DC kicks Assen in the RB7

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Picture a Dutch canal-side and you tend to think of lazy bicycle rides, aimless strolls or perhaps just a relaxing coffee while watching the traffic slowly making its way along the water.

What you don’t tend to envisage is a duck-scattering, ear-splitting, flat-out blast in a Formula One car.

That’s just what the people of Assen were treated to over the weekend, however, as ahead of a demonstration run at the town’s TT circuit yesterday, David Coulthard and our show car crew decided that it would be a good idea to take the RB7 for a little spin along one of the town’s canal-side walks.

The locals seemed to think is was a pretty good idea, too, and despite baking temperatures of around 39 degrees Celsius, 18,000 people turned up on Friday to see whether DC could thread the RB7 through the narrow needle’s eye of the city centre’s canal bank.
The emphatic and very noisy answer was yes, and the 13-time grand prix winner had no problem cranking up the RB7 and completing two lengths of the wild 800m ride.

“It was a little bit different to what you’d normally do with a Formula One car but to power the car along the waterside hopefully looked really good for the spectators,” said DC afterwards. “We were obviously a bit limited in what we could do because of the tight confines but I think we hit a decent speed and hopefully it gave everybody in town a flavour of what Formula One is all about.”

Saturday was given over to sight-seeing in nearby Groningen, and David and the crew had to tread carefully in order to avoid getting roped into some impromptu ballroom dancing taking place in the town.

Yesterday, though, was the main event: a full-tilt assault on the Assen TT track. While the circuit is known as the cathedral of motorcycle racing, having hosted two-wheel races as far back 1925, but it’s not known as regular haunt for grand prix cars, and DC’s runs there as part of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup at the Gamma Racing Day celebration were a revelation, to the 80,000 crowd and to the former Red Bull Racing man.

“It’s a great circuit, a lot faster than I imagined it from watching on television,” said DC after putting the RB7 through its paces on the 4.545km track. “I’m still a little bit lacking in knowledge but it’s a really good track, a good track for F1 cars.”

And after two runs and a load of burnouts and donuts, the Scot was left wanting one more go at the impressive circuit.

“It’s quite tight at the beginning then very fast at the back, so it has a little bit of everything,” he enthused. “However, it’s so open that it’s quite difficult to see the reference points. I think I definitely need a few more laps!”

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