Nürburgring (30 September 2007)
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|As the weather was nice we (Adri was along too) decided to approach
the Ring via the B257 instead of my usual choice, the B258. Even
though the Eifel is a nice enough area to travel through, after 64
trips a bit of variation is more than welcome.
We entered the track at Breidscheid and proceeded with our reconnaissance. Traffic was about average (both in volume and in behaviour), and the track was nice and dry. Afterwards we detoured round the local industrial estate to have a closer look at the premises of Manthey Motors.
The idea was that I would do a lap or three on my own, but that plan was cut short by some seriously funny handling at two or three places, leading me to suspect the tyre pressures. As I wasn't going all that fast, I was surprised to feel the back step out quite a bit on turning in for Adenauer Forst, for example. I picked up Adri, and we had a good look at the tyres, checked the pressures, and couldn't find anything out of the ordinary. I guess it may have been a fluid spill, then. If it was, I'm certainly glad I wasn't in a hurry. Not to mention that having 4 wheels instead of 2 helped a lot.
With the track closed a short break was called for, and after a bit of texting we went to Brünnchen to meet up with Jon.
Some of the usual suspects went past when the track opened again. The red 911 that lifted its inside front wheel upon turn-in certainly looked the business.
Steve was there too.
Sometimes the track got quite busy.
Bigger isn't always better, but it can be a lot of fun.
After a little while we moved up the hill a bit.
The expression of this passenger was interesting...
Next on the agenda was some laps in the passenger seat of the C-Car, with Jon driving. Getting in was easy, but adjusting the straps of the harness was a pain. During the first lap we could have been forgiven to think that it was a BMW-only trackday.
We did encounter some other traffic, but the second lap was much better traffic-wise, and we had a chance to string several corners together into flowing sequences.
Not all cars had made it through the weekend without a scratch. A silver E46 had covered his up with some matching duct tape.
The new FIA-fencing I'd been reading about looks horrible. In fact, it looks worse than horrible. At times it makes you feel as if you're driving in a cage. The unique ambience of the Nordschleife as the last place to stand mere feet away from racing cars going full blast is about to be ended. It'll be interesting to see how many places remain where you can still take decent pictures. By the looks of it, most of the usual spots will loose their charm because it'd be like looking at monkeys in a zoo. But I digress.
Despite the downer of having to look at huge fences instead of trees and vistas of hills and castles, the remainder of the laps was good fun. Jon certainly hadn't forgotten which way the track goes.
The big pickup truck made another appearance, as did the duct-taped M3.
During the next, longer closure Jon piled into the back seat of the Seat, and we went to Ron Simons of the Alfa 75 Experience to visit Ed.
When we heard the track re-opening, I proposed we do a 3-up lap in the little shopping trolley. Adri and Jon were up for that, and off we went. Except that it turned into 3.5 laps. The highlight of these laps (apart from overtaking a GT3) was seeing a big black Audi slowly closing in on us from Wippermann to Pflanzgarten, and us not realizing that is was an RS4 until it overtook us on the approach to Schwalbenschwanz. Pretty decent car, the Ibiza :)
Adri and I had some Currywurst mit Pommes at the ED Tankstelle.
Somewhere in the middle Dave turned up for a refill of his Elise. I
popped over for a quick chat (the Elise doesn't seem to need all that
much fuel). With a sideways look at the clock Adri and I decided to
call it a day and started the drive back home (using the B258 this