THE TOP TEN Attractions in Europe for Car Lovers
Europe is full of attractions for the car lover, as the continent is packed full of historic race circuits and is the home to many world-famous manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. If you are planning a car lover's trip to Europe then take a look at this top 10 guide to the best motoring attractions on the continent.
Europe is full of attractions for the car lover, as the continent is packed full of historic race circuits and is the home to many world-famous manufacturers... more
Nestled in the Eifel Mountains of Germany, the Nurburgring is one of the most famous (and feared) race circuits in the world. Opened in 1927, the 14.172 mile Nordschleife ('Northern Loop') is a rollercoaster ride of a racetrack, packing in over ninety corners and extreme gradient changes and slopes, designed to test the driver to the limit.
The 'Ring hosted the German Grand Prix for both cars and motor cycles, where great names such as Stewart, Ickx, Sheene, Agostini, Hailwood, Fangio, Moss and Ascari all shone as they each tackled the circuit's unique challenges.
The circuit hosted its last F1 Grand Prix in 1976 and the last bike Grand Prix in 1980, but the circuit is still in constant use for races and car testing by major manufacturers. Ordinary motorists can also try their hand at the circuit as it operates as a toll road, allowing access to the track for a fee.
If you'd rather spectate than drive, then the smaller 3.199 mile Grand Prix circuit (located on the old start/finish area) regularly hosts major races, including Formula 1. A modern, safe track with excellent facilities, petrol heads can be assured of a great day out.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is steeped in motorsport history and is the home of the F1 Italian Grand Prix. Set in the beautiful surrounding of the Royal Villa of Monza park, the track is famous for its long straights and dauntingly fast corners.
The circuit holds many top-line motorsport events throughout the year including the Grand Prix, the Monza 1000kms and rounds of the World Touring Car Championship and the World Superbike Championship.
Le Mans 24 Hours
The greatest endurance race in the world will be 90 years old in 2013, having challenged man and machine for the best part of a century. Run on the famous eight mile circuit on the outskirts of the town of Le Mans, the 24 hour race is a must-see motoring spectacle.
The race is run every year on the weekend of the 26th - 27th May, the race starts at 4pm on Saturday afternoon and finishes at 4pm the next day. The cars race on through the night, making pit stops for tyres and fuel with a team of three drivers taking turns to drive each car.
To book tickets and to find out more about the race, visit Le Mans 24 Hours site
Mercedes Benz Museum, Stuttgart
Take a Stuttgart flight to visit the home of Mercedes-Benz and explore the company's rich automotive history at their museum. Take a two hour tour of the museum where you will find out about the company's past as well as seeing some of their most famous cars on display.
Another legendary race track, Spa-Francorchamps is a demanding five mile Belgian circuit set in the Ardennes forests. Spa is home to the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix and the Spa 1000km sports car race, as well as many other national and international motorsport events.
Featuring corners such as the daunting Eau Rouge, Radillion and Blanchimont, Spa is a circuit that regularly sorts out the men from the boys. If you're not able to visit the track during a race weekend, then why not take to the track yourself? The circuit organises special track days where you can tackle one of the greatest race tracks in the world yourself.
A must for any Ferrari fan, the Galleria Ferrari is the official company museum located 300 metres away from the Ferrari factory in the town of Maranello, Italy. Opened in 1990, the museum is visited by 240,000 people a year and contains some of the company's greatest racing and road cars on show.
A former World War II airfield in Northamptonshire, England, that has become one of the most famous racing circuits in the world. Home to the Formula One and Motorcycle Grand Prix, as well as many other national and international events, Silverstone boasts a busy racing calendar all year round.
However, for those visitors who want to get a little more hands-on, Silverstone has a racing school and offers track days.
This track in northern Holland is known as the 'Cathedral of motorcycle racing' and has hosted the Dutch round of the motorcycle world championship every year since its inception in 1949.
A real busman's holiday for the four-wheeled enthusiast, the circuit has great vantage points from which to watch any of the national and international bike races, including the legendary Dutch TT.
Monaco Grand Prix
One of the must see Grand Prix on the Formula One calendar, this race around the streets of the tiny principality has been a jewel in the crown of motorsport for decades. Watch the world's greatest drivers brush barriers and mount the kerbs at astonishing speed as they negotiate the demanding Monte Carlo circuit.
Donington Grand Prix Exhibition
Situated at the Donington Park Race Circuit, England, the exhibition is a real treat for the racing enthusiast; featuring F1 cars, Sports cars, Grand Prix bikes and superb road cars.
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