CRITERIUM RALLY VIP TREATMENT

Today’s tour was all about special treatment, perhaps sometimes even a bit too much VIP… The winding roads along the coast were magical and we made a steep descent with police escort.

The day started as usual too early for me, but once you sit behind the wheel you forget. And this day I drove with a new nickname, Rosalari. My dad made up this name because I love to drive as fast as I can, just like Nuvolari. Some say I should be a bit more careful, not having 40 years of experience. And that’s true, but I am very careful, and I am aware of the dangers. In the mountains driving is very different from the flat roads in Holland. Often there are people who tell my dad, or me, that I am a very good driver and that they like my style. I will continue to get to know my car better and better and become a better driver each time I drive it to its limits. I must say having a boyfriend who is a racing instructor and besides that a very good driver/racing driver helps a lot too. I drove a couple of times on the racetrack, also in race cars, and I often train myself with a simulator. This made me a much better driver already. So, special thanks to Maciej for being so great and helping me to improve my drivng style so much.

Now time to go back to the Criterium rally… This time we drove more on the warmer side of the Dolomites, and a first stop for the casse-croute was high up in the mountains with a magnificent view on Lago di Garda. Hanging on the rocks there were houses as well as a restaurant. You wonder how they ever dared to build it right there, some 150 meters above the lake on a vertical slope. After this stop it became a bit colder as we were driving very high up in the mountains on a narrow 1920s style road. This was followed by a major decent through a narrow and stunningly beautiful gorge down to the coast road. Since it was so narrow and we had to drive there with the large group of cyclecars, there was police escort specially for us. Our cars are of course not the same as modern ones, especially not the brakes, also not when working properly. This part of the rally was very special. 

Once we arrived at the lake and the boulevard, we arrived at a large parking in Limone sul Garda. There we had a short break which allowed us to walk around the town which was quite touristic, and the tourists took their chance to photograph the cars. As soon as we moved on, I realised that there was a fair chance of finishing this day again without any breakdowns.

After further climbing we arrived at Fornico at a restaurant for the lunch. There was an issue… finally. The engine seemed to overheat a bit. There was a good reason for that, because the alternator wasn’t working. When the battery is not charging you can guess what happens. No lights, no electric waterpump nor an electric ventilator. My dad took off the radiator cap and what happened was a bit similar to a geyser. Hot water went everywhere. After that shower we knew that we had to add something to the to do list. 

The lunch was typical Italian, it took several hours and there were no less than 8 courses! For me that is too much. Personally I prefer to eat a salad in 30-45 minutes and move on again to drive. Leaving as one of the first it was already the end of the route. We went back to the hotel and in the evening there was an aperitief offered to us all by the mayor of Gargnano. He invited us to come over tot he center of his town, because Italians love cars, especially our great old bolides. After some drinks and chats the dinner was at the local golf club. I wanted to do some work for the new website and MACKALANTE’s new project, so I skipped this evening. 

One more day to go with again a lot of driving – 200 km in the Dolomites – which I look forward to! For now off to bed and tomorrow up even earlier than the last few days.