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Entries from October 1, 2007 - October 31, 2007

Wednesday
Oct312007

Italian Job - Day 6 (Stressa to Turin)

Today we drove a 125 navigational route to Turin. On the way we stopped off for a special stage at the Cascina San Cassiano in Alba where the provided us with lunch.

The route ended in the Piazza Carlo Alberto where we all gathered before the police were to provide us with an escort to the old Fiat factory at Lingotto with its test track on the roof. We had a little time before our convoy set off so Carl, Angie, Ian and I went for a quick pizza in one of the many restaurants in the streets around the square.

Eventually it was time to set off in convoy to the Lingotto. It was all a bit crazy, four police bikes and a car with flashing blue lights escorting a load of Minis around Turin with the Minis’ horns blaring and their lights blazing. We managed to make some of the cool chic Turiners stop and stare at the procession. Our police escort also seemed to be enjoying themselves as they raced ahead to block off junctions for us to pass and then race off to catch up with the head of the convoy again.

When we arrived at the Lingotto we were split into two groups and each group was taken in turn up to the roof top test track and we were able to do a couple of laps. What an experience!
Tuesday
Oct302007

Italian Job – Day 5 (Monza to Stressa)

We left the Habitat hotel early to do a navigational run to Stressa on Lake Maggoire. On the way we stopped off at Gottard Park, which was some sort of crazy collection of old steam engines, tanks, aircraft, tractors and mountains of old motorbikes that would have been Fred Dibnah’s idea of heaven.

After the stop at the museum we continued on to Lake Maggoire for a boat trip to a small island on the lake for lunch. After lunch we returned from the island we had a special stage before checking in to our hotel for the night. It was a very fancy hotel with fancy bar prices to match so some of us stocked up on drinks from the local supermarket for a party later that evening.

The evening meal was another black tie affair but the meal itself was a bit disappointing. Afterwards a few of the Jobbers met up for an impromptu party in one of the hotel's underground car parks. As the drinks flowed more Jobbers joined us and we had a really good night. As the party was winding down someone from the hotel came to the car park to ask us to stop as a few other guests had complained about the party.
Monday
Oct292007

Italian Job - Day 4 (Quatro d Altino to Monza)

We packed our bags and loaded up the Mini as our stay at Quatro d Altino was over. There was a navigational run to the restaurant St George’s at Parco diMonza for lunch. There was a huge table and chair in the nearby park, no doubt some piece of modern art, so Ian and I walked over to it as we were waiting for the others to arrive

After lunch we had a short trip to the Royal Palace for some photos and then on to our hotel for the night, the Habitat which was a bit of a comedown from our previous hotel.

We were meant to be going for a lap of the famous Monza circuit but first we had to dress in our formal dinner suits and drive to a local BMW dealer for some snacks and the unveiling of the new Mini Clubman.

We then we drove to Monza race circuit but by this time it was dark and we did a couple of laps in the dark. This was a bit disappointing as it would have been far better do lap Monza in daylight and I felt it was slightly dangerous as they wanted us to do the lap in two lines of cars, side by side. This was no problem on the straights but it was a bit dodgy on the corners. We then had our meal in the restaurant by the start line and wentback to our hotel.
Sunday
Oct282007

Italian Job - Day 3 (Adria Raceway)

The navigational part of today's run to Ardia Raceway was cancelled due to roads being closed for road works and a big cycle race so we were made our way to Adria using GPS or maps.

A lot of us managed to get tangled up in one part of the city as they were closing the roads for the bike race and a few dozen Minis were frantically driving around trying to get out of the city before the rest of the roads closed and we were trapped for the day.

There was a special stages at Adria Raceway and then we were allowed out on the circuit for a lap.Ian had one lap and I had two laps, although we had to be a bit careful not to cause the clutch to slip too much.

We had lunch at the raceway before doing the last figure of eight special stage and then making our way back to the hotel for the black tie dinner.

Link to my Italian Job website
Saturday
Oct272007

Italian Job - Day 2

We all had an early morning wake up call at 6.00 for an early start.

The navigation section seemed to go OK and we finished at the children's home. We has a special stage there and then the presents for the children that the Jobbers had bought with them were laid out on a large table and the children said their thanks and sang songs.

We had another navigational section to the small village of Asolo where we stopped for coffee and a stroll before a short navigational stage to our lunch break at Villa Razzolini.

The visit to the military airfield in the afternoon was cancelled so along with Carl and Angie we went to Treviso for a stroll and coffee before heading back to the hotel.

At the evening meal we had a briefing and then the auction. We'd bought some TT merchandise, some Russ Swift DVDs and our Italian Job 2007 gold bars. They all sold for a decent price, the money from the auction going to the charities.