View Full Version : Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious.

25-05-2008, 09:15 PM
I won't go into too much detail here as my recent car troubles are well documented in another thread (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=9853&hl=), and I want to concentrate on the more positive aspects of what turned out to be another superb trip.

I would, though, like to pay special thanks to those who made the remainder of my holiday possible:

Dave Evans: for supplying the necessary Lotus wheel bearing and taking the time out to get me sorted. Dave missed out on almost a whole day at at the Ring and is a complete star.

Steve and Tony: my mates that travelled with me (non-Northloopers), who as well as being totally patient with me as my car tried to self-destruct on the journey across Belgium, acted as my chauffeurs for the weekend without a single word of complaint.

So here is a brief photo summary of my week-and-a-bit in Germany:

Saturday 10th May

VLN race day. After spending the morning chasing around trying to get my car fixed, we headed for the GP paddock for the start of the VLN race.

A loud, fast racing car:


Another loud, fast racing car:


Another loud, fast racing car:


More distractions were to be found behind the pits:


After an aborted attempt to get a couple of laps in during the evening TF, the day finished with pizza and weiss-bier in Pinnochios. :drink:

Sunday 11th May

An early start to get to the Zufarht Nordschleife for the 8am track opening, and we're greeted with... queues to get in at 8am! We make it through the queue and go for a couple of laps, 'we' being me paxxing in Steve's Civic Type-R. It's his first time at the Ring, but he's a good, experienced trackday driver, and with a few pace-notes from me we get around remarkably well. After a bit of a wander around the carpark we decide to go for a spectate, so head off up the Bruennchen, and hike all the way over to Klostertal, then back up via the Karussell.

Northloop Tony:


Northloop Davecantdrive:


Some 2 and 4-wheeled motorbikes:


Ring Taxi at play:


Later in the afternoon I meet up with Jim, who takes me for a brisk lap in the Schnitzer 120d, and I grab a couple of laps with Tony in his M3. Well driven both. :thumb:

This was the evening of RSR's track walk. Being lowly paupers, we decide to do our own budget version. Fortunately we managed to scale the heights of Pflanzgarten just moments before Ron's minibus tour came by :whistle:



Monday 12th May

First thing, recover the Lotus from Bongards and head slowly up to the RSR workshop to meet Dave. When I get there he is having already trying to help another Elise owner. Irish Brian is haing mechanical 'issues' (no comment on the cause...) but this results in my chauffeur taking me back to my hotel to collect my emergency spare brake pads for him.

Dave has him ssorted and on his way in double-quick time, so we set about my car. It very quickly becomes apparent that a wheel bearing change is not a DIY side-of-the-road repair :lol:, so we head off in Dave's car to find another workshop to help us. It's Monday, but unfortunately it's also a bank holiday. A quick phone call to Bob van M sees us head out to find 'Polish Pete'. Yes, he's there, and yes he has a hydraulic press, so we return shortly after with my car and let them get on with it. By mid afternoon it's all fixed and they start on fixing Dave's alternator problem.

We return to the track where I meet up with Jim again for another pax, me driving this time, and he suggests we go and join the track at Breidsheid to beat the queues. We do our half-lap, only to find the track closed as approach the barrier. Bugger. After a long wait it reopens and I manage two more laps before the circuit closes for the day.

The day ends with a steak in the PK with Steve and Tony, and we end up on the same table as Jochen. Greetings that man.

After the meal the thers decide to head back to the hotel for an early start home in the morning. I join Simon, Jim, and Dave at the Lindenhof, before we all head up to the Burgstube to 'entertain' Andy Carlisle for the rest of the evening...

Tuesday 13th May

Leave Nurburg and head south, leaving the autobahn just south of Stuttgart for a gentle run through the Schwarzwald. The scenery and roads are very similar to the Eifel region, only bigger and steeper.


Spend the night in Mulhouse, which is just over the border in France, and have a mildly amusing moment trying to order food in the restaurant, oops. (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=9914&hl=).

Wednesday 14th May

The reason for the overnight stay in Mulhouse is a day trip to the Musee Nationale de l'Automobile, aka the Schlumpf Collection. Lots of cars, but sadly many in a very poor state and badly displayed. Worth seeing, but perhaps not worth going to see.

