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Driving an ur-quattro
I wonder if this one will make the papers?
I went to Coy's at Silverstone yesterday. I had a space reserved in the club
car park (actually within the circuit fence) and the appropriate sticker was
affixed to the top of the windscreen. When I got into Silverstone, a police
officer pointed to the sticker and waved me into a lane marked "Main Car
Park". I didn't want to go there, but I knew that the lane went on past the
car park to a rear gate very close to Area D, which was where the club car park
had been reserved. I drove down about 3/4 of a mile of this loose, stony track
to be greeted at the end by a jobsworth.
For those who don't know - the "jobsworth" term was invented by a television
programme over here that decided to highlight the depradations on society
perpetrated by the kind of individual in minor authority who says: "I can't let
you do that, mate - it's more than my job's worth."
(We used to call them "little Hitlers" - but jobsworth has now caught on.)
Anyway, this character insisted that he could do nothing about the situation -
he refused to let me continue to the club gate, and insisted that I park in the
public (unguarded) car park even though I'd paid for a ticket. The alternative
was to go back up the lane I had come down, against the traffic.
So I did.
Unfortunately, the lane was very definitely single track and full of cars -
some of them the treasured possessions of serious enthusiasts. A lot of Alfa
Romeos, a couple of Ferraris, a Lamborghini, and others of the ilk. So I went
along the grass verge. Equally unfortunately, there was a fence on the left of
the oncoming traffic so I had to drive down the right hand side. Well, for the
first couple of hundred yards or so - then the verge switched to the left. The
owner of a vintage Rolls Royce rolling slowly round a bend was treated to an ur-
quattro, lights blazing, coming down off the grass verge and crossing the loose
stony track in front of him before climbing the grass verge the other side and
disappearing in a cloud of dust and vegetation. He must have thought he'd
strayed into a 1980s special stage. The same experience was shared by a
Testarossa driver and the driver of what looked like a vintage Alvis, as the
verge switched a couple more times.
My daughter and female friend in the back seat report seeing a large number of
open mouths and a generally large degree of astonishment.
All in all, I think about two hundred people saw what happens when a jobsworth
pisses off an ur-quattro driver.
The organisation at Coy's was _dreadful_. None of the car parks was correctly
signed, and the "75-place enclosed car park" we were promised as recompense
for having our stand cancelled turned out to be unenclosed and only eight (8)
places. It was also not "near Copse tunnel" but in the D area overflow club
park, about half a mile from the tunnel to the inside of the circuit. Ferraris,
en masse, are _extremely_ boring cars. A 305 is fun to look at - 250 305s
drawn up in a line just makes it a long way to walk to get a burger. The
variety - being able to compare the efforts of all kinds of sporting vehicle
builders over the decades - was destroyed, with what was an integrated set of
displays (last year) being scattered at random into those corners of the inside
of the circuit not occupied by Ferraris. Even the enthusiasts' market, where
you can buy just about anything for the vintage car of your choice, was broken
into four small pieces - visiting all of the pieces meant a two mile walk.
Our "Honorary Life President", David Sutton, found that Historic Motorsport's
stand had been relegated to the far side of the circuit. To see the S1 and his
other quattros you had to leave the main section of the event, cross the
overflow Ferrari car park (more of the damn things) and walk about half a
Committee Member, UK Audi [ur-]quattro Owners Club
(Picked up a lovely 3/4" rachet for GBP15 in the flea market. That, and a
good cheeseburger, were the highlights of the day.)