Friday mornings of departure day for our European road trips are always mildly stressful affairs. Especially if you’re not staying at the meeting point and have to drive to Folkestone from Central London. Are all the hotels booked? Have we confirmed valet parking everywhere? Did I leave the Hungarian Grand Prix tickets in the safe? Or worse, on the roof of my car as I left St Johns Wood (its never happened)? Double, triple, and quadruple checking, are very much the order of the day. When we arrived at the Folkestone International Hotel (predictably) everything was fine. Even better than that, everyone was on time and had forgotten nothing.
Our guests on this trip had come from all over; Australia, Miami, Boston, Yorkshire, and a big group from Luton. And what a brilliant bunch of guys they were. There was a distinctly Germanic feel to the cars as we left. A string of 997s, more M-Cars than you can shake a stick at, a pair of C63 AMGs, plus a whole host of other exotica in the form of 718 Caymans, and various Porsche GT3s and GT4s. A special mention has to go to the two guys from Yorkshire, who were unable to start their slightly leggy Aston Vantage that morning and had to come in a 15 year old diesel VW Golf.
After getting off at Calais at 10am the convoy made their way to Baden-Baden via Ghent. The first days drive is usually the most forgettable, as we all try to knock-out as many miles as possible so we have the most time in the mountains. But stopping Ghent for lunch really was worthwhile. A few of the more committed petrolheads even headed straight to the Nurburgring to get a few laps in before it closed.