View Full Version : Aug 18th - A flying Visit

Matt A
21-08-2008, 10:45 PM
I’ve written this report for anyone who may be interested in getting out to the Ring for literally a flying visit + some approximate costings.

Right, so the background around this visit was trying to recoup some of the lost lappage due to multiple and lengthy track closures on my last trip during 27th -30th June 2008. Together with some issues(fuel leak and then suspected top mount issues) around the Alfa I’d hired from RSR, I was really disappointed that I’d taken 4 days away from family and spent in excess of £900 for what was in effect:

1 day driving to Nurburg from Norwich,
1 full day lapping in a rental Alfa,
1 day of driving my own car, pax laps and spectating
1 day driving from Nurburg back to Norwich

Costs broke down something like this:
Fuel - £250
Ferry - £42
Hotel - £120 my share (shared room with 3 others)
8 lap ticket – around £110
Alfa hire for day - £220 (£440 car + extra driver but split between 2 people)
Fuel for hire car - £50
Food/beer - £150 for 3 days and nights

On the Saturday, due to track stoppages (and swapping the Alfa for a non leaking one!) I managed a total of 6 laps and my mate (Dave) a total of 6 as well.

Sunday was just as bad for track closures, but even busier in terms of sheer volume of traffic. Even when you did get out on track, it was literally non stop traffic, so just not enjoyable. Anyway, following on from that, I got home and felt a little robbed.
Sure, I don’t mind spunking cash, (and I’m normally pretty good at it too) but do like to get a relative return on my squandering.

Within a day of getting home, I started to look into the option of flying out, doing some quality laps and getting back to the UK in the least time possible.
I checked Ryanair and found some free flights, so booked them (had to pay tax) and then set about finding some hire car prices.
Many thanks go to Ken Harris at NurburgMotorsport for recommending me to Ring4Rent. It was after speaking to Ken whilst on the trip in June that I first became aware of the new cars that Ring4Rent had to offer.

A few emails were exchanged with Freddy and Ralph and a track prepped Suzuki Swift was secured for the afternoon session Mon 18th August. I chose the weekday as opposed to weekends as they seem really dogged by too many accidents and subsequent closures.

Right, enough of the background waffle, this is how it all panned out…….

Mon 18th August

04:00 hrs
The alarm clock goes off, but in reality I’d been awake since 02:30 as I was excited about getting back out there!
Slipped the charged battery into the camera, and gave it a quick try……


Shower, and a bit of toast

04:30 hrs
Walk outside into the pouring rain, get the car out of the garage and head off into Norwich city to collect Dan (he realised the offer of a day trip was too god to miss, so hired and identical car and bought the same flights as me)

04:45 hrs
Dan is into the car and we head off from Norwich to Stansted, 85 miles away.

05:45 hrs
Arrive at Stansted. I had pre booked the mid term car park space but the number plate recognition cameras do not recognise my booking (must be the German style plates) so have to take a ticket and will sort the paperwork out when we leave on Tues morning. £24.40

05:55 hrs
The car is parked and we catch the shuttle bus. We only had to wait 30 secs for the bus to show up, so pretty pleased. We hop on and its easy to get a seat.


06:05 hrs
Arrive at departures, but the good news is we’ve already checked in online as we only have hand luggage. The bad news is we go straight to security and it’s rammed with people trying to squeeze all their liquids (deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste etc) in a re-sealable plastic bag 8” x 8” as they had forgotten to do it earlier…….we were soon to join them as we hadn’t done it either.

06:20 hrs
We finally get to go thru the scanner, and when collecting my bag, get asked to have it searched. I’d forgotten I had a pair of brake pads I was taking over for a mates e36 M3 who needed them after a weekends enthusiastic lapping. They showed up on the x-ray and they wanted to check my bag, no great shakes, took another 10 mins or so, plus a further 5 mins whilst I repacked my hand luggage once they’d pulled it out and scattered it all around!! (why do they do all that scattering around lark?)

06:45 hrs
Walked to the relevant departure gate, and the flight is then boarding. Result.

07:15 hrs
Everyone is on board, and we take off on time.
Cost £free. Taxes £20


Cheerio wet and windy Essex !

08:30 hrs
We land without any incident at Frankfurt Hahn airport. We now have to add an hour for the time difference

09:50 hrs
We’re at the Budget rental desk (although the car was hired thru holiday autos this is there chosen supplier at Frankfurt).


Cost - Group A car had been booked online, £42 inc excess waiver for 24 hrs.

10:10 hrs
We’re outside the airport and hunting for the hire car having been given a crap map from the guy at the desk.


10:30 hrs
Its take 20 mins to eventually find it, but no worries as I turned on my sat nav whilst walking around and it meant we didn’t have to wait for it to locate when we actually did find the car.
A diesel Peugeot 207 SW.


