View Full Version : My first visit - 9th July

14-10-2005, 12:42 PM
Sorry its an old report, but only been once and only just found this forum. I also have to confess I've posted this on the Volvo T5 forum, so sorry to anyone who's already seen it...

Anyway here goes my eventful, life changing triptrip...

A fellow Volvo owner ( Steve ) and myself trailored a couple of mates bikes over to the Nurburgring in July....

Loaded the car up on Thurs night last week and hooked up the trailer with Suz GSX1000R and MV Augusta on the back, and tootled down on Friday morning to Dover to catch the 4:10 to Dunkerke. Horrible drive with the trailer shunting and pulling all the way...my poor gearbox.

Crossed over on the ferry and hit Belgium around 12 ish and stopped for fuel etc, and joined by a number of other bikers.

Got back in the car and......won't start!! 100 miles from the ring and the bl**dy thing won't turn over. Couple of people look under the bonnet and we suspect immobiliser prob. Change batteries in fob, fiddle with wires all to no avail.

Ring the volvo dealer in UK who says we must get to local dealer as there is little we can do at the roadside. At this point,a chance to lap the ring is disappearing fast. luckily took out European breakdown cover so contacted them and they arrive pretty quicker whilst my mates disappear on their bikes whilst we are carted off to the dealer with an empty trailer. Cheers lads!! Only joking, no point their fun being ruined

In broken English, Volvo dealer tells us they can't fix it for 2 -3 weeks!!! At this point I lost it slightly and pointed out that they hadn't even diagnosed the problem.....

Panick set in, and I was convinced we were going home....

So, finally, the dealer sends a mechanic to have a goosey...he links up the diagnostics and traces the fault to a triped relay controlling the immobiliser. Bit of fiddling later and the car jumps back into life. Fault ? Fairly sure it was caused by a battery shorting out.

130 Euros later, new battery installed and we head off back towards Nurburgring.

After what seemed like an eternity through really bad rain and "how many more corners", we finally arrived and met up with our biker mates. They were soaked through!! Ha, serves them right for leaving us ( only joking lads ).

Anyway, too dangerous for them to go out on the bikes, so keen to do some laps before the car goes again, we trundle down to the ring!

25 mins later, completed 2 laps with steam coming off the tyres and brakes.....absolutely amazing! What a place!

I then let Steve have a drive but proved to be the worst passenger ever by being totally terrified he would prang my car.....I was not feeling to positive about the whole trip at this time and was waiting for something else to go wrong. Anyway, shouldn't have worried, his driving was ace and put me to shame a bit!! He loved it to ( and I'm sure he'll add a bit to this thread ).

Anyway, left it then until the Saturday and set off towards the ring at 9 ish in the morning....disaster. One of the biker guys who we had met up with, got so excited to go to the ring, got up a bit earlier, set off on his own, forgot which side of the road he should have been on and hit a car head on about 200 yards from the circuit!! Luckily, although spent the weekend in hospital, only suffered cuts and bruises. VERY lucky.

We went looking for fuel as we could get to the circuit, and then wondered onto an Autobahn for a speed run......

VERY disappointed..Steve could not find his GPS until before we left and only managed a max of 150 ( clock speed!!). I've had 152 on the A42 before, yet the conditions were perfect....I'm sooooo upset. It later transpired I has a small rodent in the air filter which didn't help...

Anyway, went back to the ring, did 2 laps in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Last 2 laps we videoed, one with just us and one following my mates on their bikes to get pictures of their "sparkies" as they hooned it around the corners!

I turned in a lap time of 11 mins 10 secs, which I don't think is that bad. Most people there thought it was a respectable time considering it was only my 6th lap....to get the most out of it, you need to learn the ring. Got overtaken by a V70 D5, so not the only Volvo there!

Before I'm humiliated too much, I let him pass on the bends as he clearly knew the track but I could easily catch him on the straights. He had german plates but turned out he was a Brummy with 2 mates who regularly fly out and hire a car to pound round the ring....yes, it was a hire car!!!

