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View Full Version : Royal Refrain and Redline Redemption Run.



Joel
08-05-2011, 12:42 AM
I'd been planning to get to the Ring earlier in the year in good time to redeem some Redline vouchers that I'd purchased last year. I had quite a few so I was keen not to loose them by missing the deadline. However, a lengthy, short notice work trip to Canada almost spoiled things. In the end I arrived back in the UK a few days before Easter, and a trip was planned for the following weekend, which also coincided with the Royal wedding and a double bank holiday weekend. Result.

Wednesday 27th

A leisurely drive from Cornwall up to Dover to catch a ferry, stopping along the way to meet up with Baz and his mate Craig to collect some more Redline vouchers that they wanted swapping onto Ring0cards. Early evening ferry caught, and overnight stop in Lille.

Thursday 28th

Trying a new route that avoids most of Belgium's frightening motorway network, I head South East out of Lille on a very wet motorway, then cut across country into Belgium and Bastogne, scene of some fierce fighting during WWII. In the centre of Bastogne is a Sherman tank as a memorial. The route then takes in some lovely winding roads across Luxembourg towards Prum in Germany, and the familiar roads towards the Ring.

I arrived just after lunchtime and checked in to my Hotel, where I prepared my Redline vouchers to be redeemed during that afternoon's TF. Combined with Baz's and Craig's, I had 53 vouchers...

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The chap in the office had no problems putting them onto five separate Ring0cards for me in a single transaction.

Then off for some laps. A little later in the carpark I bumped into Michaela, who was there with Norteenick and his mate Steve. After a little chat and a couple more laps we headed over to the GP circuit for the TF on there. I'd never driven on the GP circuit before, so I was keen to give it a go. I managed a couple of sessions before the track closed, the second session with Steve as a pax. Then it was back to Michaela's for some beer, chili con carne and cheesy chips.

Friday 29th

Not much happening all day, as the track was reserved for VLN practice all day, so no TF. I decided to hike up to the Kaiser Wilhelm Turn at Hohe Acht. If you've never done it then it is well worth it, but the climb is quite long and very steep.

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I also discovered that the Ring is built on top of an extinct volcano.

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After admiring the view for a while, I hiked across to the track for some landscape appreciation. No sign of a Royal wedding anywhere here...

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A little later, while watching the VLN cars, the heavens opened and gave me a drenching. I think it must have been just a localised shower, as the cars kept coming past again and again at almost walking pace, as if they were caught out on slicks.

By the time I was making my way back to my hotel the sun was out again.

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Saturday 30th

VLN day. In the morning before the race I decided to walk up to the castle to take in the views.

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Hohe Acht, where I'd been the day before, literally towering above the section on the circuit that shares its name

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Then it was back down to watch the VLN. I caught the start from T13, then walked down to Hatzenbach

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After I while I walked back up to the car and drove across to Brunnchen to watch the rest of the race

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After the race finished there was some TF.

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This managed a lap

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There were a couple of Artegas around, this one in a particularly disgusting colour

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Towards the end of the session the heavens opened again. Fortunately I was near my car this time so I avoided the drenching of the previous day. After a few minutes of heavy rain, the carpark was emptying and nothing seemed to be going on track. Time for a lap. The track was very wet so I took it gently. I passed one car and was only passed by one other for the whole lap.

Then back over to Michaela's for a BBQ with her other guests.

Sunday 1st

This weekend was also the official reopening of the newly restored old pit and paddock, so there were on-track demonstrations from lots of oldtimers throughout the morning and early afternoon.

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After lunch it was time for more TF. I'd promised some pax laps to Michaela before she had to leave to drive some guests to the airport. I picked her up from her place and drove up to the carpark before the scheduled 3pm opening. It was very busy and we couldn't find a parking space. Just as I was about to pull out of the carpark to leave we heard that familiar tanoy announcement, the marshals lifted the cones out of the way and we were waved towards the barrier. First car out onto an empty track! I'm also pleased to report that we held station for the full lap and were first back to the carpark again.

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I'd been suffering some vibration through the steering at high speeds, so after Michaela left I headed over to RSR to get the wheels rebalanced. They kindly fitted in my request despite busily preparing for a trackday at Spa the next day. Thanks guys.

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Monday 2nd

Nothing happening on track until the evening TF, and no guests at Michaela's, so we decided to take a day trip up to Cologne for some sightseeing and shopping. Michaela's satnav was programmed for the Dom, and it took us straight to the underground carpark underneath the historic cathedral. For some reason the underground carpark's painted floor seemed particularly slippery under the Elise's tyres, and it took a couple of laps of the carpark before a suitable parking space was located... :whistle:

The Dom was big

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Afterwards we went shopping for books, and I found something that should help me with my German learning...

After a coffee and cake at Starbucks (!) we headed back to the Ring for some more TF. My driving for the first three laps of the evening was pretty rubbish, missing apexes and running up kerbs that I've never run up before. After a break and a drink in the carpark, I composed myself and went for two final laps. These turned out to be two of the best laps I've driven, and even with a passenger on board the final lap was a new PB, I later found out from my PBox.

Tuesday 3rd

Boring motorway schlep up to Dunkirk, a ferry ride, and more boring motorway back to Cornwall. On the ferry, in a curious mirror of Sunday, I unexpectedly found myself at the head of a queue and was first car off the boat.

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The end.

JamesW
08-05-2011, 12:58 AM
Lovely read Joel, thanks!

Nige
08-05-2011, 05:20 AM
Great pics and a good read.

Thanks for that :thumb:

Gary Kinghorn
08-05-2011, 07:46 AM
Lovely pics as always Joel :thumb:

Dan
08-05-2011, 09:19 AM
Nice report there Joel :thumb:

Dave G
08-05-2011, 10:27 AM
Great report and excellent pics. :thumb:

Dave B
08-05-2011, 01:37 PM
Some awesome photos there Joel. Thanks. :thumb:

jon_r
10-05-2011, 02:34 PM
Lovely photo's and a great report Joel. Thanks :thumb: