Over the years? Smart Roadster Brabus, Subaru Impreza WRX, Mercedes E500, Renaultsport Megane R26.R, Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, Range Rover Sport, Lotus Exige, Renaultsport Clio 197, McLaren 12C (the list goes on...)
Belgium: fuel and chance meetings only highlights
"This isn't meant to be the definitive route to the Nurburgring, it just happens to be the one I end up using and, over the years, has become as essential a part of the ritual as steak on a stone and a frothing glass of Bitburger. Everyone will have their own variations on this theme - by all means share yours below - but, basically, this is the interesting bit of the journey once past Brussels and Liege and the point where the landscape becomes hilly and forested and the goosebumps and nerves begin to kick in.
"No more so than after dark, when the trees seem taller and closer to the road. Or, as happened once, you take a wrong turn and end up in some oompah-based night time street party in the middle of rural Germany.
A supercar and a quiet, derestricted Autobahn...
"Anything's a welcome distraction after the dull, flat and featureless motorways across Belgium. As it spears south the E42 suddenly gets more interesting as it follows the contours of the Ardennes hillsides and passes Spa. Just over the German border you branch east and onto the back roads that take you to the 'ring, these quiet rural roads pretty much as enjoyable as the circuit itself and always a great scene setter for what's ahead. As an alternative you can stay on the E42, enjoy some quiet derestricted Autobahn and then head north from the Moselle, making for a bit of a dog-leg but very rapid one."
Why it's a dream drive:
"Any trip to the 'ring is a special one and over the years I've had so many fantastic trips there I always get a tingle of excitement as I leave the motorway at Prum and know I'm on the final - and most enjoyable - stretch of the journey. The roads are so good you could spend a few days driving round here and not even go near the Nordschleife and still think you'd had the drive of your life!"
German country roads are the 'ring's equal
Highlights and lowlights:
"Once off the E42 and past Prum the road rises and plunges across the rolling Eifel landscape, alternating between wide open meadow and traditional German pine forest. The roads are quiet, smooth and well-sighted and the scenery and surroundings couldn't be more German if they tried. The closer you get to the 'ring the more signs you get of what lurks in the forest beyond, the motorsport hostels with car parks full of disguised prototypes (midweek) or GT3s and M3s from across Europe (weekends) letting you know you're getting close.
"As the 'ring approaches the butterflies in the stomach really get going and you tick off the landmarks that signify the track is getting closer - the beautiful sweep down into Kelberg, the climb up from Mullenbach, the looming edifice that is the Ring Werk, the junction to Nurburg where a thousand prototype spy shots have been bagged. The list goes on!
May as well put a few laps in once you're there...
"And this with the lowlights of the typically wet, crowded and boring trundle across France and Belgium, livened up only by spotting other Brits doing the same thing. It's like a mini Le Mans convoy every weekend! Frankly the first three quarters of the journey is a schlep - the last bit makes it all worthwhile though."
Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
"This is a Dream Drive as much about the destination as the journey but don't let that track overshadow the sense of anticipation and building excitement! Everyone will have their habitual fuel stops across Belgium, memorable bits of road ('that' level crossing for instance...) and preferred refreshment stops. Spa is a minor diversion if you're doing the double-header of both tracks and after a hopefully safe couple of days on the Nordschleife you'd be missing out if you didn't stop at a getrankemarkt (plenty along the way, including on the way out of Gerolstein) and pick up a few crates of proper German beer for a fraction of what it costs in Waitrose.
Beer and steak your reward at the end
And if it's not just a lads' weekend the Moselle and Rhine valleys with their vineyards and fairytale castles are lovely,
an especially scenic little town full of half-timbered buildings and traditional German hostels. Nearby cities offer shops and more sophisticated attractions, the swanky
Konigsallee in Dusseldorf
perfect if you need to trade track time for a shopping trip."
My Dream Drive is sponsored by Dunlop Tyres. To share yours email us at
- if we publish your Dream Drive you'll get a pair of complimentary tickets to the BTCC round of your choosing, courtesy of Dunlop Tyres.
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