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Pete R
19-05-2009, 12:26 PM
Having done my first trip last summer I had been itching to go back ever since, for various reasons it wasn't until now I had been able to go back out there until this weekend. A very busy couple of weeks leading up to it didn't help matters as I had one day to do a complete refresh of the braking system and fit new wishbones. After much swearing and blood loss this was achieved leaving me the small matter of getting new front tyres fitted and being beaten up at physio on Thursday night.

Friday - A fairly grim start to the day with the weather being pretty poor the last of the car was loaded up and the old man and I made our way down to Dover, a boring journey as always with the arches rubbing on the rear wheels through every lump and bump on the M25 and M20. Eventually we rolled up to the Norfolkline barrier with the Godzilla plated Nissan GTR behind us, a very imposing sight in your mirror at standstill.

The usual journey across the E40 was as dull as you like with the Brussels ring road serving as the only excitement along the way, my Dad managed to sleep until we were on the cusp of Holland, I wish I could have done the same.

By early afternoon we had made our way on to the 258, rain still falling it wasn't going to be fun putting up the tent. After much swearing the tent eventually went up, and the car was unloaded, at this point we both had the hump quite massively so made our way to Pinocchios where my Dad went on to attempt to eat and drink his own bodyweight.

http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs017.snc1/4510_122618230288_685930288_3059570_182664_n.jpg

Saturday - Now this is when things started going pear shaped. I set my alarm for 7.10 am and slept through it, of course this was 7.10 UK time rather than local so I didn't get myself to gether until 10.30ish. I took an amble down to the ring only to find the queue stretching through Nurburg and just as bad the other way. I admitted defeat and went back to the campsite for a cup of tea.

After a little rest me and the old man went for another attempt to get on, track closed. With it being around lunchtime and the whole place being a bit manic I thought with Sundays forecast I'd just get a 4 lap ticket and go into Adenau for lunch.

Going down the hill something didn't feel right, upon parking at the Aral it was very apparent that I was losing a lot of air pressure in the offside rear, I filled it to the usual psi and left it whilst we had our Chinese lunch. On returning to the car it had dropped a bit more. Arsebiscuits.

I dropped my Dad off at the campsite and went in hunt for another tyre. It's fair to say my stress levels and blood pressure were going through the roof at that point. As I dropped into Nurburg again it was apparent there was another closure, this was probably the least of my worries but seemed to be the pattern for the day. I dropped into RSR and after a quick chat with Dale he pointed me in the direction of somewhere that might be open in the industrial estate. Sadly at this point there wasn't, probably 3.30-4ish. Thanks anyway Dale :thumb:

At this point I was getting as deflated as my tyre, another top up of air and I headed into Adenau. I remembered there were a couple of garages behind the Rewe so went round the back to try my luck. One was open, I can't remember the name of it sadly, and I asked more in hope than expectation if he might have a tyre in 195 50 15. After much rummaging round he pointed to one on the back of a Ka, 'this one?'. It was the right size with a decent amount of tread so I said I would take it. It was removed and refitted to my rim pretty quickly and all for 30e. Tazman had dropped in there too as one in his party had an engine management light come up on his Impreza, this was also sorted very quickly. Mysterious garage man I salute you :lol:

With the tyre on I went back to the campsite and collected my Dad so we could try and get on, dropping in to Nurburg we were faced with this

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4510/90/98/685930288/n685930288_3059574_3503246.jpg

It looked like there had been yet another closure but I thought I would queue anyway. As the queue slowly got moving I belted up, it was 10 yards before the roundabout I realised I needed a pis, quite badly in fact. I wasn't going to stop now so just went on anyway.

It wasn't that fun to be honest, being at it's usual manic self so soon after reopening I spent a chunk of the time with my indicator on. Some bits were clearer than others where I could actually drive without having to acknowledge something in my mirrors for a change.

http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4510/90/98/685930288/n685930288_3059635_2653756.jpg

http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs057.snc1/4510_122623050288_685930288_3059651_7299321_n.jpg

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs017.snc1/4510_122623055288_685930288_3059652_5509210_n.jpg

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs017.snc1/4510_122623075288_685930288_3059654_5778918_n.jpg

With a lap finally achieved when things looked so doubtful earlier in the day I let the car cool down for a bit then went back to the campsite. More Pinocchios followed in the evening as my Dad, once again, was intent on having a big meal. The alarm was set for 7.10am, local time, and I crawled into bed.

