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View Full Version : Nürburgring Trip Report - May 9th-13th 2008



driveforward
28-05-2008, 08:04 PM
OK, it’s over two weeks since I got back, but better late than never!

This was to be my second trip to the Nordschleife this year, following the rather white visit over Easter (click here for report (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=9489)). Despite the snow, during that trip I still managed to clock up the first 20 laps on my Jahreskarte.
Unlike the Easter trip (and all others planned for this year), due to the opening times of the 'Ring over this weekend I would be setting off on the Friday night as opposed to the usual Thursday, but stopping until the Tuesday morning.


Friday 9th May
After getting home from work it was the usual rush to get the Arosa loaded up for the trip to Dover. This time I was heading over with my Dad, so we were ready a little earlier than before and managed to be on our way by 19:20. This meant that we arrived at the Premier Inn just outside Dover at a respectable 23:00 - an hour ahead of the Easter trip. We headed straight to bed for the 04:00 start.


Saturday 10th May
04:00 and it was time to get up and showered ready for the long day ahead. We left the Premier Inn just before 05:00 and headed to the ferry terminal for our 06:00 Norfolkline ferry to Dunkerque.
The signs were good as the sun was shining and the skies clear - a far cry from the overcast, hail rich snow blizzards we drove through on the last trip. As usual, the ferry crossing was nothing short of soul destroying, only broken by the short respite that is eating breakfast. At least this time, as the crossing was much quieter, Norfolkline seemed more efficient; and when we docked it didn't seem to take 45 minutes to get off the ferry and on our way this time!
The boring, flat and monotonous reaches of Northern France and the Western half of Belgium drudged by, broken only by our first of what would be ten refuelling stops throughout the trip. The Brussels ring road, stint through the Netherlands and some autobahn action followed.
Our arrival time in Nurburg was 14:00. We checked into Hotel Zur Burg, unloaded the car and set off to take in some viewpoints at various parts of the Nordschleife whilst the tail end of the VLN was still on. After the end of the VLN, we headed to the supermarket to recycle some beer crates obtained from one of my previous visits, and then back to the hotel to freshen up. The sky was totally clear, the sun was out and things were looking good for the evening session of Touristenfahrten from 18:00 to 19:30.

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/1.jpg

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/2.jpg

Wow was it busy! We made it down to the main entrance for the opening and into the car park. which quickly turned into a jammed up queue. The circuit opened at about 18:20, and we made it out through the barrier for some sighting laps. Given the volume of traffic in the car park and on surrounding roads, I got 4 decent back to back laps in to save getting jammed in the traffic before heading back to the hotel for some beers in the sun and something to eat.

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/3.jpg


Sunday 11th May
We awoke early, and enjoyed the usual German breakfast noting just how much busier the hotel car park was compared to the snow covered scene at Easter!

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/7.jpg

We headed down to the main entrance for 08:15 hoping that the initial queue would've died down enabling us to park up in the car park before heading out. Indeed it had, so after getting the helmets on and tightening the harnesses, off we went on what was to be an extremely hot, sunny and very busy day at the 'Ring.

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/4.jpg

Once again, we tried to keep the visits to the car park to a minimum due to the fear of never actually being able to make it back to the barriers as the queues at the main entrance seemed to stretch right back up to the Ringhaus, and halfway down the road towards the junction for Adenau! Therefore, the majority of entrances and exits were made at Breidscheid, including the lunchtime stop for currywurst mit pommes ;) As the day went by I racked up 20 laps, although few were totally free of incident or Brit or biker without clue (or, both in combination resulting in track closure).

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/5.jpg

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/6.jpg

By the time it'd gone 18:00 I decided it was time to head back to the hotel, so that we did in order to grab a Bitburger in the sun before freshening up and chancing our arm in the already fully booked PistenKlause restaurant.
We rocked up to the bar and managed to squeeze two stools between a group of Germans and two English blokes (father and son - snap!). With the beer flowing, steak sizzling and talk of the days driving in full swing, we arranged some pax laps for Monday morning and (with the help of the free WiFi) confirmed the rumour that the GP circuit would be open for 20 minute sessions after 17:00 on Monday.. I was not going to miss out on this given it had opened during my Easter trip, only for us to find out after the event! We had also heard that alot of people were heading home tomorrow so we had high hopes for a quieter day on the Monday..


