View Full Version : 1st trip to the ring for the Elan

13-09-2009, 09:45 PM

trip report in the BLOG :-)

13-09-2009, 10:15 PM
Cool report, nice to meet you :)

(I was the guy with Dan! at Car Service Nurburg :) )

13-09-2009, 10:59 PM
nice long read jesus you havent had good luck

14-09-2009, 05:45 AM
blog ? is that like facebook :blink:

copy and paste it in here martin..... :karl: :D

14-09-2009, 07:32 AM
Originally posted by Nige@Sep 14 2009, 06:45 AM
blog ? is that like facebook :blink:

copy and paste it in here martin..... :karl: :D
No not like Facebook - it is my own personal space

Just for you Nige - pictures are on the blog

A good friend James needed to go out to the Ring to pick up his Porsche GT3 Manthey410 and asked if I was up for a road trip - do the bears proverbially shit in the wood - I said yes straight away.

I checked all the fluids, tyres, brakes, paperwork and packed some I was going to take the Lotus Elan to the Ring to christen it with a few laps. I had a couple of Ring cards and a free lap courtesy of Redline.

I would also get some pax laps with James in the GT3

On the Monday afternoon I drove over to Guildford to pick James up and head down to catch the train/tunnel. Traffic was busy but moving and we arrived with plenty of time to grab sandwiches and coffees. We got straight back in the car and drove round to the boarding area only to be stopped by security for an explosive search/test. This failed on the first pass and they had to do it again - there were about 8 cars singled out for this "attention". When they had finally finished (15 minutes later) we were allowed to proceed to loading, only they had shut the gates and we couldn't get on our scheduled train. Doh!!!! there was still about 12 minutes to go :-( We had to wait 50 minutes for the next one...........................not happy

This meant we would be even later arriving at Jochen's where we were staying!!! Nothing to do but eat our Sandwiches and drink our coffees. One bit of good news was that my Insurer added James to my Policy for three days for no charge!

The Elan has a slight problem with it's heater control valve and I am awaiting a new one so the cabin can get "cosy" especially with two people in it. So we decided as it was a nice afternoon we would put the hood down.

We got the next train and it was actually a few minutes early arriving in France, great. We set off with the hood still down blasting through France and into Belgium. We decided as it was a warm night to leave the hood down.........

So there we were in the dark blasting through Belgium with the hood down in the pitch dark. The Belgians must have been thinking crazy Brits :-)

We left the Motorway to cut across country towards Germany. Travelling along forest roads - when a huge wild boar (tusks and all black spiky fur) weighing about 300lbs lumbered out of the trees and crossed the road in front of us! Yippes - there was no danger of a collision but we were both thinking the same thing - if that had been a few seconds later we would have hit it at speed!

We got to Jochen's without further incident, although the sat nav took us a route neither of us had ever travelled before :-) got to love those sat navs..

Next day stared beautifully with blue skies and no clouds and the promise of it being 26 degrees - lovely perfect for a few laps of the Ring.

Jochen had to do a favour for a Norwegian friend and pick up his M5 from Storage/Tyre place. I gave him a lift to collect it in the Elan and Sofia gave James a lift up to collect the Porsche.

I went up to the Ring at 5pm to convert my Redline voucher into a Lap and to see how many laps I had on my cards from Easter. I had 12 in total so that was perfect. I found this picture through the Northloop website. I hope the photographer does not mind me using it here - free advertising for him :-)

I did one lap and did not enjoy it at all - nothing felt right. All of my 750 or so laps have been done in RWD and mainly in my E30 M3. So FWD was a learning curve even though I have driven it on various UK tracks.

I borrowed James' tyre gauge and discovered that the tyres were up to 2.2 and 2.3 on the rear!!! it was hot. So I let out some air bringing them down to 1.8 hot and went out for another lap - this was much better and I was getting the hang of it :-)

I was having to adapt my usual lines, choice of gear and braking a lot more than I would have thought. Importantly, I was now having fun.

Went for two pax laps with James in the GT3 - what a car so much torque. I am getting used to the Manthey "jigglyness" of the suspension, but I do not think I could get used to it on a permanent basis. No idea of the times but James is quick and has done a lot more laps than I have and takes some interesting lines.

I cannot do more than a couple of laps as a pax as I then start to feel nauseous.....

I went out for another couple of laps and they were starting to flow until a biker overtook me in the middle of Weirsiefen - WTF - just as I was turning in tight - so I had to take a wide line out which spoiled the run down to Briedsheid. Obviously has a death wish.

Called it a day after this lap and headed back to Jochen and Sofias to freshen up and have a bite to eat with James and Sofia - Jochen was meeting up with the Norwegians. After dinner James and I went up to the Pistenklaus for a couple of drinks and to catch up with Jochen. We had an early night as both James and I wanted to get to the Ring by 8am to get some quiet laps in.

James and I got to the entrance for 750am and as soon as it opened we were out lapping. It was very quiet and it felt like you were the only car on the track at times.

