Nürburgring (17-21 April 2003)
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ThursdayAs usual, everything was perfectly planned. And as usual, it only took a few hours of reality to mess up my perfect planning. Which meant that I had to skip washing the car. Now I don't much like washing my car, but this weekend Ben had organised a Porsche photo-shoot. I figured I'd better stick mine in an unobtrusive spot in the back row.
Apart from that little hiccup the by-now expected traffic jams around Koln caused a slightly longer delay than usual. But: every disadvantage has its advantage, as Johan Cruijff is wont to say. Thanks to the terrific weather I could really enjoy my newly refurbished airconditioning. In addition, the oil cooling systems got a workout too.
First stop was Sliders Guesthouse where I dropped off my overnight things. From there a nice and relaxing drive saw me arriving at the Ring 2 minutes before it was supposed to open. Within minutes I spotted lots of familiar faces. To name but a few: Sir Bastard, Euan, Lars K., Lars H. (a.k.a. the Duracell Bunny), Jeppe (with Civic Type-Ring), Jocke, Caz, Joerg and Søren.
Euan's 968CS was duly admired, and so was a slightly older SSK. After the initial rush to the gates had abated I went out for a sighting lap. Some armco between Karussell and Hohe Acht was being replaced, but other than that things were fine. Back in the carpark I saw Anders arriving while Thorsten was going out. And to continue the Swedish theme: I also recognised the silver 993RS from last week (safely back from Mickey) and had a quick chat with the driver of a Swedish purplish 964 to demonstrate my gas pedal extension.
During my off-track cool-down lap I passed the SSK going the other way: it sounded stunning. Some would even call it horny ;-)
Lap two of the afternoon took place with Søren in the passenger seat. It had been a long time since his previous passenger lap in the 964. This one was a bit quicker than the one from last year :-)
On lap three I took Joerg around, who'd never been in my 964 before. It felt like a reasonably quick lap, but without video it's hard to tell how fast I was going. For some reason Pflanzgarten III still felt a bit slippery. Joerg then kindly took me round in his Elise. Always a pleasure, riding in an Elise. It feels so much like a proper sportscar: the engine makes a wonderful noise, you feel the suspension working, and from the passenger seat it seems to turn in very crisply. Getting out again takes some practice, though it's still easier than getting out of a GT3 with roll cage and lots of stuff behind the passenger seat :-)
In the car park I found out that Anders was having some problems with his car: the left front tyre was rubbing. As a result the GT3 spent quite a bit of time going back and forth to Manthey Racing instead of going round on the track.
Other carpark entertainment consisted of a dog with sunglasses (radical chic) and a Radical (radical chic).
By consensus the evening's entertainment took place at the Lindenhof, given that the Ringers dinners of both Friday and Saturday would take place at the Fuchsröhre. Some variation was therefore called for. At the table I met Tony (not from Sweden) and re-acquainted myself with Adrian. Lots of circuit-talk ensued, interrupted with things like a between-the-beers slalom with a tiny radio-controlled car. Afterwards I drove back to Sliders in convoy with Joerg.