Nürburgring (16-18 September 2005)
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The preparation for the Swedish Weekend (2005 edition) consisted of
motivating the Ringbunny to come along,
and to swap the regular street brakepads for Pagid Orange. At this
point I was still expecting to do quite a few laps, so I put some
brand new pads in front, and some older pads that still had plenty of
life in them in the rear.
The tyres are quite worn, but should still last the entire weekend with enough rubber to spare to get me back home.
FridayThe drive over went smoothly, apart from getting a bit sideways on the back road to Adenau. Unintended, mind you. Those rear tyres really didn't have much life left in them.
As the track was still closed I met up with Jon (from the States) and Matt for a spot of lunch at the restaurant Giulia. Fortified with a pizza we made our way to the carpark, where the track openend only a little later than announced. Before that, I lent Jon (from the UK) my 15-year old original Porsche tyre pressure gauge, which promptly gave up the ghost. Oops :(
With the slipperyness of the B-258 and the back road to Adenau foremost in my mind we went for a slow sighting lap. Matt and Jon (from the States) in their 5-series, and I in the 964. Even though the track was quite slimy, grip levels weren't as bad as I'd expected, and by Adenauer Forst I started relaxing a bit. Piloting a 964 on a wet/damp track can be a bit of a challenge, you see. ThoRSten was out there too, overtaking us into Hatzenbach.
After a short break to evaluate the first lap of the weekend we went out for two more laps. On the first I followed Matt for a bit. A red 200SX had come off at Fuchsröhre, depositing tons of crud and most of the plastic bits of his car on the track before coming to a stop on the grass at the lefthand side of the track.
On the second I was leading the way and Matt was following. On the approach to the Hatzenbach complex I overtook the recovery truck that was on its way to collect what was left of the 200SX. Matt had to wait a bit before he could get by the truck, and I decided to make the most of the dryish track and buggered off into the distance. There wasn't too much traffic about, but the percentage of people who didn't know the track seemed relatively high. Quite a few cars and boiks were in the middle of the road before a crest, unsure of whether the track would go straight, turn left, or turn right. Of course the track was closed when we'd finished the lap.
A short walk round the carpark turned up a number of Swedes, including Anders and Ulf. The talk naturally turned to racing and VLN, Porsches, driving, and beer. I also met Paskal, who'd brought a Speedster in addition to his usual 205 GTI.
Of course some people insisted on going past the "Do Not Enter" sign, only to be turned away by the marshalls.
When the track opened I went out for a lap with Jon (from the States). The rear end was feeling more than a little loose. Driving the Ibiza is a completely different proposition than driving the 964. Funnily enough the 964 feels more comfortable than the Ibiza. The controls are a lot heavier, but provide much more feedback. The only thing I missed a bit was the light shifter with short throws of the Ibiza. Other than that the 964 was more relaxing to drive fast, thanks to it being more sure-footed at higher speeds and being able to brake harder (not to mention that the car doesn't feel unsettled when you brake hard; the Ibiza's rear end is all over the place when braking hard). Anyway, despite the multitude of differences between the two cars I quickly got used to driving it hard again: time to start squealing the tyres a bit and brake a little later. The track was again reasonably quiet, and we had a fun lap.
After a short cooldown run I parked the car and was chatting with Bren and Jon (from the USA) when Helen arrived. After Matt finished his lap we all drove to Marc's place in Zermüllen to pick up the Golf.
Matt and Jon did a short testdrive to warm it up, then swapped places and Jon drove it back to TTE and then to the Ring. Meanwhile I filled up the 964 and started my hunt for a new tyre pressure gauge. None of the three filling stations I tried had any.
Helen and I were back at the Ring before Jon (from the USA) and Matt arrived. Matt and Jon (from the USA) went out for a lap in short order.
The carpark was getting rather full by now. Some boikers used an interesting way to video their laps. I don't know if this contraption made it past the marshalls at the gates.
We (well, Helen) had some coffee, and then I went out for another lap. I didn't spot anybody who looked both familiar and angling for a passenger lap, so went out by my lonesome. Paskal was in the queue for the other barrier, driving his red 205. I was out of the gates a bit before him and waited a bit for him to come past, then joined up and started following. Of course the 964 had a bit more power, but the 205 can carry more corner-entry speed. This was very obvious at Aremberg for example. The approach to Adenauer Forst was interesting: I hadn't adjusted the tyre pressures yet, which resulted in a bit of a slidey moment. All in all it was good fun to do a lap in convoy.
The next stop was to adjust the tyre pressures at the ED Tankstelle. Of course some w*nker had parked his vehicle smack in front of the airhose while browsing the magazines inside the shop. After a few minutes I tired of this and figured that I could back the 964 towards the airhose between his vehicle and a pole on the other side. Once this was accomplished adjusting the tyre pressures was a doddle.
Before I could try out the new pressures, Matt intervened by persuading Helen to come for a lap. Of course I had to come too. The downside to this was that it was a rather slow lap, and the track was closing just as we came back. The lap itself was good fun though. We followed Jon in the Golf, with the nav system giving a bird's eye view of where we were. The 5-series had had the Ross-treatment, which results in juddering brakes. It also wallowed a bit through the turns, but it did have a nice smooth engine.
At Adenauer Forst we encountered Jon (from the UK) in his Golf 1.4.
By Mattzgesfeld Matt decided to overtake Jon (from the USA).
The satnav helped us find our way round, but the track was closed when we exited. A bit of a bummer, as I'd wanted to try the adjusted tyre pressures of the 964.
With the Saturday Ringers dinner planned at the Pistenklause we decided to head for the Lindenhof with Jon (from the States), Matt, Alan, Clare, Jon (from the UK), and Helen. On the way over I briefly met Morty from New York, who was there in his oak green 964RS.
Dinner was the usual affair, with Matt waving about explaining something or other, and lots of people telling lots of stories about this, that, and other things. I couldn't resist fixing the rocking of the table by wedging a beermat underneath one of the table legs.
The outside temperatures had fallen quite a bit. Matt had been outside to make a phonecall, and his glasses fogged up when he rejoined us.
After his vision had returned, he started paying his bill with as many small coins as he could muster.
A bit earlier than usual Helen and I made our way back to the B&B. With exquisite timing it started raining when we went inside.