Nürburgring (6-7 August 2005)
More CSL action


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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To be at the Ring at a reasonable hour I set off relatively early. Apparently not early enough to avoid some interesting traffic situations though. The best (or worst) of these happened when I was about to take a turn-off from one highway onto another. Suddenly the two cars ahead of me slammed on the brakes (hard enough that the emergency indicators of the Pug immediately in front of me were automatically activated). At more or less the same time I saw a Merc 190 on the white-painted triangle between the highway and the sliproad. It had come to a stop there, probably confused by the overwhelming number of choices (continue straight on or exit), and had decided that taking the exit was what they (the elderly couple inside) wanted.

Now, coming to a full stop on a highway isn't all that extraordinary. However, in the usual case you stop because there are cars stopping in front of you. That's called a traffic jam. In this case there were no cars to be seen, apart from the two cars in front of me, the Merc, and myself. Anyway, old-man-Merc decided to start moving again, into the exit lane. At about 5km/h. For some reason the in the first car braked to let him in, instead of keeping going. The car in front of me hadn't expected such lunacy, and neither had I. So the Pug slammed on the brakes, and I figured that the best solution would be to floor it and use the hard shoulder. I might have been able to come to a full stop before hitting the Pug in front of me, but it looked a bit iffy. I also knew that I'd just overtaken a few cars, and that there was a high probability of at least one of them taking this exit. Anyway, nobody hit anything, but I did feel like having a little conversation with old-man-Merc. Then again, it's an illusion to think that you can change their behaviour anyway.

Having arrived at the Ring in an undented car the first mission was to buy some bread for Sunday morning. Even though some Danish people find it hard to believe, the Germans are much better at baking bread than the Dutch. Thanks to Karl I knew where to find the best bakery in Adenau, and made my way over there. At least, that was the plan. However, when I left the gates, I spotted Jochen. So instead of a half lap at a sedate pace we did a full lap together at a slightly faster pace, and it was excellent fun.

A lap and a half later I pulled off at Breidscheid to do the shopping. In addition to some crunchy Brötchen I stopped off at the ReWe to get some Orange Juice. I bought the same stuff as last time, just to make sure that the lack of Juicy Bits I'd noticed then wasn't a one-off. It wasn't.

The track was still open, which allowed me to take the fast way back to the carpark. The track was closed and I parked the Torquemobile in the carpark acrosss the road. Here I met Pawel (X5 rental) and Soren (in the 318is). After a bit of chatting we moved to the carpark near the office, and met Ben, Tom, Steve, Jochen, and various others. The closure was due to a boik that had gone down at Hatzenbach. Hatzenbach seems to be a popular place for boikers to go down this year. In a car it does feel very slippery when it has rained, probably even more slippery than it looks.

When the track opened I took Soren for some laps in the Torquemobile. The idea was to take it slow and let Pawel follow us, but at the gates we saw Jochen in the Alfa 155, which put paid to the let's-drive-slowly plan even before we started the lap. According to Jochen the Torquemobile was a bit quicker exiting the corners, especially on the uphill bits. The first half of the lap was good fun, but then we encountered some seriously annoying boikers of the point-and-squirt variety. Not that it matters, but they had Italian plates. At one point I just dropped back for a while to let them get away, but within a corner or two we were on their tails again. Kind of annoying when they do look, see you a few meters behind in every corner, and still blat away immediately afterward.

The second lap went in much the same fashion: apart from being held up by a few boiks it was a nice and reasonably quick lap. The Torquemobile's tyres were squealing a lot, but the brakes were holding up nicely. Much better than the Squealmobile, all in all.

In the carpark we admired Ben's Z4, and Soren (who's an expert on BMW and Audi navigation systems) immediately pointed out that it had the something-or-other navigation system. Of course I asked how he could spot that so quickly, but the trick to being an expert seems to be the ability to read the small print on the faceplate of the navi.

Slightly less subtle was the co-driver of the car pictured below. At least they'd had the decency to give her some clothes before they went out.

Interesting co-driver

Before the next lap a 'mericun guy (David) approached me: he'd read some of my trip reports, and as this was his first visit to the Nordschleife he asked if he could come for a passenger lap. I was just about to go out with Joerg, but that was no problem as Joerg has a 1-lap stomach. I arranged for David to be at the gate in 10 minutes time so that he could trade places with Joerg without me going into the carpark again.

