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View Full Version : weekend august 10-14th



sorrento205
18-09-2006, 07:41 PM
Hi Guys, before you start, please note i wrote this report for my own website, the majority of members have not made the trip yet and so i try to convey as much detail as i can into it. Sorry about all the picture links too, i gota bit carried away :rolleyes: Please enjoy, i've just re-read it and its brought back loads of great memories and annecdotes :D






The build up

Due to shift work, and general business, I had little time to get myself organised for the ring trip. We had a hotel booked and the car worked, thatís all I needed to know. On Wednesday evening I got home from work about 7pm, started to ram my bags full of everything I could imagine I might need. The weather forecast was poor, rain for 10 days straight! I had better pack my cagoule then! I managed to leave by 9pm and after a few motorway diversions, arrived at Jamesí house near Luton just after 12.

James was still tinkering with Blacky (James's 205 Mi16) as I pulled up outside the garage, trying to get the passenger seat to fit lower in the car. 2 Hours later we had managed to get the seat fixed in and a fire extinguisher repositioned for optimised legroom. We headed into the house where I promptly crashed on the sofa to get as much sleep as possible, whilst James packed his bags (and I thought I had left it late!).

Thursday

Come 4.30am we were up again and quickly checking we had enough tools and spares to bodge our way out of any eventuality. I struggled to strap myself into the drivers seat as I had agreed to drive on British soil, as James would be doing all the driving once in mainland Europe. After another 2 and a half hours battling with articís and the blinding sunrise we pulled up in a petrol station in Dover to fuel up and swap seats. Catching the occasional glimpse of a 205 GTI in various colours we cruised on into the port and waited as we saw more and more of our trip companions drive by into the P&O area, leaving us with the truckers in the Norfolkline queue. Once on the ferry it was obvious we werenít alone, 2x Mi16ís, a megane CC diesel, a nova gsi, a polo g40, golf R32 and a vx220 turbo followed us onboard.

The ferry journey was interesting, for starters the onboard TVs were plastered with news about a foiled terrorist plot at Heathrow, one of the lads in the polo g40ís passport was out of date and faced a £2000 fine if caught, James was on the phone to HIC to find out if he was insured to drive on the continent. Me, I was just tired.

Once off the ferry we made out of Dunkerque and on to a petrol station just after the Belgian border to fill up and meet with the others who had travelled on P&O to Calais and driven the extra 30 miles. Joined by several more 205s and a Honda s2000, we proceeded to convoy, at great pace, through Belgium, Holland and into Germany. Its about 4 and a half hours from the ferry to the fabled Nurburgring, unfortunately the motorways are bland and you have to make your own fun until you arrive in the Eifel mountain region, surrounding the most famous 13 miles of tarmac in the world.

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The picturesque location takes you by surprise, the whole area has a somewhat fairytale quality about it, the castle at Nurburg is the perfect citadel to overlook the whole area. Our hotel was in Adenau, a mere 200 yards from Breidscheid, a tricky double left-hander sinking first downhill before crossing a bridge over the main road and back up a hill towards ex-muhle and onto the famous Bergwerk. The family run hotel is perfect for group bookings, a small but pleasant building has 11 well kitted rooms capable of holding all 28 of us.

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Though we arrived in rain it was decided to go to the circuit and get a lap in regardless as the circuit would be closed all of Friday for the old-timer grand prix. A very greasy track, James went out to get a cherry popping lap in using Anthony as a guide, whilst I was kindly taken out in the uberwagen R32 courtesy of Matt Cony. Whilst I have driven the circuit many times in Gran Turismo 4, itís no comparison for the real thing. You donít get any feel for the actual size of the circuit, and nothing can prepare you for the drops and climbs stretched around the 25km. The uberwagen gets an excellent reception at the ring both on track and in the car park. Whilst there was a large British contingent present, the locals come out of the woodwork, with a clear appreciation for the home grown hot hatch. The carpark at the ring is absurdly small considering the amount of traffic it attracts, thatís not to say it was filled with some impressive motors though. James was aprked next to a British 996 GT3 RS, which later parked up behind the green 997 GT3 RS and attracted a mighty crowd, also present were several BMW M Cars including a new Z4M Coupe, endless other 911s from over the years, an RUF rt12.

