I’ve just been relaxing in front of the telly watching a show called Fifth Gear, on Channel 5. This show was preceded by another automobile-based show about “Building the Ultimate …” in this case, building the ultimate racing car. (Although, luckily for me, given my actual tastes, I switched back to BBC4 TV in time to witness this amazing boy doing his thing.)
Trouble is, what with speed cameras and satellite snooping systems and politicians who just plane hate cars, except for themselves to be driven about in, there are fewer and fewer places where you can drive these monsters in the manner intended by nature.
So, Fifth Gear went looking for the answer, and they came up with Race Resort Ascari. (Either that or they were told about the answer, and they stitched the question onto the front.) The Race Resort Ascari website is long on atmospheric photography and on self-importantly waffly abstractions (“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express” – Sir Francis Bacon) and short, as befits the website for a super-luxury product, on trivia like what it is and what it costs to buy it, so I will have to describe this place myself, based on what Fifth Gear showed. Basically what Race Resort Ascari means is that now, you can not only own an ultimate racing car; you can actually drive one at its ultimate speed, around a privately owned race track. You can now go on holiday and drive your car at two hundred miles per hour, just like in the car advers on the telly. And if that palls, you can have a go with one of the other cars they have there permanently. A grand prix car? No problem. A finely tuned rally car? Step inside and foot down.
Financially, obviously, this is one of those “if you have to ask you can not afford it” deals. (I think I heard the figure of £100,000 mentioned.) Personally I would never spend my money this way no matter how much I had. But even so, I salute the principle.
The next step is for someone to build a money-no-object private road which does not just go around in a circuit in the one little lump of land, but on which you can actually go from somewhere to somewhere else, and the further apart these somewheres are the better.
At two hundred miles an hour. In your car. Yours not mine, for once again, I would not be queueing up for this service any more than I now want to spend any time at Race Resort Ascari. Nevertheless, that I would love to see. That I would love to share a planet with.