View Full Version : Farewell trip for the trusty B5 Avant

Mike Boyd
09-04-2007, 08:35 PM
OK granted it was only a day in the end but as it's my first TF session it must put it to words …

Well this morning we left Siegen just before 8pm and after getting lost a few times (my navigator kept falling asleep!!) and then driving miss daisy after I got flashed by a b*&$^£ camera just off the 45 we arrived at the NS parking area just after 10am.

Surprisingly not that busy, lots of people, lots of cars but no queuing for the track?! Well we thought we'd let the car cool a bit so did a lap of the car park and checked out a few rather nice motors (some people have too much bloody money!)

After that thought we'd get ourselves a lap ticket, I had initially planned on a 15 lap ticket having heard people averaging around 25 laps a weekend so this would be about right for a day (so wrong was I) but my better half convinced me for a 4 lap on the basis that the cost per lap isn't that much and could buy more later so ticket gekauft! (4 laps = 64 Euro)

Shortly after I noticed Nige by the office (sorry Nige didn't introduce myself although from what I overheard both in German and in English it didn't somehow seem approporate – sorry to here what happened matey?!)

Well needless to say the track was closed and a barely scathed bike left the ring and every one thought no worries it'll open in a sec. Well no ….

… shortly after a rather sorry oak green mkII made an exit on the back of an ADAC truck.

Track was closed for a while but when it eventually opened I ran to the motor to get out at least in the first dozen cars; couple of porkers, a 1.9 pug, few bikes and a twat in an A4 (possibly a rental).

Through the barrier (11:30am), needless to say the missus stepped out as she doesn't like my driving at the best of times so she's drawn the line at the ring (I must try and convince her round).

Thought as at the end of the day my car is not prepped for track work and I certainly don't know the place I promised myself I'd take it nice and easy ….

…. through the first few corners no problems, confidence building, then the tail end of Hohenrain I couldn't believe how sharp the right hander was so stamped die bremse and dropped a cog (never thought I would use an expression like this but hey) and was round, unfortunately said 'twat' in the A4 decided that he wanted to clip the apex (even though he was far too wide on the entry and proceeded to cut me up royally!

Anyway, next few corners were rather sweet but still taking it nice and easy (hills like that on a race track are you serious?) this was followed by what I thought was a perfect couple of corners (possibly Kallenard and Werhsiefen?), where the lack of vehicles meant I could really start to use the track and not just hug the white lines!

Further on in the lap I got back into the old test track habit of vehicle in the mirror, move off line (to the right) and indicate (to the right) allowing them to pass and I was amazed how polite people were thanking as they passed. Some even returned the favour when I'd got some confidence up to take the lines correctly and carry some speed through the bends later on in the lap.

Well the rest of the lap was pretty uneventful until I reached the bottom of the straight and there was a 4-5 car line of slow (70-80mph) moving traffic (why I don't know) well tucked in behind and followed up to the exit where I noticed the clock was at 11:43 which would mean I pulled a sub 13min lap on my first outing …

… quite chuffed and considering I could have driven the straight at nearly double the speed?!

Well after that thought I'd take a break as I suddenly had loads of 'over' confidence, thinking Jez Clarkson can't drive etc etc and then thought I'm going to go and stuff the car (which is up forsale by the way) into a barrier in a minute if I go out now!


Back to the car park and another tour of the pit (car park), track closed again (second of what was 4 or 5 of the day?!) so we headed off to find a decent viewing spot to try and get some photos in when it opened again. As I didn't download the way points for the viewing points (TIP: DO THIS!) we headed up to Nurburg and then down to Tiergarten we walked from Pistenclaus? didn't know you could drive down from the main road!

Got a couple of sweet photographs but the only ones that came out were of the tourists in their 'kombi's' as everything else was going way too fast up to Tiergarten for the shutter speed of my Sony! (OK digital cameras don't have shutters but that's what it seemed like)

After that we headed up to the castle passing Ian and Jude's 200SX and a couple of others parked on the side of the road, I also noticed Nige's valver looking rather worse for wear (again matey I feel for you!) in a garage.

Anyway a rather fruitless exercise trying to find viewing spots as we were actually miles away from were I thought we were so thought we'd head back to see if the track was open (NO, not even the entrance to the car park!) so past it and thought we'd just go for a drive and see what we see.

Well down to what I think was Dottinger Hφhe / Galgenkopf and the track was still shut but decided to queue for that Deutches delicacy that is currywurst mit pommes!

After the track opened I got some quality shots of cars but missed the most impressive being a xxxx in a Clio nearly loosing it big time after cutting up the NS Sicherheits Wagen through DH.

Anyway time for another few laps me thinks so back to the carpark ….

… coming up the hill to the car park, the better half points out the fact that the lights are flashing at the barrier and the red lights on the 'drivethrough', so again up to the roundabout turn round, so what do we do now?

Well as time was getting on, we thought we'd head down to Adenau and then up to Hφhe Acht for a bit of sightseeing and then couldn't believe it we could hear cars going again so shot back the quick way to the car park hoping to get out again before another closure. Within minutes back out on lap number two!

This time a bit more confidence to use the track, not just covering the white line and with it unfortunately meant holding up a few porkers and tricked out BM's (sorry lads) but it was all in the aid of learning. This lap showed three separate yellow's an e30 and 2 mk4 golfs one of which decided to drop it's gutts around Metzgesfeld? although it seemed the lads were quick to cover it.

Again got cut up by another twat, this time in a 350z that thought faster cars (not necessarily better driven cars ;)) deserved a decent line which meant I had to rather heavily touch the sleepers on the exit of a rather fast right hander (can't remember the name)

After getting it a bit out of shape I lost my nerve a bit and backed off which actually made my driving possibly less safe as I'd lift off early to get the speed down and not position the vehicle anywhere near correct usually massively wide on entry etc. I even got a bit lost through what I think was Eschbach through to Brunchen and made a bit of a tit of myself in front of the crowds using heavy steering midcorner but never the less made it through to the end of my second lap with little drama. (Time: again roughly under a 13 with 3 yellow's? not bad)

Out to the exit and saw the missus taking photos so waved and flicked the indicator on so the marshal knew I'd changed plans I was going out again (sod this trying to park business) this time I thought I'd give it a bit more as the 20v turbo really needs to be seeing high revs!

Third lap wasn't that eventful and amazingly (considering it was early afternoon) had at least a third of the lap without seeing any cars … true bliss! It was possible to start to connect the corners making a line of what was a number of attempted corners on the previous lap, without the constant knowledge that following the apex I'd have to back off and pull right to let faster cars past.

Shortly after this I started to see a bit more pedal travel so backed off dramatically (serves me right for not ensuring the fluid was changed in the service last week) with the fear of brake fade. I've had brake fade before and that was on a tarmac lake with over half a mile of run-off, when the NS was born they obviously hadn't heard of run-off!


Back in after the lap thought I'd let the car cool, checked the tyres to find they had been nicely scrubbed but no obvious shoulder wear … good for more! (well at least the drive home)

Well as had seemingly been happening all day the track closed so we thought we'd use the time and purchase a couple of t-shirts, stickers etc (as we all do) after this we decided to call it a day as the last few days 1400 miles were getting to me and was beginning to wonder would the old barge hold up for another.

Well packed up and back to Siegen (mates flat – local police woman, very useful to know) with the thought that tomorrow we'll be heading home bound :unsure: !

During the drive back I began to see this addiction that is the Nordschliefe it's not just nailing a corner or even a collection of corners, it's not just the woman, the scenery, the cars it's not even nailing Brunchen with hundreds of surprised/laughing people looking on as if it were the VLM, it's a collection of these things in fact it's all of them, it's absolutely b*&%$y …………….. fantastic!

Until end of May when I return, the plan is to have an e30 325 at least with a bucket and harnesses although if that falls through (Money) I'll take the e36 m3 that the Audi is being sold for ;) .



P.S. I'm really struggling to find any photos of my car from the 9th, if anyone has any photos of an Azure blue B5 Avant reg: S316 SWC on 09/04 please post them or drop me a PM and I'll repay in LOTS of beer tokens at some point throughout the year!!!

Uncle Benz
09-04-2007, 08:53 PM
Nice work there, and excellent commentary. Glad you have got the bug!!

09-04-2007, 09:54 PM
Interesting report :thumb: Got the pictures to go with it? :)


10-04-2007, 06:47 PM
Nice write up, thanks! B)