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We returned to The hotel, greeted with a Buffet dinner, and whilst the beer was flowing, I think most of us went to bed at a sensible time, it had been a very long day.

Friday

Iím not sure if I had set an alarm, but I woke up early, about 8am, to the glorious sound of v8s and flat sixes. Our room had storm shutters that blocked out any hint of daylight perfectly, but it was clear the day had begun. A while later we made our way up to the dining area where a help yourself breakfast was arranged, we were one of the first awake, helped somewhat by the early trap the night before. A bowl of cornflakes and a few bread rolls later I was ready to see what all the commotion was about. Standing on the balcony outside the bar (and above our own room) there was a perfect view of the steep downhill section between Wehrseifen and Breidscheid. A quick shower later and a couple of us headed over to the viewing area just before the bridge to catch some pictures of the old timers in qualifying around the old Nordschleife. Eventually traffic stopped due to an accident somewhere, and clear up operations often take an hour out of circuit time so we decided to head up to the GP circuit and look around the auto jumble and official shops.

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Plenty to look at, there was nothing really out of the ordinary, though my eye was drawn to a great looking Porsche engine coffee table. In the official shop decided to invest in a jacket as one it looks really cool and two the weather was somewhat cooler than I expected. I wasnít the only one to take a shining to the jacket and several others were bought over the weekend, mine ended up staying in its bag, not wanting to look like a herd of sheepÖ The walk back to the car park detoured through a show type event held by the AvD (German Automobile Club), breathtaking it was filling up with classic BMWs worthy of any motoring museum in the world. A row of 3.0 CSLís was particularly jaw dropping.

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Next stop, Brunnchen for something to eat. The complex from Eschbach to Eiskurve is very spectator friendly. A massive field provides ample car parking and the banking around the double right-hander gives plenty of options to watch and film from. The on-site burger van does a great currywurst. Qualifying had ended and about 2pm the old timers made a parade lap before the start of a 4 hour endurance race, a GT40 and a Corvette led the way making a great deal of aural pleasure for the crowd. It only took 1 lap before the clouds moved in to cover the circuit in rain, making the entire circuit endlessly more treacherous. Eiskurve is renowned for being one of the last corners to dry off, and whilst the rain did break every now and then, the circuit was clearly still damp. Somehow only one car managed to make a mistake and even then recovered without kissing the Armco. A few drivers made attempts at drifting around to please the wet crowds, but in an endurance race its all about finishing, and unsurprisingly no-one was prepared to take the risk.

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Ben Allen was the first casualty on German soil, somehow split a rear brake pipe. Thankfully it was not on a lap, but a mere parking manoeuvre. Ben had been very lucky. A local garage was primed to fabricate a replacement pipe first thing in the morning to maximise Bens time on track

Dinner that evening was in a pleasant Italian situated in the old railway station the far end of Adenau. 21 of us shivered on the balcony out back, drinking to safe driving and no crashes. Only time would tell!

Saturday & Sunday

The Old timers were racing all weekend, however they were confined to the grand prix circuit whilst the Nordschleife was open for the public. Yet more stunningly beautiful, expensive and not to mention rare cars graced the car park, whilst several hundred filter through the barriers each day to see what all the fuss was about. The weather thankfully held off for the majority of the weekend and the 205GTIdrivers made the most of the time whilst the track was dry. Only the brave, experienced and foolish took to the track when wet. The weekend was not without incident, several of the group managed to spin at one corner or another, Ben Allen perhaps the worst somehow only grazing the Armco within a stones throw of our hotel. Unfortunately the car wouldnít restart, but atleast it wasnít far to push back to the garage at the hotel. It later transpired the distributor had somehow been damaged in the shunt and given up the ghost. A call to a local scrap yard and a replacement was found. End of story? Not so! Ben had laps to use up so returned to the track, faith restored in the hardy 1.9litre 8 valve engine. I had asked to passenger the lap and so helmets on we made our way down the pit lane onto the track. 200 yards later we had come to a full stop on the pit straight with an engine that refused to fire. Long story short, the rest of the gti drivers came to the rescue pushing Bens car off the track much to the amusement of the hundreds of people around at the time. We still await official time, but itís rumoured to be Bens fastest lap of the weekend ;)

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Other cars of note around the weekend were a pair of Porsche speedsters, a real 300SL gullwing, a McMerc SLR, Ford GT, Weismann GT, new Jaguar XKR, a selection of old and new Ferraris.

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Sunday I forced James to go to the museum too, OK so it wasnít brilliant, but its worth seeing and its not that expensive at 11 euros each. Its not very Brit friendly, with nearly all signs in German only but thereís still plenty to do and lust at. Most notably is a Ferrari 250 GTO. There is an entire hall dedicated to BMWs with some spectacular displays, my favourite being a McLaren F1 engine.

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On track I managed 5 or 6 laps with James, no timing, pictures or videos allowed in car so you will have to take my word for it, it was much fun, the Mi16 is a buzzy lively engine although there are a few sections you can get caught in seemingly the wrong gear, but with the 1.6 box thereís not a lot you can do about it. Me and James also managed to be the last ones for a tour in the uberwagen R32 with Matt Cony. Mattís confidence had grown endlessly since the first lap on Friday, and it was evident he was at one with the car, working the 4wd system perfectly in every way, a real pleasure to experience it, cheers Matt!

Monday

Some people had already left when we got up; the group was splitting up, some going to Amsterdam for a night, Rich and Nikki going to the Alps and then the rest of us heading home on different ferries. Unfortunately for Ben Allen, his 205 was still ďkaputĒ and understandably didnít fancy phoning his recovery service to help out. A group of 4 cars left, Me and James, Ben & Rad, Paul & Anna, Rob and Jason, we returned to the scrap yard to negotiate another distributor, the original replacement diagnosed to be buggered too. After half hour of loose English-German translation we had another dizzy, but it was from a phase 1 1.6 gti. Whilst the dizzy fitted the cap had different HT lead connections and wasnít interchangeable with Bens original. Another half hour later, the scrapyard man returned with a set of leads that looked like they had been sat outside since the war. Much piss taking was aimed at Ben, yet defiantly they were fitted and somehow the car turned over. Astonished and highly amused, we could finally make our way home. Our smaller convoy back was as much fun as the first with some comedy overtaking manoeuvres and much filming taking place. James was leading the convoy with me reading the map, when Ben decided to overtake us, just as we needed to turn off at a junction. Thankfully it was a B road and not a motorway, Ben was able to turn around and catch up whilst the rest of us waited and obstructed the junction. Much giggling later it emerges Bens car has stopped once again, this time his alternator had made a bid for freedom and tried to wiggle its way free. Araldite and cable ties were the only answer to hold it in place long enough to get home and fix it later.

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Somehow once again we got separated on the motorway back to Dunkerque, not that it mattered too much, the others were heading to Calais anyway. A boring 4 hours led to me managing somehow to sleep even in Jamesí noisy track car, the rain added to the depression of leaving my new favourite place in the world. The only highlight of the return journey was spotting a 205 D Turbo in France with a backbox big enough to slot a CD in and stuck out atleast 12 inches from the back of the car. The ferry home was slow and uneventful, my only enjoyment came from driving Blacky back to Jamesí house knowing that I too will have 16valve power soon enough. Im still in a deep trough after a massive peak of spending 4 days at the ring, all I can think about is when I can get back as soon as possible.

Ben Cooper

Trip Gallery Click Here (http://www.wpce.org/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=32)

Gary Kinghorn
18-09-2006, 07:48 PM
A good read there ben, thanks for sharing.

Gary

Dave G
18-09-2006, 10:33 PM
Good report!

Shame I'm on dialup or I'd view the pictures too :whistle:

Shame hotel as I stay, Eddy is a nice chap. Waking up to the sound of racing cars is awesome. :thumb:

Gary Kinghorn
19-09-2006, 07:21 AM
and 24 hour porn of course dave :thumb:

Dave G
19-09-2006, 07:52 AM
When I picked up the fuel cans from Simon, he mentioned the same thing, but we ( :gay: ) didn't notice this! Well, we did have the girls saying 'Call this 0898...' type thing, but it wasn't 'porn'! Have to look out next time, but as mentioned to Simon, I will once again be in the 6 bed 'apartment'..........with 5 other blokes. :gaypride: So maybe it's not such a good idea! :D

Andrew
19-09-2006, 09:41 AM
Fantastic report - cheers :)