If Dijon was down and dirty with
everyone seemingly fixing something or simply infused with the
sheer excitement of the myriad twists and turns of the circuit then
Magny Cours was fast and efficient. Arriving at the circuit it was
clear to see where the money had been spent in the last few years
as Magny Cours has some very nice facilities, pretty much what you
would expect from a current F1 circuit. Having said that it didn't
have the charm of years gone by that Dijon seemed to have aplenty. The layout was more anodyne too, with the typical modern
F1 circuit, punctuated with long straights and tight hairpins
seemingly rendering it much more of a 'point and squirt' circuit.
It wasn't all bad though as it is still quite a lot of fun to
drive. Of the current crop of F1 circuits I have driven it
is nowhere the sense of occasion and sheer brilliance of Spa but
is far better than the lacklustre Silverstone.
If Dijon was hot then Magny Cours
was even hotter. The day started with brilliant sunshine and deep
blue skies. It stayed that way throughout.
Following J5 into 'Circuit Nevers
As always after sign on was the
briefing. Pictures once again courtesy of Picman
The Euro trippers still buzzing from
Dijon attend the drivers' briefing
J5 (first on right) runs through the
briefing with his usual aplomb for one liners!
Sarah the powerhouse of BaT joins J5
with the briefing
J5 pointing toward the pit-exit for
those in need of 98Ron 'sans plomb'
Meanwhile in the BaT pit-garage
Scruffy pours in the Super 'sans plomb' into J5's eRise. Scruffy
was in 'horsepower' mode throughout the whole trip, he looked
The weather was as you can see,
gorgeous, though lucky for me there was some shade at the end of
the pit-lane. As usual there was a plethora of exotica and one of
my faves the Noble M12 3R
The gorgeous and purposeful Noble M12
3R prepped and ready to go
After an hour or so of working the
pit-lane Martin popped over and gave me the thumbs up for a drive.
Magny Cours does have some pretty fast sweeping corners though
these are mainly the very fast left first turn before Estoril
which can be pretty hairy.
Lovely orange Exige (which is the
inspiration behind the websites background colour), in the
background is the ballsy first left
Naturally seeing a fast sweeping
corner is like dangling a carrot in front of my nose and well, I
just had to try it faster and faster. Eventually with a turn-in of
just over 90mph the back of the car went a bit light just after
turn-in which I corrected without much of a problem. The trouble
was that the next part of the corner tightens further so I was
running out of track and attempted to turn-in whilst barely out of
a slight slide. Result? The car didn't want to know and in an
instant with opposite lock on I was flying backwards across the
track, through some grass and very nearly ending up on the last
part of the pitlane exit (which is out of view in above pic)! All
very dramatic and no harm done. Incidentally a F355 Challenge car
did much the same but likely at higher speeds which ended in a
brushing of the tyre wall. Aside from that I totally behaved
myself and had a lot of fun with the torque (all 220lb/ft of it)
from Martin's Roadster turbo and fairly gooned round 180R, well it
was very hard not to provoke a slide just for the fun of it!
Martin as you can see got carried
away with the gooning!
Very naughty, but lots of fun!
Martin in action again, this time a
view from behind
Me, showing commitment halfway
Same corner, but with F355 I have
As you can see from the pics,
Martin was very much in gooning mode and really enjoying himself
out there. Though I had the one dramatic spin, Martin was the
ever-present spinning top with some very nice pirouettes!
All in all this was a fantastic
trip and every corner was of course relived over some dinner
alfresco that evening.
A very big thanx to Martin once
again for inviting me and letting me drive/spin his car and of
course to J5, Sarah and the BaT crew for organising the whole