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jon_r
18-11-2005, 03:49 PM
Hello guy's, long time since I've posted so I thought i'd relay the report from the last trip over the weekend!

I've added a few pictures and a link to a lap I did on the Monday - its steady, and far from spectacular as it was a bit damp.

Next time I must get the Bullet cam to work properly. :)

Didn't realise quite how long this report is untill now, so try and enjoy :blink:

Jon.


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Nurburgring trip report 11/11 – 15/11

Friday 11th

The day started off in the dark for the trip to Dover to catch the 8:15am Norfolkline ferry. We’ve never had a problem with Norfolkline and would always recommend them – at £48 the return crossing was good value.

Fuelled up in France we pointed the cars towards Belgium and steadily made progress on the usual drag through Belgium only waking for the tricky bit navigating around the Brussels ring road (which amazingly was clear – first time for everything!!) This is probably the only section I need the TomTom for now, as the rest of it is so straightforward. We had to stop every few hundred miles for the Elise to re-fuel but this gave us all a chance to stretch our legs.

As we got further into Belgium the mist and rain began to appear – time for the roof to go back on the Elise! The journey went without concern and we arrived at the Hotel in Cochem (http://www.bookings.de/hotel/de/flairamrosenhuegel.html) at about 5pm. Having stayed in Cochem before (http://www.cochem.de/) I knew where everything was and after all checking into our rooms we made our way to one of the many restaurants and bars in the town – a 5 minute walk across the bridge!

After a late night of food, drink and the hotel pool table we got to bed in the small hours ready for an early start!

Saturday 12th

The shock of cheese, ham and chocolate spread for breakfast never fades, but at 8am after a heavy night it was twice as bad! A few ate the breakfast and we eventually set off for the Ring at about 8:30. Cochem is about 25 miles from the Ring, however it’s a great drive there along sweeping roads and never takes much over 20 minutes.

The carpark was virtually empty when we all arrived at 9am and the track was open already for the morning 2-hour session. I took Paul with the Elise out first for a steady warm up lap to see how the track was, and as it was his first visit, I tried to just point out the major places of concern that he needed to watch out for. I’m not sure how much he took in but talking to him over the weekend he was steadily making progress, whilst being as safe as possible! I then went out with Rich in the BMW which is always a hoot as its such a relaxing ride round, yet remarkably composed for such a large car!

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0019.jpg

I did another lap on a dry track that had damp sections following a guy in an English Elise that seemed to know where he was going – it was good to follow someone at a distance like that.

After grabbing a coffee Rich and Paul appeared back in the carpark after a lap in the Elise – Pauls first driving lap I think – they’d had to stop for an accident at Phflantzgarten. A guy in a Seat Ibiza Cupra had managed to hit the barriers the ride up over them and slide along the top of them before coming to a rest in the trees. The car was a mess and the guy had cut his head fairly badly, but was on his feet. On a later lap round I managed to work out that he had put a rear wheel on the grass and the car had snapped back across the track. You could see where the sump had emptied itself over the barriers about 50m before he came to rest. It wouldn’t be a cheap bill that’s for sure (brand new car as well).

Paul was then summoned by the office to drive round to the accident as the man had reported that two guy’s in a GB Elise had caused the crash. Fortunately when they arrived back round at the crash and got questioned by the police it became clear that the guy had understandably got things muddled – Paul’s Elise was the first car to stop and help, even though he’d passed them down at Exmuhle! Relieved we all grabbed some lunch in Adenau ready for the track re-opening at 1.

During the lunch break Tom and Dutch arrived and we all watched a stage rally that were using the Ring as a stage, but the reverse way around! It must have been very disorientating! Pictures to follow, but some of the machinery was very impressive!

The afternoon session at the track went smoothly and I did a few more laps in the afternoon sunshine, which had appeared. The crowds had also appeared and the carpark had got a lot more congested!

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0027.jpg

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0035.jpg

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0038.jpg

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0047.jpg

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0053.jpg

The same routine of food, beer and pool followed that evening.

Sunday 13th

Another early start for the committed few, whilst the lazy ones stayed in bed (or should that be sensible). The track was open 9am – 4pm today, but as we climbed the hill out of Cochem the fog appeared. By the time we reached the carpark it was obvious the track wouldn’t be open, it was thick fog and visibility was practically zero. Sure enough the track was closed, but they had let a few out early. They all appeared back in apart from a local in an E30 M3 who appeared back into the carpark on the back of the yellow truck…..

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0050.jpg

After a few coffee’s they opened the track at about 11:30 after some of the fog had lifted. I suggested to the others to let the first rush go out then head out after 10 minutes in hope of a clear exploratory lap. Well I lasted about 2 minutes then went out. It was treacherous and in places was like driving on ice. An English guy in a C2 Citroen GT let me past through Hatzenbach (I think) and the car just stepped sideways at a remarkably low speed, it was bloody dangerous! A few corners later I checked in my mirrors only to see the C2 disappear onto the grass and into the barriers…..

I managed one more lap that morning before deciding enough was enough and retiring down to Brunnchen to watch the frankly insane locals try their luck! Dutch had another lap in his 172 and came back grinning from ear to ear at the lack of grip. (I put it down to the fact his car is on lease…….!)

We found the guy who had smacked the Citroen watching at Brunnchen and whilst it was only panel damage (light, bumper, wing) the accident had cost him 750 Euros in Armco.

The fog descended and the circuit was shut mid afternoon, what had promised to be the best day was infact the shortest!

Driver of the day went to a guy in an old Opel Omega that appeared into view sideways and left view sideways, it was very impressive!

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0059.jpg

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0065.jpg

We all visited the museum in the afternoon, something I’d always wanted to do but never got round to it (well worth the visit). After parting with an extortionate amount of money in the gift shop we all made an extremely slow trip back to the hotel in the freezing fog.

Beer, food and pool……….

Monday 14th

The circuit was open in the afternoon so we all had a walk into town in the morning to grab some pictures of Cochem and the castle.

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0078.jpg

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/alb...14/DSCF0079.jpg (http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0079.jpg)

I had 10 laps left to use up in a 3-hour period on Monday after yesterdays limited laps. There was no way this was going to happen, but I managed to do 7 on a fairly damp/drying track. Unfortunately where they were replacing the barriers that had been bent over the weekend, the track had 50 KPH limits put onto it – this ruled out any fast laps which I had planned. I clocked a lap with a passenger when the track was at its dryest and was pleased with a 9:01 which included the crawl past the barrier repairs.

I had installed a bullet cam into the front grille, but couldn’t get it to work, so had to make do with one filmed lap from inside the car.

Being a weekday it was extremely quiet and we shared the carpark with a few Brits, some committed locals and a fleet of test cars, which were lapping solidly. Amongst them was the new M6 Cabrio, Jaguar XK Supercharged Convertible, 997 GT3, caged Range Rover and a heavily disguised Freelander who was doing consistent 9 minute laps. I had a hugely enjoyable lap with Rich in the car following him round – ill never look at a Land Rover in the same way again!

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/alb...14/DSCF0082.jpg (http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/DSCF0082.jpg)

The most satisfying day of the trip passed without major incident, apart from Dutch’s car chucking a pad, which required a trek to the local Renault dealer.

After the track closed, we all went for a final beer in the Pistonklause as Dutch and Tom were heading off home. It was everybody’s first visit and we vowed that next visit we’d all stay in the Hotel Am Tiergarten for a few nights and visit the Pistonklause a few more times!

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/alb...4/Picture_7.jpg (http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/Picture_7.jpg)

We spent the last night in Cochem sampling the local wine that is grown in vineyards behind the hotel!

Tuesday 15th

With a late ferry to catch back to the U.K. we drove back via my preferred return route of the “Road to Hell”. It’s a great route back and so much more interesting than the drag of the motorways – though probably not the best route to take back in a Lotus Elise (sorry Paul, bit bumpy!) The trip passed slowly (very slowly though a village in Germany where they’d decided to dig up the entire road!) and we arrived back in Dunkerque in time to loads the cars up with alcohol.

http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/alb...m14/Picture.jpg (http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/gallery/albums/album14/Picture.jpg)

Altogether another memorable trip – with only the Sunday a disappointment with the track time, but to be expected in November.

Roll on next Spring :)

Jon.

18/11/05
www.pinhighdesign.co.uk


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Video is here: [URL=http://www.pinhighdesign.co.uk/vid/nurburgring_nov_2005.wmv[/URL]

jon_r
18-11-2005, 03:50 PM
Sorry, i added to many pics so have had to replace with links.

Jon

Gary Kinghorn
18-11-2005, 07:09 PM
Look s a good report, will read it fully in a bit, need a bit of time to get through it ;)

Cochem is nice isnt it? Good beer.

Gary

jon_r
18-11-2005, 10:50 PM
I know what you mean, the last time I wrote that much I was at school in an exam I think! :blink:

Cochem is lovely, I wouldn't hesitate going back there.

Floyd
18-11-2005, 11:13 PM
Good report, 7/10 ;) Needs more pictures of posh cars and laydees to get full marks :thumb:

F

Steven
19-11-2005, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by Gutmann pug@Nov 18 2005, 08:09 PM
Cochem is nice
SSSsSssSsssshhhh!!!!!

<_<

Hammoc
28-11-2005, 10:55 PM
Good report. :thumb: Prototypes sound interesting ;)



Chris

hobgoblin
05-02-2006, 05:23 PM
great report i went in june 05 and saw a prototype x5 but he didn&#39;t go round the ring <_< ahh well lookin forward to my next trip l8r in the year its great reading the reports but its mild torture too ;) :thumb: