R35 GTR – Monaco bound

So our friends at slap! Adventures were doing a “Sunseeker” tour around Monaco, northern Italy, Switzerland and Germany, and to be honest, I fancied a bit of that action! A few months ago, I spoke to Ana about it, I talked to Rik @ slap! and it was done, money wired over and we were going. Awesome.

Fast forward a few months and it come around before we knew it! Prep time. Litchfield for a service, new front tyres and alignment, then home to get ready.

It started on the Saturday, the day before the scheduled start. We headed down for dinner with our friends in Kent before heading down to the unofficial start place at the Ashford International Hotel and Spa (nice hotel, slow bar service, nice breakfast, rock hard mattresses). Sunday morning, the smiling faces arrived, it was GO TIME! Some incredible cars there. Incredible. F12 N Largo, McLaren 600LT, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Aston Martin Vantage F1, Ferrari 812 GTS, etc.

We depart for the short drive to Folkestone, to get the EuroTunnel to Calais and make a real start. We had a (terrible) coffee at the Folkestone terminal before we made our way. Onwards!

The journey began coming out of Calais and heading towards Lyon, our first stop for the night. A lovely place out the edge of the city after a long, but speedy run through France. The standards of the driving over there are so much better than here, and the roads. Shame the fuel is eye gougingly expensive though.

We got some food at a services, a lovely sandwich before arriving at hotel, with a very secure sub-terranean car park. We brought the car up in the morning to ensure it was easier to get the case in and out. The simple things!

Day 2 was the final stretch to Monaco, and The Fairmont Hotel! Amazing place. Absolutely amazing place, right at heart of the Monaco hairpin, for those who know, it’s iconic.

After 3 days in Monaco, including drives out up to Red Rock Canyon, where rain stopped play, and then to Col de Turini where God was smiling on us. Although Ana sat that one out!

We had the best time in Monaco.

Fresh from another lovely breakfast in Monaco, we headed out east along the coast and quickly arrived in Italy where we encountered some pretty awful rain. But, the Italian motorways near Turin don’t seem to have any spray, the road surface in fantastic. Boring for the non-driver, but us on the autostrada, we were all taken aback. Anyway, enough of that, we went through to St Vincent in northern Italy for a night and had maybe the best breakfast view ever?

Lets carry on in to Swizterland, over the St Bernadino pass and then to Germany, and our VPower 100 fuel – which we need over here, and E85!

With a sense of finality, we headed towards Baden Baden for the final night. We indulged in the final nights meal, a few glasses of wine with friends old and new, before rounding off with a gin at the hotel, ahead of the monumental drive home.

In what turned out to be 13 hours, the final drive was long but good. 2660 miles from door to door over the week with some incredible sights seen and some even better memories made. Laughs were plentiful, and still continue several days after.

The Litchfield tuned and maintained GTR was simply superb. It didn’t miss a beat and left a lot more expensive machinery in its wake. It needs a little more response below 3000rpm for roads like the Col de Turini, but as a fast road car, it’s simply epic.

Until the next adventure, maybe with slap! again. They were fantastic.