Nürburgring (23-24 April 2005)
One-handed driving


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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With the SquealMobile not Ring-capable and both Golfs out of action, I figured I'd catch a few pax laps and take some piccies today, then head home at a reasonable hour. I should have learned by now that trying to plan a day at the Ring is nearly impossible. However, failing to plan is planning to fail as a colleague of mine is wont to say, so I made a little plan anyway.

The first step was to wander around the carpark in an aimless fashion, taking pics of anything that might be of interest. Such as a host of 356s, some of which even went onto the track. The infectious open-hood disease had struck again too.

356 356 356 356

New to me was the attempt to enforce a one-way system round the carpark. Some people ignored the signs, but despite that traffic flowed much better.

One-way road

At this time of the day there wasn't much need for the one-way system yet.

One-way road One-way road

Somebody had run into the back of the SquealMobile a few days earlier, and I suspected some problems with the alignment, and possibly with the suspension itself too.

Damaged SquealMobile

Fortunately Joerg was there to provide some on-track entertainment by means of a borrowed Merc with rockhard ancient tyres. And an automatic gearbox. And a distinct lack of braking capability. Oh, it also had some stuff inside. Such as a 20" computer monitor. And a computer. And a mobile phone or 3. And some gadget chargers. And a digital camera or two. And a laptop. And an overnight bag. Or two. Not to mention a Vespa-pusher in the right front seat.

Mercedes u-haul

All of this added up to a very entertaining lap. Not the quickest I've ever been, but certainly one of the smoothest rides ever. And that while the three of us carried on a conversation in two languages most of the time.

Traffic was pleasantly light. The occasional boiker was out, but not too many cars yet. After Flugplatz Thorleif came wooshing past in the M3-GT (his CSL wasn't ready yet). On the approach to Aremberg a silver 996 insisted on overtaking us on the wrong side. I was strongly tempted to take a picture of him and report him to the marshalls.

After making room for a GT3 at miss-hit-miss our leisurely drive was rudely interupted by a w*nker in a rented black Passat who was using more testosterone than fuel (or track knowledge). Mr Passat forced his way trough as if he was on his way to victory in a Mille Miglia.

After a bit of tri-lingual cursing we cruised down to Breidscheid in our plush leather seats, and attacked the incline of Ex-Mühle using all the torque the Merc could muster. Traffic seemed to be picking up a little, with more boiks, a nice old 911, and a Lupo that almost fell over turning into Eschbach.

Back in the carpark Joerg showed us some pictures he'd taken to document the transformation of our newly bought Golf to MC-Car status.

Golf pic

While we were discussing the state of the MC-Car, Thorleif parked next to us to let the M3-GT cool down a bit. Only a bit though, as the weather didn't look too promising. When he went out again I selflessly volunteered to come along to guide him round the track. Ahem :) Coming out of the cones we started at a brisk pace. The M3-GT feels quite different from a CSL: the acceleration isn't as brutal, the shifting is done by hand (and the clutch operated by the driver) and much smoother than with the SMG, and there's a bit more bodyroll.

Traffic out on the track was still pleasantly light. A yellow RX8 stood out from the crowd, not only because of the very yellow colour, but also because it was moving at a fair pace. At Hohe Acht he came into view, but it took until Brünnchen-2 to close the gap completely. At that point the RX8 missed the apex, and moved over to let us by.

To finish the lap a Danish 997S was overtaken in Schwalbenschwanz. With a little over 300hp the M3-GT felt a bit quicker than my 964. This was confirmed by the BTG times that were consistently a few seconds faster than my own.

As it was still chilly outside, Thorleif hadn't taken off his sweater before we went out. In between the gantry and the track exit, he pulled off his sweater, with me doing a bit of left-handed steering. At least I managed to get some track driving in this weekend :)

Without wasting much time we went for another lap, with even less traffic than on the previous one. A small group of boikers was going round at a leisurely pace, showing that they were watching their mirrors well by indicating right early.

After a short break in the carpark to get something to drink, we went out for yet another lap. Given that it was only 10.45, I'd had quite a busy morning, and we were only just starting really. Apart from a little Suzuki and a silver 'mericun barge, not much traffic was about during the first half of the lap.

During the second half of the lap there was a bit more traffic around. Interesting other cars were a blue E36 M3 and Gary in his silver GT3. We were slowly catching up to the M3, but we were surprised to be reeling Gary in so quickly. After guessing that he was on a warm-up lap, we noticed that he was talking on the telephone.

On the approach to Hohe Acht the M3 we got reasonably close to the M3 when he pulled over to let us by. He then proceeded to follow us for the rest of the lap.

The next car we encountered was our testosterone-loaded rental-Passat. At least this time we were in the faster car, and I could warn Thorleif about the guy before we got close. Naturally at first Mr. Passat didn't want to move over, and then he wanted to let us by on the wrong side. Now, passing on the wrong side is never a good idea, but it's even dumber to do it with a yellow-vested boiker-marshalls on your tail. After a bit of following Mr. Passat with the left indicator blinking, he got the message and moved over to the correct side of the road. As all of this was happening in Pflanzgarten, it would have been dangerous if there had been faster and/or less patient traffic behind us.

A small van and a large bus rounded off the lap.

The M3-GT could do more laps on a single tank of fuel than the CSL. The extra capacity was put to good use by going out for another lap straight away.

A red Mini was in front of us, and Thorleif had to work really hard to catch up to him. By the time we came to Wehrseifen the gap was still noticable. After Ex-Mühle, the gap hadn't decreased much. Approaching Mutkurve the power of the M3 had closed the gap a little, enough so that the Mini indicated right.

During the rest of the lap the Mini stayed on our tail, making it a very entertaining lap.

In the carpark we spotted the rental Passat, and Thorleif had a little chat with the driver. Or more accurately, he had a little chat with the driver's girlfriend, who translated most of what he said into Italian. I think he finally got the message that since overtaking on the right is illegal, indicating left and leaving room on the right is not such a hot idea.

With the amount of parked cars increasing, Thorleif parked the M3-GT in front of the SquealMobile, and we went for a little stroll around the carpark.

M3 GT M3 CSL Renault Alpine

At the RingTaxi stand we met Sabine, who confirmed that she was very happy with the new M5. Apparently the number of people who followed her round had been significantly reduced thanks to the new M5. This was the first time this year that I'd seen the RingTaxi in its official colours.

Sabine Sabine

The next lap was a fun lap too: we spotted the BastardWagen going out, and decided to do the decent thing by following it round for a bit. It looked like Karl was serious, as he was driving proper lines (spiced up with a bit of local flavour of course) and hitting his apexes.

Going down Fuchsröhre we passed the BastardWagen and continued on our own. With lunchtime approaching the track was getting even quieter than it already was. In Wehrseifen a boiker tried to kill himself by diving across the track in front of us. Fortunately Thorleif anticipated the move.

On the way to Lauda Links we passed one of the Alpines, and on the approach to Mutkurve we caught up to our Italian friend in the rental Passat again. This time he did make room on the correct side.

The weather was looking more and more threatening, so we didn't waste any time and went straight out again. In gloomy conditions such as these the RingTaxi still managed to look shiny and bright.

The section from Quiddelbacher Höhe to Schwedenkreuz must be one of Thorleifs favourites, as he's really quick there. More's the pity that this section wasn't clear of traffic yet again on this lap.

Maybe we had been lucky all morning, but on this lap we were encountering traffic in all the wrong spots, such as just before turning in for Aremberg, the top of Fuchsröhre before the lefthander, and right before Kallenhard.

Up Kesselchen we were overtaken by an E46 M3. Even though the M3-GT was running on street tyres, Thorleif managed to stay with the E46 the rest of the lap.

Back in the carpark we met up with Ross and Karl. Ross was busy showing off his new leathers...


... and his kneesliders that were still in pristine condition. Suz had graciously offered to take them round for a few laps to scrub them in, but that hadn't happened yet.


Still, it was good to see Ross back where he belongs (on a boik); no doubt several cars are grateful for this recovery too.

Ross boik

Luckily some things never change. One of them is surely that Ross is one of the best subjects to take pictures of in the carpark when he's looking at a mobile phone.


Next stop was Ring Racing, to see how the Ecurie Europe was getting on after yesterday's race. When I arrived they were busily cleaning the car, measuring a new sponsor's decal, and removing an ex-sponsor's decal. Job was by far the fastest when it came to removing decals. Experience counts! Apart from some evidence of really close racing, the car was looking very sharp indeed, down to the touched-up towhook.


To kill some time before Formula 1 started I took some pictures near Hohenrain. The light wasn't all that great, but it was good fun to take pictures anyway. Judging by the size of her smile and the air between the left front wheel and the track, Sabine was definitely enjoying herself behind the wheel of the RingTaxi.


Thorleif was taking Tor Helge on a passenger lap.


Bren and Gary were lapping too...

Gary and Bren

... as was this blue Noble.


Todd was having fun with his Impreza...


... and Ross was enjoying being back on a boik. Even though it wasn't all that comfortable yet.


Grey leathers seem to be en vogue this year...


... and Sabine isn't the only camera-aware person on the track.


At this point the track closed because of an accident, and I made my way over to Ring Racing to watch the start of the F1 race. Kimi had to retire with a non-functional car (again). Job was outside working on the TT at the time, but several people were kind enough to inform him that the Mercedes had broken down.

Then it was back to the track again, where I bumped into Tor Helge who invited me for a passenger lap. I still had my hiking boots on, which made getting in even more of a challenge than it normally is, but practice makes perfect. It always amazes me how big the difference is between his 3.8RS and my own C2. The C2 doesn't make all that much noise, and the dual-mass flywheel does an excellent job of dampening transmission vibrations. The RS in contrast grabs you and sucks you into the experience of driving (or riding in) a Porsche.

The first sections were mostly traffic-free, allowing us to enjoy the sounds and sensations the car provided without distractions.

At the top of Fuchsröhre we caught up to a GT3RS. It looked very nice (of course), but didn't quite know where the track was going yet. Tor Helgde kept up effortlessly, which gave us a chance to see the suspension of the GT3RS working over the bumps in Metzgesfeld.

We were still following him when we came to Miss-Hit-Miss, where an accident had taken place. It looked eerily similar to the one where Erwin had rolled his Porsche during the Easter weekend.

Up Kesselchen the GT3RS finally figured out that that bright yellow 964RS behind him was definitely faster everywhere (apart from the straight bits), and he moved over.

All in all a perfect way to end the weekend.

The drive back wasn't all that interesting, except that Job called me that the Polizei were doing speedchecks on the B-258. Not that I ever speed there, but it was kind of him to let me know.

Speedtrap Speedtrap

A bit further along the police were doing another control.

Polizei Polizei

The Squealmobile proved that it still hadn't been fixed properly (after 1.5 engine replacements): the coolant temperature was still not stable at 90 degrees. With a bit of luck it'll stay in one piece a few weeks more, until I take delivery of its successor.

Coolant temp

The further away from the Ring I got, the worse the weather was. On seriously worn tyres the torrential rain wasn't all that much fun.

Rain rain rain

Summary: despite driving a mere 300 meters (left-handed from the passenger seat) another very succesful weekend. Lots of entertaining passenger laps, a good time at the Pistenklause, and the Squealmobile made it home in one piece.

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