View Full Version : My first time on the ring

13-03-2008, 01:38 AM
Hello everyone.

Well, it was last sunday, I had a trip planned to go to some drag even, 1 hour drive from home, and I don't like drag racing that much so I sort of didn't want to go. I had a full gas tank tho, and I still wanted to go *somewhere*, so I decided to finally head to the ring, it was months I wanted to go, and even tho the place is not that far (about 100 miles) I never went there, too afraid maybe. I'm not a pilot, just a car enthusiast as well as car sims addict.

So I call my neighbour, also a huge car enthusiast, and ask him if he wanted to join, as a passenger (he doesn't have a sportscar, just some regular car)

the trip was fun, german highways all the way, but I drove carefully (80/90 mph top).

Slowly, we got closer and closer...


and we were like two kids, getting close from disneyland.

Allright, here we are, we can see more and more sportscar on the road, we even spotted the brand new E92 4 doorer, so we thought he might head there as well and we followed him... until we got to some spot where there were people shooting these cars:





now that's another world !

we politely asked if we could take a few pics, then the directions to the track's entrance.

the place were closing at 6, we got there around 5, only a few cars on the parking, I was afraid that there were going to be many cars, and since I'm a total noob, I didn't want to get in the way of too many fast people.






So I decided we better do one lap before the place closes, I went to buy my ticket, headed to the restroom hop'd in the car and headed for the entrance, fast, cause I didn't want to feel too much pressure before I started.


now that's me in a hurry !

allright, the way is wide open, let's go, first acceleration just for the sake of it, I know I'll be slow.

first corner, the pit stop area, dammit, these corners are tighter than in any video game I've played (well rfactor versions were pretty close tho), and the slopes ! more like walls, now I understand why the track is sometimes described as a rollercoaster.

I struggle to remember the turns (I play on the ring at least twice a day on racing sims), but my mind has a hard time analysing all these informations, one focus, don't put myself or anyone else in danger. my friend is checking the mirrors while I focus on the road, things go allright, I'm slow but I'm enjoying it, I even managed to take adenauer forst pretty well for a first time (I guess), I slow down, some nissan 100nx is obviously faster than me, blinker, head to the right side, the guy thanks me, he's welcome.

oh oh... yellow flag, some RX8 ate the dust, I hope the guy is doing allright, I don't know what to do so I keep going on, the assistance car was there already. It didn't seem too serious, I've learned that the guy was doing allright. good.

so I keep going on, doing what I can, trying to get nice lines and all... allright here's the karoussel, the black porsche should go in before me. the lower section is closed so upper section for everyone, I'm happy the porsche could pass me before that, he's way faster than me, obviously. Next section, I know this one is tight, so I keep my peaceful pace, get passed by a porsche 996 GT2, wonderful machine !

Last corner, last straight, allready ! I ask my friend to tell me what time it is, first lap, approx 16 minutes, wow, now that's how "fast" I am ? nevermind, I had the blast of my life, I'm definately going back there, for a whole day and probably 4 laps next time.

here's me getting out


we've seen the assistance car later on the parking


I went to the ring, I drove on the ring, I touched a part of racing's history with my fingertips, I'll never forget that day, that lap, it was a unique experience in another world.

now I have this on my car, and I must say I'm pretty proud of it !


I loved the place, I'd recommend anyone to go there, but as for my recommandations: Drive SLOW on your first lap, I mean just as you were driving on a normal road, of course, make sure you get fast out of the places with no visibility (corner exit etc...)
when you see you can accelerate, accelerate so you're not in the way, when you can't see what's coming next to that hill, slow dow, you have 1/2 chance that it's a corner and 1/2 chance it's a tight one, and 100% chances the wall is not far.
Watch your mirrors as often as you can, it doesn't matter how fast you think you are, there are faster people there. anyway, if it's your first lap and you think you're driving fast, slow down cause you're obviously too fast already
Pick a week day over a week end day, less people on the track, less trouble and less stress
I can't think of anything else right now, it was a wonderful experience, but it was ridiculously dangerous. Legendary drivers crashed there, ALOT of people actually died there, driving a car at fast speed is dangerous and if you're doing it on the ring it's VERY dangerous, don't risk your life any more than you're already doing when you drive there.

last thing: you know perfectly gran turismo or forza version of the track, you don't know sh1t about the real thing, don't think you do, you just don't, the track configuration is pretty much different, the corners are WAY tighter and it's not that easy to recognize the part of the track you're on, because of the stress because of other cars disturbing you, because they might have cut some trees, anything.

1st lap, slow, slam on the gas only if you're 200% sure about what's coming next, meaning never on your first lap, once or twice on your second etc...

I did 16 minutes and I'm proud cause I drove on the ring, I actually did it, the lap time doesn't matter, the fun does, your life does.

Darren Langeveld
13-03-2008, 05:21 AM
Cheers for the report, I get your sense of enthusiasm from it!

It's always good to read about someones first lap. Always reminds you of your own in a small way.

Steve Gill
13-03-2008, 05:32 AM
Nice report :thumb:

Gary Kinghorn
13-03-2008, 06:19 AM
Enjoyed reading that. Welcome to the forum :thumb:

13-03-2008, 06:25 AM
Excelant first report!!

Loved the pics as well.

13-03-2008, 06:39 AM
You deserve a prize just for admitting it was 16 minutes, and not 8,32 with hold ups that some people post after there first laps LOL

Well done, glad you enjoyed it, careful the bug dont catch or you'll be arguing with the girlfriend every other weekend and spending too much money hehe

I take it that Mazda is lexs :(:(:(

13-03-2008, 06:57 AM
Great first timers report, sounds like you really enjoyed it :thumb:

Did you apply some sort of filter to the photos? the colours look different to usual :huh:

I removed the photo of the crashed car, its a blanket policy we have, nothing against you :thumb:

Rene Graff
13-03-2008, 06:58 AM
Thanks for the report.

BTW: What filter did you use for the piccies? They look great. Especially Ralf´s M-Coupe (the assistance car) looks fantastic!

13-03-2008, 07:27 AM
Superb first report - tell it like it is with true enthusiasm

and very good advice to anyone driving the ring for the first time

Martin :P

13-03-2008, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by Nige@Mar 13 2008, 07:57 AM
Did you apply some sort of filter to the photos? the colours look different to usual :huh:

Photos are HDR Nige!

Glad you enjoyed your trip :) :thumb:

13-03-2008, 10:19 AM
What a great report, and a very sensible approach to your first visit :thumb:

13-03-2008, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by pc185+Mar 13 2008, 08:46 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (pc185 @ Mar 13 2008, 08:46 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Nige@Mar 13 2008, 07:57 AM
Did you apply some sort of filter to the photos? the colours look different to usual :huh:

Photos are HDR Nige&#33;

Glad you enjoyed your trip :) :thumb: [/b][/quote]
haha thank you all, yes the Z3 picture is HDR, the other ones are not, but I have my little recipe on photoshop.

thank you for the comments &#33; and sorry for the wrecked car pics, I thought it would show that things can go pretty fast there.

13-03-2008, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by hadoq@Mar 13 2008, 03:38 AM
last thing: you know perfectly gran turismo or forza version of the track, you don&#39;t know sh1t about the real thing, don&#39;t think you do, you just don&#39;t, the track configuration is pretty much different, the corners are WAY tighter and it&#39;s not that easy to recognize the part of the track you&#39;re on, because of the stress because of other cars disturbing you, because they might have cut some trees, anything.
Most sensible thing a newbie has written :thumb:

Ironically, if you learnt the track first and then played GT4 it&#39;s pretty accurate, but no game ever gives a proper feeling of gradient, speed or bumps. It also doesn&#39;t matter if you crash at 190mph going into Schwedenkreuz on a computer game....... :whistle:

Great first write-up :thumb:

13-03-2008, 11:18 AM
well the closest virtual thing I&#39;ve seen was, again rFactor versions (and by extension GTR etc...) there are 2 main ones (nuerburg and 2007 nurburgring) and they pretty much look like the real thing, when it comes to the road, the sides can be pretty much different.

but again, the only use for video games versions would be to try and memorize the general idea of the track, wether it turns right or left, but I found it so different that was totally lost sometimes.

but countless times I&#39;ve read "I know the track perfectly from gran turismo, I think I can go and drive there", and to be honnest I didn&#39;t think it would be that hard because I know the track pretty well from forza motorsport wich basically is the same thing as GT but on Xbox.

The fact I had a passenger probably also helped me to stay focused and drive seriously.

Just a thing, could any of you guys point me to a website were I could buy the basics please (helmet, safety jacket etc...) I guess you guys might have your favorites ^^

thanks &#33;

13-03-2008, 11:23 AM

13-03-2008, 11:45 AM
I have to agree with everyone else, im really impressed with your attitude toward the place and your approach to learning it.

If only everybody thought about there first lap and approached it with open eyes like yourself :thumb:

13-03-2008, 01:02 PM
well thank you &#33;

but keep in consideration, I&#39;m almost 30yo, married, one kid, and I also had a passenger. I kind of consider myself as a decently responsible person regarding to my situation (well a responsible, model father would maybe not even think about going there).

fact is, I did want the trip to be worthy, I knew it was a first -overall- track experience, I knew the place was ridiculously dangerous, I knew I had a car that&#39;s potentially "safe" on a track (Civic Ek4 Vtec).

next time I&#39;ll probably drive a little faster, at least on the straights, try to pick a better line (the racing line concept was quite new for me, in real life, I only experienced it in simulation so far), I&#39;ll go alone as well so I can be more focused on what&#39;s coming next.

I already ordered a fluorescent jacket and I&#39;ll probably build a yellow flag. Currently checking for a helmet but I&#39;m kinda low on a budget since I&#39;m about to buy a tele lens to shoot there. but safety and life have no price tag so I&#39;ll spend what it takes cause I&#39;m definately going back, probably sometime next month (I&#39;ll try and go once a month).

Also is there any kind of "tutorial" with braking points and detailed information on each section of the track ? I could really use something like that.

thank you for your comments, I have the feeling that the "ringers" are a big family, and I must say I&#39;m really, really proud to slowly become a part of this.

thank you for all your comments, and don&#39;t hesitate to give me a pm whenever you get there, if I can do it, I&#39;ll come and shoot pictures &#33;

Also, I&#39;d like to be a passenger sometime, I&#39;m easily afraid in a car (claustrophobia) so if someone could bring me with someday, and still drive at a semi-decent speed there, I&#39;ll be more than happy. And of course, I could use some help from someone sitting in my passenger seat and giving me advices in real time (hope you&#39;re not in a hurry hahaha &#33;)

13-03-2008, 01:18 PM
Superb stuff, will be doing the same for my first trip at Easter hopefully... :D

13-03-2008, 01:46 PM
where do you live Hadoq?

13-03-2008, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by Weeman@Mar 13 2008, 02:46 PM
where do you live Hadoq?
France, actually right next to germany, Saarbrücken is the closest city around (german), the ring is 170km from here (approx 100 miles)

I drove on highways only, but I&#39;ll try and check out for a more "entertaining" way there.

13-03-2008, 06:39 PM
Enjoyed reading that , a real sense of enthusiasm in the writing, lots of very sensible stuff in there too :thumb:

I guess we&#39;ll be seeing more reports from you :D

13-03-2008, 06:50 PM
Excellent read and really brings back the memory of a first trip :thumb:

13-03-2008, 06:58 PM
Loving the HDR pictures&#33;

Good write up. :D

13-03-2008, 07:54 PM
Liking those photos :thumb: Whats HDR?

Rene Graff
13-03-2008, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by Floyd@Mar 13 2008, 09:54 PM
Liking those photos :thumb: Whats HDR?
HDR means High Dynamic Range:

Wiki-Linky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging)

14-03-2008, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by hadoq@Mar 13 2008, 02:38 AM

ive attempted to make some HDR images a few mins ago, using a program called Photomatix Pro, but I cant get amy of my pictures like this one&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

I want a picture of my car like that to get printed and framed as it looks AWESOME&#33;

Did you use Photoshop CS2?

EDIT: also how the heck do you get a monochromatic sky&#33;

If i were to get some photos of mine...anyone wanna make me some HDR images lol

14-03-2008, 07:42 PM
hi, I use photomatix, then photoshop on the photomatix result.

I don&#39;t live very far from the ring, let me know when you get there, maybe I can come too and shoot your car.

thanks for the comments by the way &#33;

Chris Ratcliff
15-03-2008, 11:38 AM
Hi Hadog, would you mind if I had a go at an HDR image of the Z3? Could you send me the original file?

15-03-2008, 12:15 PM
Hi, the Z3 is actually a "Fake" HDR (3 pictures came from the same original one, but it was in "RAW" format so I could "extract" 3 exposures)

if I find the original files I can send them to you.

Chris Ratcliff
15-03-2008, 12:46 PM
Even better&#33; Canon RAW? Nikon NEF?

15-03-2008, 01:43 PM
Great report and super pictures :thumb:


26-03-2008, 04:15 PM
Really good report, I&#39;ve been watching loads of videos on youtube about the ring trying to memorize the track and I still really worried about what I&#39;m going to see there. I&#39;m dreaming with that day.

I hope to bring a nice report for everyone and good pictures also.

I will be in the ring 4th (friday) if anyone see a blue 51reg Audi A4 give me a shout.

8 days left &#092;o/