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Pedro
09-09-2009, 11:57 PM
A couple of really busy weeks at work meant I was exausted at Friday when I clocked out into my holidays, changed the oil on the car and gave it a look using my mechanicīs lift. Saturday returning to the office to tie some loose ends wasnīt pleasant, so during the rest of the weekend did nothing but relaxing, buying a pair of little things for the trip, like an i-pod dock to have the magic of music without enduring headphones, and packing everything into the car, my brother needs more luggage than a princess, plus all four track wheels, helmets and whatever.

The 2100km commute to Adenau felt easy compared to last year, stopped midway in France at about 5 or 6PM, and had a swim in the small hotelīs pool, felt great, too bad the food was shit though, was really surprising, bad food, crap wine, France?

Next day slept a little bit later than planned, and after the biggest breakfast on earth, on a mission to make them pay for the bad dinner, we got on the road to face the long trudge across the French, god itīs a boring stretch of the trip. Half a day after we arrive before dinner time at Adenau and all feels great. Change wheels, strip the rear seats out, and put harnesses on.

Day after, alignment and cornerweight scales, itīs funny how the feeling I get when there has changed, two years ago it feels like arriving home, feels good. At home I bought a 12 lap ticket from a mate who flew over but didnīt use his laps because of rain and Ronīs Alfas being RWD, anticipating not doing many laps buying lap tickets was clearly the smartest choice, didnīt feel like commiting after last yearīs accident.

First evening session, canīt remember how many laps were done, but the car feels not as good as last year, more understeer, less confidence, I put it down to me being completely inexperienced with trackday tyres, the Yokohamas were super soft compound though, so they felt good after a couple of corners. Adjusted pressures. I canīt tell how much of my uneasiness was car related, or just me being over sensitive after my last few laps there, probably me.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b392/PeteCosta/13082009003.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b392/PeteCosta/13082009002.jpg

Next few days go well, had a rain session and it was awesome, canīt remember which day it was, put the road rubber back on and entered it as the track opened, and didnīt stop at all, after the first lap nobody was on track and it was amazing, going slowly, the tyres were overinflated for the rain, and the suspension too hard, it was sliding everywhere, I did more wet miles on this car during that afternoon than I did previously since it was built, so learned a bit. Donīt pretend to know how to drive it well enough to properly enjoy sliding, so I just do what I do and enjoy it, takes a few minutes more to do a lap, but that just means you get more track time for your money. A few good slides though, one was a little hairy on the second left hander after Adenauer Forst, and a really great one on the last left at Hatzenbach, that one was really good, at the end I just laughed inside the helmet and looked around to see if someone was taking pictures there. Session stopped as I was about to find out if I could make it to the gates before they closed them, but on that last lap was first on scene to a bike crash on the turn in to the bridge, a TDM with full touring luggage on it. Stopped to help, got the bike back up, and my brother and the biker pushed it out. I then found out he had a guitar strapped to the back seat, it was unhurt. Scott was the dudeīs name, and we found him a place to sleep and took him to Jorgīs place for a meal, I know what it feels like to crash and itīs not good. Next day the handlebars were unbent, and he was on his way back home, guitar firmly strapped to the bike.


Weather was perfect for the duration of the trip, a little bit too warm to properly enjoy driving though, in my car if I turn the AC on there’s a serious risk of it stopping on the uphill from terminal lack of powers, so I don’t.


After a few laps my front tyres were ruined, couldnīt find Yokohamas on the same size so changed my 205-55/15s for a set of 205-50/15 Kumhos, the car was now quite low and the gearing a lot shorter, I found myself on the speed limiter a lot, it felt a little bit quicker on the uphill though, but that could well be an illusion, it did allow to get into fifth, which I did to give the engine a rest.

Had some nice meals, and some great ones, met some good people and made some good friends, it was good talking to everyone again, had very few passenger laps this year, because somehow I always seemed to miss everyone while on track. Went on laps with Bruce, Nige, Andrew, Dave, and Fabian. Bruceīs lap was relaxed and I really enjoyed the talk through most of the track, Nigeīs lap was cool, clearly faster than last yearīs, love that car, Daveīs lap on the compact was a laugh, giving the open diff a bad time with 4 people inside, Andrewīs lap made me lust for a GT3, there really is no substitute. Fabianīs lap was awesome, a proper S14 in a well prepared M3 driven by a very good driver.