Monday 12th May
Another early start was called for, just in case the crowds were anything like Sunday; so after grabbing breakfast we headed down to the car park for opening time at 08:00. This were much better as spaces were aplenty, and with yet another clear blue sky above us this was turning out to be the best 'Ring weather I had ever experienced.

The conditions seemed much better today, fewer queues at the barriers and little bother in the car park. Given this, most of our passenger lap exchanges were complete by lunchtime, and after many near misses, Tim from SEATCupra.Net and the Ringers forum finally managed to bag two laps in the Arosa. Talking of near misses, I must've had three or four near encounters (read: waves) with Marco from the Ringers forum, but never managed to meet up as it was always just as one of us was heading out.. ahh well, there's always next time!

I had a few great laps, sandwiched between a German MKIII Golf and a Swiss Lotus Elise, each ending with a reassuring thumbs up acknowledgement along the start/finish straight.. it’s just brilliant when those that you’re driving around are of equal ability and blatantly not idiots, and when the opinion is mutual!

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/9.jpg

When people started grabbing lunch, my dad took this opportunity to take his first drives of the track, so armed with his four lap ticket, we set out on a back to back session! The first two laps were used to settle in and tie things together that he'd been witness to for thirty odd laps prior to this over the weekend. The last two were great fun, and credit where credit's due, he had got it all sorted by the time lap four came around! Here is is tackling the Karussell:

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/8.jpg

During the afternoon, I decided to take the car out on my own, as before getting the Arosa, virtually all my driven laps had consisted of just me in the car, yet since having it, there had always been someone alongside me. Just like Sunday, totally 'clean laps' were few and far between today. However, the extra practice I'd had and the weight loss achieved by being -1 person meant that on one of the few laps that I timed, I had improved on the 9:31 from Sunday, clocking up a 9:19 - during a lap that included muppetised traffic mid way through. For a 1.4, I was impressed as I only really ever expected to reach the 9:30 area. Comedy old phone:

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/11.jpg

When it reached 16:15, I had picked my dad back up and we'd done a few laps, however, the track closed. We decided to take advantage of this and headed down to the GP circuit to try and make the first session at 17:00. I got registered, paid my €30 for a twenty minute session, had the briefing and joined the queue. Luckily I made it into the first fifty cars and hence, out on the first session. What amazed me was just how tight the GP circuit is, there are so many hairpin turns, and few opportunities to carry your speed through a corner complex; and boy was the surface abrasive! The GP circuit was a good experience, worth doing, but probably one I won't undertake too often.. not least because it ripped great chunks of rubber from my tyres!
Once the session was over, we headed back towards the Nordschleife entrance, past the most ridiculously long queue for the GP circuit which stretched all the way from the GP circuit pits, back to the old pits under the tunnel! Phew, we made the right call going for the first session.. our thoughts were "the 'Ring must be closed". Upon arrival, turns out, it was!
Never fear, within about ten minutes it was back open, and given the state of one of my tyres, I decided to grab the last few laps of the trip before retiring back to the hotel for the mandatory beer and sunshine combination.
That evening saw us dine in the Pistenklause once again, where we reflected on the eighteen laps of the day for me, four for my dad, and the twenty minutes on the GP circuit whilst supping a Weissbier or three and talking over the days events with some of the chaps we'd met earlier in the trip :)


Tuesday 13th May
Hometime :(

Today was all about breakfast, a trip to Adenau to stock up on beer, packing and the long drive home. As usual, we had the ferry booked for 16:00, so ambled back to Dunkerque at about 10:30. We eventually arrived back home in the West Midlands at 21:00 after a pretty uneventful journey. During the trip we filled up the car 10 times, drove a total of 1655.4 miles and used 3 litres of oil.. not to mention covering 42 laps (+4) of the Green Hell!

As far as weather goes for a trip, this really was as good as I've seen it, and with the fresh green on all of the trees the scenery was totally stunning. Pity it was also far busier than I have ever known it too! Either way, the trip was fantastic, and my dad's already talking of heading back.. at least he understands now!

