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Bugelise
08-04-2007, 05:39 PM
Thought I'd give a little report on our very short Easter visit!


Well, what a trip!

After a relatively sleepless night due to sheer excitement, we set off on Thursday at 9am to catch the 11.45 Tunnel.
We were treated to fabulous roof off weather, and a strangely clear M25 & M20 on our sedate jaunt down to Dover.

Arriving at the tunnel early, afforded us the "luxury" of boarding the next available train, which we duly did! Queuing up to get onto the train, we caught a glimpse of an Evo 8, Ford XR4i & old skool Astra GTE with Nordschleife stickers. Upon talking to them, the guys told us that it was going to be their first trip to the ring, and they were very excited. You and us both I thought, as we pulled away to board!

France welcomed us in typical fine fashion, with warmer temperatures, arrow straight Autoroutes and our
friends, Les Gendarmes, eagerly awaiting our arrival!

We crossed France in a respectable time and passed a number of stripped out cars along the way. Stopping at a Belgium petrol station, we caught up with two guys, and what looked to be their long suffering girlfirends. These chaps made their partners travel in a Golf VR6 & a Citreon ZX Volcane with no sound insulation, no dash, a full rollcage & racing seats for 400 miles

Cloggyland came and went and then we were into Autobhan territory. Dropping down into what we called "4th and GO", we nailed it to just under 150 mph, before calming things down to a more sedate & petrol saving pace. About 50 miles from the ring we caught up with a British registered RS 500 & an Escort Cosworth. After exchanging afew thumbs up, my co-pilot mentioned that it would be a good time to demonstrate "4th and GO" to the Turbo boys, so off we went, chased by two Cosworth's down the Autobahn.

The looks on their faces as we slowed down and they pulled alongside and mouthed some expletives at our ability to pull
away were priceless! Good old Essex boys never disappoint in their descriptve ability

The roads around the ring are almost as demanding as the track itself and we quickly got into the groove, as we wound our way up towards the main entrance. Various exotica were milling round as we entered the car park, with a very respectable turnout of Elise's and the usual number of CSL's & 996/997 GT3's.

We'd arranged to meet up with Ozzie Dave and Dutch Bob (oth in thier Elises) but couldn't find them, so headed off to Pflanzgarten to get some footage. The track was very quiet and I had to stop myself from going out, as a 400 mile drive followed by jumping onto the ring don't really go hand in hand for me.

After spotting both Bob & Dave hammering round, we headed up to Brunnchen where there's a very large viewing area. After getting our fix of the aroma of burnt rubber and overheating brakes, we decided to go back to the car park and find Bob & Dave. Having met up with the two of them, we agreed to check into the Ringhaus and then head straight for Sabine's family restaurant, The Pistenklaus.

No need to look at the menu for me, Argentinian fillet steak on a hot stone for me! My co-pilot (Mark) ordered the same, even though he is on a diet and currently weighs 20 stone - don't ask about the power to weight ratio. We shared dinner with a number of other ring regulars who I'd met last year. Martin who had brought down his E30 M3, Steve (who keeps is CSL at the ring for most of the year) and Jochen, who runs Fozenspeed (ring photo site).

The usual banter ensued, with chat centering on the track, what the Easter weekend had to offer, and how long the track will be open, before it has to close tomorrow. The steak was superb and we consumed far too much beer and red wine than we should have

Walking back to our room was an interesting affair. Two half pissed Brits stopping every 50 yards to dribble over a wide array of track orientated cars littering the streets. After yet more piss taking, 20 stone Mark breaking his bed and his regularly farting (much to my distain), we managed to get some shut eye.

We awoke to be greeted by a thin layer of mountain frost & low lying fog, which is quite normal in this area due to it's altitude. Also bear in mind that it was under snow just two weeks earlier! Breakfast consumed and caffiened up to the max, we headed straight to the main car park. We met up with the guys and Martin told us that the circuit opening was going to be delayed, due to a thick layer of fog covering the lower parts of the circuit. The sun was out and subsequently burnt off the fog allowing the circuit to open just after 10am.