Finished the day off with both me and Steve being given a pillion passenger ride on a Hayabusa around the ring, hitting 165-170 on the last straight. VERY scary!
Didn't do any runs on the last day as I didn't want to hurt my car anymore and thought it had taken enough punishment so spent most of Sunday spectating.

So what is it like ?
Incredible, dangerous and immense fun. Not many Chavs, some serious machinery and real respect amongst drivers and riders.
Cars are more fun to watch, bikes more addrenalin on the circuit.

Surprises of the day ?
Audi RS6 that had stage 2 conversion and Nitrous caught fire after its first lap.
Lowered Alfas and Golfs were very quick around the ring. Dominanace comes from ring knowledge though. One of the quickest we saw was a stock Toyota Avensis estate!!!! The guy just knew how far to push it on each bend.
Cars are as fast around the ring as bikes.
Track closed about 4 times due to accidents. Sunday Morning my mates ran about 10 laps in the morning and saw at least one incident on every lap!
Porsche GT2 and GT3's are boring - there were about 15 of them there and few people had the skill to push them. One GT3 was struggling to keep up with a Fiat Uno....totally true!

It was a great experience and would thoroughly recommend anyone going, even just to watch. If you take your car, ideally:
Don't rely on it to get home as this will stop you pushing it - i.e. trailer over what ever you run.
Upgrade your brakes - thanks VT, without those pads, it would have been very different
Take the cargo ferry, its much cheaper ( 60 total for 4 adults, car and trailer!!)
Learn the track on Gran Turismo - its no subsitute but it does help. Learning the circuit takes easily 20 laps+. At 13 miles each one, that's alot of hammer for a car ( much easier on a Bike).
The circuit demands respect and is a very humbling experience. Go there to try and post a great time and prove yourself and you will get into trouble.The evidence is all around for you to see...

Also after seeing Sabine hoofing an M5 at 60 mph ish sideways with tyres smoking......move over Vicky butler-henderson, I now love her!

Just some other titbits.....on Top gear they showed one section called the carousel ( there are 2 of these ). Going round is very bumpy and I ground a few mm off my mud flaps ( the ones on the car, before any rude jokes ) on this section. However, I was quite impressed that I also ground my flaps ( sorry, can't resist - Oh err missus ) on some other heavy corners! Although a firm set up is needed for the ring, its not very smooth and too hard suspension will cause skitish handling....

Just some of the machinery that was there in no preference order:
Ultima GTR
Opel Kadett GTE
Opel Manta
Alfa 45's
Renault laguna
Honda type R powered mini van!!!
Dodge Viper
Nissan 350Z
Toyota Supra
3 V70's
VW golfs and corrado's

Shed loads of M3's, M5's and 911's ( yawn, yawn ).

As you can tell, a real mixture of stuff, but its the odd balls that get the interest ( like pratt's in V70 T5's thinking they are racing cars!!). The GT2 and GT3 brigade really are dull and obviously get fed up that no-one really pays much attention to their cars at the ring, as they must be used to getting oggled everywhere else they go.

Also note that there is no real competative spirit there....i.e. no one "races" each other or compares times. Why ? Because to get the best times you need to know the circuit and you can have fun without posting a 9 minuter...Therefore if you are just going there to try and get the best time ( and I'm concious I have posted mine - its not a challange to anyone to beat!) then you will:
1) Get beaten by lesser machinery and therefore always be disapointed
2) Damage your car. There are enough incidents to remind you of this.
The attitude is one of comaradary....I was getting compliments from a guy with a 427 Cobra.... just very few ego's there and its such a refreshing change. On the circuit, with a few exceptions, people are very curtious. The etticate is that if you see someone coming up behind, you indicate right, slow down and let them pass on the left. Trying to stay ahead is dangerous and will push you to crash. You will also get banned from the circuit.

A fast lap is dependant upon the following in priority order
1) Circuit knowledge
2) Driver skill
3) Car handling
4) Power/performance
A fast lap only reflects your knowldge of the circuit and has less to do with driver talent or the car - proved on many occasions by slow cars whooping exotica...

