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Duncan
08-09-2006, 09:30 AM
Our Scoobycity ring trip trip started at 2pm on Monday 4th when George arrived at mine to put the Cinq in the garage whilst we went to have fun.

A short drive into Ely to get our money changed up was followed by a short drive to meet Chris & Ken at BP services at Newmarket for our drive down to folkestone. This was a very steady drive, each of us trying to save our petrol for the long trip ahead and leave more money available for laps and petrol.

The trip to folkstone was uneventful and arrived at the chinese to fill up, which we did.... 4 times ..... well it was all you can eat afterall :D Stu and the rest joined us at about 10pm and our early night descended into a small session of drinking with the excitement getting us all hyper-active and ready for the off in the morning.

We set off from the hotel and made our way to the eurotunnel, about 10 minutes away and arranged the cars so that we would all be together on the train ready for the drive at the other end. Zak had his fuel warning light on when he got to the tunnel so our first job was to find a petrol station at the other side. This should have been easy but a 30 mile drive ensued and just as we had found a petrol station, his car started spluttering as it officially was running on fumes :)

The 300 mile trip from Calais went smoothly enough and we arrived at the hotel in Nurburg (top hotel btw Frank) ... with only one minor detour and a bit of confusion in Nurburg itself - we didnt realise just how close the hotel was to the circuit.

Once there we unpacked and prepared the cars for the ensuing fun and headed down to the track. To see the location of the webcam in reality was surreal to say the least, after looking at that camera shot so many times, WE WERE FINALLY THERE !!! A quick wander around and then prepare ourselves to enter the circuit. The nerves at this point were absolutely unreal, we queued behind Zak mate in his BMW and were to follow Frank from the hotel in one guided lap of the circuit at a conservative speed.... or at least that is what we thought :o

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/ringrun1.jpg
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/ringrun2.jpg
We pulled away from our rolling regroup before nailing the accelerator under the bridge and heading down to T13, tyres squealing at the first corner we blatted it a bit into the first left hand downhill bend and at that point you fully appreciate that GT4 does not do the circuit justice... the camber and gradients are amazing :o 8) a short blast round the double right and we were into the Hatzenbach complex of left, right, right, left.... arggh it tightens... bugger me we got round it and straight into the Hocheichen blind apex and massive drop down to the "straight" through the very narrow bridge and up towards the crest before Flugplatz. We were still keeping up with the BMW no probs but he had dropped back from Zak and Frank a little at this stage as we rounded Flugplatz. Hammering it out of flugplatz down the slight hill and then up to Schwedenkreuz and you are confronted by Aremberg and the gravel trap that literally hypnotizes you as you approach and stand on the brakes.

The lap continued and corners appeared much closer and tighter than on GT4 and blurred together in a haze of adrenaline, fear and awe as we were there driving the most famous track in the world. Towards the bridge at the bottom of the hill (and boy is that a hill) after miss-hit-miss we were let through by the BMW as Zak and Frank had at this point vanished and we set off in pursuit... were we mad ???? Needless to say we didnt catch them but boy did we have fun trying. Being overtaken by the mass of bikes that were still there from their bike day was a little disturbing but we overtook a few back so probably even in all. The overriding memory of that first lap is just how vicious the camber and bumps are on the Karusell :o Rounding the last corner of the lap, George and I looked at each other and nodded... we have made it ... f'ing spectacular :D

Back to the pits and a quick exchange of madness we were quickly heading back out for a further lap... this time a bit faster 8) The car was working faultlessly with tyres and engine performing their respective duties with total confidence (more than can be said for the driver !!) with ahighlight of the lap being flying past Chris and his dad towards the top of Kesselchen at about 130mph tailgating a Porsche 911 GT3 and a rather nice stripped out saphire cossie :D Both George and I forgot to time this lap but vowed to time the next one... which followed almost straight away and was quicker still. The third lap was a sub 10 minute and we were both over the moon that we had beaten Clarkson's time - this we thought was a good start for our first time.

Yet another lap was quickly had before we called it a day and headed back to the hotel to recount endless tales of the fun, near misses and butt clenching fear we had just had.

A great meal and a few beers in the Hotel where we were joined by Gary and his wife Emma and newborn baby and then headed off for a wander up to the Pistonklaus for a further drink to calm the nerves whilst looking at the memorabilia and soaking up the amazing atmosphere of the whole town.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/ringrun4.jpg

To say it is petrol head heaven is a vast understatement and does not convey the friendliness of all of the people there whose lives have been changed by their experiences at the Green Hell. Whether they were newbies like us or old-timers, the common love of the place was evident and a complete leveller. There is no car snobbery there as Feraris, Porsches, Subarus & Fiat Cinq are all there for the same goal.

Dreams that night only involved around 20-30 hardcore crashes (much reduced from the previous nights carnage :o) and feeling sort of rested, we rose and headed down to the track ready for opening time of 8am for some nice quiet laps.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/ringrun6.jpg

We pulled into the car park alongside Gary and he suggested that we followed him round for a lap (thanks Gary) this revealed a lot of the mistaken lines of the previous day and uncovered much more speed... a completely traffic free lap was just what the doctor ordered and the only issues were fog as we came down to the bridge at Breidscheid and a section of barrier repair with speed restrictions for about 1/2 mile. Nevertheless it was a great lap and we headed straight back out again for a flying lap. This time we shaved 20 seconds off the previous best time (even with the roadworks) and proceeded to start cathing people that previous would never have dreamt of doing with a particular favourite of mine being doing a Porsche 911 GT3 around the outside of the hairpin before the Karusell :D :D This lap felt hooked up but there was still room for improvement, particularly on the uphill section where I had been lifting off to get around the corners at the bottom of the hill and subsequently losing time going up the hill. Next time we would improve !!

The next lap was perfect (well for a newbie) and the car gripped and gripped were I didnt realise further grip existed and power was put down earlier and longer and a 9min 27 was obtained (still with the 70 khm section of roadworks) - George refused to tell me the time until we had got to the car park and calmed down a little.. (a great passenger and superb company on the trip btw mate) - very pleased indeed with the result.

We now had done a complete tank of petrol in 7 laps and needed to calm ourselves and the car down before going back for more and trying to improve our lap further - there was still massive room for improvement.

After this, I gave Stuart, Tan and Chris each a respective go in the passenger seat whilst trying to perfect the lines into some of the corners before heading out for another hot lap with George.

To say we were flying on this lap would be an understatement, taking Porsches, a Ferarri around the outside of Adenaur Forst and several other cars and only being overtaken by one car we were concentrating more on what was happening in front of us rather than obsessing about the rear view mirror that dominates the early laps. We headed out of the Karussell carrying much more speed than before thanks to Gary's late turn in point tip and slingshotted out of this going very light on the exit before heading up the steep hill to the left, left right that are taken at insane speeds. Diving the car into Wipperman and feeding the power on at the apex the car lurched forward as the Turbo cut itself out and unbalanced the car just when poise was needed :o - the engine waring light came on and we both looked at each other and feared the worst :( .... nursing the car back at granny speeds for the remainder of the lap we still managed a 12 min lap :D but had a minds elsewhere for some reason - was our fun over?, was the ADAC breakdown truck going to have to take us home?, will my warranty cover this? and most important, what will rachel say?

We nursed the car back to the hotel and arrived there as Zak pulled in and proceeded to hook up Delta Dash for a fault diagnosis.... Turbo Wastegate Actuator through boosting too high... the safety limit had been hit due to the succession of fast full boost corners and straights and it shut itself off to protect itself... reset was all that was needed ...... what a relief !!!

Now we were determined to have more fun so after some grub and a spot of viewing to allow the car to recover for a while we headed back out and were flying again.... happy days. Then we caught two porsche 911 GT3s going through Aremberg and were held up by them as they refused to move over until at one point when they had appeared to move over to the right so we fed the scoob into an early apex only to find him close the door and drive right across us missing us by inches and forcing me to slam on the brakes mid corner :o choice language was expelled and hand gestures displayed whilst we attempted to get them to move over - they wouldnt... and Evo caught us at this point (he wouldnt otherwise ;) ) and we very courteously let him pass only for the porsches to block him on several occasions too. Exiting the last corner the evo pulled alongside and made the international shorthand gestures for "I didnt like what you did and you should learn to look in your mirrors" to them both. We shot alongside them both too and repeated this along with a motorbike that had been boxed in by them going down the finishing straight. That was the scariest lap for us.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/ringrun7.jpg
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/ringrun10.jpg

We had another lap but by this time the traffic was very heavy and it was difficult to get a clean run so we went off again for some viewing and vowed to come back a little later. We headed back to the gates and when we were third in the queue to go out the circuit was closed for the rest of the day due to an accident. That was the end of our Ring laps :(

A few beers were sunk that night and a meal at teh Pistonklaus was had - ever walk into a restaurant and ask for a table for 16 before? - they didnt bat an eyelid... no problem, follow me was the response :D great food, great company and perfect location..... nothing gets better than this.

The convoy trip home was a little tedious at points as we were all wishing we were heading in the opposite direction again but this was relived by a spot of blending on route by Dean and Nigel... absof'inglutely hilarious - nearly crashed through crying with laughter - I will wait for someone else to post the pics of these. ... www.deanandnigel.co.uk

Summary

1) is it scarey - like asking Freddie Kruger to get something out of your eye
2) did it cost much? - yes but havent totalled expenses yet so dont really know
3) is it hard on the car - yes, if you drive it hard, but can be done slower
4) would I go again - in a blink of an eye
5) what is the best car to drive around there? - the one you have with you - it doesnt matter but Porsches and BMW's rule the roost there apart from the occasion bit of French Clutter ;)

Not for the faint hearted but fantastic

Gary - sorry I didnt give you the passenger ride - I couldnt find you later in the afternoon :( - next time.... trying to plan a trip for next month now, I cant wait til next year

some pics that I took. Sorry there isnt many but was I in the car most of the time having a little drive around :D

some french clutter ....
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/ringrun20.jpg

http://s59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dyn...leife/20060905/ (http://s59.photobucket.com/albums/g281/dynam06/nordschleife/20060905/)

Steph
08-09-2006, 12:23 PM
Sounds like you had a cracking trip :thumb: !

Sim (944 S2) was telling me that there must be a garage that sells 200 quid porka's, :lol:


Ive yet to fing that garage.

Nige
08-09-2006, 12:41 PM
sounds like you had a blast, thanks for sharing it with us.

You certainly sound to have driven the track more agressively than I did on my first visit !!

Duncan
08-09-2006, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by Nige@Sep 8 2006, 12:41 PM
sounds like you had a blast, thanks for sharing it with us.

You certainly sound to have driven the track more agressively than I did on my first visit !!
thanks Nige - had an absolute ball... the car just felt fantastic through all of it (with the exception of going in too hot to Bergwerk once :) ) - only my lack of experience and vertical learning curve holding me back

just trying to put together a trip for end of October now..... :D

Nige
08-09-2006, 01:21 PM
You will enjoy future trips, but I`ve never had the same feeling you get after your first lap. The buzz you get is fantastic that first time.

I`ve had great laps and thoroughly enjoyed them, but from my experience of 3 trips, none are ever as exiting as the first one.
The feeling you get of anticipation yet apprehension when you go through the cones for the first time. wow, its just great. I think you have managed to convey your feelings pretty well in your report. :thumb:

Duncan
08-09-2006, 01:45 PM
just trying to sort a quick trip end of october to keep me going through the dark nights of winter :)

Andrew
08-09-2006, 02:58 PM
Sounds like you had a fantastic time! Good write up :D

Gary Kinghorn
08-09-2006, 05:00 PM
If you look carefully at the picture of my car you will see a tree stump infront of it..... I drove into that :lol: :lol: :lol:

I really must ask Frank to move it for me ;)

Duncan
08-09-2006, 05:09 PM
:P :lol:

Gary Kinghorn
08-09-2006, 05:14 PM
Hey Duncan I would really like a copy of that bit of footage the guy in the green scoob took of me passing him through Hatenbach. Any chance you could get him to bang that 30 second bit on a cd for me please?

GVK
08-09-2006, 05:40 PM
Good write up, lucky for me, my first lap in 2000 I didn't have any Clarkson fever urging me to break a 10 min lap :P

Sounds like you've got the bug tho :thumb:

Duncan
08-09-2006, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by Gutmann pug@Sep 8 2006, 05:14 PM
Hey Duncan I would really like a copy of that bit of footage the guy in the green scoob took of me passing him through Hatenbach. Any chance you could get him to bang that 30 second bit on a cd for me please?
Gary - no probs, think we are all getting together soon for a de-brief and see all the video footage that was taken - will ask for a copy on dvd/cd for you.

It wasnt clarkson fever that urged me on - i just like getting things right...... i have unfinished business ... and will do for many years :D

andrewhewitt
10-09-2006, 10:03 AM
Great report, :thumb:

Gary Kinghorn
11-09-2006, 03:31 PM
any news on that video footage yet :whistle:

Duncan
11-09-2006, 06:00 PM
lol - have requested it from Leigh and he is working on it

any news on those photos yet ? :whistle:

;)