the following drivers.

So we filled up at the petrol station just outside the port and started the 366 km journey to Amsterdam which was our base for the weekend.

Friday. Amsterdam.

We arrived in Amsterdam about 3 hrs later after an uneventful journey and checked into our hotels. Most of us were staying at the Marriott hotel  near the town center. The rest of the day was spent settling in and working as some of us had to ‘work from home’ from Amsterdam! 

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I just like doing stuff. Preferably on wheels.

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43 thoughts on “The Great Belgian Grand Prix Road Trip

  1. Lovely piece. You need to start writing books. You bring your write ups to life. I felt like I was there with you guys. Nice one Akin!!

  2. Kinzo, (or should I say Red One) really good writing, you captured the spirit and the feel of those 3 days so accurately. Reading it makes me feel like I was back there again. Well done dude!

  3. Explain to me how a Porsche GT3 came to run of petrol .. you thought I will not hold on to that ? ?? Glad to read how much fun your road trip was and you all came back safe. It’s these moments away ” from the madddning crowd” that give some sanity. The writing drew me in and made me almost feel like I was there. ??

    1. ‘Bella. I collected the car from Porsche after some wheel balancing work with NO fuel in the tank. This was no problem as the dealership was only 4 miles from home. I then stopped at the fuel station to buy the particular brand of fuel I use, to find out I had lost my cards…so thought I’d drive back home and pick up another payment card…that’s when I ran out of fuel…sigh

  4. That was a nice read Akin, felt like I was watching a movie, an attribute of a good storyteller. Will definitely be part of next year crew.
    1 life, live it to the fullest.

  5. Another brilliant write up Akin, well done and great fun, reminds me of the Le Mans trip I did in 2009 with Stratstone motors ?? might do 2018 trip.

  6. Great article. Great trip. Great GP! I remember getting up to 175mph in a Murciélago on my way to Essen in 2005. I chickened out as i approached 2 trailers on a slight curve on the motorway! It was simultaneously the most exhilarating and frightening thing i have ever done.

    I will come on one of these trips sometime; and i plan to disrupt the European hegemony. I’ll be bringing a Nissan GTR.

  7. Beautifully written , but you could not resist the temptation to speed forcing your friends to keep up,???
    5 speeding tickets for you ??. I agree with Adj , you should write books .

  8. Beautifully written , but you could not resist the temptation to speed forcing your friends to keep up,???
    5 speeding tickets for you ??. I agree with Adj you should write books .

  9. Hi Akin. Amazing trip you guys had. I have something to ask of you. I have a quarterly issue magazine under development titled Manifesto Africa – lifestyle and luxury for the African Man. I would love to reproduce your experience in the first edition to come out in October. What say you?

  10. “The harder I pushed the car, the more alive the car seemed to be, absolutely wired to your senses, man and machine as one”—-Loved this!

    Captivating writing! Not a speed bot by any means but I thoroughly enjoyed readibg your account of a thrilling weekend! Mesnerised by every word, you paint a wobderful pucture! All the best for next year!

  11. Great article bro. Sounds like a truly awesome blast. Imagine being tucked in between all those reving monster engines?

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