Nürburgring (28 August 2005)
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Usually driving in Germany is more pleasant than driving in the
Netherlands. For some reason this wasn't the case today: the number of
silly moves from fellow road users was seemingly endless. This ranged
from pulling into the left lane miles before actally overtaking
somebody to braking in the left lane with nobody in sight.
Things weren't very different on the Ring. With good weather forecast for the entire day, I'd expected it to be busy. And it certainly was. I went straight out for a slow sighting lap, during which I was held up half the time by slower traffic, had to find a way to let the Edo Porsche and the Ringtaxi by, and had to use the emergency indicators twice for crashes and/or recoveries-in-progress. A waste of good fuel, really. The choice of whether or not to go for another lap was made extremely easy: the track was closed when I returned. No surprise, really.
I met Dave and Gary in the carpark, and according to Dave the madhouse had started before 10am this time. Pity I missed the hour and a half of decent tracktime, but you can't be there at 8am every time :) With the track closed I made my way to Brünnchen to take some pictures.
Luckily there's always something interesting to see at the Nordschleife, even when the track itself is closed.
For a change the weather forecast wasn't very different from the actual weather. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and thanks to the track being closed you could hear bees buzzing.
The original plan was to take some pics of cars coming over the Wippermann kerbs, but the track was still closed when I got there. By the time I'd made it to Hohe Acht the track had opened again. A number of regulars was doing the rounds (the Ringmini, Stelvio). For some reason lots of 'mericuns were out there too.
James was chauffeuring his sister round in an S4.
After a bit I moved down the hill and took some more pics. My Ibiza wasn't alone today. It certainly looks nice in yellow too.
Of course it didn't take long for the track to close again, giving me ample time to look at the local wildlife.
It also gave me plenty of time to walk down to the Karussell. About 4 other photographers arrived when the track opened again, but for some reason they soon left. James came by again, this time in a Lancia Delta, waving to the not very impressive crowd.
Some photographers came prepared, carrying two tripods, folding chair and what-not.
Of course the track closed yet again, and I made my way back to the car, spotting a 911 Speedster on the way. No doubt somebody knows if it's genuine or not (the wheels weren't).
The roundabout near the Zufahrt was being used as an overflow carpark. This didn't really work well, as not everybody knew that some of the cars in the roundabout weren't going to move until the track opened again...
To stay with the parking theme, it never ceases to amaze me that people insist on "parking" their car in the middle of the road after passing 3 empty spaces, at a distance of a mere 50cm to the nearest free spot, and apparently unconcerned about blocking people who want to leave their parking spot.
Meanwhile, Gary had switched to ScoobyDo, and I showed off some of my Ringtaxi pics to Dave and Clair while a recovery trucks made one of many journeys.
A quick wander round the carpark turned up the most hideous Cayenne I've ever seen. Not that I've ever seen one I like, mind you.
In the other carpark the trend of "park your car in the middle of the road" continued.
A quick chat with Caz told me that Jocke had taken on a part-time job as a driver for the walking wounded: the news was rather sketchy, but it seemed as if Jochen had hurt his head and needed to go to the hospital. He was around again at the end of the day, but I didn't get a chance to talk to him to find out what had happened. I also spotted the Stig, who was doing an incognito trip to the Ring in a Golf GTI.
The track seemed quite busy still: time to take some more pics, starting off with the Edo truck.
As it was already pretty late I didn't want to go too far and settled on the entry to Hohenrain. Christian was doing some laps in the 968, which had been given the temporary duty of Weddingwagon.
As always, you can find the full set of pics at my fotopic.net site.
At 18.15 I went back to the Zufahrt to do some more laps myself. The first of these would be in convoy with Jocke and Caz following me. Caz had told me earlier that Jocke had had a "slidey moment". It wasn't until I saw the boik that I realised that the boik wasn't alone in sliding; Jocke had been doing some sliding too. At least there had been lots of sparks flying around, and both Jocke and the boik were OK, except for some scratches here and there, probably because Jocke had the good sense to do his thing at Steilstrecken instead of going down to Breidscheid.
The lap we did was good fun, especially for me when watching Jocke wheelying that big boik of his. The track was also getting less busy, and I was looking forward to doing some more laps. However, at Wippermann the marshalls were very busy cleaning up another crash, and when we finished the lap the track was closed. A few minutes later it was announced that the track wouldn't open again that day, but that everybody was welcome to come back tomorrow afternoon. I guess they got fed up with cleaning up after so many crashes, and that they didn't fancy opening the track with so little tracktime left as that might well result in yet another crash.
The premature closing of the track stopped my lapcounter at a meager
two, but resulted in me arriving home a bit earlier than I'd expected.