For anyone who is interested, whilst walking around looking for the car, we averaged between 3.8 and and 3.9 miles per hour according to the Garmin!

10.35 hrs

We set off, having typed the address of Rent4Ring into the Garmin. It is just 30 miles away!

We pass thru some truly stunning countryside and finally make Adeanu.


11:30 hrs

The route to the hire cars takes us past NurburgMotorsport, so we pop into say hi to Ken, and thank him again for the link to Rent4Rings website.

We have a quick look around Ken’s new premises, and are both well impressed by the level of commitment he has shown to his new business venture.
I wish you the best of luck Ken.

11:45 hrs
We arrive at Rent4Ring and get a first glance at the cars we have reserved


More enjoyable is the fact it’s taken just 5hrs actual travelling time from leaving home to getting to the Ring……….that’s t least 7 hours less than driving it. Awesome!

11:50 hrs
We walk into the office to sort the paperwork out with Ralph and Freddy. A couple of really nice guys……..Dan seemed to have found a banging tune to show a few of his dance moves off too….


The dogs have seen it all before, and after a night of Bitburger and fags, they’re too knackered too move……..


Enough of the tom foolery, it’s time to go. Dan goes back to the car to search for his talent….


And I get the black car (coz I’ve got a fat arse)


Dan gets the silver car (coz he just likes arse…)


Both cars have less than 5k km on them, and look nicely prepped



Cost of the cars to hire for the half day session - £160 which includes 160km.. Anything over that is charged at 80p per km. (1 euro)

12.15 hrs
Off to the hotel. We decided to try the Zur Burg in Nurburg. After the trip in June I had become a little disillusioned with the Ringhaus’s abilty to actually reserve room correctly.
I’m glad we did, as the room we were given was comfortable, had good space and even a wardrobe and TV. (both a distant dream in the Ringhaus)

Cost - £64 for the room




12.45 hrs
Set off for the car park and found our mate Dave there. He’d been there since Saturday with his Integra type R and another couple of mates (both Simon) in their e36 M3.

Not sure if Dave has just dropped a bomb here, but Dan’s face doesn’t look like the air is too fresh where he’s sitting…….


Next stop is the office and we get an 8 lap ticket each. Cost around £110

I have a stroll round the car park and get a few pic’s whilst waiting for the track to open
I think this guy had taken the word Eleven too heart and subsequently decided to apply 11 yards of gaffer tape to his Lotus…..



Matt A
21-08-2008, 10:46 PM
part 2......

13:30 hrs
Track opens and out we go…………
First impressions are that the car feels nicely planted, not overtly powerful, but certainly enough to have some great fun with.
I take the first lap pretty steady, just to familiarise myself with it all again.

It all comes back so quickly and before I know it, the gantry is in sight.

It’s too much fun to come in. the track is light for traffic, the weather is gorgeous and the car feels great. I complete 2 more laps then come back in to cool down.
I was roasting.

I see Dave head out in the Teg and Simon in the M3


And this guy in his Dolomite ( I think)


This looked quick, but not sure if I’d fancy it…


14:30 hrs
I’m back out again and complete 3 more laps. Absolutely loving the Swifts. I think you’d have to do something very stupid in them to get into trouble, but certainly really good fun to drive and I’m surprising a fair few faster cars when going thru the twisty bits.
Many far more capable cars were pulling over to let me thru, which really does prove if you now where you’re going, you don’t always need a fast car to have fun.
To name a few that obliging marques which pulled over - M3 CSl, 200SX, a 911 of some sort, a NSX and an AMG Mercedes.
It just makes it feel so much more enjoyable.

15:15 hrs
The swift is back in the car park, and I go out for pax lap in the Teg.
Dave had only completed 8 laps or so on his last trip, but this trip he’d completed another 8 more and had started to get a real feel for direction the track went. He’d also had around a dozen pax laps too (thans for yours Dunc) and I felt a lot more confident sitting beside him.
I’m a useless passenger, but by the time we got to he Karousel, I was really enjoying it.
I was that relaxed that I even has time to spot who I think was Nige’s daughter at the side of the track waving, so I duly waved back and then spotted Louise (I think that’s your name!) taking photos.
With that I spent the next half of the lap just waving to the people who were watching/talking pictures. Great fun.
Another lap with in the Teg followed and then back into the Swift.

15:45 hrs
2 more laps in the swift, and then that was more ticket expired.

16:30 hrs approx
Track closed for 30 mins, due to a nasty accident for a few people in a Focus ST. It looked pretty nasty and one of the occupants (who was out of the car on the grass) didn’t look too well when I passed under yellow flags.
It reminded me of just how Jeckyl and Hyde the Ring can be.