The lap with Joerg was entertaining: Ben had gone out of the gates a little bit ahead of us, but thanks to the diversion at T13 we could catch up again. After that we finished the lap in convoy, Joerg jumped out, David jumped in, and we set off after Ben again. This time it took a little longer, but by the time we came to the crest before Schwedenkreuz the gap had been closed. At Aremberg Ben waved us past, and we did the rest of the lap in convoy, but this time with the Torquemobile in front. The most entertaining part of the lap was Fuchsröhre. The track was quite busy now (everybody had had lunch and the sun was shining), and there was some slow traffic on the uphill stretch. The slower car indicated to the right and made room, but due to the lefthand corner coming up that room wouldn't be available for ever, so I carried quite a bit of speed on a tight line. An "I'll sort it out for the next bend" kind of line. Nothing that a bit of braking and tyre squealing couldn't fix :-)

The Capri club of Portugal was at the Ring too. They were on a European adventure, and the Nordschleife was part of it. Earlier that day I'd overtaken the entire convoy on the track.

Capri club Portugal Capri club Portugal

After a bit more standing around, chatting and enjoying the nice weather, it was time for a real treat: some pax laps in Joerg's Elise. With the roof off getting in was easy. I even remembered not to hang on to the A-pillar while getting in.

We did two relaxed laps, enjoying the sun, the wind, the sounds, and the feel of the Elise going over the track. Excellent fun.

At the end of the lap Keith appeared in the rearview mirror. For some reason both he and Ben were sticking their hands out of the (of course) open roof. Ah well, Ringers :-)

The second lap was more of the same: a lovely car on a lovely track, going round swiftly.

Keith followed us round for a bit, but decided to overtake us and continue at his usual pace at Hatzenbach. Traffic was picking up: as sometimes happens we saw more traffic on this lap than on 3 or 4 previous laps combined.

At Schwalbenschwanz we overtook Fabian (who was taking a break from flagging at accident scenes) in his Mazda.

Then it was time to get some gas, which proved rather difficult as the ED Tankstelle was blocked solid. After going round we tried again with more luck. Meanwhile it looked as if Euan had been stopped by the police, but it turned out to be James.

Going round James, not Euan

Thorleif was in for a refill too.


After some more carpark time I invited Steve to come for a lap in the Torquemobile. Apart from the suspension and brakes the two cars felt identical, and if he closed his eyes he could swear that he was in the Skoda. The brakes do seem a bit better: they haven't started to rumble yet, even though they've seen a fair bit of Nordschleife action by now. Jochen was around to capture the moment.

Pic courtesy of Jochen

Afterwards we had a nice long chat about this, that, cars, engines, pipelines and mortgages, before I went to the Wippermann area to take some pics in the fading light. As always, all the halfway-decent pictures can be found on my fotopic site.

One of the first cars to come through was Thorleif in the M3 CSL. The car is easy to spot visually thanks to the "M3 CSL" license plate and the paintjob, and aurally thanks to the sound of the CSL engine. Another easy-to-spot car was Gary's Carrera GT. The red and the purple 964 were going round in convoy again. Euan and James were doing a blue-968 convoy.

Thorleif Wippermann Gary Wippermann Wippermann Wippermann Wippermann Wippermann Wippermann Wippermann Wippermann James + Euan Wippermann Wippermann Euan

After a bit I moved into Wippermann proper, where I saw Gary, Andy, Soren and Joerg.

Gary Andy Soren Joerg

After that came a slow BMW that left a big trail of fluids. The traffic that came along after the BMW was already slowing down.

Slowing down

After a couple more shots I went back to the car to get in some laps myself before the track closed for the day. As it turned out there was only time for a single lap, but it was one of the best laps this year. Keith was out of the gates only a few meters ahead of me, and he waved me past. Keith+Speedster is faster than JW+Torquemobile, but the idea seemed to be that following me would be more fun than doing just another fast lap.

Consequently, I was going as fast as the Torquemobile could propel me, and Keith (with Ruud in the passenger seat) glued the Speedster to my rear bumper. On some corners he managed to exit a meter off the outside kerb while I was sliding against it. Impressive car, the Speedster. The only section where I managed to pull away ever so slightly was Fuchsröhre. It's not very sensible to stick to someone's bumper through there, so Keith dropped back a few meters. I on the other hand decided that after building more and more speed up there over the past laps, it was time to keep it nailed. The tough suspension on the Torquemobile definitely helps there. No more weird clunking noises when going throug the compression, and the car is much more stable when starting to brake on the uphill section.

