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Re: [TrackChasers] TrackChasers

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  • RacinGaryJ@cs.com
    Will, I saw my listing at your site and agree that it looks weird. I intend to get you the information to clean it up, but this is the busiest part of my
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 1, 2001
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      Will,
           I saw my listing at your site and agree that it looks weird. I intend
      to get you the information to clean it up, but this is the busiest part of my
      racing schedule with trips to Arizona every single weekend.

      Gary Jacob
    • colin herridge
      Roland, Congratulations on getting 700 Will Welcome back to yoorop 2 new countries in one trip way to go   Colin ... From: Vanden Eynde Roland To:
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 17, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Roland,
        Congratulations on getting 700
        Will
        Welcome back to 'yoorop' 2 new countries in one trip way to go
         
        Colin

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Vanden Eynde Roland
        To: TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com
        Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 3:25 AM
        Subject: [TrackChasers] TrackChaser update

        Hello colleagues,

        For the last 6 years I've been able to end each calendar year with another first digit in my trackchasing total. I ended 2002 with 196 tracks, 2003 with 250, 2004 with 336, 2005 with 431, 2006 with 522 and 2007 with 627. This year, I cut back a lot on my trackchasing, but being at 699 tracks, I found it worth to make one last effort to keep this streak alive for one more year, before cutting back even further on my trackchasing in years to come.

        As the weather has turned very wintry in Belgium, I wanted to get a bit of mild weather on my last trackchasing trip of the year and this was made possible by going to another of those numerous little used French road courses, the Circuit Municipal du Luc, in the town of Le Luc in the Var region. By doing this, I went back to an old habit from long before I was a trackchaser: going down to the South of France to watch a few races in late November or early December.

        I started my journey at 6.00AM on Friday. I was lucky with the weather, because for the last two days it hadn't snowed in the Ardennes (although there was a lot of snow in the woods and fields) . I made reasonable progress on the French motorways, but it was again a very expensive drive. Road tolls are huge in France. On this trip alone they amounted to almost EUR 180. Luckily, my car is very cheap to run and diesel prices are way below EUR 1 per litre in Belgium and Luxemburg nowadays. With a full tank (EUR 45 at EUR 0.81 per litre or roughly $ 4.07 per gallon)), I managed to drive all the way from Luxemburg to Le Luc and a bit of the way back as well . I only had to fill up once in France, where a litre of diesel costs EUR 0.25 more than in Belgium. I arrived at Le Luc in the late afternoon and found a small hotel in the town centre. France has a solid culinary reputation, but the Var region is not one of its gems. In fact, all but once, I've eaten
        very badly in the Var. This time, I chose a small local restaurant serving no nonsense food and it was quite OK. After dinner, I went for an early night and had no trouble going to sleep immediately.

        Saturday morning, I woke up with blue skies, but very low temperatures. A large cup of black coffee kept me warm, but the skinny French breakfast was not enough to satisfy my hunger Luckily, I didn't have to drive more than 3 miles to reach the Circuit Municipal du Luc, a small road course in green surroundings. It used to be a private test track, but 10 years ago the town of Le Luc bought it and developed it into a municipal recreation centre. The non official meeting (because the track hasn't got a license to hold FFSA sanctioned events) was organised by DRO, which stands for Drôme Racing organisation. Little did I know that one of the founders of this organisation is former French F1 driver and one of the best known Drôme department residents Erik Comas. Currently, Erik Comas owns a squad of impeccably restored Alpine A110's (the sixties French rallying answer to the Porsche 911), of which 4 were in evidence today. I used to meet Erik Comas a lot in
        the eighties, when I followed my fellow Belgian jazz lover Eric Bachelart (nowadays the boss of Conquest Racing in IRL) when driving in the French Formula 3 championship. it was a time when almost all front running drivers in this championship except one (a certain Jean Alesi) shared the same first name (Eric Bernard, Eric Cheli, Erik Comas and 'part timer' Eric Van de Poele). It's been more than 20 years since I last saw Erik comas, but he remembers me vividly for a very specific reason. In these days, I owned a rather unreliable car and I did come to three races as a passenger of Belgian photographer Daniël Deliën. This guy is the most dangerous madman one could ever meet at the wheel of a car. He knew and still knows only one way of driving, a bit flatter than flat out. Moreover, he get enraged every time he sees a car in front of him. I seem to have been the only person ever to have accepted a lift from him a second, a third and a fourth time. The
        last time I was chauffeured by Daniël was at Silverstone. We arrived on a Friday evening before a race and he saw that a gate giving track access was open. He proceeded in doing three high speed laps of the club circuit. I can honestly say that those were amongst the most horrendous minutes of my life.

        Erik's cars are mainly used in historic rallying and therefore are in rally trim. That means they have a passenger seat. Erik offered to drive me round the track in one and I gratefully accepted his offer. I was strapped in the lowered co-driver seat of an already very low car and could hardly see the track. Nevertheless, I was an incredible experience and being this close to the track gave a tremendous impression of speed, even if the track was a little bland. Nevertheless, Mr. Comas didn't frighten me half as much as Mr. Deliën had done and I can only thank him a million times for the unique experience.

        Needless to say I was rooting for him and his team's cars during the three afternoon one hour races. In this part of France, rallies and hillclimbs are very popular. They use a lot of old cars and many became elaborate prototypes over the years. I saw some very original old small French saloon cars with BMW V8 engines and turbocharged Renault Dauphines of 1959 vintage. The fields were divided into standard, tuned and prototype vehicles. The race of the standard vehicles drew 22 rather modern cars, with a few BMW M3's and many 4WD rally cars. Of course, Erik Comas dominated the tuned race, and two of his other vehicles finished third and fifth. The race for prototypes only had eight cars and the performance difference was huge. I left 10 minutes into the race and drove back up north for a couple hours, because the weather had turned very cloudy and some snow was expected during the night. I stayed in a chain hotel in the greater Lyon area and continued my
        journey back home yesterday in wintry conditions. The forecasted snow had arrived and it had arrived in serious amounts. There was one lane of the motorway cleared of snow and after an hour's drive, I was back on snowless roads again and made it safely home.

        I certainly finished my 2008 trackchasing with a flourish, being driven around by a former F1 driver in an icon of a rally car. I just read Guy's statement about a safe journey for Will, who should be on his flight back home at this time of writing. I can only say benvinguts to the ranks of trackchasers, having trackchased in the Catalan speaking part of the world (and being so intelligent of learning a few basic phrases in that language). What makes Will's trackchasing so unique is that he does it the old fashioned way: without gizmo's and a local contact to roll out the red carpet for him at the tracks he visited. In that he's a credit to the trackchaser' s guild. I hope you had a safe, pleasant and successful journey, Will.

        Roland

        ------------ --------- --------- --------- --
        Visit our website! http://www.nbb be

        "DISCLAIMER: The content of this e-mail message should not be
        construed as binding on the part of the National Bank of Belgium
        (NBB) unless otherwise and previously stated. The opinions
        expressed in this message are solely those of the author and do not
        necessarily reflect NBB viewpoints, particularly when the content
        of this message, or part thereof, is private by nature or does not
        fall within the professional scope of its author."

        __________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 3694 (20081215) __________

        The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

        http://www.eset com

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Vanden Eynde Roland
        Colin, Thanks. Now that the £ is so low, I think I might come over a few times for British races in 2009. I ll keep you posted. Roland From:
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 18, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Colin,



          Thanks. Now that the £ is so low, I think I might come over a few times for British races in 2009. I'll keep you posted.



          Roland



          From: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of colin herridge
          Sent: 18 December 2008 01:07
          To: Trackchasers
          Subject: [TrackChasers] TrackChasers





          Roland,
          Congratulations on getting 700
          Will
          Welcome back to 'yoorop' 2 new countries in one trip way to go

          Colin

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Vanden Eynde Roland
          To: TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com
          Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 3:25 AM
          Subject: [TrackChasers] TrackChaser update

          Hello colleagues,

          For the last 6 years I've been able to end each calendar year with another first digit in my trackchasing total. I ended 2002 with 196 tracks, 2003 with 250, 2004 with 336, 2005 with 431, 2006 with 522 and 2007 with 627. This year, I cut back a lot on my trackchasing, but being at 699 tracks, I found it worth to make one last effort to keep this streak alive for one more year, before cutting back even further on my trackchasing in years to come.

          As the weather has turned very wintry in Belgium, I wanted to get a bit of mild weather on my last trackchasing trip of the year and this was made possible by going to another of those numerous little used French road courses, the Circuit Municipal du Luc, in the town of Le Luc in the Var region. By doing this, I went back to an old habit from long before I was a trackchaser: going down to the South of France to watch a few races in late November or early December.

          I started my journey at 6.00AM on Friday. I was lucky with the weather, because for the last two days it hadn't snowed in the Ardennes (although there was a lot of snow in the woods and fields) . I made reasonable progress on the French motorways, but it was again a very expensive drive. Road tolls are huge in France. On this trip alone they amounted to almost EUR 180. Luckily, my car is very cheap to run and diesel prices are way below EUR 1 per litre in Belgium and Luxemburg nowadays. With a full tank (EUR 45 at EUR 0.81 per litre or roughly $ 4.07 per gallon)), I managed to drive all the way from Luxemburg to Le Luc and a bit of the way back as well . I only had to fill up once in France, where a litre of diesel costs EUR 0.25 more than in Belgium. I arrived at Le Luc in the late afternoon and found a small hotel in the town centre. France has a solid culinary reputation, but the Var region is not one of its gems. In fact, all but once, I've eaten
          very badly in the Var. This time, I chose a small local restaurant serving no nonsense food and it was quite OK. After dinner, I went for an early night and had no trouble going to sleep immediately.

          Saturday morning, I woke up with blue skies, but very low temperatures. A large cup of black coffee kept me warm, but the skinny French breakfast was not enough to satisfy my hunger Luckily, I didn't have to drive more than 3 miles to reach the Circuit Municipal du Luc, a small road course in green surroundings. It used to be a private test track, but 10 years ago the town of Le Luc bought it and developed it into a municipal recreation centre. The non official meeting (because the track hasn't got a license to hold FFSA sanctioned events) was organised by DRO, which stands for Drôme Racing organisation. Little did I know that one of the founders of this organisation is former French F1 driver and one of the best known Drôme department residents Erik Comas. Currently, Erik Comas owns a squad of impeccably restored Alpine A110's (the sixties French rallying answer to the Porsche 911), of which 4 were in evidence today. I used to meet Erik Comas a lot in
          the eighties, when I followed my fellow Belgian jazz lover Eric Bachelart (nowadays the boss of Conquest Racing in IRL) when driving in the French Formula 3 championship. it was a time when almost all front running drivers in this championship except one (a certain Jean Alesi) shared the same first name (Eric Bernard, Eric Cheli, Erik Comas and 'part timer' Eric Van de Poele). It's been more than 20 years since I last saw Erik comas, but he remembers me vividly for a very specific reason. In these days, I owned a rather unreliable car and I did come to three races as a passenger of Belgian photographer Daniël Deliën. This guy is the most dangerous madman one could ever meet at the wheel of a car. He knew and still knows only one way of driving, a bit flatter than flat out. Moreover, he get enraged every time he sees a car in front of him. I seem to have been the only person ever to have accepted a lift from him a second, a third and a fourth time. The
          last time I was chauffeured by Daniël was at Silverstone. We arrived on a Friday evening before a race and he saw that a gate giving track access was open. He proceeded in doing three high speed laps of the club circuit. I can honestly say that those were amongst the most horrendous minutes of my life.

          Erik's cars are mainly used in historic rallying and therefore are in rally trim. That means they have a passenger seat. Erik offered to drive me round the track in one and I gratefully accepted his offer. I was strapped in the lowered co-driver seat of an already very low car and could hardly see the track. Nevertheless, I was an incredible experience and being this close to the track gave a tremendous impression of speed, even if the track was a little bland. Nevertheless, Mr. Comas didn't frighten me half as much as Mr. Deliën had done and I can only thank him a million times for the unique experience.

          Needless to say I was rooting for him and his team's cars during the three afternoon one hour races. In this part of France, rallies and hillclimbs are very popular. They use a lot of old cars and many became elaborate prototypes over the years. I saw some very original old small French saloon cars with BMW V8 engines and turbocharged Renault Dauphines of 1959 vintage. The fields were divided into standard, tuned and prototype vehicles. The race of the standard vehicles drew 22 rather modern cars, with a few BMW M3's and many 4WD rally cars. Of course, Erik Comas dominated the tuned race, and two of his other vehicles finished third and fifth. The race for prototypes only had eight cars and the performance difference was huge. I left 10 minutes into the race and drove back up north for a couple hours, because the weather had turned very cloudy and some snow was expected during the night. I stayed in a chain hotel in the greater Lyon area and continued my
          journey back home yesterday in wintry conditions. The forecasted snow had arrived and it had arrived in serious amounts. There was one lane of the motorway cleared of snow and after an hour's drive, I was back on snowless roads again and made it safely home.