Back into the car park now so I took a few more pics…

This was the NSX I passed



but then after I looked inside, I should imagine it was a pretty uncomfortable drive….it had no seat base on the drivers side (ignore my grey hair)


I recognised this beast…. and had a quick chat with Dunc


17:15 hrs
Track was open again, and I was ready with another 4 lap ticket – Cost £60

Back to back laps were completed. The first one was my best and most enjoyable of the whole day. I was only passed by one 911 on the way under the Bridge before starting my lap, other than that, I passed numerous cars but nothing else came past me to upset my concentration. Pure driving pleasure!

18:15 hrs
All the laps were gone and I’d completed an extra 100km more than in the limit of the car. A total of 260km and 12 laps in around 5 hours.
Wicked. That’s more than I’d managed to complete in a whole weekend.
Time for a quick beer and we spot Nige in the car park. We wander down to say hello as he heads out on a lap.
Sorry we didn’t hang around till 19:30 Nige, but we needed to get the rental cars re-fuelled and back to Ring4Rent by 20:00 hrs at the latest.

18:45 hrs
Refuelled the Swift’s. Cost £48

19:15 hrs
Back to Adenau to get some cash to pay for the extra mileage on the car, so took a couple of pics in the centre of town.



19:30 hrs
Dropped the cars off at Ring4Rent and paid the extra mileage. Cost £80
That’s a total cost of £240 for the afternoon, or £20 per lap (plus fuel and ticket)

Back to the Hotel and the sweet taste of Bitburger…..


21:00 hrs
Followed by meeting up with Dave and Simon for steak on the stone in the Pistenkaluse.
Just as we finished our meal, Ken from http://www.nurburgmotorsport.com/
was then leaving, so we had a quick chat and thanked him for the link to the great cars at Ring4Rent. Nice one.
Cost of meal £20

23:00 hrs
Knackered! Bed calls. Night night.

07:15 hrs
Morning ! We both had a great nights sleep. Lovely comfy beds and great duvets.


07:30 hrs
Quick bite to eat…..the obligatory ham and cheese part baked roll, a cup of coffee and a glass of fluid which looks like orange juice, bur for some reason in Germany, never seems to taste like orange juice!.
Plenty good enough for us though, and we get into to the car and leave.


08:00 hrs
Stop off to grab a few more pictures….



I even managed to set the timer on my camera and suck my belly in…..doh, forget about my man boobs though !!


08:25 hrs
2 mile soutside the airport we refuel the Peugeot. Cost - £16

The hire car is parked back safely


and just as I lock it, this fly overhead at an alarming pace……someone should tell them the Air force no longer owns this place !


08:50 hrs
Into departures…..


and return the hire car with 5 mins to spare.

Time for a quick coffee and a muffin…..


Dan admires the fashionable waistcoat and t-shirt combo being sported by a man at the counter…..


09:20 hrs
Thru security and into the lounge, with 30 mins to kill before boarding


09:50 hrs
Quick bundle thru the boarding gate and we are spat out onto the airport apron…..what an architectural delight it is too


Our chariot awaits


10:15 hrs
We take off bang on time.

10:25 hrs (UK time when we land, 1hr 10 min flight time)
And it’s under starters orders to get through customs…..


11:15 hrs
Onto the shuttle bus and off to the car park


Result, my car is still there


11:25 hrs
Sort out the carpark, with no hassle at all and we’re off back to Norwich

12:35 hrs
I drop Dan off at home

I’m in the work car park and ready to go into work!



Total Cost of trip - £500 approx (shared petrol and hire car costs)

Total laps completed - 14 (12 driving 2 as a passenger)

Total time taken from Norwich back to Norwich – 27 hours

Was it worth it ?

Hell yeah. I’ll happily do 2 trips like that per year as opposed to the 4 day one I did in June.

I might just add an extra day to spectate, which would only be the cost of 1 more days hire car + hotel.

Alex Gordon
22-08-2008, 06:38 AM
Great report.

I did a very similar trip last year (Russ from here was on the same flight out of Stansted, I believe) Had originally intended to do it in one day but by the time we went (September) Ryanair had started their Winter timetable(!) so the late flight back was no longer available. So cost of room for a night, a meal and a few beers had to be added to the cost!

But it would, theoretically, be possible in a day.....

I particularly liked your 85 miles dep Norwich 04.45 arr Stansted 05.45! I have done the Thetford (where I live) to Stansted bit in 40 mins at 18.00hrs, but that was in an emergency (long story) But I suppose that you could say that having to catch a flight en route to your Ring fix some kind of emergency as well! ;)


22-08-2008, 12:51 PM
Thanks for the mention Matt glad we could be of service in recommending the best fun for car hire companies in those incredible Swift's........

You can see what the Microsoft's own reporter said on how quick they are when he visited us recently it's on our website as below:-


Our car rental partners at Rent4Ring, like us, are always pleased to see Northloop members. Please call in when you are passing......more news to follow......

Lap safety!!!!!!!!!

22-08-2008, 01:47 PM
Great report Matt and I`m glad that all went well.

Just goes to show you that the Ring weather cannot be forecast!!