View Full Version : Easter trip report

01-05-2011, 08:21 PM
Here's our trip report, plus a few pics along the way. Not done one of these before, so hope this is OK...one day per post, here goes:

Saturday, 23 April 2011
It's 620am and we're on the Tunnel, two hours earlier than our booking. There's a happy sense of deja vu of our last Germany trip last October. Fortunately the Tunnel has the same relaxed boarding policy as Norfolkline, so insane early-birds with excitement induced ADHD are fully catered for.
So, rewind a little bit. Yesterday we set off around dinnertime, and made it to Folkestone Holiday Inn Express by mid-afternoon. Standard Holiday Inn experience, in that the shower curtain uniquely successful in flooding the bathroom, and the walls bang randomly throughout the night. Anyway, who really cares? We spent less than 6 hours actually trying to sleep because by that point, the 'Ring was calling and it seemed somewhat pointless to hang around. 417am it was then that we rolled out of bed and were at the Tunnel by just after 5am. I'm considering asking for half a night's room booking for the next trip – guaranteed to be out of the room before dawn!


At the terminal, found our next 'Ring car – a motorised crème egg! I'm not entirely convinced of it's cornering potential but I'd love to see the marshals' faces as you pulled up to the barrier! Met Dave G and Ash at the terminal too, whilst hunting for much needed caffeine.


It was 1pm by the time we made it to Adenau, in blazing sunshine. The 'Ring had to wait just until we'd had chance to grab something to eat, and get the keys from Sonja for the apartment.

We headed over to the Nurburgring about 230pm and we're lapping by 245pm.



So, 6pm and we started getting ready for the evening Easter Northloop gathering at Comfy Corner. (No pics, fail. Sorry!)

01-05-2011, 08:23 PM
Sunday 24 April
Happy Easter!!!
There's no Easter Bunny calling this morning, just 14 miles of tarmac warming in the sun. After last night's Northloop bash, this morning was necessarily sedate, and we spent a couple of hours mooching round a couple of viewing spots, one by Pflanzgarten, then at Brunnchen, and Brunnchen 2.




The tree pollen is crazy, it looks like someone's emptied the contents of a sulphur factory all over everything. Black cars are getting an interestingly yellow hue!


We got a couple of good laps in around dinnertime, in between closures. It's been a day of them, surprisingly so perhaps, given that the number of cars on a lap seemed relatively light.
Apparently Dave's IQ was making quite a stir round the viewing sites! Crazy little lawnmower hammering round - I believe it clocked a 10:15 lap?!? (Photo fail, apologies again)

01-05-2011, 08:24 PM
Monday, 25 April
745am ETA at the track. It was a final gathering for the Easter 'loopers and all arrived present and correct in time for 'Ring opening at 8am. Full circuit plus GP circuit open for business.
Personally, the extended track felt more than a little unnerving but I'll never know if that was lack of bottle, or simply lack of sufficient caffeine! Frustratingly by Bergwerk on the first lap of the day my neck went and pretty much saw the end of my pax laps for the day there and then. But, a day at the track is never wasted. Jon pulled out a few more laps – those Red Line tickets more than paying for themselves today! - whilst the track was still quiet enough to be safe despite the fact that not a soul out knew where the hell the GP track went!
We snaffled a quick coffee in the DD somewhere in between laps, and called off for the morning just as the track was closed for an incident round Flugplatz/Schwadenkreuz.
Since the sun was shining, and we were anticipating carnage until some time late afternoon, we drove out to Flugplatz for a bit of catch-fence free viewing. Not a bad spot, and perfect for spy shots if you wanted them. There's a nobby little hill to sit on that gives you a good view of the crest to your left over the armco barrier, and a clear run right down to the next corner.



Some 400 photos later (98% totally shocking rubbish, but I'll defend my efforts by saying it's my first trip out with dSLR, and a camera I've owned less than a fortnight), we moved on to Bruunchen 2 and joined the crowds. Looking at the Brunnchen side, if it wasn't for the track, it might as well have been the beach for all the lines of people and deck chairs!


As the afternoon began to get quieter, those Red Lines started earning their keep again, and we took out one more lap – extra strength ibuprofen doing it's magic for just one more full lap. A Porsche 911 GT3S, in green livery glory powered by just coming up to the Schumacher S on the GP part of the track and promptly blew it's engine as it pulled ahead, right in front of us (don't underestimate the power of the MX5...lol!). White smoke and a storm of projectiles completely blocked the view. All we'll say for now is thank god the car kept driving off the corner before trying to stop.

(This is the same car from Brunnchen taken earlier in the day)

01-05-2011, 08:25 PM
Tuesday, 26 April
The track is open for TF this evening, so we have a day to kill, sorry, enjoy, first. We picked up some caffeinated supplies and headed out to Koblenz. It's a pleasant place to mooch around.
We took a stroll down the high street and found a really interesting water fountain, the Ark, in the middle of a small shopping arcade.


I think it's fair to say we weren't generally feeling too much love for the place so retraced our steps and landed ourselves back at the track where there was a Gran Tourismo track day in full swing. (Thanks to Jochen's FB update for the nod on that one!).


https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2Zp85xupI/AAAAAAAABnQ/R0x-jIBEstE/s400/Porsche%20911%20GT3%20with%20a%20wing%20Pflanzgart en%202%2026%20Apr.JPG




We had some good snooping though and an afternoon in the sun, by Pflanzgarten to start with, then on to Bunnchen 2. Snapping off another too-many-hundreds-of-photos-I'm-going-to-have-to-delete-90%-of-them rounded off that bit of the day.
By 345pm we made a move over to the barrier car park and grabbed a coffee whilst the fancy boys were still playing with their toys.
TF time then – opened ON TIME! And we were one of the first cars through the barrier. Not that it was hard to be. The car park was almost empty the whole time. A ghost town relatively speaking.



We got a couple in anyway, heavy oil on the track (sanded) round Exmuhle followed by roadworks where a few barriers needed sorting causing some minor disruption but that's all.
Well, the quietest track EVER and a dry one at that, meant the best opportunity I was going to get to have a lap myself. I'll say right now, I wasn't necessarily too keen on the idea in that particular moment but then, all things considered, it really was the only good time I was ever going to get. So, Jon (trusting or crazy, you decide) handed me the keys. Now, given I've driven this car (the Mazda) from my house, along a speed restricted dual carriageway for about two miles tops, some people may think it's a bit nuts to take it on the track. So did I. And I was pathetic, but what I will say is, I got round, I didn't bail at Breidsheide and I did take the inside of the Karussell.

01-05-2011, 08:27 PM
Wednesday, 27 April
This morning started off grey and wet, and stayed that way pretty much throughout. The planned trip to Cochem (well, sort of considered) was put on hold for more guaranteed dry place activity and we made our way to the Ringwerk museum for a morning of as close to 'Ring related fun we could find.


https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2Z7dDjM4I/AAAAAAAABos/OrF3MV1KVpI/s400/Blown%20up%20gear%20box%20Ringwerk%20museum%2027%2 0Apr.JPG

As the damp greyness continued to engulf the 'Ring, we decided to explore the local Rewe supermarket. OK, maybe we're a bit random, but walking round the aisles trying to figure out what things are, and generally having a good laugh in the process seemed like a good idea – far better than getting soaked anyway. Pick of the day goes to 'Convivial Yorkshire Crisps'!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2aNaSvr4I/AAAAAAAABps/CtMbnJfNzGA/s400/In%20Germany%20Yorkshire%20crisps%20Convivial%2027 %20Apr.JPG

The TF was unsurprisingly cancelled. Considering that you couldn't see the car in front WITH rear fogs on until you almost up their exhaust, maybe no bad thing.


01-05-2011, 08:28 PM
Thursday, 28 April
Slight improvement if only marginally so first thing. We'd decided that Cochem was the destination of the day but slipped by the 'Ring on the way to see if there was anything going on. And there was – Day 3 of the Gran Tourismo event. Some of those cars out for the sixth day in a row lapping like maniacs!
There was a noticeable reduction in numbers today, and a dampish start meant some tentative driving through Bunnchen where we stopped to gawp for a while.



Having said that, the sight of a slightly squashed Ferrari 430 on the back of the recovery truck was a bit of a shame.


So, Cochem then. A very pretty picturesque little town, but small and as we didn't go up to the castle, our visit was pretty short.




We spent the afternoon papping cars near Pflanzgarten in the sun, which by this time had broken through as the Gran Tourismo session entered the last few laps.




The TF was mayhem to start off with, in the sense that there were lots of newbies (and more dick Brits than we've seen the whole trip) on the track, some of whom made me look like I knew where I was going on my first lap the other night! For all the nobbys that were out, there was a good handful of pretty cars on track too. There was a Ferarri 575, a Noble too, and an ex-racing Mazda.



A huge Bentley set off from the barrier, and there was a Lambourgini Galardo Superleggierra (damn, missed that one). And among the worst was a camper van complete with dangling Afghan! A good last set of laps in the end rounding off a successful 'Ring trip, and there's still three days of holiday to go.
As people were beginning to leave the track for the day, the BMW motorsport truck appeared which needless to say, caused some degree of interest. In the end, it looked like a photo-shoot set up for the BM racing M3 GT's for Saturday's VLN.



01-05-2011, 08:29 PM
Friday, 29 April
Koln today. First impressions are 'a Cathedral' as the Dom overshadows the exit from the central tram/train station. It's a massive hulk of a building, blackened with industrial soot and covered in the now obligatory scaffolding for restoration and cleaning works.


The highlight of the day (well, the Koln part in particular) was spying in the English Shop – stocked with UK and US brands with shelves dedicated to tea! Being the Royal Wedding, the shop was packed with Brits (presumably) but in equal number, film crews packed the place out with microphones and cameras, filming and interviewing the gathering watching the wedding unfold on the big screen mounted in the store. Our experience of the Royal day then consisted of random Twitter and FB updates from friends, with no context on which to base them and this rather unusual take on Brit patriotism from the English Shop. I reckon we probably got one of the best views of the day!


https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bBUkpn3I/AAAAAAAABt4/ROSxv0vdPqY/s400/Film%20Crew%20English%20Shop%20Royal%20Wedding%20K oln%2029%20Apr.JPG

As we arrived back in Adenau, roaring began emanating from the track. No need to say where we went at the earliest opportunity! The VLN had an evening practice session, so a few minutes at Breidscheide and a bit more at a damp, then positively soaking Brunnchen 2, provided our track fix for the day.



https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bMWbDq0I/AAAAAAAABu8/8oThcY7-cz0/s400/Porsche%20VLN%20practice%20Breidscheide%2029%20Apr .JPG


https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bPFZXJcI/AAAAAAAABvQ/M0iTpflPfzw/s400/Golf%20VLN%20practice%20Brunnchen%202%2029%20Apr.J PG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bQkaJn0I/AAAAAAAABvU/OaiKc2Lxem0/s400/BMW%20z4%20VLN%20practice%20Brunnchen%202%2029%20A pr.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bS5LzNAI/AAAAAAAABvg/rh18-7HNuwk/s400/Merc%20VLN%20practice%20Brunnchen%202%2029%20Apr.J PG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bVZCW4BI/AAAAAAAABvs/YpLj8JN-vRg/s400/Audi%20%282%29%20VLN%20practice%20Brunnchen%202%20 29%20Apr.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bdJZGT7I/AAAAAAAABwY/-F2qGtZhg_s/s400/Opel%20VLN%20practice%20Brunnchen%202%20v%20wet%20 29%20Apr.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2bd3pEXFI/AAAAAAAABwc/OSTT7TLDOb0/s400/BMW%20z4%20VLN%20practice%20Brunnchen%202%2029%20A pr-1.JPG

01-05-2011, 08:32 PM
Saturday, 30 April
VLN day. We'd pre-purchased tickets for the race earlier in the week, to protect ourselves from weather related jinxing of planned activities. We carried on our theme of waking up early, and headed to the 'Ring for morning practice at 830am. We parked our backsides towards the end of the starting straight, just above the first corner and stayed there for the next two hours.


A BMW M1, Ferrari 458, and Lambourgini Gallardo all unique to the field.



As practice drew to a close, we headed over to the paddock for a nosey at the last minute preparations. Since we didn't know if or how to get through to the pit side, the view was limited but there were enough people shouting at other people, tyres being pushed around, cars on and off trailers, garages filled with people all trying to get over or round other people, to get a little more excited of what was ahead.
An hour later, the track girls were lining up for the start (absolutely THE most hideous green swimsuits – I hope they got VERY well paid!) and it was time to go and pitch up at the grandstand for the race. Being the 'Ring (and therefore very long laps with lots of opportunity for out-of-sight incidents), and the commentary in German only, not to mention the starting line-up of some 219 teams, keeping track of who was where kind of defeated us. This was the second VLN of the season, and the 4-hour race so I think we can say we got our €12 worth!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2czayKycI/AAAAAAAAB2Q/5wfEcKzUEBI/s400/1st%20corner%20%282%29%20second%20start%20VLN%2030 %20Apr.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_wWWkgGViHXw/Tb2c3XvBL4I/AAAAAAAAB2g/xKZO6UAP-Uo/s400/Audi%20R8%20LMS%20v%20Porsche%20GT3%20R%20VLN%2030 %20Apr.JPG

The top three finishers were: 1) SLS, Rowe Racing (SP9), 2) Porsche 911 GT3 R, B Manthey Racing (SP9), and 3) BMW M3 GT, B BMW Motorsport (E1XP). As another first to add to the growing list of firsts for this trip, add spectating at a motor race. Now, to line up the next one.
For my full collection of photos from the VLN, including Friday evening practice, follow this linky (VLN 30 Apr 2011) ('https://picasaweb.google.com/annedanwood/VLN30Apr2011?authkey=Gv1sRgCOqS9Kbxg_eI8wE&feat=directlink')

And that's it until the next time. October feels like so far too far away...

01-05-2011, 08:43 PM
Nice! - looks like belter of a trip!

02-05-2011, 01:16 AM
Nice trip report apart from the HUGE fail of containing
no pictures of the green swimsuits!!!

02-05-2011, 05:36 AM
Well done for finally driving a lap :thumb:

Thanks for sharing your report, sounds like midweek was great for quiet lapping.

02-05-2011, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by bimmer@May 2 2011, 02:16 AM
Nice trip report apart from the HUGE fail of containing
no pictures of the green swimsuits!!!
This lol.

Nice report, Anne :thumb:

02-05-2011, 06:47 AM
Originally posted by Simon+May 2 2011, 06:27 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Simon &#064; May 2 2011, 06:27 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-bimmer@May 2 2011, 02:16 AM
Nice trip report apart from the HUGE fail of containing
no pictures of the green swimsuits&#33;&#33;&#33;
This lol.

By popular demand, here you go, track girls:


It&#39;s the only one I have where you can see them remotely clearly. About 2 minutes after this there had been a people explosion on track.


Gary Kinghorn
02-05-2011, 08:12 AM
Thanks for this :thumb:

02-05-2011, 10:55 AM
Nice report, enjoyed that :thumb:

02-05-2011, 11:03 AM
Nice report.

Glad you had a good trip :thumb:

02-05-2011, 12:03 PM
Good report, and nice to see you both :D

02-05-2011, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Icedgem27+May 2 2011, 06:47 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Icedgem27 &#064; May 2 2011, 06:47 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by Simon@May 2 2011, 06:27 AM
<!--QuoteBegin-bimmer@May 2 2011, 02:16 AM
Nice trip report apart from the HUGE fail of containing
no pictures of the green swimsuits&#33;&#33;&#33;
This lol.

By popular demand, here you go, track girls:


It&#39;s the only one I have where you can see them remotely clearly. About 2 minutes after this there had been a people explosion on track.

What´s the problem with the suits??? :fish:

Very nice.

02-05-2011, 11:18 PM
glad you had fun :D

04-05-2011, 12:46 PM
Good report and great to read that you had a fab week :thumb: