FORD GT PICTORIAL

FORD GT ON THE AT­LANTIC OCEAN ROAD

Driven - - Contents - Re­port by FERDI DE VOS | Images © FORD EUROPE

Ex­plor­ing the At­lantic Ocean Road

SU­PER­CAR? CHECK. ONE OF EUROPE’S GREAT­EST DRIV­ING ROADS? YOU BET! THE RE­SULT: SOME OF THE MOST GOR­GEOUS IMAGES OF THE NEW FORD GT TAKEN OUT TO PLAY ON THE AT­LANTIC OCEAN ROAD.

It must be close to the ul­ti­mate road trip – driv­ing the stately prom­e­nade of a spec­tac­u­lar coastal road, fol­lowed by a record-break­ing blast around a very spe­cial cir­cuit, un­fa­mil­iar to all but the big­gest rac­ing fans.

This is pre­cisely what Ford Europe had in mind for their lat­est video of their se­ries on Europe’s Great­est Driv­ing Roads– that’s meant to put the spot­light on the new Ford GT su­per­car.

The At­lantic Ocean Road, which el­e­gantly show­cases the jaw-drop­ping beauty of Nor­way’s shores, is un­doubt­edly one of Europe’s great­est driv­ing roads and needs to be driven, to be be­lieved.

The road, known as At­lanter­havsveien in Nor­we­gian, is an 8.3-kilo­me­tre-long sec­tion of County Road 64 that runs through an ar­chi­pel­ago in Eide and Averøy in Møre og Roms­dal, Nor­way.

Con­sist­ing of a string of eight bridges, it passes by Hus­tad­vika, an un­shel­tered part of the Nor­we­gian Sea, con­nect­ing the is­land of Averøy with the main­land and Roms­dal­shalvøya penin­sula. It runs be­tween the vil­lages of Kårvåg on Averøy and Ve­vang in Eida. Built on sev­eral small is­lands and sker­ries, it is con­nected by sev­eral cause­ways, viaducts, and bridges – the most prom­i­nent be­ing Stor­seisun­det Bridge.

The route was ini­tially pro­posed as a rail­way line in the early 20th cen­tury, but the idea was soon aban­doned when se­ri­ous plan­ning of the road started in the 1970s.

Con­struc­tion be­gan in Au­gust 1983. Dur­ing de­vel­op­ment, the area was hit by no less than 12 hur­ri­canes be­fore it was opened in July 1989.

Of­ten used to film ad­ver­tise­ments, the road has be­come im­mensely pop­u­lar with the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try; and more than ten man­u­fac­tur­ers have al­ready made tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials along the route, of­ten de­pict­ing the harsh weather.

To round off the su­per­car jour­ney, the GT – pro­pelled by a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 de­liv­er­ing a size­able 482 kW of power and 746 Nm of torque (with 90% of the lat­ter avail­able from 3,500 r/min) – was taken on a high-oc­tane de­tour to the lit­tle-known Arc­tic Cir­cle Race­way.

Lo­cated only 30 kilo­me­tres south of the Arc­tic Cir­cle, the 3.7-kilo­me­tre cir­cuit, opened in 1995, is the big­gest race­track in Nor­way. Cus­tom built for road rac­ing, it has the pos­si­bil­ity for 24-hour rac­ing in full day­light in sum­mer be­cause of the mid­night sun.

Here, Ford Chip Ganassi Rac­ing driver and Le Mans vet­eran, Ste­fan Mücke, set a new lap record at what is the world’s most northerly cir­cuit. De­scrib­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence, he said that the GT might be a mas­sively quick road car, but the way it was de­signed means it truly comes into its own on a cir­cuit. “It’s great to set a new lap, but to do it here at such a beau­ti­ful cir­cuit, with such a spe­cial car, is re­ally some­thing.”

The Nor­we­gian driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with the GT is the sev­enth video in the Europe’s Great­est Driv­ing Roads se­ries from Ford and can be viewed on the ‘Ford Europe’ YouTube chan­nel.

“THE ROUTE WAS ORIG­I­NALLY PRO­POSED AS A RAIL­WAY LINE IN THE EARLY 20TH CEN­TURY, BUT THE IDEA WAS SOON ABAN­DONED WHEN SE­RI­OUS PLAN­NING OF THE ROAD STARTED IN THE 1970s.”

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