Report from Roger Baker
Leaving Varese, on another beautiful sunny morning, we made our way to Lake Garda via Monza and its race track. There was a F1 race scheduled for that weekend so we didn’t really know if we would be able to get in but decided to take our chances. We left in a small group, both Grahams, Rob, Magnus and ourselves but we hadn’t even got out of Varese when Magnus and us got separated from the others. We had gone wrong at the first lights and then immediately lost Magnus too!
We managed to find our own way towards Monza. On the way through one of the little towns we were pulled over by 2 policemen. As you can imagine we were not quite sure why. We pulled up and in very broken English they said that they wanted to have a look at the car. They said it was very nice and sent us on our way, rather relieved and smiling we set off again. Entering Monza town we again got lost but did eventually manage to find the track in a very large park.
On getting to the gate, there seemed to be a lot of security. As we were contemplating what to do Steve and Rob in the red MK1 pulled up, they said they were going to try and get in, as we watched they were waved through, so we quickly followed them in. We were waved into the F1 offical’s car park (to our surprise). We were all stood in the car park when this very nice gentleman came over to us asking if we were there for the races. We said not and explained what and where we were going. He was really interested and told us about his AVO Escort before inviting us to go into the garages and pitlane with him. It turned out that he was one of the bosses of the HRT racing team, named Carlos.
We couldn’t believe our luck. He took us into the HRT garage, offered us lunch and drinks and said we could wander round the pit lane. We declined his kind offer but spent the next 2 hours photographing just about everything in the pit lane (100 plus pics taken!!!), and who should we meet in the pit lane but Graham, Claire, Rob, Peter and the other Graham. They had got themselves official “access all areas” passes from a contact within Marussia who had given them a full tour around the Marussia garage.
Well, it is a race track!
Having run the camera battery flat we decided it was time to move on. We left with Steve and Rob, and to try and make up some time, with the help of their satnav we headed for the motorway. We got off at the bottom of Lake Garda and followed the rest of the way along the side of the lake. Narrow road all the way with beautiful views over the lake and plenty of tunnels.
All photos © Cortina MkII Owners Club LTD