Race 2 Raise 2007

Two weeks after we signed up for Race 2 Raise the start came rushing towards us. I was asked to come to Rotterdam the night before the start to get the Mini stickered. When I arrived in Rotterdam the crew was already working on a BMW 3 series and on Team Arab’s Audi A6. Soon a couple other cars arrived including the Alfa Romeo GT and Porsche Cayenne that would join us in Turin. After the stickering we went back to town to have dinner with Boyd, Yvo, Menno and Olivier in restaurant Riva, the start location for the next morning. After dinner we continued to Cinema, the finish location and had a couple drinks with the M5 drivers from Friesland. I didn’t stay that long because I wanted to be fit for the first day and the first night of Top Run last month made me feel sick for two days ;-)

The next morning we had to be at the startline at 9am, I didn’t get up before 8.30 so was in a bit of a rush to the start location, when I arrived most other teams were already there. Time for some coffee and meet and greet with the other drivers. After the start briefing and collecting the goodie bags it was time to get going! 5 minutes before the start one of the race2raise girls, Dian joined me as my co-driver for the trip (thanks guys!). The police stopped traffic around the corner from Riva so we could all make a quick getaway, a police van escorted us to the highway and wished us a safe and fun journey.

Race 2 Raise start at Riva Rotterdam

Our first checkpoint was close to Nancy. At first we drove pretty much all together but as soon as we hit the Belgian border some people started to drive a little faster and the group got smaller. We drove together with the black BMW 3 series and the Belgians in the XC90. After Brussels we caught up with Boyd and Yvo in the white A6 and were heading towards Luxemburg, I really needed a small pissstop so we pulled over together with the BMW for a small break. Back on the road it took us less then twenty minutes to catch the Audi again, just after we caught up with them we saw the Alfa GT on the side of the road, there was some debrie right next to the car so I thought they had a flat tyre, we all pulled over on the emergency lane when Olivier came running towards me clearly laughing: they ran out of fuel!!! Organiser Peter was already on his way back with a jerrycan with fuel and we continued to the next petrolstation to fill up ourselfs. Soon everybody pulled in and we had some time to relax and have some food. From there it was only 100 kilometers to the first checkpoint so when the Alfa filled up we carried on. We were one of the first to leave and soon we saw Peter in the BMW Z4 M, drove together for 20 km but then the Mini felt like a bit more action. We arrived at the checkpoint as 5th, some of the cars that didn’t stop at the petrol station where we were waiting for the Alfa were already there.

Race 2 Raise Day 1 checkpoint

After lunch we filled up at the nearest gasstation together with the M5, Z4 M, Audi A4 and Alfa, when we came back at the checkpoint everybody else was already on the way to Geneva. Competitive as we are we felt like catching up with them asap. The Alfa has similar acceleration and driving style so we drove together for a long time, we overtook a couple cars and when we arrived at the first peage (French toll) the BMW 3 series was waiting for us. We continued over the pretty much empty highway, the Mini was leading our little group for about 30 minutes when I decided it was time to let the Alfa and BMW past. Not even two minutes later a police car suddenly appeared on the side of the road and pulled over the BMW that was driving in front of the Alfa and Mini. The french police took the drivers license and fined them 750 euro for speeding :-( We stopped at the next parking to discuss if there was anything we could do, we had to conclude there was not much we could do and carried on towards Geneva, the Alfa GT was following us again. From there we saw a couple more radars and police cars on the side of the road but after the BMW was pulled over we took it very easy.

The last bit towards Geneva was great, the highway winded through the mountains and there was nearly no traffic. 50 kilometer before Geneva the low tyre pressure warning light came on, I stopped to check the tyres but the looked fine. Later at a gasstation they all showed 2.4 bar so it has to be some kind of malfunction, annoying thing was that the warning keeps coming up and normally it shows the digital speedometer there. So after the first day I had to look at the navigation system to see how fast I was going. But as the digits are really small on the satnav most of the time I didn’t have a clue how fast I was going. Although we stopped at least 5 times since the second checkpoint we arrived 5th or 6th at the finish at the Aston Martin dealership in Geneva.

That night we had dinner in the old part of Geneva and partied the night away in the Java, the hottest nightclub in Geneva. Great atmosphere and beautiful girls, for an impression of the swiss girls check this out!

Photos Day 1:

The start:

On the way to Geneva:

Finish in Geneva:

More Race 2 Raise:


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