View Full Version : The August report - proper!

19-08-2005, 06:08 AM

The trip started with a meet at South Mimms to collect Hoppy and Hoppy Jnr. A quick handshake and I suggested that we needed to get going immediately to fight our way through the slow M25 traffic L It was bad but we managed to meet the rest of our group at Lakeside with plenty of time to spare. Another fairly quick introduction and we were off… to the petrol station 10 minutes later and we finally got on our way. The M20 had specs cameras and we didn’t have any Road Angels but we did have two way radios, so some warnings were exchanged and we all slowed down. An all clear was shouted after the next specs gantry to which I replied that there may be another section, good job too as there was!!! Hopefully we have avoided the unpleasant letter…

At the Chunnel we could have taken an earlier train but hesitation lead to us having to take a later one. This gave us time to get to know each other and take a few pictures with an employee at the terminal. He had thought that we would all get some group pictures with his car so he could get some publicity shots. Unfortunately, he also thought that we were driving BMW’s lol. No matter as it was a small misunderstanding with Steve and he saw the funny side and he was ok with the situation. The first problem occurred when a driver couldn’t find his passport :eek: He decided to go home – what a bummer. The rest of the group went on to the waiting area, when out of the blue he turned up by taking the chance and getting a friend to post his passport over to him so he could get home – result.

In France the group split into 2 so that convoys at the first petrol station, so that smaller groups could be kept together better. Our group consisted of Simon, Floyd, Paul and Hoppy and we decided to cruise fairly fast but under the expensive type ticket speeds. The roads were quiet and they got even quieter as the night went on, which meant we really made progress easily. Unfortunately in Belgium somewhere Paul’s car ran astride a roadwork’s sign that had fell in lane 3, which got sucked up at speed and spat into the path of Simon’s car and then run over by Floyd’s. Simon didn’t realise what it was at the time but just heard the loud bang as it hit his car.

The Sat Nav’s in Simon’s and Paul’s cars guided us on our chosen route up to the point where the bridge we needed to cross was being repaired – arrgghh! I guess the Germans paid for the unhelpful detour with 4 noisy scoobs roaming seemingly every road in the village at 1:00 a.m. We eventually found the Hotel Webber and filed into the car park to be met by he owner. He told us that our rooms were in another Hotel not too far away… By this time Simon had seen the damage to his car that the sign had made (spoiler, fog cover, headlight bonnet, and mashed wing) and this was the last thing he wanted to hear of course. I could see everyone getting agitated and I told everyone that this is normal and I would go and find out where we had to go.

The other convoy turned up at this time and more confusion erupted. I grabbed some directions and lead the convoy to the new Hotel, which was a good 20-30mins drive only to find that it was closed. Simon was just about ready to get his pitchfork and organise a mob to burn and pillage (understandably) when the doorbell was found and the proprietor and his wife came to meet us in their night-gowns – bless ‘em. I grabbed the first set of keys and just went to bed as I’d had enough and I had planned an early start to get some good laps in.

It was hard to get to sleep though as I was still buzzing from the trip there. Somehow I must have drifted off only to be woken in the night by a cockerel outside our window. This can’t be happening. Simon’s alarm went off at the designated time and comically it was a cockerel noise too! We got up and grabbed some egg butties, coffee and orange. Paul met us and we decided to get down to the track but we were a bit surprised not to see anyone else up. We just thought that everyone else was dog-tired and would meet us later at the track. Still, we weren’t going to wait after we’d made the effort to get ready so early.

The Ring car park was empty and we had time to buy tickets and check the car’s over before the first run. The first day was a re learning experience for me after a break of 2 years. I had to play with the tyre pressures and AST settings to get the right feel. It is hard to build confidence whilst thinking about the freshly modified engine, the gauges, the corners, the passengers, the traffic etc etc. So although the new AST was an advance on the OE set up from the last trip it still didn’t feel quite right. A trip in Paul's (Pavlo) car confirmed that it could be better. His car was a surprise with his new coil overs performing remarkably well. The AST in comparison had plenty of grip in the bends but didn't feel as well tied down. There are differences between Paul's Type R and my UK of course, plus he had different geom. wider, lower profile rubber but his car felt really sorted and mine was strangely nervous in certain places. Simon just got on with things and seemed far happier straight away with his laps. I think that he is much quicker and more confident than me when it comes to driving fast. I tend to start really slow and build it up lap by lap, where Simon can hop in and drive fast from the off.

