View Full Version : Trip report: 6/7/8 October

12-10-2007, 03:12 PM
What a shocking weekend. x10 (or more?) closures and numerous fatalities (all bikers I believe)

We arrived on Saturday
Queued for 45 mins to get on circuit, then binned the idea with 20 mins of opening time left. As I was driving away i heard the opening/closed siren and later heard it was the biker @ Galgenkopf.
Beers in P'klause sat night - met up with Dave_can't_drive and Dutch Bob Van M, and also another group of lads who were there in Audi S4's and the like.

Got up, saw mist/fog - watched GP in Tiergarten. Met Jochen for the first time. Couple of people came back in @ 10:30 saying there had already been x2 closures incl a Focus ST @ Schwedenkreuz.

Went out at 11am (ish) and got x3 laps in. I saw:
Brit RS6 (with NOS) detonate at Breidscheid,
Brit Red Evo IX off just before Hohe Acht and....
....then the next lap a black DC2/3 Integra R rear ended @ Wipperman (which led to 3rd closure of day).

By 3pm Sunday we had only got 4 laps in. It was carnage.

Then to round it off, we were out on a *committed* lap @ 6ish in the evening folllowing nose-to-tail, out of Bruunchen, over crest, run down to Pflantzgarten.....noticed lots of waving from crowd, saw an *incident* way ahead in the gravel but didn't have any time to register what the incident actually was - I braked hard way before the jump - as the biker infront of Rob (car in front) went down under braking, hard.

He went down on oil from an MkII Astra GTE which had spun off, then crashed headfirst into another biker in the gravel who was also down. As I put my hand up to acknowledge I had seen the previous warnings, I went sideways on the oil and was staring 45' out of my windscreen at the cartwheeling biker in the gravel thinking "this is it.....I'm going to run him over and I'm completely helpless to stop it"

Fortunately, that didn't happen, but it shook me up a little. Turns out the Astra dumped it's oil right on the jump - most people have loaded the front of the car up at that point, which would explain x2 cars in the gravel and then the x2 bikers. Fortunately.....
1) Both bikers were walking away afterwards and....
2) It happened on 1 of the 3 places on the circuit where there is actually gravel, as opposed to apex> 4 feet of grass > barrier.

With all the carnage on Sunday, another message was becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore. Namely, that just when you think you are becoming competent on the circuit; something else happens which you simply didn't expect.

Sounds a fairly obvious comment but, I've been going to the 'ring for 6 years - whilst I am in no way an old-hand, i'm certainly not a newbie. However, this was the first time I'd been at this time of year...in previous times it's been exclusively in the summer months. It didn't rain all trip ergo: one could have expected there to be a mainly dry circuit. However, the cold weather overnight means parts of the cicuit under trees are covered in a sheen of morning dew - this caused a significant number of accidents (doh! well yes, that's obvious but there is more...)
What's more worrying, is that i hadn't realised that this moisture stayed down for so long. It was 4 in the afternoon before some of it cleared up on the turn-in @ Lauda kink. Quite worrying as on the approach, (c120 in the VX) the tarmac when dry, is very shiny - so it's almost impossible to see the moisture.

Anyway, Monday was much better. Got some highly rewarding laps in and found Jochen (frozenspeed.de) had taken some excellent pics of our group:



He's sending some more pics over later in the week - if anyone is planning a trip I can highly recommend getting in touch with him prior and getting some souvenirs.

There were still a few interesting moments on Monday - a german plated blue M3 was intent on holding his position all the way down schwedenkreuz, foxhole, A-F. Ended up having to do him under power out of A-F on the run to Metzgesfeld but he blocked Rob behind me until Ex-Muhle (what's the point in behaving this way?).

After that, we got some great laps in w/o too much traffic but, it was hard work stil getting on and off the circuit.

So, looking forwards, the experience of this weekend has made the group I go with completely recalibrate and rethink our entire approach to 'ring visits. I've been completely aware of the dangers of the place and have been there when there's been other fatalities however, this weekend was truly truly frightening; in terms of the number of accidents and also the behaviour i saw on-track, which seemed far worse and more frequent than at any time before. Right now the thinking is "public weekends, never again" and aim for a Thursday/friday date and take more time off work in order to enjoy touristenfahrten. Still think the circuit is amongst best in the world, still want to go but, mitigate risk if at all possible.

Pictures courtesy of FrozenSpeed.com (http://www.frozenspeed.com)

PS: had a stunning day at Spa on Tuesday; what a great track.

Gary Kinghorn
13-10-2007, 01:08 PM
Couple of nice pics by Jochen there :thumb:

13-10-2007, 05:57 PM
how did you see them ive looked on his website and cant find any galleries of that weekend