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Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

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Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by JT on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 06:31

Thursday 28th March
I finished work at 10:15, shot home and loaded my MTB and bags into my works Peugeot Partner van. Two of my Nephews, Shaun and Jimmy from Sunderland, arrived at 11:30 in Shaun’s Astra Diesel Eco Estate and a quick excited hello and we set off to my Mate Gavin’s in Peacehaven near Brighton. A toilet stop at Grantham and a quick coffee while discussing what they were expecting from the weekend and their first visit to ‘The Ring’ and then off again. Next stop was at Birchanger services on the M11 where I’d arranged to meet another of my mates, Bob, from Harlow and we all had a Burger King while having a right good ‘chin wag’ and hopefully allowing the inevitable traffic on the M25. We decided to go for it at 18:15 and said our goodbyes to Bob who left in a very cool evening on his XJR. We filled up at Woodingdean, very cheap and arrived at Gavin’s for around 20:00. Introductions were made, gear in our rooms and we settled down for a beer. I put a post on the two bike sites I’m on, to see if I could leave my van near Folkestone because I was travelling with Gavin to Adenau and back and I didn’t want to have to travel all the way to Peacehaven again on the way back to pick my van up. Tradesman, off the XJR site contacted me and let me leave my van at his, near Maidstone, which was a great help and much appreciated. Gavin’s wife Georgia was out when we arrived so we stopped up till she came home at 23:30. We chatted for a while and another beer, then it was off to bed because we were getting up to leave at 03:00.

Friday 29th

Bed for 12:15 last night and up at 02:00 this morning, a quick shower and we loaded my MTB and gear into Gavin’s van with his Triumph Speed Triple and his MTB. We left Gavin’s at 02:30 and went to meet the final two coming on our trip, Simon and Keith at Brighton and Gavin took us through Brighton so Shaun and Jimmy could see the night life. Some bars were still bouncing, which took some getting our heads round because we crept out of the house and street not wanting to wake anyone up then here we were looking at bars full of ‘revellers’ having a right old time.
I had a coffee, sausage roll and a sarnie for breakfast, just to ‘see me on’ (not that I can eat a lot or anything) but that was my ‘first breakfast’
Simon and Keith arrived in their van with their Bikes, a Honda CB1000 and an Aprilia RSV4 respectively, in the back. More quick introductions and we set off again. Gavin would follow me to Tradesman’s place to leave my van and we would meet the others at the Channel Tunnel in Folkestone. Van despatched and we arrived at Folkestone for 05:00. The Channel Tunnel car park was heaving and we had no chance of getting any earlier trains. Shaun and Jimmy were already in the queue for their 05:15 train, then Simon and Keith left at 05:45 and we followed at 06:15. The train is quick and easy and we all met up again at 07:00 at the first services on the road in France. A morning toilet stop was had, well, for me anyway and we were on the road again at 07:45. It was very cold but dry and the roads were pretty clear of traffic with it being still early. The day woke up and it was quite bright though there was some cloud stopping the sun appearing. Sleep took over me and I had a ‘nap’ on the boring Autobahn. We made a stop just before Brussels and I got my second breakfast, a couple of sausage rolls and a coffee, nobody else bothered, don’t know how they survive


















Simon took over from Keith driving their van. Gavin was happy to keep driving and so we left it at that. As we left the services we should’ve gone right but as in 2010, when we were on the bikes and I was leading, Simon led us into the centre of Brussels, what a nightmare.

















Shaun and Jimmy lost us but a quick phone call and we arranged to catch up on the Autobahn further on. We battled on through Brussels city centre and eventually left on the other side. 20 or so Km later we met up with Shaun and Jimmy on the road and carried on together.































Once we turned off the A61 dual carriageway and onto the brilliant 257 A road to Adenau, the excitement started to grow, as we got nearer to ‘The Ring’



















We got to our hotel at 14:15 and it was cold but spirits were very high because we had arrived. We had a beer at the cafe in front of the hotel



















and then took the Lads up to the ‘Ring’ entrance to have a look around.



















The track had been shut all day because there was snow on the track in two parts, that they couldn’t shift to make it safe so we looked around the car park at the cars and then headed back to the hotel.


















