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lasseoe
20-07-2009, 09:31 AM
This is just a quick write-up of my weekend, probably full of typos.

Car: BMW M3 E46 with S50B30 3.0l engine approx 400bhp
Class: SP5
Drivers: Frank Nohring, Lasse Osterild, Colin White

http://pitlane-pictures.de/gallery/albums/2009/VLN_09/VLN_090718/IMG_8807.jpg

Friday
Weather forecast: Rain showers, overcast and cold.
Actual weather: Dry, warm and partly overcast.

Test & Einstellfahrten began promptly at 16:00 with Colin going out for a couple of laps to see how the car is, unfortunately it turns out to be a bit too soft and understeery. I do some laps with passengers and also find it to be horribly soft and under- and oversteers if pushed a bit in the corners, worst was when I was outbraking a smaller car into Hohenrain and the car understeers instead of turning in, I managed to get it turned a little and end up on the grass not far off the armco, that could have ended badly luckily it didn't.

I had attached a bulletcam to my helmet but of course with my luck I had it too low and all you can see on the video is steeringwheel, dashboard, sky and trees, still it's useful for myself but no one else would find it the least bit exciting.

Couple of Kölsch and currywurst follows courtesy of MSC Ruhr-Blitz Bochum, the motorsport club who is arranging the 6h race.


Saturday
Weather forecast: Heavy rain showers, 11-13C
Actual weather: Mostly sunny with one heavy shower and a few light showers late afternoon. 15-20C

Qualifying was uneventful, Colin set the fastest lap for our car, a 9:35 which for the class isn't all that great.

I now have my bulletcam mounted higher on the helmet and should get some good onboard footage.

Colin starts the race, after a few laps the rain pours down heavily, he comes in and we switch to rain tyres after 5 laps hen then stays out for another 9 laps or so before it's my turns. During his stint it stopped raining and slowly started to dry up but it was still quite wet, other teams came in for slicks only to come back in for wets and later again slicks. Colin stayed out on full wets, it was clearly not time for slicks.

http://pitlane-pictures.de/gallery/albums/2009/VLN_09/VLN_090718/IMG_9072.jpg

Colin hands over the car to me, we're on 2nd place in class.
For my stint I get a set of slicks, there's a clear dry line and slicks is definitely the way to go, I carefully discover the dry line on my first lap, in some places like Hoheacht to Eschbach it's still very wet and rather slippery on slicks but the rest of the track there's a nice dry line forming, of course going off the ideal line results in slippery and dirty tarmac.
There's a lot of traffic and cars which don't seem to want to move ie. driver not paying attention or not giving a sh!t. On my third or fourth lap I catch an SP5 competitor, straight line performance is 99% the same but in the twisty bits on the Nordschleife he brakes too much and I'm clearly much quicker yet I can't find a way past him, he keeps blocking me in and when I dive into corners and try to outbrake he blocks again, too risky to do anything, even when we let faster traffic through he's quick to close the gap again. Some three laps we're bumper to bumper, finally in Pflanzgarten 2 we catch a customer run VW Scirocco, he tags on to the back of it out of Galgenkopft, I get a much better run out of there and try to slipstream both cars, it helps a little and half way down Döttinger Höhe I pull out right go ever so slowly about two-thirds way past the M3 and as we go under the Antoniusbuche bridge he has to back off and I slip in front of him, after the GP track I completely lose sight of him.

Towards the end of my stint it starts raining on the Nordschleife, I'm out on slicks and get a little nervous but my tyres are warm, the track is warm so there's an incredible amount of grip eventhough the track is completely wet, after a few corners I start to increase my speed again (having slowed down when it started raining to get a feel for the situation) and also start overtaking cars I would normally not overtake anywhere, like SP6, SP7, SP8 and SP10 cars. Highlights were overtaking a 4WD Audi RS4 and two 997 GT3 Cups, which subsequently overtook me down Döttinger Höhe, only to have me on their bumper in Hohenrain again. I lost them on the GP track where it was completely dry as they are a lot faster.

I hand over the car to Frank, we're still in 2nd place and 35th overall.
Frank will be in the car until the end of the race, half an hour left and we're still 2nd, 34th overall... Frank radios in saying something broke in the rear of the car as he came over Quiddelbacher Höhe causing him to spin 360 degrees and magically miss hitting the armco in Flugtplatz, the car is nearly undriveable but he lips the car back into the pits, the right rear coilover had snapped and the spring popped out (it's somewhere near Flugplatz if you care to go have a look), a new is fitted in 4 minutes and car the is out on track again, but down to 4th place and way down in the overall ranking that it doesn't matter.

We finish in 4th place in class, not too bad considering our car isn't the fastest in class and that we lost minimum 10-12 minutes because of the broken coilover.

To my joy I had decided to keep the wide-angle lens (3.6mm 82°) in my bulletcam eventhough it's recommended to use a 8mm 47° angle of view instead as the wide angle which picks up too much light from the ouside turning the picture white.. exactly what happend, all I see in the video is in the inside of the car ie dashboard, steeringwheel and sequential shifter, the outside is almost completely white, occasionally you can make out where on the track it is and see the contour of another car. Will definitely fit the other lens next time.

Next race is the 4 hour 32. RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen on August 29, I'll be driving a BMW M3 E36 in class V5, also a very hard and competitive class, a top finish will require a lot of effort.
Not sure what follows after that, possibly the Britcar 6 hour race on Silverstone in beginning of October.

http://www.ringfotograf.de/fotos/vln_20090718/211.jpg

Adamt
20-07-2009, 10:55 AM
Fantastic writeup Lasse! Really enjoyed reading that

a

Dale
20-07-2009, 01:28 PM
Can't wait to get out there myself... B)

snooky
20-07-2009, 04:25 PM
Great Report. Fascinating read. Thanks for sharing.

m3tom
20-07-2009, 06:05 PM
Nice report :thumb:

Simon
20-07-2009, 07:54 PM
Nice report. Thanks for sharing :thumb:

lasseoe
20-07-2009, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Thompson@Jul 20 2009, 08:30 PM
how was the hotel eifeldorf? was wifi extra?

nice report btw.
The Eifeldorf is absolutely fantastic, I've had worse rooms in way more expensive 5-star hotels. It's top modern and fancy, massive bathroom, comfy beds and very quiet. Tried booking for the next race in 5 weeks but it's already fully sold out :-(

WiFi is extra, 3eur/hour or 7-8/day I think, you can also pay per week and month.