© Zaid Hamid, GT Spirit 2016
Last month Borro contributor Tim Hutton joined the GT Spirit 10th Anniversary tour taking in some of the finest roads Europe has to offer.
If you are a fan of supercars you will have no doubt heard of the website GT Spirit. To celebrate their 10th anniversary founder Des Sellmeijer organized a tour. Before setting off all I knew was that we would start in Munich and finish three days later back in Munich.
For the trip I chose to take my own classic Porsche 911, based in London this meant a mini road trip just to get down to Munich, choosing to stop over halfway at the Nurburgring to see friends and drive around the GP track, I decided driving the longer and more famous Nordschleife would have put too much strain on the car.
Arriving into Munich on Thursday afternoon the familiar sounds of supercars with sports exhausts could be heard, the 911 was without a doubt the oldest car on the trip but also seemed to be the fan favourite. Thursday night saw the official launch party at Heart House, Munich’s first private members club, it was a great opportunity to have a drink and relax while meeting the other drivers, a great ice breaker for what laid ahead.
Friday morning came around much quicker than planned with an 8.30am start we were given our first route card, this morning we would head to Austria to drive the beautiful Nockalm Pass at Glockenhütte. Lunch was served at the very top and when in Austria if you are not a vegetarian you should always order Wiener Schnitzel! After lunch we headed down the other side of the pass in convoy with a blacked out Lamborghini Aventador, Mercedes AMG GTS and one of two Porsche Cayman GT4s. What the little 911 lacks in power it makes up for with a very low centre of gravity and super sticky tyres, the descent was ‘good’ fun!
The afternoon route card alerted us to the news that we still had a fairly long drive all the way to Zagreb in Croatia, a really nice touch was that the organisers had pre-purchased the vignettes for driving through Austria and Slovenia. This really helped us out especially as the 911 has a full roll cage, bucket seats and harnesses, getting out to pay tolls is quite an operation!
Zagreb was spectacular with our overnight at the decadent Esplanade hotel. As so often is the case our stop was too short with just time for a meal in a top local restaurant called ManO and then on to the Khala Club. It is very easy to get carried away and forget that you need to once again be up early and driving, so some restraint is required on these kinds of adventures!
Saturday morning saw us taking a short drive to the Akrapovic exhaust factory in Slovenia, not many people are granted access and all phones had stickers placed over cameras during our guided tour. What I can say is that the facilities, attention to detail and quality of their product is unrivalled. After Fridays long drive it was great to hear that today we just had a short run via lunch to Portoroz on the coast of Slovenia. Waking up not knowing where you will end up each evening is a really fun way to spend a few days, safe in the knowledge that the organiser has fine taste and won’t let you down. Portorz was a real gem, a lovely small and picturesque resort occupying a section of the 46km of coastline that sits between Italy and Croatia. After the previous night’s antics having time to relax in the pool at the Kempinski hotel and then a buffet dinner was a welcome energy boost set to a backdrop of a mega thunderstorm.
From Portoroz we headed to the Grossglockner Alpine Road, one of the finest roads in Europe which rises to just over 2,500 meters giving a great view of the Grossglockner mountain that peaks at 3,798 meters, Austria’s largest mountain. The run up was drenched in sunshine meaning plenty of photo stops but as we passed through the tunnel to the north side the weather was wet, foggy and almost freezing, not ideal for a car with no ABS, traction control and semi-slick tyres! It’s a stark reminded that the weather can change very quickly up in the mountains. Our evening destination of Kitzbuhel was thankfully now just a short drive away.
Tonight the group were treated to a trip to Rosi’s a popular après-ski stop and hilarious fun with Rosi getting her guitar out and more schnapps than I have ever drunk before!
Monday saw the final day of our adventure with a short run back to Munich via the stunning Rossfeld Panoramastrasse, arriving back into Munich our final destination for the drinks and awards ceremony is the BNM restaurant and everyone is in high spirits as we laugh about our crazy adventures over the last few days.
With the trip over, the come-down sets in as my pace of life settles back down to a more relaxed speed. There are thousands of miles of stunning roads in Europe that when mixed with a group of friends or strangers will give you the greatest memories. If you have a car, now is the time to get out and drive these roads that will take your breath away.
About the Author:
Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.