A bugatti:


Some more Bugattis:


Thursday 15th May

Leave France (thank God!) and head back up through the Schwarzwald again; destination Heidelberg and Hockenheim. The roads really are great fun, and I end up arriving at Hockenheim a little later than planned, and still with a boot full of luggage. Without wanting to duplicate things, you can read my Hockenheim report here (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=8877&view=findpost&p=4872741)


Friday 16th May

A walk around the old town and castle of Heidelberg in the morning. Very pretty:


Then back up to the Ring after lunch. Arrive in plenty of time to check into the hotel and unload the car ready for evening TF :D

The weather is superb and I get 7 great laps in, then back to the hotel as it starts to rain right at the end of the session. Overnight there is a huge thunderstorm.

Saturday 17th May

Gentle start to the day, watching the GLP in the morning. It looks like some sort of parking competition as everyone stops on DH for a few minutes, before driving slowly off. Very strange. Then it's off up the castle for a look at the view. I've never been there before; the last time I tried it was closed. Better luck this time. The view in all directions is stunning:


Then it's off to the Gruene Hoelle cafe for lunch prior to the afternoon's TF. The session eventually gets going just over an hour later than advertised, then stops about 20 minutes later for the British biker that has smeared himself over the armco at Bergwerk on his first lap. The session gets going again about an hour later. In the meantime, had a wander about looking at some nice cars:


During this period an Aussie called Andrew introduces himself, and I take him out for a couple of pax laps. When we get back he introdues his travelling companions, another Aussie, Paul, and Canadian Michelle, who seems to have made an impression on quite a few Northloopers over the weekend :D

Around this time a group of Aussie Ferraris turn up. Two of them, both 599s, roll up and stop just short of the barriers. The womenfolk jump out of the passenger seats and start asking where to buy tickets. This does not go down well with the marshall, who gets some good use out of his whistle, much to the enjoyment of the assembled onlookers:



Shortly after it starts to pour with rain. When it eases a little I go for a couple of very slow laps, before telling myself not to be so stupid. I head off the Bruennchen 2 to spectate for a while instead.

Dale warming up for a fast lap:


Crazy German dudes warming up for the 24h-Rennen:


I hope I am allowed to post this next sequence, as it isn't stricly an accident...

This Golf came around B1, ran wide onto the dirt, then suddenly flicked up into the air and span around. Check out the wheel that was making a bid for freedom:


Found it!



A quick check for other damage...


...before driving off on three wheels!


Sunday 18th May





Viper, playing on the track that was deserted due to fog:


Eventually the track opened at about 2:40pm, so I went off to get some more laps in. There was another closure of about an hour mid-afternoon, then some good clear lapping until the end of the day. Took Canadian Michelle around for a couple of laps, and finished the day exchanging pax laps with Mark(UB) with the TVR Griffith. The weekend was finished off with another steak in the PK with Mark and his GF.


Monday 19th May

Head home.

The end.

25-05-2008, 09:23 PM
Excellent Joel, some great pics too B)

25-05-2008, 09:26 PM
Excellent report. After your troubles at the start, its good to know you managed to get in some enjoyable laps :thumb:

Can`t seem to see the pictures of Canadian Michelle though :whistle:

Mark (UB)
25-05-2008, 09:32 PM
Fantastic write up and pics Joel.


25-05-2008, 09:36 PM
Some of the best pictures I've seen in a long time :thumb:

Jim Cameron
25-05-2008, 11:20 PM
Ahem. Canadian?

26-05-2008, 04:52 AM
are you refering to Mica with the Z3 and JK - dave said she was swedish and had moved job and house to be nearer the Ring! Top Girl :-)

Excellent Report Joel

26-05-2008, 11:17 AM
Ah, Mica... I had forgotten about her. She was there on the first weekend, and I only met her briefly. Top girl indeed :D

Canadian Michelle was there on the second weekend, and apparently went out in the 75 with Dale, as well as grabbing pax laps with several others (Lotus, Porsche, Ring Taxi).

26-05-2008, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by Joel@May 25 2008, 09:15 PM

First thing, recover the Lotus from Bongards and head slowly up to the RSR workshop to meet Dave. When I get there he is having already trying to help another Elise owner. Irish Brian is haing mechanical 'issues' (no comment on the cause...) but this results in my chauffeur taking me back to my hotel to collect my emergency spare brake pads for him.

Dave has him ssorted and on his way in double-quick time, so we set about my car.
Ah yes . . . :rolleyes: Poor Brian! :lol:

26-05-2008, 03:20 PM
Great report Joel :thumb:

26-05-2008, 04:42 PM
Great report, Joel. It was good to share a beer or 2 with you while keeping Andy entertained :whistle:

26-05-2008, 04:44 PM
Yes Poor me indeed Ian :shame: I cannot thank Joel and Dave enough for what they did for me at my first ring trip. I, being the numpty that I am, made a balls of fitting pads(I mean it when I say Numpty!!) and dave helped me out in Fitting them properly, but I made a balls of that aswell and Joel came to the rescue with a part worn set of grennstuffs. Got it sorted and did my final two laps without incident and with absolutely superior brake performance :D I was lucky enough to bump into dave on the road down to Adenau and he offered to take me on a few pax laps. I was gobsmacked by what I experienced. I'm new to tracking in general and I was shown what a Lotus really can do in the right hands with little modification. Davecantdrive can drive alright :P As it was my first ring trip, I now have to learn about the track properly and also I suppose I should really learn how to drive properly too, so trackskills days aplenty for the next few months and a few tweaks to the type 72 for a little extra handling and maybe a little more power?:whistle:

Or maybe I should sell the type 72 and buy an S1 111s, and plough the change into sensible upgrades :blink:

I'm confused :fish:

26-05-2008, 05:23 PM
Welcome, Brian! :thumb:

It was a pleasure to meet you, and I was only too happy to help out in the only way I could. I'm glad you got to enjoy the rest of your trip.

If you want to improve your future Ring driving experiences then I would keep the 72, and perhaps just get some tuition to get the most out of it. Learn the limits of it somewhere relatively safe like an airfield trackday. The rest of it is just down to practice.

Only when you're fully using the potential of the car and wanting more from it do you need to think about performance upgrades. That's why I still have only 120bhp and normal road tyres on mine; the car is still better than I am. Remember that Dave has done over a thousand laps at the Ring, and that is more of a factor in his speed than his fancy shock absorbers.

Having said that, you should really upgrade your brakes, at least the rear pads! Those glazed, worn Greenstuffs are no match for the Pagids you've got on the front.

27-05-2008, 09:01 AM
Nice. You know one end of a camera from the other. :thumb:

27-05-2008, 09:18 AM
Heidelberg is great just after the end of Abitur. :blink: :D

30-05-2008, 04:21 AM
Thanks for the welcome Joel. Again, thank you for your generosity, and for making my trip even more memorable. I managed to enjoy another two laps that day and they were the best ever with my brakes behaving themselves as they should. I have a few regrets, looking back at the whole trip, and the main one was that I didn't get to at least buy you and dave a few drinks. The other regrets are that I didn't do enough laps, didn't go as Pax in my friends cars and should have, but tbh, I had the time of my life, my regrets are little ones :D I will definitely be returning for more next year, possibly even some later this year.

I agree with being able to use the full potential of the car before looking into upgrades, and as edwina (that's her name :blink: ) is a special edition, (Type72) then upgrgading her would very probably take from her appeal when/if selling. I'm taking it on a few more trackdays during the summer, going to try to get to a few in the UK aswell as there are more to choose from over there. I'm limited in my choice here as there really is only one track I can use and it's about 150 miles from where I live, the other is about 300 miles away, unless I'm missing something :blink: I'm also doing a trackskills day in the next month or two and can't wait, it might release some of the potential in me and the car that hasn't been tapped yet. I reckon I'm at a little over 50% of the cars abilities on track and I'm currently on 100% of my own abilities beased on my lack of driver training and general fear of having anything happen to the car as it is also my daily driver....for now;)

When I was talking to Dave at the 'ring, we briefly touched on a trip to Ireland for some hooning. I'm an active member of www.octane.ie We hoon :D a lot.

I'll post again with more details.