|Ascari Race Resort|
Imagine a place built for drivers, a place where you had a fleet of cars at your disposal, an entire staff of engineers, technicians and racing instructors on hand to assist you and a whole host of facilities for you to enjoy, not least of which is your own private race track.
Thanks to a Dutch businessman and confirmed car nut named Klaas Zwart a place exactly like that exists. Klaas is a man who believes that racing and relaxation are two of the finest things in this life, beliefs that led him to build five and a half kilometres of beautiful race track where he could indulge his tendencies to drive very powerful cars quite fast, and a luxurious clubhouse to relax in while he decided which car was next.
About ten years ago he went up in his helicopter, flew around southern Spain until he found a piece of land he liked, fighting off other buyers for over a year until he secured it. Being the industrious type he is, Klaas broke out the surveying equipment and a bunch of wooden stakes and set to work laying out the track. In the end, he combined elements from some of his favourite tracks around the world to make up the 26 corners of the Ascari circuit, which is now the longest circuit in Spain.
Thankfully Mr Zwart doesn’t mind sharing. If you have a thing for fast cars and beautiful scenery and you happen to have a fat wad of cash just lying around doing nothing, you can join him.
The Ascari Race Resort aims to provide a fantastic experience both on and off the track. The centrepiece is the spectacular clubhouse, which contains a restaurant, bar and a pool. The resort also has its own concierge service, helicopter, conference facilities and hospital, should you need to use them. One of the big focuses is exclusivity. The resort isn’t open to the general public and there are no grandstands or advertising. A large security team and discreet staff ensure that any embarrassing moments remain private.
The resort boasts an impressive fleet of cars from Lotus Elise's and BMW 325's right up to purpose built racing cars, including some Formula One cars. The courses on offer cover everything from basic handling skills to off-roading techniques and they can even help you get your racing licence. Aside from the main track, which itself can be split into three separate circuits, there is a huge skid pan that can be converted into a go kart track, an off road buggy racing circuit and 4x4 off road tracks.
Ascari Club memberships are available in various forms, and open up a whole calendar of racing and social activities. Admittedly, they're not cheap, but with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Jay Kay and Fernando Alonso all reportedly taking out memberships, you can rest assured that this is the real deal. As well as the chance to rub shoulders with celebrity, club members even have the option of storing their cars in the impressive multi-storey car park, which houses Ascari's collection of racing cars and bikes and the recently moved Ascari Cars production facility (formerly located in the U.K.). That's right, this is the same company that built the Ascari A10, the car that held fastest lap honours at the Top Gear Test Track for over 6 months. If you ask nicely they'll even give you a ride in one.
This is a truly amazing place, built purely for drivers by a man who loves driving fast, relaxing in style and refuses to compromise on either. This level of extravagance doesn't come cheap, and it's probably no coincidence that the resort is located about an hour north of the famous millionaires playground of Marbella. Be sure to bring your credit card.
Check out the following pages for a 3D map of the track, and some in car footage...