Did a couple of laps with no passenger and took that chance to re-evaluate how Iīve been doing Wippermann, went a little faster and regained some confidence, car felt great, if still a little less incisive than last year, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Overall, had a blast, over the course of the days I was there, realized it would have been smarter, and cheaper, if a JK had been bought, car did 80 laps, 4 of them my brother driving. Had a great time in most of them, clear track with good traffic, did 12 laps on the quietest Sunday Iīve seen to date, and enjoyed doing 5 lap stints, only stopping to save a little money on laps and to give the car a rest.

Now every suspension part seems to creak, on the front wheels and on the rear ones, am going to lube the rear trailing arm bushes with some copper grease, and probably replace the front urethane bushings for rubber ones, don’t like this creaking one bit. Everything else is lovelly, replaced rear discs and pads while there, bedding them in on the lovely road between Adenau and Hohe Act, by the time we got to the track entry they were nice and done, and just kept adding a little bit of oil everyday to keep it above the middle of the dipstick, since on the road it doesnīt use any Iīm not worried, it a hard life being an M44 engine on the ring, spending most of itīs life at 5500 or 6000rpm.

It was a sad affair leaving the place and going back home, left with a heavy heart but a pleased feeling, most of my goals having been achieved. No crashes, very few near misses, pretty constant lap times, just sorry that because of the Armco repairs I didnīt get a clear run during the last three or four days.

Trip back was pretty much the same boredom again, stopped at the same place because after a summer of day of driving on motorways a dip in a swimming pool feels great, also found a small place nearby that makes a great tajine, so thatīs it, a pleasant place to stay, arrived home at about 4PM on a saturday, washed the car on sunday and that was the end of my holidays.

See you guys next year!

Darran
10-09-2009, 08:15 AM
Excellent report, Pedro. Glad to hear some of last year's demons have been put to rest. :thumb:

Nige
10-09-2009, 11:36 AM
As always, good to meet you and its great to hear this years trip passed without issue :thumb:

Dan
10-09-2009, 11:52 AM
:thumb:

Dave B
11-09-2009, 03:30 PM
Cheers Pedro, good to see you again and great to meet your brother. Glad it went well and that you got your swim in the pool on your return home.
:thumb:

Pedro
11-09-2009, 08:19 PM
Thanks guys

That swimming pool makes a whole lot of difference in the way those long miles feel after a day Dave. Itīs good stuff :D

Really enjoyed taking you for that lap Nige, some good advice made a difference, safety in a couple of places, and speed in others.

My current pace, with normal traffic and driving safe, with some strong reservations, not jumping a single curb, and the guys fixing armco, is between 9:20 / 9:35, thatīs the rule, I was glad after a session, to see I clocked three of four laps with no more than 4 or 5 seconds between the slowest and the fastest. Driving with no more "effort" I eventually made a couple of 9:10 9:05 laps, felt it was easy to get a good few seconds out of there if it wasnīt for the extensive length of the repairs being done to the track over the last few days, so I was sort of happy with it.

Next year my goal is to turn the 9:20/9:35 easy laps into 9:10 or 9:15 easy laps, make that the average effortless lap, and maybe get down to 8:50 or 8:45 on a clear track with good traffic. I have the lap time sheets in my computer, but apparently no software to view them, since little brother is in Cuba itīll take me a couple of days till I can actually look at them in detail.

Donīt think my budget will allow for more horsepower, and the car will remain more or less identical in concept, so I hope that I can make this time only from lapping experience and improving lines.

Gary Kinghorn
12-09-2009, 07:38 AM
2100KM's is a bloody long way to go :o :o What's the fuel bill getting there and back. Actually maybe I dont want to know :o

Pedro
12-09-2009, 11:22 AM
I donīt want to know either.

Gary Kinghorn
12-09-2009, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Pedro@Sep 12 2009, 12:22 PM
I donīt want to know either.
That's the ticket, denial is the way forward :lol: :lol:

pye21
12-09-2009, 07:41 PM
Great read :thumb:

How long where you there for in total?

Pedro
12-09-2009, 11:04 PM
I think I left home on the 10th August, got to Adenau in the afternoon of the 11th, and left to come back home on the 28th, arriving home on the 29th early afternoon.


Gary, it should be 3,5 gas fill ups, plus a shitload of tolls, to get there.