Zurich – Milan - 6 Hours 56 Minutes - 425 KMS
We were up and out early but again, some of our team mates decided not to stay in convoy, travel in the opposite direction and argue with the Satnav and ‘team leader’. Good old-fashioned map books were deployed, whilst my rally system said I was still cruising at an altitude of 200ft. The 6am starts just to sit around for an hour waiting in laybys for errant team mates were beginning to grate a little…
As a team, we developed a system whereby Lorina would go down to breakfast and make us a ‘packed breakfast’ for the road because the starts were so early neither was hungry. In turn I would take the luggage down to the car, load us up so we were ready to go after the drivers briefing.
On a rally it is important to give each other space and develop a support system of working together. The days were long, the driving demanding and atmosphere in the cab of the car had to be unified. We ended up a slick little team and will share some of our other tips with you later.
The scenery had stepped up a gear as had our mood and pace as we made our way past the amazing mountain scenery with immense lakes to our right filled with yachts and speed boats making the most of the amazing conditions. At this point in our journey tunnels became more and more frequent as did hanging back, opening the windows and listening to the roar of our team mates’ exhaust systems.
The roads got steeper and narrower in time and our grins wider and wider. We were aiming for the awe inspiring Sustenstrasse, then onwards to Grimselstrasses, Am Gimselpass and ultimately Nufenenstrasse – some of the finest ‘twisties’ that Europe has to offer.
The roads consisted of sheer drops, cyclists, huge inclines, motorbikes, massively tight bends, coaches, sunbathing cows, local racers and restaurants at which you could pull over and pull yourself together having given the roads ten tenths… absolutely stunning, not for the faint hearted and should be on every motorist’s bucket list.
The M2 has three driving modes –
- Sport Plus
Don’t fall into the trap of the name ‘Comfort’ as it’s like discussing the relative comfort of a rocket ship.
However Sport delivers the torque, grunt and glorious burble of an even bigger rocket ship and Sport Plus turns off the rocket ship’s table manners and lets the back end play turning the traction control off.
Therefore Sport Mode gloriously tackled the tight bends and sweeping landscape.
The radios were filled with traffic information of what was coming towards us meaning you only had to judge your bravery versus the width of the road to overtake in the knowledge you wouldn’t meet oncoming traffic.
We started following signs to Como and Milano as the sun set, and soon found ourselves alongside the stunning Lake Como and making our way through the tiny lanes that run alongside it.
With our exhausts set to loud, the locals came out to greet us and wave obviously used to our soundtrack playing neighbour the Villa D Este and the wonderful machinery it attracts.
We found a fantastic alfresco restaurant at which to dine and made our way to our last destination of the day – a hotel in the airport district of Milan.
Most stayed up too pumped with the sounds and sights of the day’s drive and swopping stories of twisty overtaking manoeuvres, God’s own scenery and the performance of their machinery therein.
Day three was concluded and sleep came oh so easily…