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wialniaz
13-07-2007, 10:45 AM
Hi guys,

just gonna write a short Ring report before i get the full trip written at arturas.kundelis.net!


So i was there coming on 9th July, Monday. It was my 2nd time at the Ring. And as some of you know I drive an automatic BMW 325i with hand controls, because after some problems with my back, i can't walk. Last year it was damp and i was very shocked of how scary the Ring was compared to the computer version and did a very careful 12:39min lap (gearbox in eco mode, passenger in the car + bags and wheelchair banging around).

This year it was all about to change. Brand new 17 inch M6 replica wheels, as well as brand new Dunlop Sport Maxx was promising a lot. Also after last year's experience i made even more computer-sim practice and i was more than ready to hit the Ring for real this time!

My day started coming from a village near Frankfurt. I needed to give through some stuff to Jochen, but he wasn't there at the Ring, so he, via the phone, introduced me to his mate Jocke who was supposed to take it from me and give it to him whenever he can. We arranged the deal, as well as had a quick chat at Breidscheid entrance cafe. He kindly helped me with the car wash at ARAL and so my BMW was clean & shiny &... very much ready for the challenge of the Ring as it was drying out after morning's rain (which actually had upset me big time as i had thought a year of planning has went to ass). But everything was ok.

After Tourist hours began, my next step was to drive to Bren's and leave my pretty much everything in there. Apparently i was stupid enough to forget to put Brens mobile in my phone, so i had to phone Karl who sms'ed it to me. I arranged the meet up, but after i was there at Sliders guesthouse, nobody was answering the phone... And i was dead stuck in his yard waiting for someone to come out, as i, obviously, couldn't just get up the stairs to call Suse or whoever is inside.

A guy came out and was trying to check out his motorbike in the yard. I asked if Bren is around and he apparently just had gone to the Ring...just as i was comming to Dollendorf. Damn! But that was nothing wrong as that guy i met helped me with putting all the bags, the heavy subwoofer and eventually my wheelchair into Bren's garage. So after doing all that work for like 20 minutes, just before i was setting off to the track we kind of decided to introduce ourselves and apparently that guy is Ross! Well THAT was unexpected, but what a great surprise. Very pleased to meet him, even in a rather strange circumstance!

All set to go, i only had 3 things in my car. Me, my helmet and my video camera holder. I stopped in Dollendorf to attach it onto my seat but then an unexplainable miracle happened - the damn camera mount just fell apart into pieces in my hands. I had tried it at home and it worked perfectly, but there everything unscrewed and broke into pieces in seconds even i wasn't even attaching it on at the time!!!! :o

I was very annoyed, but there you go, just had to put my camera into the bag and go with the way it was.

So just at the parking lot i was already having my specially-for-the-ring helmet on and was lining up on the queue for ticket inserts. I was behind this guy in a Peugeot and my ticket was somewhere under my wallet somewhere near the passenger seat. As the helmet was restricting my vertical head movements i leaned down with my body to look for the ticket, at the same time holding my brake pressed with my hand to keep the car still. Then another unexplainable thing has happened. Boom. As if the guy in the Peugeot just drove backwards into me. Well apparently another way around - my brake handle must have slipped for a milimiter and the car started moving at some 0.0001 whatever km/h and just hit the Peugeot in the back in front of all those car park spectators. This moment was going into the most awkward and embarrassing situations of my life. In fact i considered it as a bad sign and thinking perhaps that is some "prediction" of something worse when i'm actually on track. No damage was done for either cars though and as it was my fault, i bought that guy a lap and eventually we were actually shaking hands and arranging a lap together! What a bloody weird way to meet a person!!!

So finally to the track which was absolutely dry by then. The grip the surface and tyres provided was sick, i never had anything like that before. Still i lifted and even braked slightly at Hohenrain which is the biggest psychological barrier for me (for some damn reason). Even i know, i really do know it's absolutely easily flat - some self safety instinct forces me to back off. I didn't back off elsewhere though. It was a real pleasure - i was going through the corners faster and faster - still not even finding the limits of those super grippy tyres. I just jumped and fell into Karrussel, the stock suspension was even making wheels hit the arches at some times. But i didn't care. I just kept on pushing. The first experimental laptime was a mid 11.
On my 2nd lap i was already very brave into the corners. Even a bit too brave into miss-hit-miss and i almost had it as a miss-hit-miss-HIT. It was a 10:48 but i felt the tyres were losing grip. I was thinking why - maybe overheating - no - unlikely. Then another thought - tyre pressures - of course. They got as high as 3.5 bar (at the left-front). And the guy who was helping me with them was even mocking me: 'hey you were pushing it hard mate, eh?'.

Got them all down to the normal 2.5 and the grip was back for my 3rd lap. Which was a mess as i had this British guy in a Clio racing me all the time. My engine power was leaving him in the horizon on straights, but he was coming back with his lightweight in the corners. We overtook each other maybe 4-5 times that lap. That can never provide a decent laptime. Especially as my mobile phone, used as a stopwatch, fell somewhere on the floor of the car as early as T13. Oh well. That not being enough, i discovered that i had the gearbox in eco mode with air-con on and a window open. All 3 things that shouldn't have been the way they were!!!!

It was time for my final lap of the ticket and of the day. It needed to be the ultimate one. I took it easy on the previous one as i saw it being hopeless with the Clio traffic, so the tyre pressure remained intact and i was able to push for my last lap as much as i could. There we go, still lifting at Hohenrain and braking too early at the chicane (really, i mean, what the heck is the matter with me?). But sorting T13, Hatzenbach and Hocheihen brilliantly, very fast, over the kerbs and down into the straight leading to Quiddelbacher Hohe. Very brave through there, could've been faster through Flugplatz, but i don't have the balls big enough for that. As well as for Schwedenkreuz. But i did convince myself for a flat Fuhshore and that is really something. Very much a correct line through Adenauer Forst (learned that from Alzen's onboard) and everything going great until Bergwerk where oncoming traffic forces me to move over and take the inside line and just destroy my exit speed into Kesselchen :( Falling into the Karrussel, a bit careful through Hohe Acht, as it's the most "accidentallish" corner from the stories i've read. Confident Hedwigshohe and great amount of kerbs for Wipperman 1, dealt with Pflanzgartens fine, a bit slow through K.Karrussel (i lack real world practice for that concrete bit grip and behaviour). Fast, but not stupid through Golgenkopf and I've set a 10 minutes 14 secs laptime. Which i find not that bad for an automatic gearbox car, steered with one hand by a person with only 8th lap of Ring experience. Clarkson, you suck! You had all weekend out there with that Jag! :P

So all pumped up after the achievement i drove back to Bren's just to find him still not being home. A whole bunch of British folks is there with bikes and an rare piece of machinery - Lotus Esprit. I had to enter Bren's garage backwards, going just right mirror-to-mirror to the Lotus and my god i was worried not to scratch that thing with my rusty BMW.
One of the guys who kindly helped me to put my stuff back into the car is called Graham. Had a good chat with him while we were doing that, and if you're reading this mate, cheers again, drop me a line in one way or another, wonder how your lap in the Lotus went!

So all in all - an excellent Ring day. Thanks to Bren for providing a corner in his safe garage, thanks for Ross and Graham for the help of using that corner. And of course Jocke and Karl, without whose Bren's phone number message i would've had quite a big share of problems to deal with.

Roll on next year when i'll be coming on with some stiffer springs and even more confidence!!!


http://arturas.kundelis.net/etc/ring07/P1010571.JPG
http://arturas.kundelis.net/etc/ring07/P1010632.JPG
http://arturas.kundelis.net/etc/ring07/P1010634.JPG


PS: Nice pets in your neighbourhood Bren!:
http://arturas.kundelis.net/etc/ring07/P1010639.JPG[B]

Weeman
13-07-2007, 10:52 AM
Nice report, very dedicated for going to all that effort, shame you had to speak to karl mind you, i hope it didn't spoil the experience for you :lol:

Good thing your camera mount broke, as they wouldn't of yet you on with it anyway most probabally.

Question?? if you drive with one hand, how do you stop the clock on your phone? :lol:

alclark
13-07-2007, 10:59 AM
Good report! I'd love to see the hand control system on the car if you have pictures! I always have big respect for that.

Just regarding the timing thing, best not to bother until your comfortable with the track as there is nothing gained and everything lost!

Karl
13-07-2007, 11:03 AM
Well done for all your efforts :thumb:

wialniaz
13-07-2007, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by Weeman@Jul 13 2007, 10:52 AM
Nice report, very dedicated for going to all that effort, shame you had to speak to karl mind you, i hope it didn't spoil the experience for you :lol:

Good thing your camera mount broke, as they wouldn't of yet you on with it anyway most probabally.

Question?? if you drive with one hand, how do you stop the clock on your phone? :lol:
Weeman, it's impossible to understand that without actually seeing it or even furthermore - doing it. Over a year of very frequent driving made me do all kinds of things.

I can drive on autobahn ant 230 kph while drinking red bull or just doing that kind of thing. And no i don't let go of the wheel, LOL.

Basically as for the timing thing, as Dottinger Hohe straightens out, i keep the throttle floored with my right wrist while keeping the wheel straight with the same hand's fingers, while the left hand grabs the phone and clicks it as soon as i'm under Gantry :)

That is relatively easy. A more complicated case is when I irresponsibly open up a red bull can in the middle of Berlin, have a slurp and only then think: 'My God, where do i put this thing now'. (e36 has nothing to hold a drink, and i really mean nothing!) still possible to deal with in one way or another :)

Simon
13-07-2007, 11:46 AM
Good report, you really get the feel of how much effort you put in & how much you enjoyed it :thumb:

vamos
13-07-2007, 02:13 PM
Good report mate. How long is the drive from Lithuania?

Hopefully see you at the ring at some point in the future.

wialniaz
14-07-2007, 07:19 AM
It's some 1000 miles, half of which are in Poland. And driving in Poland is something that you just have to experience to know what it is. Overtaking on solid lane lines, 100 mph in towns, seeing road signs saying: "slow down: black point of the road - 15 dead, 36 injured", every 20 km or so.
Guess that just makes my Ring trips that little bit more spicy :)

Thank you guys for the comments!

bimmer
14-07-2007, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Simon@Jul 13 2007, 11:46 AM
Good report, you really get the feel of how much effort you put in & how much you enjoyed it :thumb:
+1