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Racing in the streets
With plans afoot to bring the spectacle that is Bavaria City Racing to Dublin, our man in Rotterdam is there for the big announcement – and gets up close and personal with the high-performance cars themselves.
Colm O Hare, 29 Sep 2011
There is nothing quite like the sound of a high-performance racing car as it blazes past you at speeds of up to 300kph, the roar of the engines echoing around the buildings of the city. It starts off benignly enough with a sound in the distance like a drone of bees. As it approaches, the noise reaches decibel-shattering levels, the heart beats a little faster and the adrenaline rush is palpable. In the blink of an eye and a haze of smoke – it’s gone!
On a hot, humid Sunday afternoon in August, the atmosphere in Rotterdam was, to use the old cliché, electric. The whole city had been sucked into the action, making it as much a social occasion as anything else. From as early as 8am, crowds began to lay claim to the best viewing points along the route. Being Dutch of course, they were highly organised, with folding chairs, picnic tables, and cool boxes full of food and drink. As Rotterdam is a high-rise, built-up city, virtually every apartment balcony along the route was packed with revellers, while pleasure boats of all sizes, filled with fans, bobbed around the harbour alongside the track. Meanwhile, in the VIP area of the paddock and in main viewing stands, models, footballers and key racing figures such as Eddie Jordan mingled with the beautiful locals.
You don’t have to be a Formula 1 fan or a petrol-head to appreciate the incredible driving skills or the exhilarating assault on the senses that the combination of speed, sound and burning rubber provides. And when one of the cars screeches to a halt, before revving up again and spinning around before your very eyes well, words can’t describe it – you really do have to be there!
Announcing the news of the event’s arrival in Dublin at a press conference in Rotterdam just before the racing began, Gavin Collins, managing director of Bavaria City Racing Dublin, could barely conceal his delight. ”It’s been 16 years since Ireland witnessed the excitement of a current F1 car, but Bavaria City Racing Dublin is about to change that,” he beamed. “It will be a fun-fuelled weekend of interactive activities around the main event, with something to meet every individual’s interests, from fashion to music to motor racing, with a gala dinner and after-parties. It’s going to be huge.”