I was amazed that I remembered where the track went but I couldn’t get to grips with the braking points and gear choices. There wasn’t anyone of note to grab and help me learn the track again either. One lap found me chasing a new 5 series, which I thought was going to be easy meat. It wasn’t. I latched onto the Beemers bumper and followed the lines that were exceedingly good, which went a long way to reminding me of how it’s done. I came along side him under the gantry and got the thumbs up so I returned the favour – great! Simon caught up with the driver in the car park and discovered that it was a 535d with 400lbft as well as a driver who was an experienced ringer, so no shame in that then.

That first day saw me passing and being passed by all sorts of machinery including a mean looking SLR that I just had to put my foot down against. He still shot past of course but hopefully not quite so embarrassingly only to get some serious air on the next rise – major respect due to that dude. I caught him though… at the exit queue and had a quick chat. Nice.

Passenger’ing in Paul’s car was an experience as you’d expect with 500BHP at his disposal but unfortunately he lost 3rd gear half way round. I also took some rides in Simon’s car and I also took Richard out for his virgin lap. Simon was more confident than me and he was quick out of the box. I enjoyed taking Richard around for his first lap; it was fun seeing his face and reactions to my barked commands but he did really well. I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did. This day was marred by a couple of closures with the second lasting what seemed like 3 hours.

We found an out of the way restaurant in Adenau where we all met up and had a great time that night. Fergus joined us at the meal and the banter was fun and light hearted with bread rolls being thrown around as usual. I had to have the peppered steak as I just can’t seem to find the same in the UK L

When the track dried on the second day I needn't have worried that I'd made a bad choice with the AST. After I'd sorted the tyre pressures and upped the damping and re learnt the track, the handling was magic. I could really start having fun and I was getting huge confidence in the chassis. The high profile Toyo rubber at 205 on 16's isn't the best but still showed similar grip to the Felly set up I'd experienced and raved about before. Most corners could be dealt with minimal squeal - none of the screech and sliding that I'm used to Wet laps were a different matter though and the Toyo's were hopeless, plus I sh1t myself at the sight of rain anyway I ha a lap following Curly who had an M3 CSL he said he was going to take it easy – if that was easy then Gary doesn’t wind up Scoobynetters! It took all the power of my brain to keep up with him but at the end he got out and I was reminded that he had a cast on his leg – doh! I took a lap with him and those cup tyres certainly grip. The engine sounds like a Banshee on heat and the SMG would make anyone change gear like Schuey.

I slotted some EBC Ceramic red's in the AP's and I was a little worried about pad deposit. They didn't even show a hint so I conclude that the bed in surface does the trick. They squeal when bedding in but they seem to have quietened down now. In action on the Ring they performed well and I didn't fell under braked. No fade either. The only caveat is that they need a couple of prods to get them warm, especially after a hot lap where they can feel a little soft in the first couple of corners. On the way home there was torrential rain so the brake cooling was exceptional and this meant I had low bite and general softness - this is the exception I believe (the brake cooling ducts being operational didn't help either).


Sunday started wet, very wet. Arrived at the track before it opened and as soon as the red light went out we were off in Floyd’s car. Floyd as he mentions is not over confident in the wet (a good thing probably) & two laps later we were back in for a go in my car. I had used Floyd’s laps as sighting laps and with the PS2’s on my car and a lot more confidence in the cars handling we upped the pace a little. I could see Floyd breaking in the passenger foot well at points around the track but hopefully I did not upset him to much & he repaid the favour a little later in the day with a late brake in to Schwalbenschwanz! The track had a lot of standing water all around but it was surprising how much grip there was out there. After 2 laps with Floyd I took Simon (Rizla Man) out for a pax lap. I think he enjoyed it and he did comment that he was not a good passenger but that my lap was nice & smooth (did he mean slow!!!) I felt a bit sorry for him & his group as it rained for most of the day so they got very few laps in. After Simons lap I took John & Adam out for a lap. Adam commented afterwards that there is not much support in the back and starting behind his dad he ended up behind me :-) Parked up after 4 laps on the trot & went out with Floyd again. We followed Fergus for a bit of a lap until Hoppy & Evan passed us & we followed. Hoppy jnr is very good in the wet and he found the wet lines very quickly. It was rather strange following him around and it felt un-natural weaving along the road, almost as if most bends were taken as under braked and too late a turn in. It is hard enough to remember the dry lines without the added brain tax of it being wet.

We filled up with petrol & went to lunch with Hoppy joining us. The track had started to dry a little and had become very greasy. Even my tyres & car we struggling with the lack of grip at this stage so I was hoping for another downpour or a quick drying track. By 3pm the track was almost dry. Bikers were starting to go out although there were not many left. The track was so quiet with most people not bothering so we could get good fast laps in without much traffic. It started to rain a little again but only in the car park and for the first 1-2k of the track. Talking to some English bikers they asked for a pax lap. One jumped in with Floyd & one with me while 3 others followed on their bikes. This lap & the 1 immediately afterwards were probably our fasted & smoothest of the weekend. 2 of the bikers fell back just after the start, though 1 treated us to a nice wheelie. The other stayed in front for a few km’s until he waved us through & he was soon a distant memory. I followed Floyd for the first lap & half of the second. We each took a different chap out after the first lap and the two with me could not believe the grip, brakes & acceleration that the cars generated. Both commented that they would keep a better eye out for cars now & let them past. Both laps ended with thumbs up down the finish straight with Evan & Hoppy on the last lap making a 3 scooby rapid convoy around the whole circuit. We suggested 1 more lap, Floyd with me & Evan & Richard & one of the bikers on his machine but alas it was not to be, the red light came on & with 10 mins left of the day there was no way that it would re-open. This was imho not a bad thing as people have been bitten by the 1 more lap bug & we were all on such a high from the previous 2 laps.

We awoke Monday & set off for home at 9am. The weather was awful, torrential rain with standing water & spray a big problem especially for Floyd who was following me. As we were staying in Altenahr the route we chose was up to Bad Munstereifel across to Blankenheim then to the E42@ Prum. Belgium saw a pee break then petrol after Luik. We stopped here for ½ hour to have a sandwich & stretch our legs and when we rejoined the motorway we both gave it a big bootfull to get up to speed. Good job we then lifted as a Belgium motorcycle cop appeared in the rear view mirror, pulled along side & had a good hard look in to my car. He then speed off & proceeded to do the same in Floyds before carrying on up the motorway in an erratic style. We kept our eyes on the road and made no contact with his trying to give the “Us? Do something wrong? Never?” type of look. We concluded that he was on the look out for radar jammers, good job the RA’s were left @ home. The weather improved as we hit Belgium & France saw sun and increasing temps. Motorway all the way to the Chunnel, so boring. Floyd suggested a higher speed but we decided to keep around the 90mph. Good job as 50k before the Chunnel a police car was parked on the centre of the slip road spotting for his ‘mates’ 2k further down the road at a rest stop. We stuck dead on the speed limit the rest of the way. Checked in & ½ hour later went through customs and on to the train. The Chunnel is so easy to use and Steve giving us a discount code helped the price (he paid £80, us £100 as we booked a fair bit later, still a bargain though). Off at the other end and on to the M20 / M25 / M1 for the journey home. Door to door the mileage was 430, which we did in 9 hours including ½ hour dinner, ¼ hour sorting the car at the 1st petrol stop as we left the hotel & the train crossing. A good w/e all round with some of the best laps so far for me and probably Simon as well. Roll on the next trip.

F & S

19-08-2005, 11:55 AM
Excellent :D

19-08-2005, 12:55 PM
:thumb: Good report

Shame it rained so much :(


Gary Kinghorn
20-08-2005, 02:18 PM
Good report there Simo :thumb:


21-08-2005, 03:46 PM
sounds like a good trip. how much did it cost?

21-08-2005, 04:19 PM
costs :D

hotel 30 euro's per night
train £100 return
Fuel £300 ish
Food 30 euros per day
lap tickets - as many as you want, costs from 15 euro ea to 300 euro for a 25 lap ticket

travel insurance for the car if you do not have approx £30-40 for the w/end

I am sure that I have forgotten something, we let you know when the c/card bill arrives :whistle:

22-08-2005, 08:57 AM
I've just done the math and I recon it's cost me £700 :blink: :blink: :blink:

I thought this was going to be a cheap trip... Glad I didn't stay in bed but got to the track early now ;)


22-08-2005, 08:59 AM
I've just done the math and I recon it's cost me £700 :blink: :blink: :blink:

I thought this was going to be a cheap trip... Glad I didn't stay in bed but got to the track early now ;)


22-08-2005, 09:21 AM

02-09-2005, 12:32 PM
Good write up there guys. :) Shame it rained so much... Ever the unpredictable Eiffel... ;)

I never add up what I spend on a Ring trip - would be too depressing :rolleyes: