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View Full Version : 4th-15th August: Nurburgring and a French Frolic



Joel
23-08-2009, 09:08 PM
Tuesday 04/08
My journey began with a now customary motorway rendezvous to collect some VW parts from another Northlooper to transport on the overnight express to Germany. This time it was some cams for Bren's stricken motor, kindly supplied by Steve G, and delivered to Nige at Camp Pinder for fitment.

Wednesday 05/08
And so to the driving. These were to be my first Ring laps for 11 months, and it was both very hot and very busy. Today is the first day of TF since before the Rad/Run of the previous weekend, and is also only a couple of days before the Oldtimer GP, so the carpark is crammed both with a mix of Ring regulars desperate for a fix, and those here hoping for some extra practise before racing in a couple of days time.

Laps purchased, space found in car park, waiting nervously, the track eventually opens and out we go. The first lap is tentative, but feels good. Going out for a second lap, a familiar pale blue Golf is in my mirrors. Game on. The track is busy so true pace is stymied by persistent traffic. Nevertheless, we enjoy a couple of fun convoy laps, the gap to-ing and fro-ing, but never is one out of sight of the other. Big smiles and thumbs up at the end.

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/1800/img5895f.jpg

After a cooldown in the carpark, I decide to go for one, maybe two more before close. It wasn't to be. Exiting Adenauer Forst and heading into Metzgesfeld there's a cloud of dust with dark shapes moving within. A couple of bikes are pulling up on the right, and I dive onto the grass on the left. Hazards on, grab a yellow vest and run. Helmet and race gloves still on, I run back up the hill past the incident and wave my yellow vest until the marshalls arrive, and then keep waving until they tell me I can stop. Exhausted, I walk back down to the scene where an ambulance is now tending to the fallen biker. The marshalls and medics are in good spirits, and the biker is talking as he is loaded into the Malteserwagen. Thanks and handshakes all round from the marshalls, and they tell me I am now free to finish my lap. It is nearly 8pm and the track has been closed for 45 minutes, so I just coast back to the parkplatz, taking in the scenery.

http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index...topic=20689&hl= (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=20689&hl=)

Thursday 06/08
Not much happening today, so go for a hike around some of the track before the evening TF:

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/9310/dsc5765e.jpg

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/4725/dsc5862.jpg

As track time approaches I make my way early to the parkplatz, expecting more of yesterday's congestion, and I'm not far wrong. As I join the queue to go out on track a transatlantic voice introduces itself as Mike from Canada. It's //MCon, who had posted here before his trip, so I invite him for a couple of laps. These are his first ever laps of the Ring, and they seem to go down well. After a brief cooldown and drink of water in the parkplatz I take his father out for a lap. He'd already blagged a lap in a Cobra, so is an old hand at this by now.

Back to the carpark and Matty Pinder comes over for a chat, which inevitably leads to more pax laps.

http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/448/nlp1386.jpg

Friday 07/08
Oldtimer GP day on the Nordschleife. Another hike out into the woods for a day watching the Oldtimer and Youngtimer races on the old Ring. B)

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/5290/dsc6459.jpg

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/5357/dsc6036.jpg

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/6559/dsc6741.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/6295/dsc7008.jpg

http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/5716/dsc7131.jpg

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/9491/dsc7116m.jpg

Saturday 08/08
I have booked an Alfa from RSR for the day in an effort to save the Lotus for the rest of my trip. However, when I wake up it is foggy. Very foggy. I collect the car anyway, and wait for the track to open, which it eventually does at midday, about an hour later than advertised.

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/5448/8081886.jpg

The car felt good, well abalanced and reasonably grippy, but as I go to the barrier for a third lap there's a Marshall walking down the line of cars telling everyone that the track is shut due to the weather. Bugger. Mike is even more frustrated as he has a Clio booked for the afternoon and hasn't driven the track yet. Even worse, he has to fly to Italy early the next morning, so it is today or not at all for him. At least the closure gives me time to show off my new T-shirt around the carpark

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/6163/08082009792.jpg

Sadly, after much waiting around, the track doesn't reopen. The Alfa is returned to Dale and a deal is done to hire the Megane for the first hour of Sunday morning, before I have to head off on the rest of my trip into France. The early part of the evening is spent at the Comfy Corner with Jim, Jochen, Ross and the Karl and Bren show. After that, I head over to the Burgstube to help Mike drown his sorrows.

Sunday 09/08
The day again starts out foggy, but not as bad as yesterday, and soon clears up. The Megane is collected from RSR and I head off down to the carpark to meet up with Jim, who is sharing the car with me. After waiting for half an hour for the track to open we head out. The car is a hoot, with just the standard brakes and the slightly imprecise gearchange letting it down.

http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/1526/t9o0295r.jpg

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/7466/t9o0297r.jpg

After five laps, three for me and two for Jim, we drop it back and I prepare to leave Nurburg for Le Mans. Due to the late start I decide to stick to the motorways for my 450 mile journey. The route takes me past Rheims, so I decide to detour a couple of km off the Autoroute to visit the old pits of the GP circuit. It's about six years since I last visited, and they've given it a lick of paint in that time. I'm not the only one there taking pictures of their car either:

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/7338/dsc7304.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/5841/dsc7326.jpg

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/7863/dsc7313.jpg

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8879/dsc7292y.jpg

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/1582/dsc7334.jpg

Eventually Le Mans is reached just before 10pm, after a very long and hot day.

Joel
23-08-2009, 09:09 PM
Monday 10/08
Trackday on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit. This is the first day of the 'French Frolic', the annual multi-trackday jaunt around France organised by Lotus-on-Track.

click for video (http://www.vimeo.com/6174801)

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/4159/dsc7478.jpg

Lunchtime sees a Lotus lineup on the startline.

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/3429/dsc7353o.jpg

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/9536/dsc7362.jpg

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/8431/dsc7367.jpg

Tuesday 11/08
No trackday today, so a leisurely start to the day with a visit to the Le Mans circuit museum

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/6121/dsc7435.jpg

http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/7272/dsc7471.jpg

Following a gentle run down Les Hunaudieres, we found some fantastic D roads en route to the next hotel in Limoges

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/6240/dsc7493e.jpg

http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/5747/dsc7509.jpg

Wednesday 12/08
Trackday at Val de Vienne. I hadn't heard of this one before and didn't know what to expect. I turns out to be very technical, with a nice mix of corners. There are a couple of tightening turns seemingly designed to catch you out, and also a few surface changes with some strips of slighlty less grippy tarmac across the apex of a couple of corners...

click for video (http://www.vimeo.com/6177032)
click for video of how not to do it (http://www.vimeo.com/6205838)

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/4177/img4333.jpg

Thursday 13/08
Trackday at Mas du Clos. This one I had heard of and was very keen to visit. It is a private circuit, owed by a wealthy Ferrari collector and built to exercise his cars on. It is built on a beautiful hilltop and accessed through a farmyard.

click for video (http://www.vimeo.com/6190156)

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/6070/masduclos3.jpg

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/8748/111ti2371.jpg

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/5450/111ti2378.jpg

Friday 14/08
Trackday at Circuit de Mornay. Another unknown, this one is based in the grounds of a 15th century chateau. It's a very tight, technical circuit, with lots of hairpin bends. It's so tight that even in the Elise I never get out of third gear, but it is fun nonetheless once you get into the rythm.

click for video (http://www.vimeo.com/6201300)

http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/7629/mornay1.jpg

http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/9600/dsc8556.jpg

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/2584/111ti2991.jpg

Saturday 15/08
Home. The end.

Jim Cameron
23-08-2009, 09:17 PM
That was a great laugh in the R26R B)

Good fun. Fecking quick, too :blink:

Darran
23-08-2009, 09:33 PM
Excellent trip. Very envious! :thumb:

BCA
23-08-2009, 09:55 PM
Love the look of the french tracks! :D Who organised the trackdays?

Great trip!

GVK
23-08-2009, 10:06 PM
BCA -
This is the first day of the 'French Frolic', the annual multi-trackday jaunt around France organised by Lotus-on-Track.

Great pics Joel - I heard that Lizard's trip was quite eventful too... :o

Joel
23-08-2009, 10:20 PM
Yes, Gary, Alex had a few 'issues' with his German Uber-barge, when what he really needed for the trip was a Metro-engined bathtub glued together in a shed in Norfolk :whistle: :lol:

Joel
23-08-2009, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by Jim Cameron@Aug 23 2009, 10:17 PM
That was a great laugh in the R26R B)

Good fun. Fecking quick, too :blink:
It was a revelation, Jim, which is all the more disturbing as it was both French and wrong-wheel-drive :blink:

GVK
23-08-2009, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by Joel@Aug 23 2009, 11:20 PM
Yes, Gary, Alex had a few 'issues' with his German Uber-barge, when what he really needed for the trip was a Metro-engined bathtub glued together in a shed in Norfolk :whistle: :lol:
I've heard all about it :D

Jim Cameron
23-08-2009, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by Joel+Aug 23 2009, 11:22 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Joel @ Aug 23 2009, 11:22 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Jim Cameron@Aug 23 2009, 10:17 PM
That was a great laugh in the R26R B)

Good fun.* Fecking quick, too :blink:
It was a revelation, Jim, which is all the more disturbing as it was both French and wrong-wheel-drive :blink: [/b][/quote]
Lets pretend that it never happened :lol:

Kev_G
23-08-2009, 11:06 PM
fantastic trip and love the data on the videos.

As my parents live 15minutes from lemans i REALLY want to do that track :)

Simon
24-08-2009, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Darran@Aug 23 2009, 10:33 PM
Excellent trip. Very envious&#33; :thumb:
+1. Loving the French tracks :thumb:

lizard
24-08-2009, 10:08 AM
A cracking trip :thumb: Mas de Clos was my fave, just a glorious place.


A pic from Mornay-

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/m3mornay.jpg

Rene Graff
24-08-2009, 10:15 AM
Nice report - and I love that pic:

http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/6163/08082009792.jpg

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

lizard
24-08-2009, 11:44 AM
German invasion&#33; :P

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/DSCN2322.jpg


Arty

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/DSCN2323.jpg

Exon Valdez&#33;

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/DSCN2318.jpg

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/dscn2299.jpg

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/dscn2298.jpg

Good job I packed a safetly vest for ian to wear :P

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/dscn2300.jpg


The village just by Mas de Clos circuit

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/DSCN2302.jpg

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/DSCN2307.jpg

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/dscn2315.jpg

GVK
24-08-2009, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by lizard@Aug 24 2009, 11:08 AM
A cracking trip :thumb: Mas de Clos was my fave, just a glorious place.


A pic from Mornay-

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/m3mornay.jpg
Is that Finch driving? :P

Joel
24-08-2009, 12:24 PM
I took this one with &#39;Jesus&#39; driving :P

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9046/dsc8897.jpg

BCA
24-08-2009, 01:36 PM
Have added Mas du Clos to my to-do list. :thumb:

pye21
24-08-2009, 02:11 PM
Great report&#33;&#33;

How many track miles was the trip in total then? What tyres are you running?

Car looks ace on them wheels, what are they? Speedlines?

Joel
24-08-2009, 02:43 PM
Total trip mileage in the Lotus was approx 3500. That included 10 Ring laps and approx 2 hours actually lapping at each of the other tracks.

Tyres are Hankook RS2, and I can&#39;t recommend them highly enough as an alround road/track tyre. They&#39;ve still got loads of tread left, and I wasn&#39;t exactly pussying about on track. They don&#39;t have the ultimate grip of an R888 or A048R, but I wasn&#39;t expecting them to. They are ok in the wet as well.

Good spot with the wheels. They are the ultra-rare Speedline Corse Mags, now sadly out of production. And yes, they do look ace. :thumb:

Stu
24-08-2009, 07:08 PM
Looks like a good time was had by all :thumb:

Tim in Yorkshire
24-08-2009, 07:55 PM
A great report.

Mas du Clos looks vaguely like a french Cadwell, how do the circuits compare?

pye21
24-08-2009, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by Joel@Aug 24 2009, 03:43 PM
Total trip mileage in the Lotus was approx 3500. That included 10 Ring laps and approx 2 hours actually lapping at each of the other tracks.

Tyres are Hankook RS2, and I can&#39;t recommend them highly enough as an alround road/track tyre. They&#39;ve still got loads of tread left, and I wasn&#39;t exactly pussying about on track. They don&#39;t have the ultimate grip of an R888 or A048R, but I wasn&#39;t expecting them to. They are ok in the wet as well.

Good spot with the wheels. They are the ultra-rare Speedline Corse Mags, now sadly out of production. And yes, they do look ace. :thumb:
Geek spot :D

Car does look amazing on them, makes me want an Elise even more :( :whistle:

I think im going to run the RS2&#39;s on the MX5 :thumb:

Hammerzeit
24-08-2009, 10:53 PM
Great report&#33; I didn&#39;t believe you when you said you&#39;d wear that t shirt to the &#39;ring, brilliant :D

Those french tracks look great too.

Glad to see the lotus did you proud too&#33;

lizard
28-08-2009, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Tim in Yorkshire@Aug 24 2009, 07:55 PM
A great report.

Mas du Clos looks vaguely like a french Cadwell, how do the circuits compare?
Indeed is the nearest uk type of track, but not alike at all in the same breath if that makes sense. Cadwell flows better, but Mas has a hell of a wow factor, the drop off is Leguna Seca &#39;esk & the 180 round the hill is like nothing ive ever done.

To drive & purely to drive i prefer cadwell, every thing else- then Mas is a massive winner.

Charade circuit tho whichis near & we did 2 yrs ago- wowarama, better than cadwell & for me to say that is something.

Joel
28-08-2009, 10:08 PM
Alex, you going again next year? Charade, Mas du Clos, Pau-Arnos plus one other track (possibly Ledenon) in June.

lizard
29-08-2009, 09:18 AM
I&#39;m not sure yet Joel & is soo early to commit, & June is not so good for Steph, Pau I do like the sound of a lot, is a bloody long way down tho- esp when Ive not had a frollic without mechanical issues yet&#33;

August one perhaps more likely, either way Dijon again & Charade again must happen next yr as love &#39;em both, but I also want to do Spa & Zandvoort again next yr so is a struggle to fit it all in.

steve G
29-08-2009, 04:43 PM
great report Joel,looks like a hell of a trip.
did Bren get the cams fitted/car running?
steve.

Hippychick
31-08-2009, 08:22 AM
You have the best holidays Joel :veryhappy:

I&#39;ve always wanted to do Mas Du Clos and I&#39;m not at all jealous&#33; :P

Ben16v
01-09-2009, 04:15 PM
Looks like you had a good time, good report and a pleasure to read&#33;

Tour of France circuits looked like good fun as well&#33; :thumb:

lizard
01-09-2009, 09:33 PM
Should have a decent vid on the way, this 2 second half arsed drifty is all I&#39;ve got for now :P

click
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/th_Frollic029.jpg (http://s409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/?action=viewĄt=Frollic029.flv)

or if no worky cliky here-

http://s409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/t...=Frollic029.flv (http://s409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/?action=view&current=Frollic029.flv)

Darren Langeveld
07-09-2009, 09:19 PM
I WANT TO DO MAS DU CLOS :P

Joel
07-09-2009, 09:56 PM
Mas du Clos was awesome; certainly the highlight of the French leg of the trip. It looks like I&#39;ll be going back there again next year too :P

Dave B
08-09-2009, 07:27 AM
Somehow missed this thread....great report. We&#39;re doing a barn up midway between Mas du Clos and Val de Vienne so they&#39;re both on my to do as opposed to spectate list....suppose I ought to have some form of track car first though..

Nige
08-09-2009, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by Darren&#39;Teffers&#39;Langeveld@Sep 7 2009, 10:19 PM
I WANT TO DO MAS DU CLOS :P
Having just watched the video, so do I :wave:

Ben16v
08-09-2009, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Joel@Sep 7 2009, 10:56 PM
Mas du Clos was awesome; certainly the highlight of the French leg of the trip. It looks like I&#39;ll be going back there again next year too :P
Any space for a tag along............ :whistle:

Steph
09-09-2009, 08:41 AM
Comedy trip for the BMW Crew again. It was feckin hot

Next year for sure.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c49/stephcasscar/SDC11027.jpg

lizard
09-09-2009, 10:13 AM
Yeh gits&#33;

Oh dear Steph, in responce you&#39;ve gone & made me post this now-

:P

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/Frollic016.jpg


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp179/teamlizardracing/Frollic022.jpg




Drunken asleep fool :loser:

Ben16v
09-09-2009, 11:22 AM
:lol:

The sort of photo&#39;s you don&#39;t want your mates posting&#33;

Steph
09-09-2009, 05:22 PM
You do remember top trumps, where you lost dont you

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c49/stephcasscar/SDC11028.jpg

lizard
09-09-2009, 08:31 PM
Very brave posting that considering im doing yr best man speech :P

mckeann
20-09-2009, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Steph@Sep 9 2009, 08:41 AM
Comedy trip for the BMW Crew again. It was feckin hot

Next year for sure.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c49/stephcasscar/SDC11027.jpg
it really was a great trip.


Steph, remember your promise to let me shoot dem niggers?? :whistle: