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Day 4 San Sebastian

Day 3 Rain to Spain.

Lots of rain on the drive down through France. Must get some tape tomorrow to hold it all together. It wasn’t as bad as this last night.

Campsite up in the mountains above San Sebastian. We’ll be here two more days.

It’s not all driving, this holiday. There’s drinking to do too. Bus from campsite into the city every 30 mins. Perfect.

San Sebastian about 5pm. It was warm and sunny two hours later.

Bet they never backed it into a tree.

Love tapas. Pintxos (sp?) they call it around here.

Day 2 Merde.

Went to La Rochelle. Backed into a tree on the campsite. Took a picture but can’t bring myself to post it. Not good.

Day 1 Saint Cado.

Arrived at Saint-Cado campsite.

Put up tent.

Went for walk. 

Found a bar to watch Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Stroll 3rd? Unbelievable!

(150 miles. 35.8 mpg.)

On board the Armorique

Just boarded in Plymouth and having a few drinks in the bar before heading to our cabin.

Bay of Biscay Road Trip

Many people tell me that the idea of spending their holiday in a car is their idea of hell, but I do like a good road trip. I like cars, I like driving, I like seeing new things every day on my holiday and I like the concept of a journey – heading towards a destination. Getting there. Achieving something. We’ve done a few good ones in our time including coast to coast USA, Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Salalah in Oman and Istanbul to Doğubeyazıt in Eastern Turkey (by bus). Tomorrow we’re starting another one. The Bay of Biscay.  At the end of it is Fernando Alonso’s Museum at Coruno in Northern Spain. It’s a 2,300 mile round trip according to Google Maps but will be further than that as we often deviate and get lost.

This is our route and I hope to post a new picture every day from my phone. And as this is car related blog and this is a road trip, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of a certain yellow Toyota GT86 Giallo. If you want to follow along, why not follow this blog by clicking the ‘Sign me up’ button.

The map below should be fully interactive. If it’s not on your device, please let me know and I’ll get my hammer out.


Today I took the Giallo up to Warrington in Cheshire to a tuning company called Tuning Developments. They have a good reputation on the Toyota GT86 & Subaru BRZ Drivers Club forum and I decided it was worth making the trip rather than getting the work done locally by someone who was not a GT86 specialist. I also knew that I wanted an EcuTek map and this has to be done by an authorized tuner.

giallo on rolling road

Tuning developments offer a GT86/BRZ ‘Tuning Package’ and this is what I bought. It consists of the following:

‘Before’ Dyno Run Session
Stainless Steel Exhaust Manifold – EL or UEL – GT86 / BRZ
Stainless Steel Overpipe – GT86 / BRZ
Titanium Heatwrap
FA20 Cylinder Head To Manifold Gaskets – GT86 / BRZ
Exhaust Manifold Gaskets – GT86 / BRZ
Overpipe Gaskets – GT86 / BRZ
K&N Drop In Air Filter – GT86 / BRZ
ECUTeK License – GT86 / BRZ
In-House Remap Using ECUTeK With RaceROM Suite – GT86 / BRZ
‘After’ Dyno Run Session Incorporated With Above Remap

You can read more about this here – GT86 Tuning Package.

The ‘before’ dyno run reported 183 BHP (a bit down on the 200 BHP that Subaru/Toyota claim) and the ‘after’ run delivered 205 BHP. But perhaps as important is the power curve which is much smoother now, with the annoying dip between 3250 and 4750 rpm now removed. You can see this on paper but you can also feel it. It feels significantly quicker.

The ECUTek RaceROM suite gives you four different maps which are selected with the cruise control lever and I had thought that this would entail losing the cruise control function but this is not the case, which I am quite pleased about because driving up the M6 this morning and back down it this afternoon I used the cruise control for ages in the 50 mph average speed zone. With the maps you also get three goodies –

Launch Control
Downshift Auto-Blip
Flat-Foot Shifting (No need to lift the throttle on an up change)

I haven’t yet played with these yet but this video shows how they all works,

All this of course puts my out of the Standard Class in the Toyota Sprint Series but since I was the only one in that class I am looking forward to the competition in the modified class. I’ll miss the next round at Kendrew but will be back for round 4 at Anglesey on 20 August.

I also had a 30,000 mile service as next Saturday we are off on a road trip in the Giallo down through France, over the Pyrenees and across the north of Spain to see Fernando Alonso’s new motor museum. (I think I told Jacqui it was to see the Picos de Europa. Well we’ll see them too and it will be no surprise to her that we find a motor museum somewhere along the route). Talking of motor museums and non standard engines, here are a few engines we spied in the Malaga Motor Museum back in March…

That’s all for now!