2CV meets are often remarkable, especially the larger ones. Attending the World Meeting of 2CV Friends in Sweden in 2007 remains an absolute highlight. However, this weekend just gone, I attended a 2CV meet that was so good, I’m only just able to write about it.
It turns out that combining the 2CVGB National with the Classic 2CV Racing Club’s 24-hour race was an absolute masterstroke! Of course, holding the event on Anglesey Circuit added to the magic. I’m not sure there’s a race track in the UK that sits in such a beautiful location. Certainly Snetterton in Norfolk can’t match it, which is probably why I’ve never been to a 2CV 24-hour race before. Or any race actually!
Getting there wasn’t without problems though. I’d mentioned on Facebook that the exhaust swan neck was looking a bit iffy. I was right to be concerned, and it fractured after just 20 miles of our 100 mile drive. I then stupidly spent ages repairing a small hole before noticing that it had indeed fractured completely. I bodged away with a roll of aluminium tape I handily found in the boot. This repair lasted five miles. After that, we lived with the noise.
When we got to the campsite, we pitched a tent, ate dinner, watched about 1.34 minutes of qualifying and then headed off for a ceilidh in the National’s marquee. This was brilliant and Blackbeard’s Tea Party didn’t disappoint. Nor did the stage, which turned out to be a converted Mk1 Ford Transit. Frustratingly, I got no good photos of it, so here’s a pic stolen from their website.
Then there was more dancing and chat and stuff. We went to bed and worried our tent was going to blow away, even though it was far calmer than the previous night by all accounts. We arose feeling dreadful, so I set about repairing the exhaust. Then I realised I wasn’t going to get it fixed, so I went on a track parade with about 150 other 2CVs instead.
Then I did finally replace the exhaust, purchased from the busy tent of ECAS 2CV Parts (this post really does have a lot of links!). Things were a lot quieter now, though perhaps that’s an odd thing to say about fitting an exhaust during a 24-hour race. The rest of the day was spent mooching, taking photos and wandering about the pits – where very little seemed to be happening. I did consider staying up all night, but racing in the dark is really boring! In fact, generally I found my attention span was about 20 minutes. So, we went to bed, wondering if we’d sleep with all that noise. Yes is the answer!
We got up again at 5:30am, just so we could watch the cars race against the rising sun. Turns out this was a VERY good idea!
The sky was dramatic as the 2CVs battled on and on. It got quite exciting too, with the lead changing several times in the final hours. Eventually, Team SeaLion took the victory by less than one lap. That’s after over 1300 miles of competition! The atmosphere was magical, as 2CV folk converged on the track for the finale. To be honest, anyone could have won. It didn’t really matter! The spectacle was appreciated by all.
It may have taken a long time to happen – 24-hour racing has occurred since 1990 – but thank goodness it finally did. Incidentally, at no point did the 2CVGB National involve a static display of cars – other than when cars formed up for the parade lap. This is a good thing! Wondering around the site allowed a chance to check out cars, but what made it truly exciting was having so much going on. I feel this event can only grow stronger from now on! The National next year takes place in May, but the 24-hour race will again return to Anglesey in August, and 2CVers are sure to be there in strong numbers! It just proves that nothing creates magic like cars in use.
My thanks go to all involved with making this event a success. Well done.