Also note there is a volume limit of 100db. Bikes in particular are often refused because of this...if you go, think about how loud your 20 cm exhaust is...

I could wax lyrical about the place for ages as I keep remembering stuff, but I'll try to leave it there.....Hope to go back at some point and contimplating buying a car to hoof round, something like a Pug 205 GTI.....

Gary Kinghorn
15-10-2005, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the report, a good read......


15-10-2005, 11:29 AM
sorry it was a bit long...got very carried away and loads of things happened!!

15-10-2005, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by V8guitar@Oct 14 2005, 12:42 PM

Shed loads of M3's, M5's and 911's ( yawn, yawn ).

How dare you sir- I challenge you to a duel next time you are there :ph43r: !

Love Nick,

M5 and Volvo owner

31-10-2005, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by leavingeasy+Oct 15 2005, 09:52 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (leavingeasy @ Oct 15 2005, 09:52 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-V8guitar@Oct 14 2005, 12:42 PM

Shed loads of M3&#39;s, M5&#39;s and 911&#39;s ( yawn, yawn ).

How dare you sir- I challenge you to a duel next time you are there :ph43r: &#33;

Love Nick,

M5 and Volvo owner [/b][/quote]
Didn&#39;t say they weren&#39;t any good, just not unusual&#33;&#33;

Joking aside, I&#39;m now considering an M5...what a turncoat eh ??

Which M5 and Volvo have you got ?

01-11-2005, 11:34 AM
Ahhh well the Volvo is the wife&#39;s car, it a V40 SE with the Mitsubishi engine. She was quite insistant that she had a Volvo after the kids were born, speed and power were irrelevant as long as it had easy clean leather seats, a good stereo and millions of airbags.

I HATE driving it, its painfully slow but impressively economical. And the stereo is great&#33;

My M5 is up for sale on pistonheads- just got to update the ad

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/52782.htm it&#39;s the 400bhp E39, but I&#39;m not using it and amazing as it was at the Ring I&#39;m going to use my mk2 Golf from now on.

They are a fantastic car, if you buy one just make sure it has the BMW warranty, mine has had a heap of cash spent on it and I&#39;m glad the warranty covered it all- the VANOS system is a particular weakspot and mine was replaced under warranty at a cost of 5K&#33;


01-11-2005, 12:56 PM
Nice car Nick, if only I had the money now :(

Nice house too :thumb: Did you mean to leave the plate visible on some of the pictures?


01-11-2005, 01:26 PM
BEWARE - Stalker alert nono

02-11-2005, 12:06 AM
Yeah that&#39;s my pad, I live in a castle&#33;

Thats was were I took the wife for our wedding anniversary. Night in a castle plus dinner, brekkie, flowers, afternoon by the beach, dinner again, babysitters for 2 days etc etc came to 1000&#33;&#33;&#33;

U know what she got me? She says "do you want your anniversary present?" pops into the bathroom and comes out wearing some new underwear. Well call me naive but what bloody good is that to me? Maybe Clarebabes can explain the female logic, my present is something for her? I wanted a something useful like a TAG Monaco or jahreskarte not some bloody frilly pants&#33;

And no didnt mean to obscure the plate, was just playing with my lappie one day. Got somebody coming to see it at the weekend, so fingers crossed I can flog it and spend my cash on something more sensible, like a 200 bhp Golf Gti engine&#33;&#33;


02-11-2005, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by leavingeasy@Nov 2 2005, 01:06 AM

pops into the bathroom and comes out wearing some new underwear. Well call me naive but what bloody good is that to me? Maybe Clarebabes can explain the female logic, my present is something for her? I wanted a something useful like a TAG Monaco or jahreskarte not some bloody frilly pants&#33;

Listen listen listen to the bollox&#33;&#33;&#33;

Everyone on here now knows you&#39;re a violent arse bandit so cut the act&#33;&#33;

02-11-2005, 01:33 PM
Just cos I turned you down sweetie, dont get all bitchy&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;