View Full Version : Andrew's 1st Northloop Ring report

30-08-2008, 09:19 PM
So, I have been lurking for a while, occasionally posting. Who am I? Have a been to the ring? Well, I think I am up to about 6 trips to the ring, and have completed about 120 laps so far, and, as you, and Karl has obviously recalled, it’s a bloody addictive place. Some of you might remember my VW Lupo last year, and others, as a member of the hideous wheel brigade just after Easter.
My previous Vw Lupo, taken last year at some point...

(April 2008)

So why do I start posting now I here you say, well I have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and generosity of all the Northloopers, so I though I should make an effort to post more.

So, if you fancy an insight into a new Northloop members’ holiday read on, I am writing it so I can read it during the long winter nights and plan next year, so don’t care if anyone actually reads it, in fact, looking at the number of words I have written (3269 according to the MS word version) I don’t expect anyone to actually read every word. To make things worse, game, I am quite possibly the worlds worst picture taker – probably the complete opposite of Nige’ and actually only have about 4 pictures from my entire trip – So, you might reconise some of the photos!

I am sitting here, on a heaving, very noisy Saturday, 6pm crossing back to Dover from Dunkirk. Schools start on Monday, so ferry is at maximum capacity, and it certainly isn’t pleasant. However, as this is my 1st trip on my own, I have taken up my laptop, and it has enabled me to finish this lengthy report (minus photos) (one section has been added by Cat early in the week, but you will have to try and guess which!) Its also gives me 2 hours to reflect on my holiday, and store any good memories into the long term memory bank.

My trip has had a selection of everything. Safety reared its ugly head, Having my head bashed against the roll cage of a crashing car, saved by my cheap helmet really shows how important it is to have a helmet on, a Cheap one is better than none.
Having fluids on the track really shows how on the edge you really are. The only reason why I did not hit Armco would be because I had been spending the last week sideways, and although I am no drifter, I know roughly what to do to aim the car in the right direction, and partly luck that I wasn’t on a slightly wider line, or going just 5mph faster.
And finally, finding the perfect mix between a holiday and lapping, Too much driving and you become to tired to really enjoy it as much as you should, too much time off and you get itchy feet! The question is, what to do to relax, especially if your on your own?

So, If you want to skip a bit, skip this… my Last trip to the ring was just after Easter, where I stayed for 10 days or so, lapping most evening and a few full and half days. I was named the Human Cannonball by Simon... with my Orange Wheeled MX5, with Al Clarks contrasting Green Wheeled MX5 at its side. After this holiday we (al and I) decided we had created the perfect formulae for a ring trip. Previous trips involved finding the weekend with the most amounts of laps, Driving out on the Friday, back on the Monday or Tuesday and generally an enjoyable yet tiring holiday. This trip differed, as we had days to fill, and lapping in the evening, and it really worked. The days were spent walking and working in the rooms. We returned relaxed and ringed up for a while – Result! During my 10 days I met some of you, but we missed the Easter weekend so missed a number of you – Next time it will be a good idea to go for Easter too ☺

So, a little background information. The Easter trip was destined to be my only trip of the year, as I am starting a new job in September (I was a student at the time) Luckily they turned round and offered me a June start, giving me a few pay cheques and a holiday to fill… So, I jumped at the opportunity for a cheap ring trip as a passenger.

For me, the trip started on Wednesday morning (13.09.08), trying to fit our stuff in Al’s Mx5, the important word here is try. So I (bravely, due to previous MX5 owner comments) decided to share a tent and make sure we have all the essentials. We arrived at brands hatch bright and early to catch all the mini’s and retro rides arriving (–Als report probably explains why a 1999 Mx5 was on a retro run). To the Ferry, board the ferry, then to the hotel stop - Charlariou, [enter sarcasm mode] woo, that was a long trip [/end sarcasm mode]. Was a strange route to take, but I can see why the minis didn’t want to attach to many miles at a time… The hotel was clean and gave a good nights sleep, however we scared a restaurant by asking for a table for 50. The convoy was tough to follow but we got some good footage.
We awoke the next day early and just darted off to the ring. Half way, Al remembered he still had his room key in his pocket – Fail. Arrived at the campsite and was warmly greeted by the Pinders. We had the best pitch up ever, with Matty and Cat doing all the leg work for us, letting us enjoy the weather and unpack the car carefully.


Al produced a selection on fine tinned meals, which I am sure aided some gas works in the night. On a gas front, One night all we heard was weeman, nige’ and matty having a farting competition, luckily in their car and then their tent, so not all that bad for us, however I am under the Impression the Pinders won, as weeman had his head in a pillow for a while. – Yes, this shows my mental age that farting gets a number of lines of a ring report…

After that, the week turned into a great ring week. Every morning we would awake with the question “would you like a tea?” then either relaxing at the site, heading to the rodlebann, enjoying the epic sunshine, and being in the ring carpark. The campfires in the evenings were just as fun as ever, with a wide mix of people to chat to. I had a good chat, and performed some market research on Cat, Matty and Dotty one night, and enjoyed seeing all the northloop families at the BBQ at Simons + Jims Apartments. All this secured our (al and I’s) belief that the best ring trips not only have the track, but have time to relax, chat and enjoy the area. Phrase of the week was Nige’ taking the boys out to get wood…


I grabbed a selection of passenger laps (but was so annoyed about not being able to afford to bring my own car here this time), including a fun mini, and a familiar, but strangely clean mx5. One passenger lap was a little shorter than planned and ended up on the back of a Bongard lorry – he laughed when I jumped in and put on the seatbelt – My reply was I have already been in one crash on the ring today, don’t want to be in a recovery truck when it rolls over! The crash happened when Pedro in his 318ti entered Wippermann, in my eyes Pedro decided to instigate a wicked drift, however I don’t think it was planned. Hello Armco. Linked to the words at the top regarding helmets – Very pleased I was strapped it and with a hat hard on. The worse thing I think is to think of something to say to Pedro has he faces a big bill, so we just continued the normal banter. Was good to finally meet Pedro, but sad it was under such terms.

The Human Cannonball gets ready for take off...

We enjoyed ourselves so much we stayed on a few nights then left for home, arriving at 7pm in Oxshott. There was a lot more happening, including a fantastic sing song at the Comfy Corner, a PK etc. that I have probably missed, but I did not have time to do such a deep write up of the trip. Thank-you to everyone I met for the hospitality and banter, I have finally put a few more faces to names. Sorry to Dotty, as I left without saying goodbye, as you were having a shower ☹ But I am sure our paths will cross again.

So, a slightly odd, ring report from a passenger, but the post continues! it could end here, however, ring worm struck. I had originally planned to go on a Road Trip with a few cars from another forum. The ferry was booked for 10am the next morning, so I shoved all my washing in the machine, packed the car, opened my mail to a surprise! £470 tax rebate due to my student life the year before… Um that will pay for a number of laps, no, nasty thought, get it out of your head, go to the alps like you originally planned. So I then got some sleep, partly because I was so tired. Awoke at 8, fitted my orange wheels, headed to a shop in Reigate for some cheap Toyo Cf4’s (£135 for the set fitted) to replace my 888’s that were delaminating and showing some canvas due to an early drift incident. The 1st night I was going to spend in a hotel near Dunkirk, then off to the Alps, sadly a few members dropped out, but it was still going to be fun (but as fun as the ring?) After a relatively boring ferry crossing (its really not as fun when your on your own), I started driving to the hotel stop, but, got lost, and ended up in a certain Town in Germany – Epic Fail.


It was raining when I arrived, and I pulled up to the Camp Pinder. I, of course didn’t really know why I was there myself so it was a little surprise for everyone. Once again, Cat and Matty were on form, and despite the rain were very helpful building my tent, and I was up and ready in no time. That makes it leaving the campsite at 10am on the Thursday, and back Friday at 8pm, could this be a record?

Time to enjoy another weeks break, but more importantly, lapping my own car in the evenings. It was yet another different ring trip, as I was effectively on my own, in the past I have convoyed in small groups and basically socialise with them, so it was a new experience. Duncan, Dotty, MChris, Matti, Andy, Owen & Jinxy had left, and were slowly replaced with Stan, Louise, Ed, Maddie, and Ian, Jude and Joel.

The 1st weekend I went to watch the spectacle that was bikes on the ring (push bikes that is) and Joel and I were about to give up and go home without seeing much action – Push bikes are amazingly boring to watch – We were however treated to a crash, where a chap, must have been doing at least 40mph had his chain jam the rear wheel, and got into an uncontrollable handbrake style tail slide and ended on the tarmac, followed by the 1st every blowout I have ever heard on a push bike, It was a proper bang! So that was fun!

I was then invited to join in with the family orientated northloop trips. It was like being a big child again, being allowed to relax on the campsite, visiting the drive though zoo, Racing Ian on a kids ride and then laughing when he got stuck half in the air! We’ve been to the swimming pool with some great slides, once again having races down the slides. I even managed to overtake Ed mid slide by bombing it round on the outside. Also visited the local theme park with some fantastic rides, Fantasia Land. The Black Mamba was the best ride there. That day ended with a waffle and it was very yummy I had strawberry’s on mine, some others hade chocolate sauce and some had strawberry’s like me. The park was clean and very well themed, but more importantly the rides were interesting and quirky. The queues were made bearable with interesting banter and the search for the perfect pressure points to control Matty and Cat, with help from Dave. A highly recommended activity for when the ring is closed however.

So how spacious is a MX5 Boot? I was going to shut the boot then go for a lap...

So, enough about the daytime, and overall trip, and back to the Lapping. The Car has been going well, I have bled the brakes with Ian and Matty’s help, together with a coolant flush., which helped keep up the Mazda’s reliable image. The new brake fluid gave me a lot more confidence, but I am sure she is running a little low on oil pressure, and its burning a little oil, notably on down shifting into aremberg (blue smoke). As spotted by Ian. But then again, I am always worrying about things when it comes to cars. The Toyos CF4’s are very slippy and not very good, (but then again I am comparing to the 888’s I had last time) but cheap and good in the wet. My lap times are not great, but, for me that’s not what this trip was about. I am trying a few more lines, and giving a number of passenger laps and basically grinning all the way round. Only one ‘360 Drift’ at Icekerve and a little added grass points (only to aid entry onto the track I might add) Only ever push it that far though when I know what is coming behind me. The normally mad German Brunnchen lot were on form, and apparently waving franticly every time I passed, always nice to see. Another unique quality of the ring – The crowds at Adenauer Forst and Brunnchen! I am working on a mix of smooth lines and chucking the car into corners and keeping it sideways, depending on my mood.
Thursday was fantastic as the track was booked in the afternoon by Opel, but they apparently forgot about it so it opened at 2pm. It was empty and the weather was dry yet not baking hot so perfect conditions. I had a great lap with Nigel in lou’s 350z, Stan and I in the Mx5 and Matty and Simon in his M3. Just one of those perfect laps with twin drifting, overtaking then pulling back up the hills to show me up and just general fun! Another achievement on Thursday was winning a few running matches in the car park against Matty, He did not know a tele-tubby could run! Thanks Ian for the Passenger lap in the VR6, and a very enjoyable, and empty afternoon special.

So, Offroading at Camp 4 Fun on Friday , great fun as ever, some great pictures caught! Highlight was taking the green roofed car Nigel had an epic fail in getting up a hill out after him and attempting the same hill and getting up 1st time! And attempting a back section which was really bumpy! They have changed the course a little since Easter and there was a lot more safety, including radios and a telling off for going too fast, but still great fun – Another highly recommended activity – 39 Euros for an hour of laughing! Perfect.

Offroading ;)

Another Honourable mention in this report would be driving round the Special Ring Rally Campsite stage with Matty at the Helm of my MX5. It wasn’t his 1st ever go in a car, but every time I could see a little improvement in his driving - practicing hill starts, controlling the clutch, Sometimes however purposely filling the air with dust. He can shift into 4th gear, and drive safely round the campsite and get sideways, (and more importantly, correct it again.) by the end of the week, I didn’t even flitch and started not hovering over the handbrake as much. I have no doubt he will know the track very well and be able to control a car at a very early age – He has already been spotted giving advice around the ring. Watch out for this mini Pinder! Even Cat was seen driving the MX5, could get it moving but needs a little longer legs and a little more practice on the clutch control.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t294/ahereward/th_mov00293.jpg (http://s163.photobucket.com/albums/t294/ahereward/?action=view&current=mov00293.flv)


So Friday nights lapping was a fail, huge Q’s and not having a season ticket, which its now called, meant I only got two relatively busy laps. Headed to the comfy corner for a final meal, which was tasty, found some jellybeans in my beer, and more importantly annoyed Karl by getting the younger Pinders (incidentally, the spell checker wants to change Pinders to Panders, so I might use panders from now on) playing percussion. Retired to the campsite, then to sleep, only to be awoken a few times in the night (4 to be precise) to visit the toilet block – how pleasant (don’t know what caused it) so a rather broken night. Awoken early so to have a long shower and be ready for a few perfect morning laps. However the fog caused the ring to not open till after half nine… So the sirens went, and on with my Helmet. Out, between to M5 ring taxies or a slow morning cruise round the ring. I love the mist clearing in all the wooded areas. Track was dry, but I stayed at about 50% dry pace, enjoying the scenery and blue sky’s break though, Drove though BBB and entered Miss-hit-Miss, and noted the 330d touring that had just overtaken me was taking a rather unusual line straight towards the Armco, his car then jerked and it was then sliding sideways round the corner – a split second later, I started under steering and strangely taking a similarly unusual line– Coolant all over the track. The rest just went very quickly – someone was running up the inside starting to flag while I was now very sideways round Mis-hit-miss trying to work out the best way to stop. I ended up holding the epic drift, and used the inside kerb and grass to dodge the sideways BMW and stationary car with coolant running down the side. Scrape over the kerb and all was ok. I then sheepishly continued to drive, as the Ring taxis had already stopped, were on the phone and had flags ready, so I kept an eye on my gages and drove off, not wanting to clutter the area. I looked up to see carnage behind, a biker going straight on and a porche with not much front end left. - Ouch

So, I rather harsh end to the trip. I decided to call it a Day, as the track would be closed for a while now, and headed back to camp. Said all my sad goodbyes, again – It will be very quiet at home. I could try and list everyone I have met over the last two weeks, but I know I will fail, I have had a fantastic few weeks holiday, I am sure I will be back again very soon. Loads of great BBQ’s and meals with all the regulars.

So, have I found the perfect ring trip combination? Possibly, Having the family’s around really changed the atmosphere from a blokey, slightly competitive, and very hectic working weekend, to a Family holiday with lapping and other activities. – All I need now is a family of my own to enjoy it with – or do you recon we can rent Pinders out for the weekend?


So, the white cliffs of Dover are now insight, and the noise in the boat is becoming rather annoying, some fool has decided it was a good idea to give kids Balloons shaped as Knifes – Nearly as silly as giving people rubber gloves to play with, Blow up, Fight, Mould into rude and interesting shapes, filling with water, and finally beer and spilling all over the bar!

I am sure there are loads of things I have forgotten to write, but hopefully, if one reads all the reports from all the trip at the same time, we all can see our own perspectives of the trip! 34 laps completed, making this years total of 74 - Shame i didn't know that in April, because i would of brought a season ticket...
Thank-you once again to everyone for including me, and I am sure I will be seeing you all very soon! ;) Good luck with school starting next week to all the kids, and thanks again to everyone from northloop - Missing everyone already!

Car, now back at home, after being cleaned by the thunderstorms.

31-08-2008, 10:48 AM
Very good read!!

Probably good that you stopped when you did. :(

Dave B
31-08-2008, 12:23 PM
Good to meet you Andrew...could only find one pic of you at the off road centre and being waaaay too slack with the camera this time we only took a couple of hundred pics instead of a couple of thousand.


Can only echo your words above. Having two of the brats in the 'gang' I am used to doing kids sort of stuff but we I have only ever been to the ring and done grown up stuff before so the theme park...the rope swing at the pool :whistle: etc was a top laugh.
My youngest gob sh##e is on about doing her very own trip report so after I hasve edited the swearing out of it, I'' post it
Looking forward to meeting again and the kids reckon you'd be a coool teacher to have, but don't let on I've told you that cos all teachers SHOULD be out of the same old mould.

Gary Kinghorn
31-08-2008, 04:48 PM
Thanks for sharing Andrew :thumb:

31-08-2008, 05:36 PM
good report mate and was good to meet you as well if you let me have your email have some good pic from the wild life park! you can to your report!

Regards Bruce

01-09-2008, 07:58 AM
Nice read and it was nice to meet you :thumb:

01-09-2008, 08:26 AM
Great to meet you Andrew ( fellow early riser :thumb: )

I will point Dotty in the direction of this report - she enjoyed your market research very much and was disappointed not to have seen everyone to say goodbye when we left.

See you next time :thumb:

01-09-2008, 08:32 AM
This explains why I didn't spot you for the rest of the weekend having seen you coming off the track on Saturday! Glad to hear you scraped through the mess and made it home safely.

01-09-2008, 09:15 AM
Hi human canon ball It's dotty here!!!! I will certainly carry on with my music and i thoroughly enjoyed your report! So did you actually return to camp by accident, or have i mis-understood???

Nice to meet you

x x dotty x x

01-09-2008, 09:16 AM
Thats a serious addiction, rehab required soon.

Good to meet you.

01-09-2008, 09:17 AM
Oh yeah i forgot to say couldn't you get those few pictures that lou took of you with your thumbs up in someone's car. That would have been an ace picture for your report!!!

:thumb: :thumb:

01-09-2008, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by dotty@Sep 1 2008, 09:15 AM
Hi human canon ball It's dotty here!!!! I will certainly carry on with my music and i thoroughly enjoyed your report! So did you actually return to camp by accident, or have i mis-understood???

Nice to meet you

x x dotty x x
I drove back on purpose but it wasn't planned... I only decided where o go when driving off the ferry!

I am slowly finding pictures and adding them to the report, so stick with me! :fishing:

02-09-2008, 08:56 AM
Nice read :thumb: A Good week and we enjoyed your company, Andrew.

02-09-2008, 11:40 AM
Great report buddy :thumb:

02-09-2008, 01:54 PM
Great report,

Have only popped to the Ring for 4 hours this year,managed 8 laps but reading all these reports is making the days go really slowly until myself and my brother(Bruceloop)head over.

Roll on September the 30th!!!

06-09-2008, 08:30 AM
:) New pictures added = Big grin

06-09-2008, 03:50 PM
Lovely to meet you, we both enjoyed your company. Great report :thumb:

Hope school went well this week, I'm sure I'd have done better at Music with a teacher like you :D


06-09-2008, 05:29 PM

Offroading ;)

06-09-2008, 05:32 PM
Is that the hill that Nige was unable to climb :whistle: .

Dave B
06-09-2008, 05:34 PM
Which one Stan, there seemed to be a few, he'll no doubt be along soon to blame the car :whistle:
Obviously I had the dodgy jeep which was the reason for the FAILS on some hills, nothing at all to do with crap clutch control/stalling/flooding....... :loser:

06-09-2008, 05:37 PM
Must have been pilot error :whistle: :fight:

06-09-2008, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Dave Boulder@Sep 6 2008, 05:34 PM
Which one Stan, there seemed to be a few, he'll no doubt be along soon to blame the car :whistle:
Obviously I had the dodgy jeep which was the reason for the FAILS on some hills, nothing at all to do with crap clutch control/stalling/flooding....... :loser:
I seam to recall taking the same jeep as Nige' failed in and got up all the hills he failed at 1st time... :smack:

06-09-2008, 07:05 PM
:lol: :fight:

14-12-2008, 03:42 PM

This picture made me read my report again - But it is Cold and wet outside, so I suppose now's a good time to re-read.

14-12-2008, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Hereward@Dec 14 2008, 04:42 PM

This picture made me read my report again - But it is Cold and wet outside, so I suppose now's a good time to re-read.
good pic :thumb:

did you spot my `edit` :wave: :whistle:

14-12-2008, 03:54 PM
Only just seen this report now.
Great report!

I spoke to you when I was out there and had my little off, nice to read your report and also to confirm the Northloop thing of everyone on here I meet in real life being really nice people.

15-12-2008, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by Montana@Dec 14 2008, 04:54 PM
also to confirm the Northloop thing of everyone on here I meet in real life being really nice people.
Having met you in person, I`ll take that as a compliment :whistle: :lol:

15-12-2008, 11:49 AM
ive literally only just noticed this, excellent report andrew

will see you at the ring again next year :thumb:

15-12-2008, 09:29 PM
Thanks nigel - Yellow Car, Game lost

16-12-2008, 12:36 AM
Good report :thumb:

I've done that ^^^^^^^^^ through the Hatzenbach aswell........ but not intentionally :whistle: :shf:

16-12-2008, 03:25 PM
Just read this again. The offroading was huge fun and something that we will do again next year for sure :thumb:

16-12-2008, 08:41 PM
A good read, that :thumb: