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Nürburgring (10 October 2004)
There and back again

Intro

Trips
Trip 1 (Easter 2002)
Trip 2 (May 2002)
2002 24H (June)
Trip 3 (June 2002)
Trip 4 (July 2002)
Trip 5 (August 2002)
Trip 6 (August 2002)
Trip 7 (September 2002)
Trip 8 (September 2002)
Trip 9 (September 2002)
Trip 10 (November 2002)
Trip 11 (March 2003)
Trip 12 (April 2003)
Trip 13 (Easter 2003)
Trip 14 (May 2003)
Trip 15 (May 2003)
Trip 16 (June 2003)
Trip 17 (July 2003)
Trip 18 (August 2003)
Trip 19 (August 2003)
Trip 20 (September 2003)
Trip 21 (November 2003)
Trip 22 (November 2003)
Trip 23 (November 2003)
Trip 24 (February 2004)
Trip 25 (March 2004)
Trip 26 (April 2004)
Trip 27 (April 2004)
Trip 28 (May 2004)
Trip 29 (May 2004)
Trip 31 (July/August 2004)
Trip 32 (August 2004)
Trip 33 (September 2004)
Trip 34 (October 2004)
Trip 35 (October 2004)
Trip 36 (October 2004)
Trip 37 (November 2004)
Trip 38 (November 2004)
Trip 39 (November 2004)
Trip 40 (March 2005)
Trip 41 (April 2005)
Trip 42 (April 2005)
Trip 43 (April 2005)
Trip 44 (May 2005)
Trip 45 (June 2005)
Trip 46 (July 2005)
Trip 47 (August 2005)
Trip 48 (August 2005)
Trip 49 (August 2005)
Trip 50 (August 2005)
Trip 51 (September 2005)
Trip 52 (October 2005)
Trip 53 (March 2006)
Trip 54 (April 2006)
Trip 55 (Easter 2006)
Trip 56 (April 2006)
Trip 57 (May 2006)
Trip 58 (June 2006)
Trip 59 (July 2006)
Trip 60 (August 2006)
Trip 61 (April 2007)
Trip 62 (April 2007)
Trip 63 (June 2007)
Trip 64 (August 2007)
Trip 65 (September 2007)
Trip 66 (November 2007)
Trip 67 (May 2008)
Trip 68 (May 2008)
Trip 69 (June 2008)
Trip 70 (July 2008)
Trip 71 (September 2008)

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Sabine Schmitz
Intro
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Video: 24H-rennen lap
Meets Jeremy Clarkson
Video: Inside the Ring Taxi

Odd bits
The Ring in print
Preparing for the first laps
24h 2006 torrent
Sĝren having fun with his M3
Ringers quiz 2002
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Jĝrund Seim
Intro
Video: Lap of Legends
Video: Hire van

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The sun was shining, the oil topped up, the tyre pressures set, the camera batteries charged; in other words I was ready to go.

Sunny day Sunny day

This time the SquealMobile got to play on the Ring, because the 964 is getting some TLC (its annual service) from a newly started independent Porsche mechanic. He was "my" mechanic at the OPC until the OPC went tits up. Fortunately he decided to start his own business, "Rennsport", in Breda. Drop me a line at the usual address if you want more information about Rennsport. End of commercial :)

Along the way the trees had started to change colour. A lot of green had been replaced by different hues of brown and yellow.

Fall is in the air

Of course there was the usual idiot who tried to get himself killed by overtaking very slowly just before a crest. The overtake was slow enough for me to unpack my Ixus, start it up (which takes half of forever), switch it to infinity focus, focus, and take a picture. Within two seconds of him pulling back into his own lane a Golf came flying over the crest at full tilt...

Idiot

Despite the wonderful weather some people insisted on keeping the roof up.

Why keep the roof up?

When I arrived I did a Euan by going straight out for a lap without bothering with parking the car. The Bad Dragon left the gates at the same time as I, and I decided to follow him round for a bit. The pace was very relaxed, perfect for a first lap of the day. I did notice that the Dragon seemed so fond of the turns that he started them a little early.

Afterwards we had a little chat, and then it was time for a little stroll round the parking lot to see if there were any familiar faces around. Before I found any, I noticed that the marshalls were making sure that people didn't park in the toilets.

No parking

Of course there was the usual amount of interesting cars around, including a souped-up Beetle...

Souped-up Beetle

... and a race-prepped Jaguar (with rally trip computer and full harnesses) ...

Very nice Jaguar

... a quad ...

Quad

... a yellow Lambo ...

Yellow Lamborghini

... and another souped-up Beetle, though this one was slightly older than the silver one pictured above.

Souped-up Beetle

I also ran into Anders (the other one), from Team Schwedenkreuz. We caught up on the state of the repairs of the team's M3, and a variety of car and racing related things, until Anders went out for one last lap before picking up Johan at Ring Racing.

Team Schwedenkreuz support vehicle

I followed Anders' example and went out for another lap myself. The track was getting busier, and I decided to just the one lap and set up camp in the Wippermann area to take pictures afterwards. Traffic was getting a bit thicker, but still not too busy. The yellow warning light was on at Metzgesfeld, so I took it easy round the next few bends. The incident was in Lovejoy Lane, and Fabian was on the scene.

On the approach to Eiskurve an American barge was using the "indicate in the direction where you want to be passed" system. Not real smart, and definitely not in compliance with the rules. At least he wanted me to pass him on the correct side.

When I got back the track was closed. Having arrived at my picture-taking spot I found out why. Apparantly a Porsche had aborted an overtaking manoever into Hohe Acht by slamming on the brakes. A biker that was following him (a mate of Fabian's) couldn't match the Porsche's decelleration and ran into the back of it, coming off his bike as a result.

I had a long chat with a witness, Fabian (who was also present at these incident scene), and one of the marshalls. The Polizei were there too, and it'll probably be one of those cases of "Why did you brake so hard?" versus "Why did you follow so closely?". At least the biker was OK, apart from being sore in several places, and needing to go to hospital to check if he'd broken some bones or not.

The chatting went on even after the track opened, and it was interesting to see 5 or 6 overtakes round the outside there, all without any problems. All the while the sun was descending and it got a little chilly. After saying goodbye to the friendly S3-driver I'd been talking to I found a good spot to take some pictures.

As is often the case after a longer closure, traffic was quite dense sometimes.

Busy track

The average speed seemed to be quite high, though at least one driver who went round in great comfort was a bit slower.

Nice Nicely washed

Some boikers were moving along real quick, sometimes even with a passenger on the back.

Two-up Boik Boik

One car still had its bra on. Falco had decided on another way of making a silver GT3 stand out from the crowd: an orange stripe along the top of the car.

Bra Falco GT3RS

After a little while the inevitable happened: an S2000 crashed at Wippermann, necessitating another closure. Nobody was hurt, but the suspension on the car looked rather bent.

S2000 oops S2000 oops

I used the break to change positions to Eschbach, where the Eifel trees provided a nice backdrop.

M3 convoy

Not every 3-series took a smooth line into Eschbach...

Oops Oops Oops Oops Oops Oops Oops

The yellow Lambo I'd seen in the parking lot also did a lap.

Lambo

Johannes was there in the white E30. There were also some old Fords on the track, and one of them was in the process of losing its exhaust.

Johannes Exhaust falling off Old Ford

A Golf tried to copy the E30 by nearly hitting the armco on the approach to Eschbach.

Oops Oops Oops

To round things off I took some panning shots. Even though I know next to nothing about boiks (other than that they fall over if you come to a stop), I like taking pictures of them.

Boik Boik Boik Boik Boik Boik

A little over 400 pictures later the track was getting quiet: time to do some more laps. The SquealMobile was doing a good job at squealing round the corners. It was also going quite quickly. Despite losing momentum at Bergwerk and Steilstreckenkurve, and being held up a bit once or twice, I got the impression that I wasn't far off my fastest time in the SquealMobile (which is 9.57 BTG).

Three laps in succession seemed to last only a few minutes. The temptation to do "just one more lap" was strong, but I decided to call it a day. I'd driven some good laps, taken some decent pictures, had a good time socially, and I was getting hungry: time to head home.

On the way back an amusing situation occurred: a BMW 740iL decided to ignore my right of way and muscle himself in front of me entering a roundabout. He continued making an ass of himself (weaving, tailgating, flashing his headlights at whoever happened to be in front of him). Despite that I stayed with him easily, until we took the same sliproad to the next highway. This particular sliproad starts as single-lane, but widens to two lanes a little bit after the start of the turn, and then narrows to a single lane again at the end of the turn. The 740 braked, I didn't, I'd timed it right, shot by him with the SquealMobile squealing with delight, and merged back into the right lane some 30 meters ahead of him :-) Of course he came storming past at the first opportunity (read: on the first bit of straight road), but I didn't see that as much of an achievement with twice the number of cylinders and 2.5 times the displacement of the SquealMobile.