Posted on June 28, 2021.
By Alistair Stevenson.
For the non-hardcore race spectators amongst us, the Grand Tour, over the Croft Competizione Weekend, offered a fabulous balance of ‘relaxed’ open-road driving, stately home visit, superb dining and accommodation whilst still catching all the action of Sunday’s racing and track events. Best of both worlds!
A wonderfully eclectic mix of 17 cars from the Yorkshire, Essex, North West, North East and Scottish area groups signed up to enjoy almost 300 miles of delightfully quiet northern roads. From a ‘fresh-out-of-the-box’ SF90 to a ‘been there, done that’ Dino, spiders and non-arachnids, all just happy for the opportunity to blow away the cobwebs and enjoy time behind the wheel, exploring a little corner of North Yorkshire with its long stretches and sweeps, sleepy villages and brooding moorland.
The weather was onside as we drove through the Castle Howard Estate and northwards onto the Howardian Hills, an area of natural outstanding beauty, negotiating bumbling sheep across Blakey Ridge and returning to the 18th-Century stately home itself for our private tours. With permission to park outside the front of the home we had photo opportunities aplenty thanks to the acrobatic endeavours of Richard Dredge, our magazine editor.
Back into our cars then for a meander north west to Headlam for our overnight stop at the village’s hotel oasis. Good food and great company was the order of the evening, and despite the threat of an early breakfast, many stayed up late to make up for lost COVID months!
We arrived at the Croft Circuit bright and early on Sunday for the scheduled road-car track parade, then on to watch the racing and enjoy the stream of food and drink from the Club’s hospitality tent. Whilst some, with hours of driving ahead, made an early departure for home, others stayed to take part in the charity track rides including Alistair whose face was a picture as he made his exit from the passenger side of Gary Culver’s 488 Challenge car.
A brilliant weekend, thanks to all those who took part, for your company, for the laughs – even for the bag of Essex FOC goodies we were given from Jon and Jo’s group – it was a pleasure to host you all.
Now, any area group up for organising the next one?