November 20, 2005 One of our favourite television shows, the BBC’s Top Gear, tests all the very fast road cars and it runs them around the same test circuit so times can be directly compared. The fastest they’ve ever had around the circuit was a Maserati MC12, followed by an Enzo Ferrari, an Ariel Atom, a Porsche Carrera GT and a McLaren Mercedes – until recently, when an Ascari KZ1 pushed the McLaren out of the top five. To put the feat into perspective, consider the cars that have been around the same stretch of tarmac and are not in the five fastest –Ford GT, Ferrari 360 CS, Porsche GT3 RS, Lamborghini Murcielago, Pagani Zonda, Koenigsegg CCR, Noble M400, Lamborghini Gallardo, BMW M3, Mercedes CLS 55 AMG, TVR 350C, Dodge Viper SRT-10 and so on. The Ascari consequntly has moved into exalted company and the company’s ambitions stretch far beyond that, with its Race Resort Ascari due for completion in 2006. Located near Marbella in the South of Spain, the resort will offer a world class racetrack, a luxury hotel, and an array of the world’s most exotic cars to drive – if they haven’t got it, any car you fancy can be arranged. Ascari is clearly a name you’ll be hearing more of. The aerodynamic GBP235,000 KZ1 has a super-light, super-strong carbon fibre monocoque chassis and body shell weighing just 1,330kg. Its V8 engine is tuned to deliver 500bhp, giving the car a power-to-weight ratio of 376bhp per tonne, and enabling the KZ1 to offer exhilarating acceleration all the way to 200mph.

Firstly, if you’re a motoring nutter, you’ll find Top Gear’s lap times here, and details of the circuit they use here.

If you haven’t heard of an Ascari before, it’s because the manufacturer is relatively new, and until recently, not many people have had the opportunity to drive one.

The company was formed when Dutchman Klaas Zwart left the oil industry to fulfil his dream of designing and building his own modern day supercar. Ten years later, Klaas’s dream became reality in the form of the KZ1.

Designed and built by Klaas and his team at their 45,000 square foot Banbury (UK) HQ, the Ascari KZ1 is a genuine supercar delivering performance, design and opulent luxury. With production of the hand crafted £235,000 supercar limited to just 50, buyers of the Ascari are guaranteed a rarified level of exclusivity unmatched by most of its rivals.

Stylishly low-slung and sleekly aerodynamic, the stunning KZ1 has a super-light, super-strong carbon fibre monocoque chassis and body shell weighing just 1,330kg. Its V8 engine is tuned to deliver 500bhp, giving the car a power-to-weight ratio of 376bhp per tonne, enabling the KZ1 to achieve an exhilarating 60mph in just 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 200mph.

Thirty engineers with expertise in Formula 1 and Touring Cars spend in excess of 450 hours handcrafting each KZ1, with owners invited to spend time with the team at the Banbury factory to personalise their choice of specification and colour.

Finest grade Jonathan Connolly leather, manufactured exclusively for the KZ1, covers the interior, contrasting stylishly with brushed aluminium and complementing the specially constructed carbon fibre Sparco sports seats. Comfort and security are also assured as the KZ1s standard equipment list includes climate controlled air conditioning, a top of the range CD player, remote central locking and a Thatcham Cat1 alarm and immobiliser, plus NavTrak security tracking.

For most people, the construction of a world class supercar would be enough. Not for Klaass. The flying Dutchman has not only satisfied his thirst for motorsport with his own Ascari Racing Team, culminating with two of its cars competing at Le Mans in 2002, but he has also gone on to create his own racing nirvana set deep in the Spanish hills – RaceResort Ascari.

RaceResort Ascari

In 2000 Ascari began to develop the first ‘Race Resort’ in the world. After 2 years of research the ideal location was found in the South of Spain, 8km outside Ronda, 50km from Marbella and 80km to Malaga International Airport (a 16 minute helicopter flight for most guests).

Situated in a beautiful secluded valley, visitors will experience a totally new concept in holiday adventure. There both high-speed adrenalin and luxurious relaxation will be on offer at a modern 5,425 meter race circuit, and a 20 double suite luxury hotel for privileged guests.

The race track

The track is already complete, with construction having started in 2002. Not surprisingly, the track is very challenging, with high average speeds and a longer circuit length of 5.424 kilometres, though it can be divided into three separate racetracks . The long cicuit has also been designed to offer “balanced” driving conditions, with 13 right-hand curves and 12 left-hand curves, a wide (12.2 metres), smooth surface and naturally it has all the safety and security facilities to meet FIA standards.

The circuit is the longest in Spain and arguably one of the most beautiful and demanding tracks in the world. Designed and developed by Klaas, no expense has been spared in building the ultimate driving experience. Many of its 25 corners have been designed to replicate legendary motor racing bends, including Eau Rouge, Paddock Hill and the Karrousel, offering a motoring paradise for drivers of all skill levels, from the enthusiastic novice to the most accomplished racer.

Everything has been built to the highest standards. The resort has wifi access throughout, for example, and a health spa and beauty centre is being constructed to ensure the gentleman racer can bring female companionship that doesn’t wish to play with the cars.

For the fortunate elite, there is an opportunity to join the most exclusive automobile club in the world, with a privileged few being given access throughout the year to the resort’s unparalleled facilities.

Cars at the Race Resort

Cars on hand at the resort currentlky number a Le Mans Race Car (LMP 900 double seater, available for co-drives), Radicals, Reynard Chrysler single seaters, Lotus Elise race cars, a BMW 3 Compact, off-road buggies and the brochure states quite clearly that ANY other cars can be arranged on request.

Ascari Race Academy

The Ascari Race Academy is designed to offer tuition and challenges to suit a range of driving skills, from novice racer through to learning different racing techniques, through to learning how to pilot an open single seaters (there’s also an array of ex-F1 cars as well as the Reynard Chryslers).

The Race Academy can offer one-, two- and three-day driving programs for individuals and groups. All programs begin with instruction sessions, followed by hands-on car control exercises and road driving techniques. The Race Academy is serviced by a group of experienced track marshals and technicians.

The Academy focuses on the needs of street driving and is dedicated to enhancing a driver’s skill, confidence and safety while driving in any situation.

Whether it involves automotive events, sales teams, important customers, small conferences, clubs or just a group of friends, the Race Academy will meet any desire.

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