NYLOC have for several years taken an exclusive track day at Abbeville in northern France. As a change, this year we chose another small French circuit just outside the village of Folembray, some 130 miles south of Calais. The date for this event has always been the Spring Bank holiday Monday, so as to minimise the amount of holiday people have to take.
There were 2 options to get there, either drive the length of the UK and take the Channel Tunnel, and a direct motorway route to the hotel, or take the overnight ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge and a more leisurely indirect route of some 180 miles down through Belgium.
18 cars from the club made the trip, and such was the exceptional organisation from Lotus on Track, that we all were staying in the same hotel in St. Quentin.
Unfortunately with that many Brits staying in one place, it was not long before we drank the hotel dry of beer ! There was only one solution, and that was to move over the road to the local Chinese restaurant and try again there.
Sunday was a “rest day”, and most of the group made its way to the historic town of Pierrefonds with its monumental castle that was used in the BBC filming of Merlin.
Such a hot day meant that there was no appetite for a long drive so we became tourists. Sadly we were one down after a hub carrier failed on a V6 Exige on the way back. At the hotel we drank them dry again.
Monday was an early start for the half hour drive to Folembray. Usual sign on formalities aside we were soon out on track, and before long we were joined by 3 other Lotus cars since we had not filled the day. The sun was relentless, so shade and water was frequently sought. Lunch was provided, and we took the opportunity of group photo on the start line. Unfortunately the afternoon session saw another casualty, this time an S1 Exige with head gasket failure.
Devoid of beer at the hotel we walked to a local restaurant, only to be stranded there at the end of the evening by biblical rain. A taxi was summoned to take us all back to the hotel.
Tuesday we bid our farewells and split into two groups to either take the long drive home, or to take the shorter drive back to the Zeebrugge to Hull ferry.
For any track day beginners, the NYLOC Folembray trip is quite simply ideal, with few cars out on track at any one time and few non club members, it is the best way to start your track day autobiography.
Some would say that we would not be driving the Lotus cars of today had it not been for the special combination of F1 Champion Jim Clark, and Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
The relationship started in 1958, Clark went on to win 2 F1 World Championships, and Indianapolis for Lotus, but sadly died in a F2 accident at Hockenheim just 10 years later.
50 Years on, a special commemorative historic race meeting at Hockenheim was a fitting venue for 8 Nyloc crews to show their appreciation.
After an overnight sea crossing from Hull, a mammoth 380 mile drive, and a baking hot day, the only solution was copious beer on arrival at the hotel near Heidelberg. A rest day followed when several went to do the tourist thing in Heidelberg, whilst others took the opportunity of a rapid drive through the local countryside, the smooth, quiet, twisty roads being an ideal playground for a Lotus.
Saturday and Sunday were long blisteringly hot days at the Hockenheim circuit where each day along with the historic racing there was also a round of the Lotus Cup Europe championship. There was a special Jim Clark exhibition, and rarely have we seen so many Lotus cars together in one place.
The return journey on day 5 started wet but soon dried out and as a respite from the autobahns, we took the scenic route past Nurburgring, which seemed to be a fitting end to an amazing long weekend.
For many the club has become a vital part of Lotus ownership with many of the members regularly taking part in club events, runs and discussions on the NYLOC forum.
The club would like to thank everyone for their support over last 20 years, which was celebrated at the Buckles meet held on the 26th June 2018.
On the night there was:
– A Lotus car concours held in the car park where we often use the right hand side of Buckles Inn (this area was reserved exclusively for Lotus cars in order to help with photographs and judging). Spaces were made available to the front of Buckles for non-lotus cars.
– A hot and cold buffet was provided for all NYLOC members to enjoy.
– Car concours judging and prizes were awarded.
– New demonstrator cars were on show for closer inspection.
– Cake cutting ceremony was held with the Founders.
– A talk from the founding members wrapped up the evening.
Date: 10 days in September 2015
Event: Autumn European Tour
Location: Holland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy
The annual Tour of Europe started with taking the Hull to Rotterdam overnight ferry, heading south to Monte Carlo, stopping at Riems on the way. Explored some of the great Passes, finishing off with the B500 Black Forest road on the way back.
An exclusive NYLOC packaged track day at Abbeville in France. Run by Lotus on Track including 3 nights at a hotel, all for less than £300. Run over a bank holiday weekend to avoid too much time off work.