Home > Uncle Biek > Classic Car Festival Assen 2006

Classic Car Festival Assen 2006

A mild sunstroke was the doctors verdict this afternoon, keep cool preferably multiple times a day and drink a lot.

It’s all my fault you know, I should have known better than going to an open circuit and be in the sun, no matter how short it was. I’m just not up to facing the sun unfortunately but it was so darn cool. Couldn’t help myself, time passes quickly when having fun. And boy was I having fun. :-)

On the first day we had a busy program with all classes having their free practice and some even qualification too. It were all blocks of racing from all classes and lasting somewhere near half an hour each.

The fun all started with a combined practice with the BMW E36 and Alfa Romeo Trophy. Personally I’m not that interested in those modern BMW’s and the more recent Alfa’s were not that special either. The classic GTA’s however were a treat to watch, man those things can sure give their modern counterparts a run for their money. That was the first small taste of ‘GTL live’ we had that day. How about that for a start.

The organization had everything smoothly under control. When the last car from one series was coming in, the cars for the next series were already lined up at the end of the pit lane so we never had more than 10 minutes where nothing happened. Great job.

After that the class that would become my absolute favorite that day (for obvious reasons of course ;-) was ready for launch. No less than 36 classic MG’s and Triumph’s were racing each other on the track, and among them was ‘my’ number 10 the car I would be in on Sunday.

I tell you, having a track that long, it’s about 4.5 kilometers, completely filled with classic cars does something to you. All I could think while sitting and watching was that someday I want to do that too. Some day I’ll be there too, you can count on that. This weekend has made some substantial changes to my way of thinking. Got a goal now, and it’s a racing seat. :-)

After the free practices it was time for the BMW’s to qualify followed by my beloved MG/Triumph competition. Not all the drivers in the MG/Triumph competition seemed aware that they were racing a classic sports car. Some of them were pushing those cars to their very limits. No more fun and games Sir. These guys were very serious.

Then the KS Tools competition had their bit of track time and this was a bit of a strange sight as only six cars were running around at that time. It was more like a demo I guess. Nice cars nonetheless.

After this session the guys from the organization needed a break I guess and had planned a pre-war parade. This meant all kinds of cars from the 1930’s and I have to admit that though this usually is not directly my kind of thing, there were some amazing cars present.

Now one would think that with a museum piece like the Bentley Blower one would take it a bit easy and make sure nothing happens to the car. Nope, that guys came blasting down the main straight like he had a train to catch, I mean blower whistling along and everything.

Only one guy did it even better. He had a 1930’s MG, you know one of those small spoke wheeled cigars on wheels. When the lights went out my new hero made a burn out with that car. Really, I thought I was watching a cartoon and almost tumbled form my seat laughing. Really amazing.

After lunch (a lot of cars participated in a club demo which allowed people to accompany a driver for a few laps on the track) it was absolute bliss. Genuine GT Legends live.

We had it all, one awesome white & blue striped Shelby GT350, a few Austin Healey’s, Ford Mustang, Alfa Romeo GTA, Lotus Cortina’s, Abarth 1000TC’s, Mini Cooper S, Ford Falcon, Jaguar E-Type, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Porsche 911, even a Ford Anglia, they were all there.

All together I think they formed a starting field of over 30 cars. Life just doesn’t get any better than that folks. When the lights went out and the cars roared away in the distance I could have died a happy man. Even when writing I still get goose bumps all over. It was just awesome.

And finally, Sunday afternoon, it was my time. I had talked to the owner of that silver MGB in the morning and he had told me exactly when to be where and I was there 10 minutes early.

‘Eager to get in, aren’t you?’ he asked. ‘Hell yeah’ was all I could bring out. My heartbeat was higher than it is at the start of the average GTL race and I was even shaking a little. I was going to be driven over the track in a real sports car.

First we needed to fill out some form that we wouldn’t hold the track responsible for any ‘inconvenience’ that might occur which I signed gladly. I would have signed just about any form at that point.

Then my brother in law Stevie got a form too. ‘You’ll need to sign one too of you want to come along’ the guy said. ‘Do you mean that I can go too?’ Stevie asked no believing what he heard. ‘Sure.’

I can not believe anyone smiling broader than the two of us that day. Who could ask for more?

Then it came driving into the pit lane slowly and Stevie was up first. I watch a real life shotgun driver change and off they went, for a out & in-lap over the track of Assen. I had handed Stevie the camera so we got it all on tape too :-)

After little over two and a half minute the car came back in and it was my turn. Once it had crossed the line at the end of the pit-lane that thing shot off like it was fired from Cape! Good Lord, the amount of grip and braking power that car had is nothing compared to what we ‘feel’ in GTL, not even close.

He said he was taking it a bit easy due to the track being wet and all. Yeah right. We did a clean 2 minute 23 seconds whereas he did a 2 minute 13 while qualifying the day before. Sure, taking it easy are you? :-D

Normally I would have gotten one out & in-lap like Stevie had but since I was the last in line and there was nobody waiting for a ride anymore I got no less than three laps in that monster of a car. I had tears coming up from happiness, it was unbelievably great. I’m not quickly running out of words to describe things but this time nothing comes close. Fantastic!!

No one could have had a better weekend than I had, nobody at all.

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