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View Full Version : Ring Trip Report - 20th - 24th April



Dino
26-04-2012, 11:27 AM
So for the first ‘ring trip of many this year. It’s been a while since I’ve written a report, so here goes.

Day 1

It was an earlier start than usual as we were due to be at Michael Schumacher Kart Centre for 1pm German time. I set off from home at 3.40am to pick up Leon and Vina from Tottenham Hale station. Leon lives in Irvine, CA and Vina is from Taiwan and studying in London. Leon is a big petrol head and has owned an e92 335i followed by e92 M3 and currently owns an e90 M3 - all this at a ripe old age of 23 years old!!!

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/1c65c015.jpg

Next up we went to pick my Mum up from Buckhurst Hill, she’s wanted to visit the Nurburgring for years and I’d promised to take her along so the e90 was fully loaded with passengers and luggage!

Only two days prior to the trip I’d treated the car to an oil & filter change, Eibach Pro Springs, Koni FSD dampers, braided front lines, M3 front arms and BMW Performance BBK. First impressions were that the ride quality was massively improved and lateral roll reduced along with better turn in. It’s also running a bit more negative camber up front too so that should help minimize understeer. First impressions are it’s good on the road, certainly much more comfortable than the standard SE suspension and far more compliant than M Sport suspension.

We arrived at Stop 24 services to meet the remainder of the group at 5.30am and I filled up with V-Power and was glad to see the guys were all there ready for the trip:

 Jeff & David from Bucks in a Merc CL500 (!)
 Robbie & Nicola from Edinburgh in a mint e39 530d
 Stephen & Neil from Kent in a 997 Carrera 4S
 Chris & Jess from Sydney in a Hertz VW Golf 1.6 hire car!

We were also due to meet up with Steve & Tracey from W. Yorks in a Scooby Spec C but they took the option of a ferry from Hull - Zeebrugge and we were due to meet them at Jabbeke services in Belgium.

A quick meet and greet, walkie talkies handed out and we set off to board the Eurotunnel.

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Next up what was supposed to be a quick stop to meet Steve & Tracey in the Spec C

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Loving the new ‘stance’ the Eibachs have given the e90, not too low, just right.

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/c57295e8.jpg

David…….when I’m cleanin’ windas!

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The quick stop turned into an entire hour as Steve & Traceys ferry was delayed at Zeebrugge so after ensuring they knew where they were going (I’d already sent them detailed directions just in case) we got back on the road.

Another pit stop, this time a quickie

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/b77f7336.jpg

Spotted this beast at the services - bet that goes well

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/c01d6e33.jpg

We saw this family wagon near Schumachers Kart Centre:

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/44d91cb6.jpg

MS Kart Centre!

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Steve & Tracey turned up just in time too:

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/81eb2344.jpg

Format of the karting was a 10 minute qualifying followed by a 20 minute race - needless to say I qualified in 1st (but for some reason they put me in P2!) and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the top 5 of the group were very competitive and we all had an awesome battle with a few position changes at the front before we settled into a battle between myself and Chris from Oz for the lead.

We came up to lap Leon and we both went on either side to overtake with me making the right choice and squeezing in front for the lead! Soon after Chris spun and lost his 2nd place too so instead I had Robbie and Neil snapping at my heals for a few laps until I managed to build a few seconds lead. I also got the fastest lap too, was a good race and everyone had a great time :D

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Some cool stuff in there too

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/c02324c7.jpg

Long before V-Power…..

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/6aef20ed.jpg

Dino
26-04-2012, 11:28 AM
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Leon was rather happy to have made it to Nurburg all the way from Cali:

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Everyone checked in, safety briefing done at the Burgstube and as the track was open it would be rude not to check it out.

Quick fuel up at Ed.

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And a blissfully quiet Nordschliefe car park!

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Soon after I got a phone call from Robbie in the e39 - Whilst on his first lap the 530d developed a knocking noise from the rear - after a quick look at the car it was easy to find the issue hed managed to lose all but one of his wheel bolts the near side rear wheel, having only last checked them the day before when he left Edinburgh! He was sent down to Schirmers for some wheel bolts and to check the car over (in particular the alloy) and they noticed that one of Robbies tyres was under the legal limit (tut tut!) so the car was dropped off to a local tyre fitter for two new rears.

Steve and Neil didnt hang about - they did all of the 4 laps I gave them as part of their tour package and bought some more for the rest of the weekend! Not bad for a couple of guys who one of which admitted he wasnt a petrol head (even though he owns a Porsche!) and the other who doesnt even own a performance car (a farmer who owns a twin cab!!)

The rest of the group preferred to save their driving for the Sunday and Id arranged some cars for them to drive, David & Jeff a Megane, Leon an Artega GT and Id booked a Suzuki Swift for my Mum to drive!

Everyone back to the Hotel and a fantastic BBQ meal accompanied by few pints of Bitburger. I also made a new friend:

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/d992457e.jpg

Dino
26-04-2012, 11:29 AM
Day 2

Backstage tour of the GP Circuit

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And the obligatory M Test Center pics!

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Cochem am Mosel for lunch.

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Back to Nurburg and caught a bit of the RCN race. A race against the clock - set a time and then spend 3 hours trying to get as close to your original time as possible - I bet that isnt easy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDoCynWptLU

Race over then some of the guys went over to the Nurburgring Boulevard and the Ring Werk museum whilst Leon, Vina and myself went to see Michaela at Guesthouse Fuchsrohre for a coffee and some virtual Nordschleife!

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Then we popped to the GP Circuit to check it out

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A couple of cheeky laps:

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And then the heavens opened (not the first or last time this weekend!)

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Whilst having dinner at the PK we bumped into the Evo Magazine boys and Andy Wallace (ex-LeMans winner!) so my Mum had her picture taken with them!

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/af1371c2.jpg

Dino
26-04-2012, 11:42 AM
Day 3

Opened my hotel room curtains to be greeted by what looked to be a nice day

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Breakfast done some of the boys went to collect their rental cars, Chris & Jess and R26R and Leon an Artega GT! Then it was down to the to the Nordschleife for our Ring Taxi rides

My Mum – first lap ever of the ‘ring, in a Ring Taxi!!

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Apparently Jeff and David were petrified!


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My turn!

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/60c2f7bd.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbVc-T3YohQ

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/e0b58eff.jpg

Lining up for another lap and caught on webcam:

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Some more e90 lappage

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3TjEJU7nXw

Bumped into John Barker again who offered me a passenger lap in this beast

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Best passenger lap I’ve ever had, John is an excellent driver and the C63 Black is now my new favourite car – makes the Ring Taxi look tame in comparison!!

John then kindly offered Leon a ride in this!

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Steve and Neil also decided that playing in their 997 Carrera 4S wasn’t enough fun so they hired an R26R too!

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I didn’t spot any pictures of Evo’s GT3 RS 4.0 on track but it was identical to this one – definitely on the lottery list of cars to buy!

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Dino
26-04-2012, 11:42 AM
After an excellent lunch at the Tiergarten it was time for my Mum to pick up her rental car. Andy C also gave her a bit of informal tuition :thumb:

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/7d778518.jpg

How many people can say their Mum has driven the Nurburgring? We had 6 laps booked and after two she decided that was enough so Ralph suggested I do the remainder. I took the car for 2 laps and had a lot of fun, you really don’t need lots of power to enjoy the circuit!

Mug shot!

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The Evo boys went to play on the GP Circuit

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Always guaranteed to spot some rare metal in the car park:
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Leon and Vina posing in the Artega

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Which had a bit of an ‘incident’ on this corner of the GP Circuit:

http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/tt217/nurburgringuk_photos/Nurburgring%20Tour%20APRIL%202012/bd8cba61.jpg

Thankfully the only damage was to Leons pride. The Artega swallowed up a ton of stones but after being checked out it was given the all clear!

Day 4

Luggage loaded up and ready to leave Nurburg after an eventful weekend.

Before we left though Steven asked if I could drive his Carrera 4S for a lap of the ‘ring before we left – who was I to say no! Both the car park and the track were totally empty so we couldn’t have picked a better time! Needless to say I was very impressed by the Porker, it was easy to drive, fast, planted and a lot of fun. Big thanks to Steven for letting me have a play!
So we said our goodbyes and all went on our way. I’d promised my Mum that we’d visit Cologne on the way home to check out the Gothic Cathedral. Impressive to say the least:

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Overall a fantastic trip, the e90 proved to be an outstanding all round steed, delivering comfort, performance, excitement and economy - seems like with a few choice mods it really does everything I want it to! The suspension is so comfortable now yet still copes very well on track. I'd say it's not as good as the M Sport kit on track but that maybe due to the fact I'm running the softer SE arbs. You can feel some movement in the suspension but that's probably the soft OE bushes. Oh and the brakes are phenomenal! No squealing, no grumbling, no pad deposits just immense stopping power when you need it! Very happy!

Karl
26-04-2012, 11:49 AM
Nice report, Dino, but that picture of the Dog freaked me out for a minute there. Just looked like a dog's head on some tiles :shock:

Dino
26-04-2012, 12:17 PM
Nice report, Dino, but that picture of the Dog freaked me out for a minute there. Just looked like a dog's head on some tiles :shock:

Don't let Heidi hear you say that :lol:

Karl
26-04-2012, 12:27 PM
Something to do with the perspective of the picture, I think :wink:

Dino
26-04-2012, 12:34 PM
Something to do with the perspective of the picture, I think :wink:

Yeah I know mate :wink: Bloody difficult taking a picture of a dog that wont keep still on a mobile phone that takes a picture a second after you've pressed the button!

Nige
26-04-2012, 12:38 PM
Enjoyable report, many thanks for taking the time to share it Dino :thumb:

Bet those laps with John were brilliant !

Joel
26-04-2012, 01:11 PM
Nice report. Looking forward to reading that Evo group test now :thumb:

Dino
26-04-2012, 01:22 PM
Enjoyable report, many thanks for taking the time to share it Dino :thumb:

Bet those laps with John were brilliant !

In all honesty........they were the highlight of our trip!! :thumb:

Simon
26-04-2012, 01:42 PM
I enjoyed reading that :thumb:

c6mby
26-04-2012, 03:17 PM
looks like you had alot of fun :veryhappy:

mr rooney
26-04-2012, 04:40 PM
Great report Dino. Enjoyed reading all of it!:thumb:

RichW
27-04-2012, 03:01 AM
Thanks for sharing - very enjoyable read :thumb:

N/B
27-04-2012, 03:41 AM
Excellent work, so cool that your Mum did some laps :thumb:

Peach-uk
27-04-2012, 07:28 AM
Excellent report mate - takes time to write these up so really appreciate you doing so!

Bet those "evo" laps were brilliant!

Gary Kinghorn
27-04-2012, 08:31 PM
Thanks for sharing chap :thumb:

Dave B
27-04-2012, 08:57 PM
Thanks for taking the time to post that, enjoyed it.
Cheers Dino :thumb:

Dino
27-04-2012, 09:20 PM
This is the 3rd or 4the trip report I've written in as many years but the others didn't quite make it to the end as the other reports didn't get finished :shame: