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View Full Version : Nurburgring Trip Report 26th-30th June '08



Dino
08-07-2008, 12:59 AM
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Got back last Monday evening (30th) from my 5th trip (and possibly the best so far)

I was in my e36 M3 Evolution and a group of people including C_W in his M Coupe, a Golf R32, VX 220 Turbo, Nova GTE, Renault 5 Turbo, 306 GTi6 track car, Audi S3, some track prepped 205s, Nissan Primera (!), New CTR, another e36 M3 and a 550bhp Skyline.

I was the 2nd car to board the 8am Norfolkine ferry at Dover on the 26th. Crying 'low ground clearance' seems to help :) as I was also one of the first cars off the ferry at Dunkerque!

10 mins into France and I had seen a few nice cars on the motorways with their obligatory ring stickers. One car looming large in my mirrors was a black e39 M5. I let him past and it was evident he was keen to play so I slotted in behind him and waited for the traffic to subside, a quick little blat and I was quite impressed that my M3 could keep up with him but I let him shoot off as I wanted a nice relaxed drive and wanted to save fuel :rolleyes:

The drive there was fairly mundane, as usual taking in a majority of motorway miles. Incidentally when approaching the ring road in Belgium, traffic was a little heavy with all lanes ahead braking. It was at this time I heard screeching brakes close to me and looked in my mirrors waiting for the inevitable impact so close was the sound! As I looked in my left mirror I saw the car in question - a MkV Escort who clearly braked too late in a panic and drove straight into the rear quarter of HGV lorry. The impact was so hard the rear of the car lifted off the ground and the front corner of the 'scort was totally demolished and dropped to the ground when he lost his front wheel and suspension! My mate George in the Nova GTE behind got an even better view of it as he was almost alongside when it happened! Thankfully we had avoided that one and proceeded with caution!

Once in Germany and off the motorways we were on the most scenic part of the journey with a nice B-road blast for the remaining few miles to our destination several miles from Adenau - oh and let's not forget the 3 glorious tunnels you pass through on the way! :veryhappy:

So after rolling off the ferry at 11am European time, 3 pitstops and 5 hours later we arrived in Adenau at the Blaue Ecke, where my friend Kerr was waiting with his R5Turbo (who had driven from Perth and taken a ferry from Hull to the Hook of Holland for 18 hours!) he had been there waiting from the night before - that's dedication for you!

We unpacked and settled into the hotel and some cold drinks by the fountain were the order of the day whilst we waited for the rest of the group to arrive (who by the way managed to miss the 8am ferry and ended up on the 10am one!)

Just before we were to set off for the track we encoutered our first problem. George's Nova GTE refused to start! Battery power was evident but the starter motor wasn't turning over or even clicking! A bit of tinkering failed to help so we pushed the car round facing the correct way and a quick push later and it had started! It then went on to behave itself all weekend! :thumb: In the meantime all the latecomers had arrived so once they were ready we all set off for the track and reminded ourselves how beautiful the road from Adenau to the ring is (not forgetting how much fun it is too!)

Approaching the 'ring car park, it was pleasantly empty with plenty of spaces, so tickets were bought and one by one we were setting off onto the Nordschleife for some serious fun! Track temps were quite high with the BMWs OBC registering high 20deg Cs but the road surface was hot and sticky and it was evident there was a lot of grip which helped my confidence levels somewhat.

Here is my first lap of the trip:

1st lap (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=f0yTknyLJdw)

The next lap should have been more of the same but we had a bit of a scare approaching Angstkurve after Kesselchen! I could see smoke in my rearview which was unnerving to say the least! I could smell smoke as well this lap too, albeit the smell of burning rubber - I thought it was the car in front or just me pushing on (naive I know!) It turns out the rubber arch lining seal had come loose and was flapping away on the tyre!! False alarm then thankfully!

Lap 2 (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qHRst4OCoKU&feature=user)

I then went out for a passenger ride in Kerr's mint and standard R5Turbo (bar a different zorst, a boost controller and some R888s) the little Renault really didn't like the high temperatures and I even wondered if it would last the lap let alone a full weekend of this!!!

So that was our first taste of the track and we went back to the Hotel for plenty of beers and then a lovely meal at Pinnochios which managed to accommodate almost of all of our group at 19 people (the other 5 sneaked off and got in there early!)

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Friday

The next day once we were all up and ready we asked the very friendly and helpful Michaela if there was anywhere she could recommend for some sightseeing, I wanted to visit Koln again but due to the Friday being a national holiday we didn’t fancy driving into a heavily populated city so she instead suggested we drive to Cochem where there is a medieval Castle.

35 mins later after some excellent roads we arrived in Cochem which didn't disappoint, a stunning town with very scenic views from the Castle and small cobbled streets with nice shops and plenty of restaurants to choose from!

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After a few hours of sight seeing and a lovely lunch (mmmmm pork leg, sauerkraut and mash potatoes….!) we were heading back to Adenau and then onto the ‘ring.

We arrived just as the track was opening and wasted no time queuing up for our first lap of the day. It was noticeably busier on this day (Friday) than the previous evening, with many natives there and more Brits too. I got to the barrier and was immediately stopped by a Marshall.

“You must remove your cameras - you cannot go on track with them”

He was referring to my bullet cameras, one at the top of the front screen and one in the rear screen, whilst not exactly hidden they weren’t immediately obvious but he forced me to reverse out in front of the queuing cars and the watching crowds….slightly embarrassing to say the least!

So I parked up and pondered what to do. A couple of chaps parked next to me in a red caged up Nova suggested I just tape up the cameras with insulation tape. I went back to see the Marshall and put this idea to him. Not surprisingly he wasn’t buying it, “you put the tape on, you go on track, you remove tape and you record again”. I told him I couldn’t remove the cameras as they were hard wired into my car and cannot be removed. The next thing he said surprised me……”Go get your ticket, bring your car….and go on track”

“I’m sorry, what do mean?” I replied, somewhat bemused
“Go get your car, go on track, I did not see your camera” he said
All I could manage to that was a simple, “thanks!”

I did however remove the front camera from the screen and tuck it into the glove box whilst with the rear one I simply pointed it down to the rear seat to show that it wasn’t seeing anything of interest. So unfortunately the next 3 laps weren’t on camera which is a shame as they were probably my best laps of the weekend, the track was clear with minimal traffic although it was almost to be my downfall.

Lap 3 went smoothly, a fast lap and I could really feel it all coming together. Since my last trip in my car it’s had Bilstein PSS9 coilovers, some more camber front and rear due to adjustable top mounts up front and adjustable rear arms as well as GT front splitter and GT rear spoiler to help with a little more down force. I’ve also changed wheels to 17inch items on Bridgestone S02s (seriously sticky rubber!)

Anyhow, after a great 3rd lap I went straight out for another, feeling good about myself, the car and the track conditions I thought I would push a little harder and pushed a little too hard into Fox Hole. I got a great exit out of Aremberg and went flat out down into Fox Hole, redline in every gear, no backing off or breaking until I was heading up toward Adenauer Forst. This was when things got a bit hairy! My entry speed approaching Adenauer Forst was wayyyy to fast and there really isn’t much room to scrub it all off if you are going too fast!! I felt like I flew over the kerb on the left which then seemed to push the car over to the right, I was aware of not wanting to apply too much braking unless the car was straight so had to time the moment right before slamming on the anchors which I managed to do and prevented me from going onto the grass…..by this point I was dripping with sweat and was thanking any God who would listen that I’d survived that moment. I didn’t let this faze me though and continued on my lap at good pace whilst reminding myself to be smooth, careful and focused. That moment certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry and I’m sure my passenger, Mick will take the memories to the grave with him!!! I spent the rest of the weekend treating Fox Hole with serious respect and never took it flat out again!

After 3 laps I think this was when I’d spoke to Leon, the chap I had bought our Ring Taxi tickets from who showed me his bullet cam mounted onto his sun visor, so 6 cable ties later my front cam was back in business! Unfortunately a schoolboy error meant that I deleted my 5th lap and part of the 6th (don’t you just hate it when that happens!)

With another afternoons action survived, more beers at the Blaue Ecke and then onto the restaurant up the hill for some steak on a slab! I always forget what it’s called but the steaks are always excellent (maybe because you cook your own on the volcanic slab!) even though on this occasion one of them never actually arrived!

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Out in the car park was a rather nice Audi

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Saturday

Saturday morning and knowing we had all day at the track (as well as Sunday) a few of us decided we’d clean our cars. Mine in particular was filthy as it hadn’t been washed for 3 weeks. I got to the track and immediately got some laps in. I usually do one lap at a time and sometimes 2 back to back if I feel the car is up to it. Temps were a little cooler on the Saturday it seemed. There were a lot of bikes about and several quite slow cars (probably newbies but we all start somewhere) Whilst I felt I wasn’t too bad on track myself I still think I’m not that fast and was quite surprised to be overtaking most cars on track.

Today did have a nice treat in store though.....a few of us were to have rides in the legendary Ring Taxi M5s! I personally could not wait for this as I have wanted a ride in one for years! What can I say…..it certainly lived up to the hype! Our driver – Philip – was an absolute star and really entertained with his antics and especially his commentary! I was in the front with Aussie Mick and Scotsman Kerr in the rear seats giggling away like school kids! This really was the highlight of the trip and I’d love to do it again someday!

RING TAXI LAP - CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO (http://youtube.com/watch?v=IAmffVb06tY)

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Other passenger rides today for me where in an M3 CSL (I want one!) and Martin Price’s sorted 306 GTi6 track car (Ring Taxi chaser!) Martins 306 is an experience as he is a very committed driver and the car is very raw – certainly a world apart from the Ring Taxi but just as much fun (and free to passenger it too!!!)

A few more laps in our cars and then we headed back to the Blaue Ecke for obligatory beers. Took some pics of the car just caus it looked so dam menacing :twisted:

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Just to make a change we went to another Italian eatery - Aviano at the edge of Adenau for an excellent and great value meal and who should we see there but our Ring Taxi pilot Philip! We had a good chat with him and I asked him does he ever get fed up of his job? His response was simply, “Look my friends, BMW pay me to drive an amazing car on the Nordscheife – I have the best job in the world!!” You got that right Philip!!

Sunday

This being our last day I was hoping to make the most of the time and get as many laps in as possible. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be the case. From early on in the day there was the start of many track closures, with many crashes closing the track on a regular basis. A couple of M3s, an M5, some 3 series coupes, it seems that BMWs were the car to crash on this day! Thankfully I wasn’t one of them! The rumour in the ‘ring car park was that the crashes were all due to newbies who didn’t know (or understand the dangers of) the track. One of the earlier crashes – a Finnish registered Dakar Yellow M3 – was involved in a collision with an off duty police officer, which meant the track was closed for an unnecessarily long time while the off duty copper asserted his authority on the situation.

It was a scorcher of a day which meant all the standing around waiting for the track to open meant that we all got pretty burnt! Well – some of us got tanned and others got sunburnt! Being of Mediterranean origin always helps when the sun comes out!! Without much else to do whilst waiting I took most of my pictures of the weekend on this day.

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On one of my laps I seemed to spend most of it chasing a 3 Series RentARaceCar, I don’t know what it was running but it was driven very well and I couldn’t catch it!

Chasing Rent A RaceCar Coupe - CLICKY (http://youtube.com/watch?v=oSl4EF96Pl4)

It’s tradition that on at least one occasion on our trips that a few of us go out and do a group lap. This one consisted of Matt Cony in his Golf R32, Mat Roberts in his VX220 Turbo, me in my M3 Evo and Chris Williams in his M Coupe (S50). None of our cars are standard but we made Chris start at the back due to his rapid car, his fearless nature and his (annoying!) gift for driving so fast in a motor vehicle!
As were all out together I’ve sexed up the footage a little with some pics to start with and what I think is an appropriate soundtrack:

Group Lap - CLICK TO WATCH (http://youtube.com/watch?v=VPtDbJt1Ifg)

After 3 years of trips with more or less the same group of people I finally had a passenger ride in Matt’s VX220 Turbo (with added booooooost!) and was very very impressed at it’s turn of speed, it’s also very deceptive as it doesn’t actually ‘feel’ that fast when in fact it’s ballistic! Hats off to anyone who is brave enough to drive one of these on the ‘ring – especially one whose diet mostly consists of chips and the odd margarita pizza (sorry Mat – I couldn’t resist!!)

Another lap was in order, this one being my penultimate lap. Around halfway I noticed a rather worrying vibration coming from the rear of the car so limped back to the car park. The most obvious thing to check was the wheel bolts. The first wheel I checked was the culprit – all five bolts were loose, so loose in fact that they could be removed by hand :o Strangely enough the other three wheels were all on tight, it was just the rear passenger wheel that was affected – a lucky escape and I’ll be sure to check my wheel bolts more often in future!

I was to do one more lap before the track was closed again and we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel. It was to be the final of Euro 2008 and the Germans would be out in force so we claimed our seats near the fountain and settled down to watch the impending battle between Germany and Spain. I took things a bit too far by deciding to fit in with the Germans.

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So that’s my trip – another one survived unscathed and without major incident, and at least we got home ok, well almost – Andrew and Mick’s ex-plod £460 Omega decided to break as it got on the ferry at Dunkerque and it got taken home on the back of a flatbed!

To conclude – the Nurburgring once again blew us away, the atmosphere, the cars, the madness of the place, the challenge of the road itself, the Eiffel mountains, the food, the beer, etc etc what a place!

If you have been before then you will know what I mean, if you haven’t then you really must at least once in your life :)

All the laps I captured are on YouTube so if you want to watch any of the others you can find them HERE (http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=dino355&p=r) on my YouTube channel

Cheers

Dino :thumb:

Gary Kinghorn
08-07-2008, 06:22 AM
Hi Dino great report.

Just one small comment. Did you not think that having been lucky enough to have a marshal spot the camera and eventually let you out on track with it facing downwards to have then videod laps you were pushing your luck a little? It really isn't worth getting banned for surely ..........

Anyway thanks for sharing your report :thumb:

Michaela
08-07-2008, 06:34 AM
Nice report... :thumb:

Good to hear that you enjoy your trip

And you look really sweet with the german flagg on your cheek :rolleyes:

Nige
08-07-2008, 06:47 AM
Thanks for sharing that report. Not watched your videos yet, but sounds like you had a great time :thumb:

When have you been out before? I`m sure I recognise your car :huh:

Simon
08-07-2008, 07:53 AM
Enjoyed reading that :thumb:. Will try & watch the video footage later.

Dino
08-07-2008, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Gary Kinghorn@Jul 8 2008, 06:22 AM
Hi Dino great report.

Just one small comment. Did you not think that having been lucky enough to have a marshal spot the camera and eventually let you out on track with it facing downwards to have then videod laps you were pushing your luck a little? It really isn't worth getting banned for surely ..........

Anyway thanks for sharing your report :thumb:
Hi Gary,

Well I don't think the guy actually spotted the rear cam, but after I'd moved the front one it simply wasn't visible so I took the risk! C_W had his under his number plate and it never got spotted - I think they just pull the cars that are obviously using cameras.

Shame I didn't get my Fox Hole>Adenauer Forst incident on camera as I would have liked to have studied that!

Dino
08-07-2008, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Nige@Jul 8 2008, 06:47 AM
Thanks for sharing that report. Not watched your videos yet, but sounds like you had a great time :thumb:

When have you been out before? I`m sure I recognise your car :huh:
I was out there at Easter 2007, car had 18" AC Schnitzer wheels on it back then.

Gary Kinghorn
08-07-2008, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Dino+Jul 8 2008, 10:37 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Dino @ Jul 8 2008, 10:37 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Nige@Jul 8 2008, 06:47 AM
Thanks for sharing that report. Not watched your videos yet, but sounds like you had a great time :thumb:

When have you been out before? I`m sure I recognise your car :huh:
I was out there at Easter 2007, car had 18" AC Schnitzer wheels on it back then. [/b][/quote]
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c_w
08-07-2008, 10:01 AM
Looks much better on the 17s Dino&#33; :P

Nige
08-07-2008, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Dino@Jul 8 2008, 10:37 AM
I was out there at Easter 2007
ah ha &#33; thought so :thumb:
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/wh00sher/Misc/dino.jpg

Dino
08-07-2008, 10:11 AM
Hmmm the jury is out on that one - I like both sets of wheels&#33;

Handling was much better this year but I think thats due more to the new suspension set up than the 17s

Darran
08-07-2008, 10:12 AM
I&#39;d also suggest that if you spot smoke in your mirror, pulling off the track to check would be advisable rather than proceeding on a wing and a prayer.

irf
08-07-2008, 06:11 PM
oops.

thought i had a photo but it was a different car sorry.

god these purple E36 M3s are sooooooo common :D

Dave T
08-07-2008, 07:57 PM
That was a good read :thumb:

got one of you:

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/small/dno.jpg

Big one here: >>J19DNO<< (http://www.homepages.mcb.net/davet/ring08/full_pics/PICT4572.JPG)

Dino
08-07-2008, 08:35 PM
Excellent :thumb:

Thanks for that - very nice pic B)

tony_d
08-07-2008, 09:20 PM
Great report, and good videos too B)

driveforward
09-07-2008, 07:36 PM
Great report :thumb:

..must finish writing mine&#33;