Met up with Chilled, Dan, Nick, Mr Rooney and some other Northloopers - sorry didnt catch your names.

Jochen attaching one of his Frozenspeed stickers to a Norwegian GT2. Nice looking Silver Lotus next to it with a Frozenspeed sticker as well!

Some more laps and really getting into the feel of the Elan now - lapping quicker and quicker. Track still quite empty, but not for long. Scuderia Hanseat was on that week and all the Exotica started arriving - I have never seen so many Porsche GT2's in one place - there must have been more than a dozen of them. There was also a white Xbow, various Ferraris, two Gumbert Apollos, 4 or 5 R8's and some race prepped Seats.

The Ferrari's arrived in force with much revving of engines and all calling out to each other across the car park - all a bit "look at me". They do sound fabulous though.

But they are big and wide especially parked next to a little Elan

The Xbow was on Italian plates! usually a sign of some hot blood! and sure enough on one of my laps he came storming up behind me weaving all over the road behind me so I was unsure where he was going to go and he then overtook on the right - plonker.

Did another couple of laps with James in the GT3 - just love the noise it makes - getting more confidence in it's handling.

Some of the Ferraris went out for a lap so it would be churlish not to go out an overtake them :-) Nick GT3 jumped in for a pax lap and I promised to take Dan out for a pax when we got back in. So off we stormed after the Ferrari's along with a posse of other cars. We eventually caught one going down into Breidshied bridge (being a mobile chicane) so I dived down the left side to get past. I then had the most monumental brake fade! and all I could think of for 2 seconds was "CONCRETE WALL" then gathered it up and carried on round and up Ex Mule, but with no brakes. Did a gentle lap back to the Grone Holle and had a look at the pads. Sorry Nick if it gave you palpitations!

I had checked them the afternoon before and there was two thirds of the meat on them so thought they would be ok. They didn't seem OK now but the outside ones still had meat on them but the insides sounded like they were down to the metal!!!! and I was leaving to go to Calais in 35 mins with James. Sorry Dan will give you a pax next time we meet up. Also at that point the track was shut for an accident.

At that point I got a message from James - he was over at Manthey Racing a back tyre had started delaminating!!! so he needed a new tyre and upon checking the other rear he needed two.........and they are enormous tyres. Turns out he had to get four.......

I was able to go up to Hershbrioch and get my spare pads fitted - so by the time I got back to Jochens for a wash and brush up and finish packing the car James arrived. We had a bite to eat and hit the road.

I followed James on a route I had never driven before with new pads and James on new tyres! I asked if we could take it easy for the first few miles..........................ha ha James take it easy that will be the day. I did keep the roof down until it started to rain when we stopped for petrol in Belgium though.

Missed the train we were aiming for but got on the next one and all was plain sailing. Stopped at James' place to pick up some bits and then home to Newbury. About 1000 yards from home a huge deer jumped into the road in front of me and I had to do an emergency stop - we missed each other but my heart was trying to come through my ribs! I had to have a cup of tea and sit down when I got home.

Great trip but I was knackered having done a whole day at the Ring and then 8 hours driving to get home.

14-09-2009, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by giryan@Sep 13 2009, 11:15 PM
Cool report, nice to meet you :)

(I was the guy with Dan! at Car Service Nurburg :) )
Good to meet you - I'll remember next time!

14-09-2009, 07:36 AM
Originally posted by Kev_mk3@Sep 13 2009, 11:59 PM
nice long read jesus you havent had good luck
and that is not mentioning deaths, divorces, cancer, unemployment, nervous breakdown (not me)............................................... .....................................

see strap line below :-(

Dave B
14-09-2009, 08:02 AM
:thumb: Cheers Martin, enjoyed that

14-09-2009, 09:29 AM
Thank you :D :thumb:

Enjoyed reading that.

14-09-2009, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Dave Boulder@Sep 14 2009, 09:02 AM
:thumb: Cheers Martin, enjoyed that
+1 :thumb:

14-09-2009, 10:39 AM
Thanks Martin, it was a great trip if rather eventful!
I must ask you about those "interesting lines"....
Sorry not to meet more Northloop regulars but there's always next time.
Had a few lovely quiet laps and some good busy ones in traffic when leading or following experienced drivers. Generally good cooperation, particularly from the bikes which is sadly a rare thing.
One very good session with Adam in the Yellow GT3 until a Scuderia Instructor wanted to prove a point. Impressive skill but not appropriate for TF conditions.
See you all soon!
(still have the 968 but not currently insured for the Ring so managing OK with the GT3 :rolleyes: )

14-09-2009, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by texas2201@Sep 14 2009, 08:36 AM
and that is not mentioning deaths, divorces, cancer, unemployment, nervous breakdown (not me)............................................... .....................................

see strap line below :-(
Hey, that's sounds like my life :(

If it wasn't for us using up all the bad luck then the other chaps would get all the good luck that's left over. :lol:

14-09-2009, 02:19 PM
Great report.

Like your blog and have read a few other posts.

14-09-2009, 02:49 PM

The lapping available was mostly good, particularly first thing and last thing.