Knowing he would be in good hands, I left Mark with Martin to get his first taste of the Nordschleife with a very experienced ringer. I headed off to Pflanzgarten again to get some footage with two Irish guys who were on their first trip. They'd arrived in a 550 bhp Nissan Skyline, after a 28 hour trip from Cork, and wanted to see the action before going out on track. After about 30 minutes, we wished each other a safe lap and headed off to sample the ring.

Having already done 4 laps of the ring last year, I knew what was instore, and made sure that all the fluids were warmed through, harnesses tight & helmet on. Strangely enough I wasn't very nervous as the barrier rose, and headed gently off, passed the cones and onto the back of a stripped out Peugeot 306 GTI. Seeing a racing Porsche 944 coming up behind me, I lifted off and let him pass. He was out of sight in no time, and I had a clear track infront of me and no one in my mirrors (just what I had wanted).

I was in a very focused, yet relaxed state of mind, flowing with the corners and keeping an eagle eye on the mirrors. Accelerating down towards the Foxhole, I dabbed the brakes before hitting the bottom, knowing that applying the brake too late, would end in tears. Approaching the corner at Adenau Forst, I caught my first glimpse of the many spectators, waiting in anticipation of the numerous
off's everyday. I let a local MX5 past on the run down to Kallenhard and get a really good turn of speed. The Elise is handling brilliantly and my confidence is brimming, but I remind myself that this place can bite, and bite HARD! I head along the uphill section and hit 130 mph - passing the guy in the stripped out Citreon ZX we met in Belgium at the side of the road - before letting off to negotiate a blind crest.

Slowing down to enter the Karrusell, I drop into it's suspension punishing concrete mouth & popped out the otherside feeling very pleased with myself. So much so, that I forget whereabouts I am on the circuit for a moment, before recognising the next set of corners and settling down again. Coming over a crest and sliding left, I appear at Brunnchen, with what looks like a good couple of hundred spectators (later confirmed when I visit to spectate myself).
Being the only car there, I could hear the howl of the engine reverberating off the armco around Brunchen and is something which I will never forget. By this time, nothing has appeared in my mirror, nor passed me unexpectantly, which was an incredible piece of luck.Pflanzgarten is up next, and
always appears far less daunting on track than off it. I brake & downshift into third, just before the jump and head towards the mini karusell.

My lap is almost over a I round the left hander and drop down towards the mini karusell. Less brutal than it's bigger brother, but requiring the same amount of respect, I get a twitch from the backend as I pop out and put the power down too early. Rounding the last few right handers, I manage to catch a Dutch registered Volvo V4 T4, of all things, and contemplate nailing it down the straight, but settle for a gentle cool down to finish.

By no means was it the fastest lap in the world, driven by a particularly skilled driver. For me however, it was a really focused lap of one of the most difficult circuits in the world, if not the most. It reminded me of one of Ben Lovejoys ring write ups, where he had had what he described, as the perfect lap. Clear of traffic, perfect conditions and being fully hooked in.

Arriving back in the car park, I check my mobile to find a text from Mark "Survived my first trip around the Ring. (Oops I said the F word)ING AWESOME. Yipppppeeeee!!". Turns out that Martin gave him the full ring virgin initiation! They even did two laps in a row, with some of Martin's added commentary for good measure, when an M5 decided to try and overtake him whilst going into the Karusell. Martin's liberal use of the both "F" and "C" words, making it clear just how pissed off he was!

The remainder of the day was spent soaking up the atmosphere at numerous viewing points, and taking the footage which I have attached below. I'm sure you can see that we had a great time, met some superb, friendly and enthusiastic people, and survived the Nordschleife!

I could write more, but I think you get my drift

I finished looking at 3 hours of footage at midnight and then quickly put the film together. Apologies for one of the captions, which is meant to say that the biker was 100% OK


We did a short montage of footage aswell


VIDEO REMOVED AS IT SHOWED AN ACCIDENT

Smitty
08-04-2007, 06:10 PM
glad you had a good time, great write up and like you I think the weekend went way to quick.

pye21
08-04-2007, 06:14 PM
Nice vid, love the choice of music at the start.

Was the biker ok? Look like he went of at a far pace!!!!!

Smitty
08-04-2007, 06:50 PM
that was a good video...I had one spin on the day, full 360 and avoided the armco so the gods were looking down on me!

Floyd
08-04-2007, 11:06 PM
Nice vid :thumb:

F

Duncan
09-04-2007, 08:01 AM
nice vid - getting my heart rate up just watching it :D

dontdobends
09-04-2007, 10:34 AM
great vid keep up the good work boys luv the stag do car with the mdf rear spoiler in the car park

Bugelise
09-04-2007, 01:21 PM
The biker was fine :thumb: I'm afraid the lack of sleep got to me as I put the video together and put in the wrong caption after the scene!

Our trip was a really short one, but we are going again over the weekend of the 7th/8th & 9th July.

Glad you enjoyed the write up an video :)

Gary Kinghorn
09-04-2007, 05:54 PM
Sorry I had to remove the video.

You have pm about it Bugelise :thumb:

Smitty
09-04-2007, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by dontdobends@Apr 9 2007, 12:34 PM
great vid keep up the good work boys luv the stag do car with the mdf rear spoiler in the car park
ha ha there was even a Ferrari with a duct tape spoiler mod. :blink:

Bugelise
09-04-2007, 09:10 PM
Yep, saw the 550 with the black ducktape on the rear. Those stag weekend lads were told to take the rear spolier off before going round.

Forgot to mention that they arrived in he car park with Dukes of Hazard horn blaring!

Floyd
09-04-2007, 09:49 PM
^^^^ Class, pure class B) :lol:

F

Euan
10-04-2007, 06:53 PM
Excellent write up, nicely sums up the excitement of a trip, thanks! B)

Ross
12-04-2007, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Bugelise@Apr 8 2007, 05:39 PM
Stopping at a Belgium petrol station, we caught up with two guys, and what looked to be their long suffering girlfirends. These chaps made their partners travel in a Golf VR6 & a Citreon ZX Volcane with no sound insulation, no dash, a full rollcage & racing seats for 400 miles

Hey there, good write up!

Im the bloke with the stripped VR6 you met at the services in Belgium.

Macks is the other bloke you met with the ZX Volcane, the one whose heater matrix pipe decided to pop off as we passed the 13km marker, i saw you pass us...as the steam cleared! :lol: The car was running again after the pipe was reconnected and coolant re-filled.

I wasnt as lucky as macks, i had to leave my VR6 over there... a crank shaft bearing went on my 2nd lap :( but a very helpful german mechanic should have it sorted by the end of the week :D Enormous thanks to Mr Teflon for the lift back to England :thumb:

I do give my 'long suffering girlfriend' an extra cushion for the 600 mile journey, what more comfort could she need? :D She'll be driving over in her own stripped out golf in june so she'll have to stay awake for the 600 miles too!

Bugelise
12-04-2007, 03:14 PM
Hi Ross,

Was really good to meet you last week. Thought better of waving as I passed you, but then I was trying to concentrate on my lap at the time.

Shame about your VR6 too. Massive respect to the ladies :thumb:

We're going again in July, 7th, 8th & 9th. If you plan to go, give me a shout via a message and we can meet up.

Regards


Rich

Ross
12-04-2007, 04:51 PM
Were booked up for the next trip from 15 - 19th june, but only have the 6 - 9th july penciled in, not booked anything yet... we'll more than likely be there i'll let you know once we book it, and yep would be good to meet up