Sunday - Alarm went off, I raised my head from my pillow and listened intently, no rain. I sat upright and at 7.11am it started rain. Pissflaps. I got changed and headed down there anyway getting there for a bit after 8am.

http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4510/90/98/685930288/n685930288_3059659_3868320.jpg

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs057.snc1/4510_122624720288_685930288_3059657_5301141_n.jpg

I shuffled round the car park trying to work out whether it was worth a wet one. Said hello to Andrew and Chilled and although a bit moist to say the least I decided to venture out for one.

No real traffic, car gripped ok, started piecing together little sections of it, passed a few things all going well. I dropped in towards Breidscheid and there was yellow flag waving and some rather worried looking people, I stopped, flicked the hazzards on and hoped it wasn't a serious one for someone. One of the flag wavers hopped into the car in front and I ambled behind for quite a way at seriously slow speeds. It seemed there was no crash and I had just had a decent lap put on hold for a bit so off I went.

With renewed confidence in the wet it wasn't long before I did another, a few people had come onto the grass at various points and there were large amounts of mud kicked over certain places. A bunch of old timers had gone out a few minutes previously so once they were despatched I could push on a bit. There were a couple of involuntary wiggles from the car on this lap so I took it reasonably easy for the final part.

With these done without incident, or at least one that would require a change of underwear, I collected my Dad and took him to Cochem on the Mosel for the afternoon as I promised I would, we also did a little stroll round the Burg. After all this wasn't just my weekend break.

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs017.snc1/4510_122627035288_685930288_3059733_6025879_n.jpg

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4510/90/98/685930288/n685930288_3059734_6034917.jpg

http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4510/90/98/685930288/n685930288_3059735_5094002.jpg

It's a lovely place and very relaxing, the sun shone the whole time we were there which made me hopeful of one last dry lap later in the day.

After depositing the old boy back I hopped down to Nurburg for the last one on my ticket, it was dry, not too busy and good fun. The main idea was to get round without binning it and that was achieved while keeping pace with much better machinery through certain sections.

A light meal and a few beers at Burgstube was a good end to what had been a good day.

Monday - E40, boring. After leaving Adenau a little later than planned, taking a more scenic route and being stuck on the Brussels ring road it became apparent we would have to get the next ferry, a quick call to Norfolkline and this was all sorted. Home in Blighty by 11.

So, I ended up doing many less laps than I had planned but eventually it turned out ok. Not a 100% success by any stretch but enough for me to know that it wasn't a passing infatuation and I NEED to make more trips in future.

Things wot I have learned

Stay somewhere under a roof and take track tyres next time.
The VTR box is sssssssssoooooooooooooooooo long and so much of a hindrance. It needs changing and soon.
I need more power.
I need stiffer suspension.
I need more track time and more knowledge of the ring.

The last point is the key factor, the more I know the quicker I will be regardless of changes to the car.

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to have a couple more trips this year then......

rossm
19-05-2009, 12:32 PM
Annoying when it all doesn't go to plan........

Glad no real dramas though, a tyre is not the end of the world

Simon
19-05-2009, 12:33 PM
Enoyable read & although you had an issue you got sorted quickly enough by the sound of it.

Pete R
19-05-2009, 12:40 PM
It was a large piece of luck that got it sorted, late afternoon on a Saturday was not a good time to be charging round trying to get it sorted but the fella at the garage was a real life saver. It had been my intention to get 10+ laps in so I could actually start learning the place properly and feel like a could have a clue of what was going on, it wasn't to be but it could have been so much worse.

I did have a little squeeky bum moment at Adenauer Forst on my first lap out but nothing some calm trail braking and a little nudge off the kerb couldn't sort out :lol:

I think with more knowledge I can be quick round there, by quick I mean sub 10, it's all relative to experience I think and being very inexperienced there I was never going to be pulling up any trees but on the sections I did put together I more than held my own, certainly not the moving chicane I was on the busy lap on Saturday.

Hammerzeit
19-05-2009, 02:54 PM
Glad you made it out and back without major drama Pete!

Come along later in the year ;)

Who knows i might have the 106 done :lol:

Pete R
19-05-2009, 03:34 PM
No major drama, a little gutted I didn't get as many laps as I wanted and the weather was a bit suspect but there will be plenty more opportunities for me.

I may have a chat with you on shed about July, it's very tempting but I need to spend out a few quid over the next couple of months and what ever I have left may not cut it for that weekend.

The 106 will be done and will have had a little shakedown before then, maybe. With a helping hand here and there you may surprise yourself. Otherwise I'd like to book some time in the passanger seat of the indestructable Trophy please, the lift I had in to town last year in Simpsons on 888s was very good fun.

Nige
19-05-2009, 04:03 PM
Wow, eventful !!

Sounds like you saw Arnoux (sp?) who helped with the tyres ?? Good report, I enjoyed reading that :thumb:

JCviggen
19-05-2009, 04:36 PM
That's not so bad, my engine broke at the end of my first lap on saturday :lol: was supposed to be there 2 days but that ended up being much shorter.

At least I live only 2 hrs away from the Ring though.

Pete R
19-05-2009, 05:01 PM
That does put it in to perspective a bit, 2 hours drive is practically on its doorstep though :lol:

Mechanically mine didn't miss a beat and soaked up all the track miles without issue, it wouldn't have liked back to back laps but that was never my intention. 1100 mile round trip all in I think and did Adenau to home on one tank.

Nige, it was the garage behind the Rewe, looking straight ahead from there it was the end unit on the right, tall fella with glasses.

I have to say our teutonic cousins were impeccable hosts again, it does make these trips so much nicer when the people are so polite, helpful and tolerent of the pigeon German I was attempting to speak.

Tim in Yorkshire
19-05-2009, 05:29 PM
Good to hear you got some laps in and an enjoyable weekend in the end, there's always the future for more laps :thumb:

Kev_G
19-05-2009, 05:35 PM
sounds like a good trip :)

Filthypig
19-05-2009, 06:00 PM
Bad news on the tyre issues Pete.

Good news that you've still got the bug and the saxo performed faultlessly all weekend :thumb:

Pete R
19-05-2009, 06:03 PM
There was a little oil in the catch tank but only a negligable amount, I'd expect due to the fact I was wringing it's neck all the way round, mainly due the horrifically long box :boom:

http://www.ring-bilder.de/galerien_readyfornet/tf_16052009_IX/images/165_3395.jpg

SimonP
19-05-2009, 08:53 PM
Great report there Pete, always good to hear other peoples experiences good and (unfortunately) bad. Glad it all went well in the end and the Ringworm has gotten a good hold :thumb:

Jim Cameron
19-05-2009, 09:00 PM
Excellent :thumb:

Nige
19-05-2009, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by Pete R@May 19 2009, 06:01 PM
Nige, it was the garage behind the Rewe, looking straight ahead from there it was the end unit on the right, tall fella with glasses.
Yep, that`ll be him :thumb: He speaks good english too.

Very helpful chap, let me change my clutch in his workshop last summer :D

There was probably a red UK reg porsche boxter parked out front too..

Pete R
19-05-2009, 09:36 PM
Yes he does, far better at English than my mumbled 'spracken ze English' :lol:

And yes, there was a Boxster in the front of the workshop.......

Hopefully a few more pics will surface over the rest of the week.

http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/4528/rr09.jpg

c_w
20-05-2009, 01:44 PM
Good write-up; I spotted your car a couple times around Nurburg - noticed the 205 rims on it first. This is me sat in the queue!

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4510/90/98/685930288/n685930288_3059574_3503246.jpg

Got to laugh at the alarm set at 7am, get up find it immediately start raining lol. I did exactly the same thing and; looked out of the window and went back to bed.

Dave T
20-05-2009, 01:59 PM
:thumb: Looks like you had fun.

Pete R
20-05-2009, 07:07 PM
The comedy timing of the rain couldn't have been much better :lol:

Chris I've dropped you an email with the pic you requested.

Dave, I did see yours out and about too, looks nice and tidy.

Discovered a couple of pics from the wet ones

http://www.martinstollenwerk.de/galerie/albums/Touristenfahrten/17052009/IMG_6492.jpg

http://www.martinstollenwerk.de/galerie/albums/Touristenfahrten/17052009/IMG_6311.jpg

Crossle
20-05-2009, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Pete R@May 19 2009, 01:26 PM
Pissflaps...
Probably my favourite word ever....

Ali M
21-05-2009, 10:20 PM
Enjoyed reading that :thumb:

Shame about the tyre and the stress of hunting round various garages - reminds me of my first trip! Not much fun!