Gavin and Simon were desperate to ride their motorbikes so even though it was freezing, the roads were dry (no salt spread here) and so they went for a short spin. At the same time Me, Shaun and Jimmy decided to ride take our MTB’s round the inside of the circuit in the mountains and forests that it winds its way up, down and through.



































We had a great ride, 8.2 miles around some beautiful scenery and we had climbed 1,554 ft (courtesy of the Strava App) . We saw some deer in the snow and how Jimmy rode with just a t-shirt and no gloves ‘beggared belief’ in the freezing conditions. We made it round about a third of the track and got back just before darkness fell. Gavin and Simon were back safe and very happy they had gone out but said it was very slippy. We all showered and then piled into Keith’s van and drove down to the other end of town for our evening meal. blaue ecke restaurant is a lovely place with great food and great, helpful, English speaking staff. Local beer and some gorgeous red wine and a port for me to finish saw the night end.






























tbc
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by Haggler ®™ on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 18:04

Looking at the photo's you must have stayed at Eddies?
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by JT on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 18:07

Haggler ®™ wrote:Looking at the photo's you must have stayed at Eddies?



Yep, stayed there before, great place
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by shadow on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 18:12

Good one. Smile
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by JT on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 18:26

Saturday 30th

I awoke at 06:00, as you do lol and got up and decided to go for a ride starting from the point we got to last night in the forest. Up, up and up I went, through snow covered trails and tracks, not a sole about but me and the wildlife, it was brilliant. I did see, or rather I was seen by three ‘massive’ deer up a snow layered open hillside. They were stood still as I stopped but as I tried to open my jacket zipped pocket to get out my camera they started to trot off. All of a sudden another 5 appeared out of the forest onto the clearing following them. They started to canter, or bound as they do and by the time my camera was switched on, they blended into the forest again, I was gutted but will never forget the experience. I have seen alot of deer while mountain biking but never so many together and so big, magic. I carried on, down long descents and up longer climbs, or so it seemed and I kept nipping through the trees to get a glimpse of the track and take some pic’s. At 07:30 the road sweepers were out on the track cleaning it for the day ahead and all for the general public.
































































































I made it back for breakfast as the lads were tucking in. 9 miles and 1,386 ft this morning in very, very cold but again dry conditions and the sun was trying it’s best to poke it’s nose through the high cloud. I showered and we had a walk outside to take some photo's as the lads got their motorbikes out.





























They had decided that coming all this way to not ride ‘The Ring’ was a no, no so would do at least a lap. They rode up and we drove up to the track entrance in Shaun’s Astra. We took some photos of the cars in the car parks, bought some memorabilia and decided to buy 9 laps between the three of us and we would use Shaun’s Astra Diesel Estate seen as that was our only option and at least we could say we’d drove around the track. 202 euros (£ 170) for 9 laps between 3 of us wasn’t too bad and had to be done. While at the circuit shop/caravan I got talking to an American guy called Kevin who had his Mam & Dad with him over from the States.











He was in Germany with his wife who is in the forces over there. He was a sound lad and turned out he had his Porsche Cayman S there. Bold as brass I asked if he would take me round and he said ‘No Problem’. We exchanged numbers and agreed to catch up later, I was excited now.

We decided I would drive the first lap because I knew where the track went and Shaun and Jimmy would get an idea what to expect of the track and how to drive when vehicles approach fast from behind and when overtaking. I drove down the road first, to get used to the handling and power, lol, of the car before we headed to the barriers. Through the barrier and the snaking cones and onto the track we went. Build speed and under the bridge, to start the clock. Shaun was in the front passenger seat timing

















and Jimmy was in the back, facing backwards filming with his GoPro camera. The lads followed us out onto the track and away we went. Simon on his CB1000 came to the front of the bikes and wanted to follow me to see where the track went. He did brilliant in the conditions, it was zero degrees and he kept with us throughout the lap, though where he got the front grip from I have no idea but he did. We did a good lap. Passed some cars and got passed by a lot of cars but we loved it. The tyres were squeeling and brakes smoked as we shot round. Sabine Schmitz, you know, the woman who did a sub 10 minute lap in a Transit van, passed us in a Porsche going like the ‘clappers’. I was proud to be passed by a woman of her ability on that day

About half way round a Cooper S was sat behind us for a few corners, he let some other Mini’s and a BMW come by before making his move up my inside. 5 corners later we rounded an uphill right hander to see him bouncing off the barrier and coming to a stop at the edge of the track on the snow. ‘Don’t mess with an Astra’ just because it’s a ‘Diesel Estate’ ha ha. Poor bloke, we saw the damage later when it was brought off the track on a recovery wagon, that wasn’t gonna be cheap. He would have to pay for the recovery truck, to get it released from the compound and for the repairs, ouch !



















We finished the lap under the gantry in a time of 10:42, I was well happy with that time, especially with the temperature of the track and the vehicle I was driving, happy days. Jimmy bless him had stuck to his task of filming out the back window and got the whole lap in. He was ‘slung’ from side to side across the back seat towards the end of the lap and was gulping sick back down when exciting the last corner, he was white as a sheet but didn’t throw up. His stomach and head didn’t recover fully all day but he loved it.

We were buzzin’ and went for a coffee and a smoke to calm the nerves. Sabine was taking some private guests around the track. Anyway, never backward on coming forward, as those who know me, tell me, I asked for a photo with her during one of her short breaks and she was more than happy to oblige, She wanted me, no mistake ha ha.












Shaun would do his first driving lap next but Jimmy declined to passenger, still feeling queezy so I went to instruct and advise Shaun as we went round. It was then we saw the Cooper S that had crashed, almost in front of us, on the back of the recovery wagon, nasty. Shaun drove a great lap. He was smooth and controlled and didn’t get carried away yet had plenty of speed and good cornering ability. Considering that was only his 2nd ever lap round the place and first as a driver, he did a 11:43 lap, brilliant, I felt proud as punch of my eldest Nephew.

Kevin, my new American Mate called me and said he was ready to go out again and did I want to go, OOOOHHHHH yes and I would pay for the lap, no probs. He told me about his Porsche. She was a Cayman S which has about 274 BHP as standard but he’d done allsorts to it including fitting a Turbo, yes, a turbo amongst other things like a handmade exhaust from Milltek. When he started it up and we left the car park the noise was unbelievable, pure racing car, mega. He told me he was a racing driver at home and that he holds three lap records in the States. Well let me tell you, this guy could drive. He was in total control of that car like I’ve never experienced any one before. He was drifting it round the bends and the motor, brakes and tyres were protesting at every turn. Next thing, on a tight uphill left that tightens back on itself he lost it. We four wheel drifted across the track and took off sideways up over the luckily shallow curb. It was a spectator point and they must’ve been loving it. I thought, ah this will calm him down, nope. As we slid across the snow covered grass he jammed her into second and floored it. This brought her round and we went sideways left off the snow and grass back onto the track, sideways and he buried his foot into the carpet, straightened her up and we shot off down the track. I’d never seen driving like that from inside the car and I was in awe. The rest of the lap passed by in a flurry of corners and short straights, or so it seemed and we flew under the gantry in a time of 9:21, unbelievable but true. It was one of the most exciting rides if not the most exciting drive I had ever had and will not ever forget it. Kevin was naturally concerned about the underneath of his car, not that it showed too much on the track but we checked it over back in the car park but could only see a chunk missing from the edge of one of his wheel rims. He dismissed it because “ They’re just cheap shit an’ I got my race wheels back at home”, what a guy.
























More photo’s





























and then we headed back down to the town, Adenau to meet up with the rest of our gang for some grub. It was half past two and we had hungry heads on. Tales were being told all round the table and we watched the video of my lap on Shaun’s laptop which was mega. More photo’s in the cafe car park

















and then back up to the track for some more play time. We took even more photo’s because there was some fantastic cars around and some mega looking Mini’s.

















At 15:30 I got talking to a German guy called Andy as I took pic’s of his Black, R56 with bucket seats and full roll cage and harness’s. I got cheeky again and hit gold, he agreed to take me round in his Mini. Andy refused to let me pay for the lap insisting he has a yearly pass so it is already paid for, I was ‘over the moon’ and again we would meet up later.























tbc
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JT
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by shadow on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 20:33

Are you touching Sabine up in that pic ?