The rest of the lap was more of the same: Keith staying very close to my bumper and hardly any other traffic to be seen anywhere. Galgenkopf deserves mentioning: I'd been pushing the car quite hard, and the tyres were eltting me know that they'd had about enough. The first part of Galgenkopf ended with a bit more understeer than I'd planned, but that's why you leave margins. All in all an excellently entertaining lap. Back in the carpark Keith and Ruud told me that they'd had lots of fun following me in the Torquemobile.

Some people had had less fun. An Audi S-something that had been going round on (and sometimes a little over) the limit had kissed the armco. The damage was nicely distributed over the front and rear of the car.


Ed finally made an appearance too: we were due for an RCCS-meeting at the Pistenklause, but Ed couldn't get away in time to take advantage of the last minutes of open track.

The End

When we got to the Pistenklause they weren't quite ready for us yet. The table had been booked for 20.00 hours, and as it was only 19.42 hours, it wasn't free yet. Consequently I set up my laptop outside under the stairs to start transfering today's pictures to put a little slideshow together. While I was doing that, Keith found out that his snacks had done a Houdini by liberating themselves from their respective bags while locked inside his helmet-bag, creating a bit of a mess by rubbing chocolate into the helmet-bag-liner, and by putting crumbs everywhere. Luckily the Cola Light hadn't managed to unscrew its cap.

Snack-bag Snack-bag

Despite this bit of impromptu entertainment for the assembled audience, it was getting a bit chilly outside. Luckily our table became available after a few minutes' wait.

Brrrrrrr.... Cold!

Inside, the usual seating arrangement (high-tech on one end, low-tech on the other) was upset by the RCCS-meeting. With all of us there (except Matt), we claimed the high-tech end of the table. The chief reason for that end being high-tech is that it is near a power outlet. Naturally somebody had to plug in a plug; this time it was Ed doing the honours.

Ahhhh... Done!

A mandatory item on the agenda of every Ringers dinner is the group shot. Tonight it was Birgit's turn. As revenge for my poor framing while juggling 3 or 4 cameras last time, Birgit decided to do a group shot with only my hands showing. It can be admired in all its glory in Ben's trip report.

Group shot

With the slideshow finished, I put my laptop at the head of the table. This allowed most people to see the pictures reasonably well, apart from Keith who ended up sitting behind the screen. With a little mirror (courtesy of Birgit) he could still see the pics. Of course this was a Kodak moment, to be captured on compact flash for posterity and trip reports.

Mirror shot

One of the nice things about slideshows is that they cycle through the pics all by themselves. Until somebody (let's call him Ben, shall we?) interrupts the show. Once it's been interrupted, it's back to the "press a key to advance to the next pic" method.

Slideshow prompter

At the low-tech end of the table the ladies had ordered a small salad. In keeping with the typical German meal-sizing they appeared bigger on the plate than in the menu.

Small salad

This being a DTM-weekend, the Pistenklause was filled to the seams. A slight downside of this was that the waiters and waitresses got a little stressed (resulting in some dropped plates and glasses, and a customer cut by some flying glass) and couldn't quite keep up with the rate Ringers empty their glasses.


As this was supposed to be a one-day trip I hadn't booked a room. However, thanks to the RCCS-meeting running a bit late, and having some unfinished business, I decided to come back on Sunday. Which saw me driving home at 22.30, and arriving back at the carpark around 11.00 on Sunday morning.


With dark clouds looming everywhere I did a Euan when I arrived. Jochen was in position to freeze the speed at Hohenrain.

Pic courtesy of Jochen Pic courtesy of Jochen

Halfway through the lap Thorleif called me to ask where I was (going up Ex-Mühle), and arranged to meet in the carpark in 5 minutes. When I found him he was chatting to another Norwegian CSL-owner (Hakan) who complained that his engine compartment was dirty. He also mentioned that Thorleif's engine compartment wasn't just dirty, it was very dirty: see the pictures below.

Dirty engine Very dirty engine

Since it was dry Thorleif and I went out for a few laps in the CSL. The previous time I'd been in it, the car was on regular tyres. This time it was on cup tyres, which should make a big difference. Cup tyres do have two downsides: they need a bit of temperature in them before they really start to grip properly, and they don't have much tread. Especially the rears from this set didn't have much tread left. But hey, it's dry, so that's no problem, right? Right, until it starts raining when you're not even through Tiergarten.

The rest of the lap was entertaining: there was no grip at all, and the car was letting us know about it by twitching the rear end every time Thorleif caressed the throttle with his big toe. Apart from a Z4 everybody overtook us.

