View Full Version : 14th - 18th May 2009

19-05-2009, 09:46 PM
Firstly, this is my first trip report, so take it easy on me.. Anyway on with the weekends fun and games:

Thursday 14th
Second early start in a row (after work travel to Bournemouth) consisted of a 5am start to load the car. Filling the car up with the new second set of wheels/tyres, new trolley jack, tools, new harness and usual stuff meant the camera & lenses were left behind. An easy drive from London to Dover meant I arrived in plenty of time to fill the car up and meet Chris_S at check-in for the Dover-Dunkerque Ferry. We saw a few other cars off to the 'ring on our crossing but no-one who we recognised from Northloop. An uneventful crossing and drive through France-Belgium-Holland-Germany meant we ended up at the Burgstube with plenty of time to check-in and swap the road wheels for the second ones with Kumho's:
And plug in one of these:
This worked out really well, combating the shiny leather seats in the S3 and meant I could use the 3-point seatbelt when pottering around Nurburg/Adenau.

We headed down to the Entrance before opening to buy JK's (ouch - came out at £994) and then went out for some slightly wet laps that got wetter as the evening session went on (IIRC). After 5 laps in the S3 and Chris having a "moment" at Kalenhard in the 182 plus me trying to get used to the semi-slicks we decided to call it a day. Luckily for us, Dale was giving Andy Carlisle a pax lap and recognised Chris from tuition last year, so we got a sideways lap 4 up in an Alfa with excellent wet lap line comments all the way around. Highlight of the lap was overtaking the the new "instructors" heading into Steilstrecke and then taking the corner sideways in front of them! Top skills :thumb: :thumb:

Once we'd got back to the carpark and thanked Dale for an ace lap, we headed back to the Burgstube to say hi to Heidi (Martin had man 'flu :whistle: ) and then popped down to the PK for Pizza's. Evening rounded off with a chat with Andy C at the Burgstube with a Bitburger or two and negotiations with Andy/Heidi around agreeing not to request an early breakfast :lol: After two 5am starts there were no complaints from me!

Friday to follow ... (with more pics!)

19-05-2009, 10:43 PM
OK - I lied about the photos from Friday (anyone out taking photos?), but the good news is there are many from the Sat and Sun so read on to get to the pics :D :D

Friday 15th
An afternoon opening of the track meant a leisurely start to the day with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a drive to Breidscheid to see if anything was happening... a few standard looking industry cars going around, the new porsche panamera, what looked like an S5 (are they doing an RS5?) and then this came around:
:blink: :blink: B)
An amazing sound from the engine and later identified as the new Mercedes SLR replacement (we think). After it seemed to have stopped lapping, We then thought about heading around to Hatzenbach, but I got confused and drove us to Brunnchen which was fenced for the 24hr :loser:.

We decided to head back to the hotel to pick up Chris's Clio and head down to the track for lunch in the new Devil's Diner.

[summarised diner review]Ok food, rubbish table service, attractive waitresses :whistle: and surprise, over-priced. Plus you have to load the ring card with euros to get anything (even a bottle of coke/water).[/summarised diner review]

After lunch the track opened and we headed out for a few laps pretty uneventful with the usual amount of overtaking and moving over for quicker stuff. I said hi to Bruce (hartyb) in the car park (this may have happened Thurs though!) having met him on our last trip of 2008. Mid afternoon we saw Andrew Thompson and his GT3 in the carpark so I walked over to say hi, we got talking with Chris about the ring, laps and the usual cars in the carpark etc. Much of this conversation may have been peppered with very subtle "can we have a pax lap" comments :whistle:

Heading towards the Diner to take shelter from the rain we met Mark(chilled) who was recovering from the first stint of double declutching in the Alfa, in the wet :blink: . In another display of blatant pax lap whoring I mentioned how interested I was in how the R26.R handles itself around the 'ring should he have one booked for Saturday. :rolleyes:

I decided to head out for some laps, I came upon a Porsche 993 with a GT2 body kit (may have been a GT2 but not sure) that had caught the armco at Hedwigshöhe, the owner picking up front bumper off the track. Luckily no-one was hurt and I quickly pulled up and put my new flag to use, also calling in to the office as the guy driving didn't have a phone :nono:. Bruce must have been out, as he quickly arrived and started flagging as well, there was even some flag envy over my oversized demon-tweeks special :lol: :lol:. Once the safety car arrived, I continued my lap. A few more uneventful laps occurred, and I got a bit more used to the extra grip of the Kumho's. Even in damp conditions the grip was great once they had warmed up.

Once we had finished we headed back to the Hotel, said hi to Martin and then settled in for some performance box analysis from the Chris's new toy and beer and great food from the Burgstube.

19-05-2009, 11:29 PM
Saturday 16th
A 10am(ish) start meant that we didn't need to get up too early to rush down to the track. So we took it easy and then headed down to the track for the opening. It was already getting v.busy with queues but we headed out for some laps.
The S3:

Around this time I came across a Biker who had fallen just before miss-hit-miss I stopped along with another car and we checked he was ok before calling in and starting to run up the track towards Kallenhard to flag. As I was flagging another bike skidded off at Kallenhard, but again no-one was injured. I ran up past Kallenhard to continue flagging, recover my breath (it's v.v.v.steep) and wait for the marshals. After awhile the track closed (I assume for something in front of our position) so we waited until help arrived at which point I had a dry half lap completely to myself! After coming into the car park, the track was still closed so we waited a bit. Once it re-opened I went out with Chris as a passenger for a fast(ish) lap..

With Chris as passenger:

On exiting the straight we started it hear a noise coming from the S3 :( , I drove back to the hotel and Martin kindly called around, with Christian at RSR saying he would take a look (thanks RSR!). Whilst at RSR we met with Andrew who was checking his GT3 over, at which point he offered a pax lap as the track was re-opening. Leaving Chris and the S3 at RSR I jumped in (sorry Chris!) and had a great lap with Andrew (thanks Andrew!), with either the track closing (Again!) on our return or it started raining (two themes of the weekend!). We headed back to RSR so I could check the Audi. Eventually, the issue was diagnosed as me being a moron when swapping the wheels over :shame: :loser:. Let's leave it at that, lesson learned etc. etc. "sayyyy no more" :whistle: :whistle:

As the car was "fixed" i headed out for a few final laps (I let them all through after the corner!):

In the car park I saw Mark, who offered a pax lap in the R26.R.. awesome car and great driving :thumb: :

I returned the favour with a pax lap in the S3, with Mark getting to grips with the shiny and not very supportive leather seats :lol: :lol: must get a second harness at some point!

After a few laps with no closures, (that i can remember) Chris and I headed back to the Burgstube for much of the same (food, performance box analysis, bitburger) only it was later, a 2am finish, and involved much (deserved) ridicule of my wheel changing abilities :rolleyes:

20-05-2009, 07:45 AM
nice report, sounds a good weekend!

20-05-2009, 01:36 PM
Enyoyed reading that, thanks for sharing :thumb:

Dave T
20-05-2009, 02:05 PM
Saw you flagging at Kallenhard, messy lap that one :(

20-05-2009, 05:26 PM
Final udpate:

Sunday 17th
Thankfully rain meant no need to get up early, so headed down to the track around 11. Got a few very light traffic laps in (luckily) and if i'd been timing :whistle: I'd have managed a 8:45 min lap ;) . It's been one of those things where for ages I've thought "I'm going around BTG at about 9 mins" but never managed to verify so chuffed I have (and it seemed like a nice lap - no real pushing it - just faster through certain sections).

I came in and after a quick car park walk we headed for Lunch with Andrew in a little village outside of the usual fare in Adenau and/or Nurburg, really nice place with cool driver pictures on the wall.

At somepoint during the day, following an Blue S4 from our hotel with Bentley wheels (!) we saw a biker fall off after running wide between T13 and Hatzenbach. I stopped with a couple of other cars, the biker was up and ok so I ran back up another steep part of the track (another theme of the weekend) to flag. This is where I'm almost on You Tube (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=18757). After awhile the marshals arrived although I'd walked up a bit so I could flag before the crest and give the oncoming traffic forwaring, so i could no longer see the others or the biker. The marshals reversed up and picked me up to drive back to my car.. and when we arrived there was no accident!! It most have looked like i'd stopped to flag for the fun of it. :blink: :blink: Saw the biker going slowly around to Breidscheid though so good news he was ok (bike a bit damaged though i think).

I packed up my flag and headed off for the rest of the lap letting the bike marshall past as we headed into the Foxhole:

Then had some good laps:

Taken by DaveT - may have been a different day!

Wet lap:

I had two wet laps with Mark in the CSL by then we were glad it was on road rather than semi-slicks and they were another two cool pax laps. He hired some ace cars over the weekend!

Final laps were in the dry, one following Andrew in his GT3 RS and Tibo (sp) in his Yellow GT3. They were on a warm up/sighting lap though! and i had to really try to keep up (and failed up the uphill bits)!

Track time finished off with a pax lap with Chris on what seemed to be a completely empty track, Chris had a really smooth and quick lap and was chuffed he had the Performance Box set up as we came under the gantry :D .. an excellent end to the weekends lapping.

We said goodbye to Mark and Andrew and then headed back to the Burgstube, Bruce and his mate Richard arrived a little later and we had some good beers and car chat. Bruce told us about his "Jump out the way of the Porsche" marshalling incident that happened that weekend! Just as we left (1am ish) the NMS guys staying at the hotel arrived back and we heard "can we get a beer..." so I don't think Martin and/or Andy got an early night!

Monday 18th
Not much really, changed wheels, packed car, checked out and said thanks and goodbye to Martin, Heidi & Andy and then made our way to Dunkerque. As usual we were running slightly late and the last 30 or so miles were touch and go on whether we made our ferry. Got there just in time though! :thumb:

All in all a top weekend depite the track closures and the intermittant weather and Good to meet some Northloopers out there (thanks for the laps!!) :thumb:

Next trip is July 23rd ! Avoid this unless you want me hounding you for a pax lap ;)

Tim in Yorkshire
20-05-2009, 06:12 PM
Great trip write up, read most of it over breakfast, sounds like the S3 is going well :thumb: