I’ve always fancied going along to the Goodwood Breakfast Club. The thought of a good hearty breakfast, a line up of great cars and a chat with fellow petrolheads, all in one of the country’s most evocative motoring venues has a certain appeal. But given my location and circumstances, a 4am start is just a little bit too much to handle, even for an ardent petrolhead like me. Shame.
But then I had a thought. If I can’t make it to Goodwood, why can’t I make Goodwood come to me? Sadly, Lord March wasn’t too keen on me packing up the circuit and surrounding buildings and heading west, so I’m planning on doing the next best thing. I tentatively and optimistically introduce, Dawn Refuelling. A kind of Goodwood Breakfast Club for the south west, only without a motoring heritage, a circuit, Lord March, the South Downs and any kind of momentum. But small acorns and all that.
The idea is simple enough. Meet up with fellow petrolheads for a dawn raid, then head along some of the region’s finest driving roads. Then at the end, everyone regroups for a hearty breakfast, a strong coffee and some petrolhead chat. It certainly appeals to me, so I hope it will appeal to others. If not, I’ll guess I’ll have the roads to myself.
I’m delighted to say that the National Trust has offered the fantastic Castle Drogo on Dartmoor as the finishing point / venue for each dawn raid. Conveniently located in the heart of the region, Castle Drogo was the last castle to be built in England and is surrounded by some great roads. It also happens to have a large car park and a wonderful restaurant serving breakfasts from 8.30am in the morning. I’ve been promised bacon and egg baps, bacon sandwiches, sticky buns and some proper coffee.
The plan is to test the Dawn Refuelling idea on Sunday July 17th. We’ll probably meet at Exeter Services on the M5 at 7am and then head over to Castle Drogo via some good driving roads for 8.30am. Alternatively, folk can just turn up at Drogo for breakfast and chat. I’d expect people to start leaving around 11/11.30am, leaving the rest of the day to spend with the family.
Like I say, I have no idea how well this idea will be received, but all being well I’d plan to roll it out monthly. In my opinion the south west needs to offer a little more to petrolheads. Hopefully Dawn Refuelling can plug a gap. Everyone is welcome, even drivers of Shatchbacks. This isn’t about speed, loud stereos or concours winning cars, this is about driving enjoyment and petrol-fuelled chat. There’s no charge for attendance, but you’ll have to pay for your own fuel and breakfast!
Let me know your thoughts. Follow @PetrolBlog on twitter for the latest updates or @MajorGav as usual. Alternatively, get in touch at dawnrefuelling[at]petrolblog.com or on Facebook. If there’s enough support I’ll firm up the details over the coming days. But in the meantime, assume that I for one will be waiting, probably in the AX GT, at Exeter Services at 7.30am on the 17th July. Alternatively, see you at Drogo for refuelling.
Thanks for reading.