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Duncan
24-10-2007, 08:31 AM
Day 1 =========================

Finally, I had managed to persuade my wife (Rachel) and daughter (Annabelle) out to the Nurburgring to experience the unique nature of the place. I was determined to make it a good trip for them. Today was the day to drive down from Cambridge to Folkstone for the Eurotunnel trip over. :D

Having endured 2 days worth of "should I pack these?" or "should I pack that?" type questions I managed to get whatever they had packed into the boot of the scoob and set off at exactly the time I had planned - 5.45 am This would gtee us getting to Folkstone on time for our train and a fighting chance of getting an earlier one. As it turned out we got the earlier one :whistle: This all went smoothly and heading back out of the train and onto the motorway, the satnav providing backup for a route I pretty well remember now.

I had been telling Rachel for ages how rubbish Belgian roads were and I guess she didnt believe me until we hit the sections between Brussels and Liege and could hardly hear ourselves think. Anyway, 4 short hours on the road and we arrive in Nurburg greeted by a friendly Martin and Andy at the Burgstube offering to help unload the car and put the spares in the store room - whilst Rachel put her stuff into the room.

http://www.bigpower.co.uk/gallery/albums/userpics/ringtripoct25.jpg

http://www.bigpower.co.uk/gallery/albums/userpics/ringtripoct27.jpg

As the track was already open I was itching to get down there asap and get out.

A quick check of the car and down we went helmets ready for the 3 of us to take a first lap. Rachel in the front strapped in and Annabelle in the middle of the rear seats also helmeted up. She loved the Crash Helmet (thank for lending us it Eddy) All the way the lap there were gasps and whoops as the corner revealed yet more corners, dips, compressions and jumps but not once did either of them say slow down. We did that lap in 9.57 and they were happy as was I for a slow sighting lap.

Dropping them in the pits I went straight back out for another lap as the track was bone dry and very nice. There was lots of traffic but almost all of it well behaved - maybe this time of year gets the regulars rather than first timers with the unpredictability of the weather. Annabelle was desperate for another lap when I returned so off we all headed out again - this time a little quicker.

The girls were now starting to show signs of wanting to go back to the hotel and get some food so dropping them up the hotel I headed back down for a couple of back to back laps.... a 9.02 and a 8.47 both mostly clear of traffic and only with some minor roadworks. I was pleased - I had bettered my best to date and still had 2 days left. The best bit was that I felt that I wasnt even trying that hard.

Food o'clock arrived and we headed out for a pizza at Pinnochios - it was heaving but as normal, nothing is a problem for any of the restaurant owners and they fitted us in and even gave 2 swedish chaps seats at our table so they had somewhere to seat too. Great company and shows the relaxed atmosphere and common interest that the 'ring has - enough to break down any communication barriers and provide a very enjoyable evening :thumb:

Having unsuccessfully found anywhere to watch the Rugby and not found Sliders Guesthouse I was in the doghouse so we headed back for a couple of drinks back at the Burgstube with Andy and Johannes talking about the day and then time to call it a night - I was knackered.

Duncan
24-10-2007, 08:32 AM
Day 2 ========================

Woke up early as the track was open at 8am - looked out the window. The snow that we had been expecting was not there, there was no rain the roads were dry and this was going to be a great day. The weather people had got it wrong - hurray !!!!!!!

Brekkie scoffed and I headed down to the track leaving Rachel and Annabelle in bed ready to make the most of the dry track and lack of traffic.

Car park was empty ish, the track was about to open and I put on my helmet, then it started to sleet/hail/rain - bugger.

Oh well, having done several wet laps on the last trip, it didnt scare me so much now so I headed out in the first group of cars out onto the track for some ice skating. 1C track temp, cold tyres, wet hail is probably not a great combination for ultimate grip - it wasnt. It was slippery but not hugely so at this stage. The rain started to come down heavier half way round and I returned back and headed out again. This time it was really slippery and I thought to myself that today was not the day to bin it - bring it round from this lap and then go and watch :) 11.16 min later and I arrived back.

I headed back up to the hotel and picked the girls up (after grabbing more coffee and signing on to the websites to catch up with goings on) and we headed out to go and watch. We did a tour of the usual viewing points, Brunchen, PF 1 and T13 to savour the atmosphere and met Chris and Ken for lunch at the GP circuit before going round the museum & shop.

http://www.bigpower.co.uk/gallery/albums/userpics/ringtripoct10.jpg

http://www.bigpower.co.uk/gallery/albums/userpics/ringtripoct1.jpg

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We headed to the Paddock restaurant to watch the GP live on the big screen and started to drown our sorrows about what could have been a great weekend for English sport. This drowning of sorrows continued into the evening with a great meal at the PK with Chris and Ken and beyond that at the Burgstube with Andy and Daniel (who had arrived that day in his 06 WRX) Rachel was almost tempted to grab a pillion ride around the track with Andy but it later turned out that it was the bottle or two of red wine that was talking :lol: Andy kicked us out of the bar at 1am.

Duncan
24-10-2007, 08:33 AM
Day 3 ========================

Headaches :(

The day arrived with dry roads and clear ish skies but brass monkey cold. This was going to be a beauty.

Lots of breakfast and coffee and car checked over - we headed up to the GP circuit to have a go at go-karting. We met Chris and Ken up there and it was going to be Annabelle's chance to drive a kart. Having built herself up to it she was gutted when the man said she had to be 12 years old... heyho - they will have to come again after her 12th birthday in January. Chris, ken and I had a go though and enjoyed it thoroughly - hands aching after throwing the karts around.

Lunch at the Grune Holle and then I headed out on my own for a sighting lap with Daniel behind me. He wanted to do a sub 10 min lap in his WRX so I suggested that he followed me round. Andy Carlisle hopped in mine and I explained that Daniel was following and I had to keep it slow. He said I still had to show him where I could easily 'gap him' :D - awesome, dry, crisp, clear of traffic but a couple of roadworks sections and lots of yellow flashing lights around the track.

Now time to take the girls out again and we went round quicker than the last time in 9.27 - the car performing faultlessly. No screams, no slow-down requests and lots of smiles at the end. Annabelle then wanted a lap in the front on her own. I pushed a little harder but still with roadworks in several places - she loved it and wanted to go again :thumb: Later on :)

I grabbed a passenger lap with Chris in the std Golf GTi - awesome lap but a complete contrast to the laps I had done before. Still excellent fun but a different focus - maintaining momentum was the name of the game. Chris drove smoothly and quickly impressed on me how much fun a standard car can be around there.

I returned the favour and Chris hopped into mine. I was driving quickly but not pushing it as much (i felt) as I had before as there were still some roadworks on the track I didnt think a fast time was that possible. We came in with a 8.46 - my best ever - hmm how did that happen?

Bumped into loads of fellow northloopers in the car park - no roll call but so nice to always get a friendly greeting 8)

Rachel and Annabelle next for a fast lap as my confidence was growing and the three of us went round in 8.58 - that was fun overtaking TVR, Lambo, Ferrari, BMW's etc on the way round :D Time was pressing on and Annabelle wanted yet another lap in the front so Rachel got a lift down to Brunchen with Daniel and we headed out again.

http://www.pc185.co.uk/pics/nurburg21oct/IMG_8711.jpg

Fantastic lap apart from seeing a mini complete killed itself in Wipperman causing everyone to stop to a halt and thread through the debris on track :(

The track was now closed. It was late so I didnt think that they would re-open it so decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel as the mud and debris would be on track for a long while. They did re-open it but I stuck by the decision to call it a day always favouring the approach of wanting more laps rather than having 1 too many.

Evening at the PK again as we were bushed and a very early night.

Day 4 ===========================

Early brekkie and headed home the cross country way hooking up with (a very disappointed) Dave Mallings in his Signum on the way back through Belgian and deciding to stay in convoy with him from Liege to Calais. 4 hours back to Calais and a quick hop into the duty free shop meant that we were ready for the last leg of the journey.

All in all a fantastic trip - the girls enjoyed it immensely, Annabelle is even more of a passenger lap whore than George :) and planning to take then both again - this time for slightly longer so that some sight-seeing could be done too.

Album here: http://www.bigpower.co.uk/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=36

Dave Malings
24-10-2007, 08:47 AM
Nice report.....and you got me see!

http://www.bigpower.co.uk/gallery/albums/userpics/ringtripoct15.jpg

The trip back was interesting, I'd seen you pulling out of a service station and slowed down to 70 so you could catch up and then sped up as you came past.

Duncan
24-10-2007, 08:53 AM
aha - made it from those services to Stanstead airport services.

We missed the train cos of popping into the duty free shop by 4 cars :(

Nige
24-10-2007, 10:11 AM
Its always good when you take people for the first time and introduce them to the ring. You`ll have to make sure Annabelle is there when Matthew is there next year, he is a passenger whore too, they can swap stories :lol:

Duncan
24-10-2007, 10:20 AM
Annabelle is just writing her report now and uploading her pics to photobucket :D

Floyd
24-10-2007, 10:32 AM
Great report Duncan, nice going :thumb:

F

Duncan
24-10-2007, 11:46 AM
I wish I had put the track tyres on now for the Sat and Monday sessions :D

jon_r
24-10-2007, 11:48 AM
Good report Duncan, an enjoyable read.

pye21
24-10-2007, 12:15 PM
Great report, its good to read the 'other' side of a trip from a family point of view as well, and know that it is possible.

Steve Gill
24-10-2007, 12:26 PM
Good report, nice pic of my car :thumb:

Juanjo
24-10-2007, 07:13 PM
Good to see that you had a good trip... and that tha family likes it!!

I can see more trips like that coming then...


And congratulations for your improved lap times... I think if you take it easy you may approach the 8 and a half barrier next year, no problem... (as far as you don't beat me, I'm supporting you...
:loser: )

Juanjo

Duncan
24-10-2007, 07:25 PM
Juanjo - i think we will be close but I dont quite have the 'ballsey' style that you have but breaking the 8.30 is doable given a clear track and a few laps to build up to it.

There are rather a lot of us in the 8.30 - 8.50 area it seems :thumb:

Weeman
25-10-2007, 08:02 AM
Great report there duncan, :thumb: