View Full Version : My first 'Ring experience, Nov 2010

06-11-2010, 08:51 AM
Finally! :D

Really thought my chances of visiting the 'Ring this year had disappeared completely - I joined this forum a long while ago on the premise of a forthcoming Ring trip that never happened, but ended up sticking around for the atmosphere, tech stuff and amazing pictures.

Anyway, a Photographer friend of mine calls me up on Thursday last week and asks me if I'm up for giving him a hand on a shoot at "the Nurembergring", for one of his magazine clients.
Not wanting to irritate him there and then, I say yes, and then later gently explain just how far away Nuremberg is from the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Not having visited the 'Ring before, and knowing what we need to shoot, I duly print out the enormously helpful Northloop Viewing Points ('http://s8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=1307') guide.
I also call upon the one Northlooper that I know will be able to help - Nige!

A few days later, we're on our way. Photographer and I head out from St Pancras at the crack of dawn to meet our Journo at Ashford.
He rocks up in a fully-loaded Mercedes-Benz C350 CDI Press Car of the Estate variety so we pack our kit in and head for the tunnel. Nice motor, if a little cramped inside. £46k! :o

Hours later we enter Germany, whereupon we stop immediately for a leak, some fuel and the obvious:


I also finally saw a new Mustang that I didn't hate.


During the journey, I get a call from Nige and we talk tactics - great timing as the whole (tiny) crew is present. Thanks so much Nige, we were all massively thankful for your guidance!

The weather had been flat and miserable through England and France, but as we neared Cologne (had to collect something nearby), the weather brightened and we were greeted by the most colourful scenery I'd seen in ages.


We hit a derestricted patch of the Autobahn and the Journalist floored it. This did not go down well with the photographer as he's a total track virgin and had never been much past 100mph before. We got past 140, and I was grinning like an idiot. Not bad for a car that supposedly runs out of puff at 152!

It was about 7pm by the time we finally checked in to Hotel An Der Nordschleife up by Breidscheid, and we were pretty pooped. We ditched the kit and headed out for some grub, doing the usual tourist thing of reading every menu on Adenau high street before making a decision. A vote took us to Pinnochio's, where we consumed unreasonably large pizzas and tasty Weissbier:


Nige had advised us to perhaps see Jorg at the Comfy Corner for more track info, but by the time we dropped in there for a cheeky last pint he was tucked up in bed. Or at least I think that's what our Bar-Frau said. My German is practically non-existent, the usual schoolboy repertoire, but I only had to point to a photo of a pale blue golf on the wall and she exclaimed, "Aah, you know Nige! I know Nige!" :lol: I could only nod and say "Ja", but it was nice to make that connection!

The next day I awoke to find that my room had a view...


I'm guessing it looked even better before the boards went up?
Breakfast was a brief affair, with the entertaining toast;


After that it was time to head out to the 'Ring and meet our Press Office contact, the lovely Ann. Helpful, patient Ann took us through many a locked gate in search of perfect vistas, whilst TF got underway. The air was a little moist, and the track had a good coating of dew on it. There were only a few cars lapping in the morning, it really was very peaceful.


Started shooting not long after the first cars came through the barriers, and the day would become a recce-as-we-go affair.
After about 2 hours of TF, a Skoda Octavia spun and hit the Armco. We were due to go out for a few laps later, so heeded this as a warning to be careful.
The TF Car Park was quiet but there was the odd special car there. We got talking to the owner of this utterly lovely Merc:


Seems like the quieter TF days might serve as Test days for some, too...



Lunch was a grab-and-go affair from the Devil's Diner, as we were shooting down at Brünnchen by then.

Then finally, our turn came to lap the Nordschleife!
The first lap, the Photographer was in the front seat photographing the Journalist driving. All cleared with the Press Office :D I was in the back, ready with lenses and other gubbins, so we weren't exactly flying on the first outing.
The Journo had driven here before, perhaps 20 laps in his life, and obviously spent much of his life driving cars.
Even at a careful pace, it was utterly thrilling - I found the gradients and camber changes to be quite bonkers, having previously only done the usual video and GT4 homework!
The scenery was fabulous too, I think we got very lucky with the autumn colours and relatively decent weather.

The second lap, our shooter would be back down at Brünnchen waiting to shoot the Mercedes as it passed, so this time I got the front passenger seat and the journalist didn't have to hold back for the camera. A little rain had fallen though, and the track was now properly greasy.
As we headed out of the barriers, a Corsa VXR/OPC pulled over and let us past. We literally did not see another car for the whole lap. Nothing came past, and we encountered no traffic at all :D
The Foxhole is just effing nuts, isn't it? I actually laughed out loud once the compression was over! It felt good that I had an inkling of a few corner names even before the signs appeared.
Until I drive around myself though, I'm not sure I'll appreciate how tricky some of the corners are, as it's not always obvious on first glance.

One thing's for sure - I could not take my current car round the 'Ring. It's an Auto, and as such there's next-to-no engine braking unless I want to really abuse the gearbox.
I'll lap it eventually, but in something far more suitable.
I would also dearly like to participate in Rad Am Ring next time around, it must feel incredible to get around that track on a bicycle!

Near the end of the day, I saw a familiar-looking blue MX-5 (striped) entering Brünnchen sideways, but couldn't recall whose it might be. Didn't get a snap of it either as we were still busy shooting. I think it might have been Dale?


Anyway, that was our Nordschleife experience drawn to a close. A fantastic day, so good to finally see what all the fuss is actually about :D

That night, we headed into Adenau and had dinner at the Blaue Ecke. Good steak, and more great beer. I slept well that night. Good job too, as we were due to check out at 6am and catch our flight home from Cologne, leaving the Journalist to drive the Mercedes back to the UK alone.

I'm still buzzing from this first trip, and I really hope I can join some of you guys out there next summer.


06-11-2010, 11:51 AM
Congrats on getting over to the hallowed ground for your 1st visit,
it looks like you really enjoyed yourself! :D
Great report. :thumb:

PS. - that old Merc in the TF carpark looks sweet. ;)

06-11-2010, 03:21 PM
Glad you enjoyed your trip, looking at your photos makes me want to get back out there. Easter is quite late next year, isn't it? ....


Gary Kinghorn
06-11-2010, 04:59 PM
About time too :lol:

06-11-2010, 05:36 PM
Good to hear it all went well :thumb: Glad to be able to help :D

06-11-2010, 07:51 PM
Excellent :thumb:

Dave B
06-11-2010, 10:02 PM
Good write up. :thumb:
PM sent.

mr rooney
07-11-2010, 07:12 AM
Great write up! :thumb:

Hope you make over next year and try and stay for at least three days it's well worth it :thumb:

07-11-2010, 06:07 PM
Good trip report :thumb:

Dave G
07-11-2010, 06:26 PM
Good stuff!

The trees look good!

I like Eddy's, the view of the track from (some of) the rooms is awesome. And waking up to the sound of motorsport some days is epic.

07-11-2010, 06:27 PM
Nice report there matey. Glad you enjoyed yourself :thumb:

07-11-2010, 09:54 PM

And the trees, lovely!

09-11-2010, 06:56 AM
Great first trip - glad you enjoyed it :thumb: It's very rare that you get a clear lap, so maybe this is the time of year to go :D

09-11-2010, 08:29 AM
Cracking report I thought you had been before :lol:

09-11-2010, 08:56 AM
Great report :thumb:

But being there for such a short time, you missed loads!

Don't forget there are nearly always spare spaces in cars, I'm sure you'd fit in with most people.

08-12-2010, 12:01 PM
Wow so many posts and you first visit?

Nice report, sounds like you enjoyed yourself, I would love to go when the car park is that quiet (i trip in July/Aug) must have been a nice relaxing day.

How was Pinnochios? Always thought about it, but my German is... well non existent, I do eat but mainly self catering. I really should learn German

Thanks for sharing :thumb:

08-12-2010, 01:24 PM
I was there at the same time, on the portuguese black E36 Compact, and my brother´s black E30.

The Mercedes in the picture is a curious track car, with air suspension all around, and 220hp, real period mechanics, the owner and his mate are real characters, spent some time chatting to them.