Who has never dreamed of getting out of work and hitting the road? Just take the road. Take the road at sunset and enjoy a beautiful summer night after a terrible air-conditioned day.
That is what Happy Few Racing kindly offered us to do, here’s the full story.
from Midday to Midnight
The second edition of the Midnight Run starts at the Ritz, a fabulous Parisian hotel. A cup of champagne in hand, we get a road map and a road book. On this road book is written: N48 ° 43’35 ” E2 ° 2’37 ”. This is the intriguing the starting point coordinates of this one-night rally.
Good opportunity to share with other participants in one of those rare moments of conviviality when motor oil mixes very well with champagne.
IWC, partner of the event, had the brilliant idea to install an F1 simulator in the middle of the prestigious hotel. Yes yes, an F1 in this baroque hotel. Reference time ? Lewis Hamilton’s one on the Paul Ricard circuit. Let’s race against the very best. Results: I made the 6th time of the day (not bad) and my co-driver Felix Godard was 1st! Oh yes, we did not tell you, our co-driver of the day is actually a Formula Ford driver..!
Aboard a Mini John Cooper Works convertible
For this challenge around the clock, what’s better than a Mini? 59 years old and not a single wrinkle! But Mini France did not lend us any Mini, they gave us the keys to the new Mini John Cooper Works convertible.
All the pleasure of a hot hatch car, the wind in the hairs and the sound in the ears. Participants come in turn with their Ferrari 458 Spider, Porsche 930, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, Ferrari 488 Spider or Ferrari California. We obviously had the smallest and the cutest car, but it will not let anyone get in its way with its go-kart servo steering and 231cv.
A beautiful blue IWC Portugueser on our wrist and we are on the road for the golden hour in Paris. We smoothly reached the starting point of the regularity rally in the middle of the Chevreuse valley.
Roof open, manual mode on: 3, 2, 1 go!
We are riding on those little roads that we love so much. The sport exhaust in stereo, it is a pleasure to cross the undergrowth, the clear fields and the villages of this region. A breath of fresh air just minutes away from Paris.
The roads are getting more and more winding, the roadbook is well in hand, the sun is starting to go down and the Mini is asking for more. Through the shadows, it is alternately the warm sun and the chilly air of nature that we feel on our skin. The tires squeal a bit, the front axle is looking for the best trajectory and the flames are roaring.
The sun goes down forever (hopefully not) and it is already time for the second stage… to be perfectly honest, we enjoyed the fantastic roads and our Italian and German competitors more than our timer.
Throughout the first stage we established our average reference speed and the second will count for the final ranking.
The second step is therefore by night. Always with the roof down, it is the freshness of the summer night that we have the chance to enjoy. The small headlights of the Mini light barely laces, the laces we browse at high speed. Second, third, fourth … third, second, the speed goes up and down. I believe we woke up the inhabitants of the forest with our terrific JCW sound. Rabbits and ferrets admire the John Cooper Works on its noisy passage through the woods, they will probably never have the chance to see one again.
And we already pass the finish line… This time again we beat all the times! But still not right in a regularity rally.
Back to the Ritz to know our disastrous classification. We will not have the racing gloves of Nico Rosberg as a reward (the real ones!) But an understanding smile from Stéphane Rotenberg.
Anyway, the real reward is the evening we spent on the small roads in Paris countryside. A nice car, a friend, small roads, other motivated petrolheads: that is the real life.
Discover “TheMidnightRun” story at the top of our Instagram profile.
Most importantly keep it #FuntoDrive.