Great job, keep going.
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by JT on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 21:17

cont.......

Our eyes & ears were then abused by a long, sleek black CL 63 AMG Merc, pimped up tastefully with a black Bat badge in place of the three pointed Star of Mercedes on the front, it was beautiful, oh, and loud. He never took it on the track, she was just for pose value.




































Jimmy was ready to do a lap so all three of us got in the car and he drove to the barrier. Two cars were infront of us when the red lights came on and they closed the circuit. There had been a four or five car crash and there was oil on the track making it dangerous. They would close it till further notice. It was 4 o’clock and quarter past six was the cut off point for going onto the track. We went to the Devils cafe at the circuit, waited and prayed.




















At 17:00 they opened the track again and it was mayhem, every one there was wanting to be out for the last hour and fifteen minutes. I saw Andy and said it was open again and he said right lets go so Shaun rode shotgun for Jimmy while I was chauffeured around in the R56













This Mini was a piece of kit. Not only did it look the business, it was the business. Changed head, high lift cams, reduced supercharger pulley, Challenger exhaust, close ratio gearbox, KW sussies all round and a load of other stuff I can’t remember. It felt like a racing car and it went like one too. Andy has done over 2000 laps round the place and knew every turn and bit of tarmac it seemed. He was saying that because of the temperature, the tyres would slide, he wasn’t wrong but he never lost it, even though we were shifting at some incredible speed. We passed everything out there, barring one BMW, who was on another planet. The Mini stuck to the track like glue and had phenomenal acceleration for a 1600cc motor. I videoed the lap and loved every minute, As we came along the finish straight I thanked Andy very much for taking me round and he said we have time for one more lap, if I’d like ! If I’d like, it was ‘Christmas time’  Again Andy would not let me pay for a lap and we went straight to the barrier instead of going to the car park. I didn’t video this lap because you don’t see everything when you video and I wanted to time it too. We did a 9:18 lap and got held up by a couple of visitors at two different places who weren’t using their mirrors but it certainly didn’t spoil the lap, it was amazing. Back in the car park we had a celebratory ceegar and exchanged numbers











He said I have to ring him when I bring my mini over and he will pop up, ‘you better believe it’. At that, Shaun and Jimmy came in











Shaun had done another lap and knocked 15s off his time without any help, brilliant

We decided to call it a day, the car and us were all in one piece and because we have laps left on our card, we would have to return this year. Back to the hotel we met up again with the other lads and we watched the various videos of the day with great enthusiasm. We went to a ‘Nordschleife’ themed restaurant that night, all memorabilia and signed photo’s on the walls, the food was ‘cracking’ too.























A photographer who had been at the track that day was eating there too and was going through his shots from the day. I asked if he saw any bikes, because our lads were the only bikes on the track today and he duly found 9 photo’s of the lads. He even had one of me driving the Astra because Simon was close behind us, awesome, so we bought them all. It was decided we would leave at 05:00 in the morning to allow for any mishaps and so we were back to the hotel and into bed for 23:30.

Sunday 31st
Up and away for 05:15 in the freezing cold with snow falling. An uneventful trip back, thank goodness and an earlier train back to Blighty

















Gavin took me to pick up my van from Maidstone and Shaun and Jimmy followed, Simon and Keith went straight on home to Brighton. We made decent time up the country and I landed home at 18:15, knackered, Shaun and Jimmy an hour later.

A top, top, weekend and one that I will remember for a very long time. We have already booked our next trip and we are taking our wives, roll on August
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by JT on Wed 03 Apr 2013, 16:53

Jochen, the photographer we got speaking to in the restaurant on the saturday night has sent me some photo's :-









look at the consentration





































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JT
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by JT on Wed 03 Apr 2013, 17:03

When you buy a lap or multiples of, you go to the kiosk and they put them on a credit type card, here's ours :-









Front











Back

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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by slowincorners on Thu 04 Apr 2013, 00:15

Great write up, looks like an epic trip. Might go back there one day, amazing place.
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Re: Nurburgring at Easter 2013 - The Write Up

Post by JT on Fri 05 Apr 2013, 06:07

I got just short of 4 mins of the first half of my lap in Andy's 'pumped' R56 :-



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxdsAiATJ3k
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