          I certainly finished my 2008 trackchasing with a flourish, being driven around by a former F1 driver in an icon of a rally car. I just read Guy's statement about a safe journey for Will, who should be on his flight back home at this time of writing. I can only say benvinguts to the ranks of trackchasers, having trackchased in the Catalan speaking part of the world (and being so intelligent of learning a few basic phrases in that language). What makes Will's trackchasing so unique is that he does it the old fashioned way: without gizmo's and a local contact to roll out the red carpet for him at the tracks he visited. In that he's a credit to the trackchaser' s guild. I hope you had a safe, pleasant and successful journey, Will.

          Roland

          ------------ --------- --------- --------- --
          Visit our website! http://www.nbb be

          "DISCLAIMER: The content of this e-mail message should not be
          construed as binding on the part of the National Bank of Belgium
          (NBB) unless otherwise and previously stated. The opinions
          expressed in this message are solely those of the author and do not
          necessarily reflect NBB viewpoints, particularly when the content
          of this message, or part thereof, is private by nature or does not
          fall within the professional scope of its author."

          __________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 3694 (20081215) __________

          The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

          http://www.eset com

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          -----------------------------------------
          Visit our website! http://www.nbb.be

          "DISCLAIMER: The content of this e-mail message should not be
          construed as binding on the part of the National Bank of Belgium
          (NBB) unless otherwise and previously stated. The opinions
          expressed in this message are solely those of the author and do not
          necessarily reflect NBB viewpoints, particularly when the content
          of this message, or part thereof, is private by nature or does not
          fall within the professional scope of its author."

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • colin herridge
          Roland,          The pound is now so low that it is level with the euro.....outrageous for us but very good for people from the rest of the free world
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 18, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Roland,
                     The pound is now so low that it is level with the euro.....outrageous for us but very good for people from the rest of the free world and USA
            Fuel has again dropped in price it is now £0.88for petrol and £0.98 for diesel a drop of approx 30% since November.
            I know you have most tracks covered but drop me an email when you would like to come to UK and i'll see if i can find you any 'new ' tracks
            Colin

            --- On Thu, 18/12/08, Vanden Eynde Roland <roland.vandeneynde@...> wrote:

            From: Vanden Eynde Roland <roland.vandeneynde@...>
            Subject: RE: [TrackChasers] TrackChasers
            To: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, 18 December, 2008, 9:00 AM






            Colin,



            Thanks. Now that the £ is so low, I think I might come over a few times for British races in 2009. I'll keep you posted.



            Roland



            From: TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of colin herridge
            Sent: 18 December 2008 01:07
            To: Trackchasers
            Subject: [TrackChasers] TrackChasers





            Roland,
            Congratulations on getting 700
            Will
            Welcome back to 'yoorop' 2 new countries in one trip way to go

            Colin

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Vanden Eynde Roland
            To: TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com
            Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 3:25 AM
            Subject: [TrackChasers] TrackChaser update

            Hello colleagues,

            For the last 6 years I've been able to end each calendar year with another first digit in my trackchasing total. I ended 2002 with 196 tracks, 2003 with 250, 2004 with 336, 2005 with 431, 2006 with 522 and 2007 with 627. This year, I cut back a lot on my trackchasing, but being at 699 tracks, I found it worth to make one last effort to keep this streak alive for one more year, before cutting back even further on my trackchasing in years to come.

            As the weather has turned very wintry in Belgium, I wanted to get a bit of mild weather on my last trackchasing trip of the year and this was made possible by going to another of those numerous little used French road courses, the Circuit Municipal du Luc, in the town of Le Luc in the Var region. By doing this, I went back to an old habit from long before I was a trackchaser: going down to the South of France to watch a few races in late November or early December.

            I started my journey at 6.00AM on Friday. I was lucky with the weather, because for the last two days it hadn't snowed in the Ardennes (although there was a lot of snow in the woods and fields) . I made reasonable progress on the French motorways, but it was again a very expensive drive. Road tolls are huge in France. On this trip alone they amounted to almost EUR 180. Luckily, my car is very cheap to run and diesel prices are way below EUR 1 per litre in Belgium and Luxemburg nowadays. With a full tank (EUR 45 at EUR 0.81 per litre or roughly $ 4.07 per gallon)), I managed to drive all the way from Luxemburg to Le Luc and a bit of the way back as well . I only had to fill up once in France, where a litre of diesel costs EUR 0.25 more than in Belgium. I arrived at Le Luc in the late afternoon and found a small hotel in the town centre. France has a solid culinary reputation, but the Var region is not one of its gems. In fact, all but once, I've eaten
            very badly in the Var. This time, I chose a small local restaurant serving no nonsense food and it was quite OK. After dinner, I went for an early night and had no trouble going to sleep immediately.

            Saturday morning, I woke up with blue skies, but very low temperatures. A large cup of black coffee kept me warm, but the skinny French breakfast was not enough to satisfy my hunger Luckily, I didn't have to drive more than 3 miles to reach the Circuit Municipal du Luc, a small road course in green surroundings. It used to be a private test track, but 10 years ago the town of Le Luc bought it and developed it into a municipal recreation centre. The non official meeting (because the track hasn't got a license to hold FFSA sanctioned events) was organised by DRO, which stands for Drôme Racing organisation. Little did I know that one of the founders of this organisation is former French F1 driver and one of the best known Drôme department residents Erik Comas. Currently, Erik Comas owns a squad of impeccably restored Alpine A110's (the sixties French rallying answer to the Porsche 911), of which 4 were in evidence today. I used to meet Erik Comas a lot in

            the eighties, when I followed my fellow Belgian jazz lover Eric Bachelart (nowadays the boss of Conquest Racing in IRL) when driving in the French Formula 3 championship. it was a time when almost all front running drivers in this championship except one (a certain Jean Alesi) shared the same first name (Eric Bernard, Eric Cheli, Erik Comas and 'part timer' Eric Van de Poele). It's been more than 20 years since I last saw Erik comas, but he remembers me vividly for a very specific reason. In these days, I owned a rather unreliable car and I did come to three races as a passenger of Belgian photographer Daniël Deliën. This guy is the most dangerous madman one could ever meet at the wheel of a car. He knew and still knows only one way of driving, a bit flatter than flat out. Moreover, he get enraged every time he sees a car in front of him. I seem to have been the only person ever to have accepted a lift from him a second, a third and a fourth time. The
            last time I was chauffeured by Daniël was at Silverstone. We arrived on a Friday evening before a race and he saw that a gate giving track access was open. He proceeded in doing three high speed laps of the club circuit. I can honestly say that those were amongst the most horrendous minutes of my life.

            Erik's cars are mainly used in historic rallying and therefore are in rally trim. That means they have a passenger seat. Erik offered to drive me round the track in one and I gratefully accepted his offer. I was strapped in the lowered co-driver seat of an already very low car and could hardly see the track. Nevertheless, I was an incredible experience and being this close to the track gave a tremendous impression of speed, even if the track was a little bland. Nevertheless, Mr. Comas didn't frighten me half as much as Mr. Deliën had done and I can only thank him a million times for the unique experience.

            Needless to say I was rooting for him and his team's cars during the three afternoon one hour races. In this part of France, rallies and hillclimbs are very popular. They use a lot of old cars and many became elaborate prototypes over the years. I saw some very original old small French saloon cars with BMW V8 engines and turbocharged Renault Dauphines of 1959 vintage. The fields were divided into standard, tuned and prototype vehicles. The race of the standard vehicles drew 22 rather modern cars, with a few BMW M3's and many 4WD rally cars. Of course, Erik Comas dominated the tuned race, and two of his other vehicles finished third and fifth. The race for prototypes only had eight cars and the performance difference was huge. I left 10 minutes into the race and drove back up north for a couple hours, because the weather had turned very cloudy and some snow was expected during the night. I stayed in a chain hotel in the greater Lyon area and continued my

            journey back home yesterday in wintry conditions. The forecasted snow had arrived and it had arrived in serious amounts. There was one lane of the motorway cleared of snow and after an hour's drive, I was back on snowless roads again and made it safely home.

            I certainly finished my 2008 trackchasing with a flourish, being driven around by a former F1 driver in an icon of a rally car. I just read Guy's statement about a safe journey for Will, who should be on his flight back home at this time of writing. I can only say benvinguts to the ranks of trackchasers, having trackchased in the Catalan speaking part of the world (and being so intelligent of learning a few basic phrases in that language). What makes Will's trackchasing so unique is that he does it the old fashioned way: without gizmo's and a local contact to roll out the red carpet for him at the tracks he visited. In that he's a credit to the trackchaser' s guild. I hope you had a safe, pleasant and successful journey, Will.

            Roland

            ------------ --------- --------- --------- --
            Visit our website! http://www.nbb be

            "DISCLAIMER: The content of this e-mail message should not be
            construed as binding on the part of the National Bank of Belgium
            (NBB) unless otherwise and previously stated. The opinions
            expressed in this message are solely those of the author and do not
            necessarily reflect NBB viewpoints, particularly when the content
            of this message, or part thereof, is private by nature or does not
            fall within the professional scope of its author."

            __________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 3694 (20081215) __________

            The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

            http://www.eset com

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





            ------------ --------- --------- --------- --
            Visit our website! http://www.nbb be

            "DISCLAIMER: The content of this e-mail message should not be
            construed as binding on the part of the National Bank of Belgium
            (NBB) unless otherwise and previously stated. The opinions
            expressed in this message are solely those of the author and do not
            necessarily reflect NBB viewpoints, particularly when the content
            of this message, or part thereof, is private by nature or does not
            fall within the professional scope of its author."

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • ccass176@aol.com
            The Pound is so low it makes it expensive for us to go anywhere!! Not sure what the economic climate is like in the rest of the world, but looks bad for UK
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 18, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              The Pound is so low it makes it expensive for us to go anywhere!!

              Not sure what the economic climate is like in the rest of the world, but looks bad for UK right now


              -----Original Message-----
              From: colin herridge <cawh2000@...>
              To: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 11:17
              Subject: RE: [TrackChasers] TrackChasers






              Roland,
                       The pound is now so low that it is level with the euro.....outrageous for us but very good for people from the rest of the free world and USA
              Fuel has again dropped in price it is now £0.88for petrol and £0.98 for diesel a drop of approx 30% since November.
              I know you have most tracks covered but drop me an email when you would like to come to UK and i'll see if i can find you any 'new ' tracks
              Colin

              --- On Thu, 18/12/08, Vanden Eynde Roland <roland.vandeneynde@...> wrote:

              From: Vanden Eynde Roland <roland.vandeneynde@...>
              Subject: RE: [TrackChasers] TrackChasers
              To: TrackChasers@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thursday, 18 December, 2008, 9:00 AM

              Colin,

              Thanks. Now that the £ is so low, I think I might come over a few times for British races in 2009. I'll keep you posted.

              Roland

              From: TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of colin herridge
              Sent: 18 December 2008 01:07
              To: Trackchasers
              Subject: [TrackChasers] TrackChasers

              Roland,
              Congratulations on getting 700
              Will
              Welcome back to 'yoorop' 2 new countries in one trip way to go
              =0
              AColin

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Vanden Eynde Roland
              To: TrackChasers@ yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 3:25 AM
              Subject: [TrackChasers] TrackChaser update

              Hello colleagues,

              For the last 6 years I've been able to end each calendar year with another first digit in my trackchasing total. I ended 2002 with 196 tracks, 2003 with 250, 2004 with 336, 2005 with 431, 2006 with 522 and 2007 with 627. This year, I cut back a lot on my trackchasing, but being at 699 tracks, I found it worth to make one last effort to keep this streak alive for one more year, before cutting back even further on my trackchasing in years to come.

              As the weather has turned very wintry in Belgium, I wanted to get a bit of mild weather on my last trackchasing trip of the year and this was made possible by going to another of those numerous little used French road courses, the Circuit Municipal du Luc, in the town of Le Luc in the Var region. By doing this, I went back to an old habit from long before I was a trackchaser: going down to the South of France to watch a few races in late November or early December.

              I started my journey at 6.00AM on Friday. I was lucky with the weather, because for the last two days it hadn't snowed in the Ardennes (although there was a lot of snow in the woods and fields) . I made reasonable progress on the French motorways, but it was again a very expensive drive. Road tolls are huge in France. On this trip alone they
              amounted to almost EUR 180. Luckily, my car is very cheap to run and diesel prices are way below EUR 1 per litre in Belgium and Luxemburg nowadays. With a full tank (EUR 45 at EUR 0.81 per litre or roughly $ 4.07 per gallon)), I managed to drive all the way from Luxemburg to Le Luc and a bit of the way back as well . I only had to fill up once in France, where a litre of diesel costs EUR 0.25 more than in Belgium. I arrived at Le Luc in the late afternoon and found a small hotel in the town centre. France has a solid culinary reputation, but the Var region is not one of its gems. In fact, all but once, I've eaten
              very badly in the Var. This time, I chose a small local restaurant serving no nonsense food and it was quite OK. After dinner, I went for an early night and had no trouble going to sleep immediately.