Some of them with impressive speed differences, such as the highly tuned red Seat Leon, or a Civic Type R.

In contrast to last time, this 996 C4S didn't hold us up. It was quite obvious that it didn't have many problems putting power down on the wet surface.

After some lunch the sun was shining again. Some Caterfields (or Westhams) had brought their own mobile carports to keep the interior of the cars dry(-ish).

Mobile carport

After a few minutes of chitchat with various people to give the track a chance to dry out a bit, we climbed into the CSL again for another try. Thorleif hadn't started the engine yet, or it started to rain again. Better wait a bit more, then.

More rain

Another 45 minutes the conditions looked reasonable again, and we set off for a second set of laps. This time there was a dryish line in some places, alternated with bits of fully dry and fully wet.

The tyres were still cold, and hadn't started to grip much yet. By the end of the lap things were improving though, and we managed to overtake 40 people in one go.

The following two laps went exponentially faster, and by the end of the third lap the grip had improved phenomenally when compared to the first laps of the day. Consequently nobody was overtaking us anymore, and even going offline a bit to overtake people didn't reduce the grip levels all that much. Amazing what a difference a few degrees of tyre temperature makes.

During the fourth lap more and more rain started coming down, and it didn't make much sense to stay out for another lap. Even though the carpark wasn't very busy by sunny bank holiday Sunday standards, it was still a busy place. It's also a carpark in the ordinary sense: you cannot "claim" or "reserve" a spot. Some people still try to do that of course, for example by putting a spare tyre in an empty parking spot. As all the other spots seemed to be full, I jumped out of the CSL and moved one of those spare tyres to make room for Thorleif.

Reserved for ...

The new number plate on the CSL matches the rest of the car perfectly.

Nice plate

Over on the other side of the carpark somebody was doing his best to fix his car after a little oops.


Euan, Soren and Tor Helge were on their way to a trip through the south of France and some Alps. To help Euan remember what the Stelvio pass looked like I'd printed out one the pictures I'd taken of it last year. The 50x75cm print-out looked great, even if I say so myself.


I had time for two more laps in the Torquemobile before I had to start heading home. Euan came along in the passenger seat. Grip levels were vary variable, but the Torquemobile made the most of it. By now it has also learned how to squeal properly.

Near Schwedenkreuz a car approached from behind: Thorleif in the M3 CSL. With a damp Fuchsröhre ahead I figured that he wouldn't mind me stying ahead until after Aremberg. After all, Fuchsröhre is a section that suits the Torquemobile very well, even in the damp. After Aremberg Thorleif pulled away easily.

Bergwerk was the usual damp/wet, but Kesselchen had a surprise in store: out of the corner of my eye I saw a small object flying towards us. It was a small bird that thought it could fly across the track in front of us. Unfortunately it misjudged the Torquemobile's speed a bit and hit the windscreen right in front of Euan. Luckily it didn't damage the windscreen.

The run up to Hohe Acht was reasonably dry again, as was Pflanzgarten. At the gantry Thorleif was still more or less in sight, and we pulled alongside for a thumbs-up.

The second lap was even more entertaining. By now it had started to rain in several places, making the conditions even more tricky. What made this lap really enjoyable was that it was a convoy lap with Thorleif in the CSL. Euan and I started out in front, but Thorleif zoomed past on the approach to Lauda Links.

Kesselchen was an unfair dragrace, until Thorleif lifted to let me catch up again, and let me by after Mutkurve.

Both of us were making the most of the little bit of grip the track offered as neither of us was hanging about. The track had gotten well and truly wet now, and despite the worn cup tyres on the CSL there was no way to shake Thorleif. Into Brünnchen I moved over to let him get ahead again.

Brünnchen-II was a good example: I gently tried to put some power down 4 or 5 times, but was rewarded with wheelspin and understeer every time. In hindsight I might have gone a smidgen faster if I'd switched the ESP back on as that limits wheelspin of the inside front wheel, but this was more fun.

The rest of the lap was more of the same but in dryer but trickier conditions. Apart from a short lift before turning in for the big jump at Pflanzgarten I kept my foot firmly on the floor and the Torquemobile kept accelerating quite nicely in sixth gear. Enough so that we didn't totally lose sight of the M3 CSL in front of us.

I really wanted to be out of Nürburg before 15.00 because of the traffic jams that are usually created by the DTM-crowd. By dropping Euan off immediately after coming off the track I barely made it before the massive one-way system on all the roads in the vicinity of the Ring was put into action.