The Zoute GP Flying Sprint is a truly awesome spectacle.
Chances are you’ve never heard of the Zoute Grand Prix. Held every October in the Belgium beach resort of Knokke-Heist, right on the border with Holland, it is a little-known gem in the European car show calendar.
Among the events held during the four-day GP is the GT Flying Sprint. The competition is simplicity in itself: the cars take a standing start and try to reach as high a speed as possible before the road runs out.
Youtuber yd222 was filming from the start line and caught every single one of the 85 competing cars as they launched up the road. We counted 39 different cars, including assorted Porsche 911's, Ferrari 458's, Mercedes-AMG GT's, Ferrari F12's, Lamborghini Aventadors, and Audi R8's. There are even a couple of Alfa Romeo Giulia QV's, a Jaguar Project 7, an Audi R8 LMS race car, and a Mercedes-AMG GL63.
Various techniques are on display. Most drivers that have it use launch control, others simply mash the gas. A couple struggle a little with manual gearboxes but - amazingly - no one manages to embarrass themselves, although one of the Giulias seems to have a bit of a tantrum.
But which one sounds best? There are no real duds here, but a few stand out for us. The 5.0-litre, supercharged V8 in the Jaguar Project 7 is filthy. The Ferrari F12’s 6.3-litre V12 is searing. The flat-plane crank, naturally-aspirated V8 in the Porsche 918 is spine-tingling. Even the twin-turbo V8 in the BMW X6M is pleasingly angry. But our personal favourite is the Mercedes SLR McLaren, its 5.5-litre supercharged V8 sounding like some huge, primordial beast roaring at a rival.
During the Zoute GP there is also the Top Marques auto show, the Zoute Rally for classic cars, a Concours d’Elegance, and the GT Tour, of which the Flying Sprint is a part.
If you find yourself in that part of Europe next October, I suggest you check the show out. And in case you’re wondering, “zoute” is Dutch for “salt."