              Saturday morning, I woke up with blue skies, but very low temperatures. A large cup of black coffee kept me warm, but the skinny French breakfast was not enough to satisfy my hunger Luckily, I didn't have to drive more than 3 miles to reach the Circuit Municipal du Luc, a small road course in green surroundings. It used to be a private test track, but 10 years ago the town of Le Luc bought it and developed it into a municipal recreation centre. The non official meeting (because the track hasn't got a license to hold FFSA sanctioned events) was organised by DRO, which stands for Drôme Racing organisation. Little did I know that one of=2
              0the founders of this organisation is former French F1 driver and one of the best known Drôme department residents Erik Comas. Currently, Erik Comas owns a squad of impeccably restored Alpine A110's (the sixties French rallying answer to the Porsche 911), of which 4 were in evidence today. I used to meet Erik Comas a lot in

              the eighties, when I followed my fellow Belgian jazz lover Eric Bachelart (nowadays the boss of Conquest Racing in IRL) when driving in the French Formula 3 championship. it was a time when almost all front running drivers in this championship except one (a certain Jean Alesi) shared the same first name (Eric Bernard, Eric Cheli, Erik Comas and 'part timer' Eric Van de Poele). It's been more than 20 years since I last saw Erik comas, but he remembers me vividly for a very specific reason. In these days, I owned a rather unreliable car and I did come to three races as a passenger of Belgian photographer Daniël Deliën. This guy is the most dangerous madman one could ever meet at the wheel of a car. He knew and still knows only one way of driving, a bit flatter than flat out. Moreover, he get enraged every time he sees a car in front of him. I seem to have been the only person ever to have accepted a lift from him a second, a third and a fourth time. The
              last time I was chauffeured by Daniël was at Silverstone. We arrived on a Friday evening before a race and he saw that a gate giving track access was open. He proceeded in doing thr
              ee high speed laps of the club circuit. I can honestly say that those were amongst the most horrendous minutes of my life.

              Erik's cars are mainly used in historic rallying and therefore are in rally trim. That means they have a passenger seat. Erik offered to drive me round the track in one and I gratefully accepted his offer. I was strapped in the lowered co-driver seat of an already very low car and could hardly see the track. Nevertheless, I was an incredible experience and being this close to the track gave a tremendous impression of speed, even if the track was a little bland. Nevertheless, Mr. Comas didn't frighten me half as much as Mr. Deliën had done and I can only thank him a million times for the unique experience.

              Needless to say I was rooting for him and his team's cars during the three afternoon one hour races. In this part of France, rallies and hillclimbs are very popular. They use a lot of old cars and many became elaborate prototypes over the years. I saw some very original old small French saloon cars with BMW V8 engines and turbocharged Renault Dauphines of 1959 vintage. The fields were divided into standard, tuned and prototype vehicles. The race of the standard vehicles drew 22 rather modern cars, with a few BMW M3's and many 4WD rally cars. Of course, Erik Comas dominated the tuned race, and two of his other vehicles finished third and fifth. The race for prototypes only had eight cars and the performance difference was huge. I left 10 minutes into20the race and drove back up north for a couple hours, because the weather had turned very cloudy and some snow was expected during the night. I stayed in a chain hotel in the greater Lyon area and continued my

              journey back home yesterday in wintry conditions. The forecasted snow had arrived and it had arrived in serious amounts. There was one lane of the motorway cleared of snow and after an hour's drive, I was back on snowless roads again and made it safely home.

              I certainly finished my 2008 trackchasing with a flourish, being driven around by a former F1 driver in an icon of a rally car. I just read Guy's statement about a safe journey for Will, who should be on his flight back home at this time of writing. I can only say benvinguts to the ranks of trackchasers, having trackchased in the Catalan speaking part of the world (and being so intelligent of learning a few basic phrases in that language). What makes Will's trackchasing so unique is that he does it the old fashioned way: without gizmo's and a local contact to roll out the red carpet for him at the tracks he visited. In that he's a credit to the trackchaser' s guild. I hope you had a safe, pleasant and successful journey, Will.

              Roland

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