I’m going to end the report with a brilliant photo by Hadoq, a real candidate for one I’ll be buying later in the year:

http://www.driveforward.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/RingReports/0805_a/10.jpg

‘Ave it!

Many thanks for reading, until next time which will be the end of June when I will be heading out on a solo trip...!

Ian

Jim Cameron
28-05-2008, 08:21 PM
Nice one, I saw you out there, you seemed to be going well :thumb:

texas2201
28-05-2008, 08:45 PM
good report Ian

and 42 laps over the weekend was astounding :-)

Martin black M3 E30 and fellow Zur Burger

Nige
28-05-2008, 08:47 PM
Yet another great report. :thumb:

The reports on here are getting better and better. I`m really enjoying reading them. They take time to write, so thanks for sharing with us.

I`d do the GP again, it was damp when I did it, with snow in places, so to do it in the dry, with 888`s would be definitely something i`d do again. Not sure if i`ll get the chance again this year, so you did the right thing by going for the first session.

Gus
29-05-2008, 11:34 PM
That made a good read, cheers dude B)

driveforward
30-05-2008, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by texas2201@May 28 2008, 08:45 PM
good report Ian

and 42 laps over the weekend was astounding :-)

Martin black M3 E30 and fellow Zur Burger
Indeed - given how busy it was I didn't think we'd clock up that many tbh!

Thanks for the replies chaps, the Arosa is certainly doing what is asked of it.. just lacks the legs to cope with long uphill sections, especially where you can't carry much momentum into that section..

.. next round of mods in 2009 should help that :whistle:

Simon
30-05-2008, 12:38 PM
Enjoyed reading that, nice one :thumb:

GVK
31-05-2008, 04:57 AM
Great report Ian, are you the same guy who had the Audi A2 on previous SCN trips?

driveforward
31-05-2008, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by GVK@May 31 2008, 04:57 AM
Great report Ian, are you the same guy who had the Audi A2 on previous SCN trips?
Cheers Gary, yup, still got the A2 as a daily driver. After 2 trips to the 'ring I decided I didn't want to push it any further! Prior to the A2 I had a SEAT Cordoba, and that made it along to a 'ring trip too.

I should be along for the CGTI/SCN trip in August. My report's been posted on CGTI also, but in a rather quiet section :rolleyes:

Nige
30-06-2008, 02:39 PM
Ian,

sorry to hear about your visit to the armco :(

Hope everything works out and you get the car fixed. :thumb:

BCA
30-06-2008, 10:02 PM
Nice, saw your car at Easter - we looked a little out of place driving in convoy into the carpark atleast twice... I was in the black Smart car! Looked to be going rather well :thumb:

Ash Mitchell
01-07-2008, 02:37 PM
Great read, helped brighten a boring afternoon!

DAN THE MAN
03-07-2008, 07:50 AM
Didnt realise you were on here- doh!

We met at briedsheid fuel station remember, i have the white integra with cage and other bits. 40 laps good going pal and good report..

i too know how u feel about having no power for the hills :lol:

why did your dad buy 4 LAP TICKET? i thought a JK covers the car if the person on the card is sat in it ? :blink:

I used mine plenty for other people this year..hope im right :shame:

Simon
03-07-2008, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by DAN THE MAN@Jul 3 2008, 08:50 AM
why did your dad buy 4 LAP TICKET? i thought a JK covers the car if the person on the card is sat in it ? :blink:


No. The YK is for the person who buys it only so he/she can not pax on it.

welly gt
03-07-2008, 08:02 AM
Just to clarify the jk only covers the person driving the car i have been stopped once and threatened with a ban. If you read the small print on your paperwork you signed it says jk for driver only not as a passenger....

Darran
03-07-2008, 08:20 AM
And if caught, say good bye to your €1,000 plastic watch. :blink:

DAN THE MAN
04-07-2008, 05:02 AM
i was under that impression but a biker who has a JK and stops with the marshalls a lot at Breidsheid told me otherwise so thats why got it wrong.
shant be doing it in future then :(

I thyink its wrong as im in the car but proba been said a thousand times :(