Mid August I had some glorious days of car heaven at the famous Nürburgring.
This is my 4th. pilgrimage to this glorious, scary, insane, dangerous, fantastic and intimidating race track built in 1927. 21 km, 154 bends, 300 m of elevation. One lap here is like full trackday at our local track (Rudskogen).
I took exactly 3 pics of exactly nothing on the trip so this post will be text only until someone else from the trip publishes some pictures.
We choose the same date as previous years to be able to attend the Oldtimer GP on friday to sunday.
My setup for the day when heading south was de-turbolized MSM, stock suspension, 225 ToyoR8's on 9x15 6UL rims. I had to rip off the AFCO's due to a faulty damper two weeks earlier. Lame setup considering all the parts I have lying around in the shed but it worked very well both on track and 1000km of Autobahn trough Germany and Denmark. AC not working was a problem as well as a lot of road noise from the R888's.
This year I wasn't traveling with the regular pack of diesels as in 2007, 08 and 09 but a bunch of hooners from the "Flat City" crew consisting of a good mix of Mazda, BMW, Toyota and Nissan owners. As expected most of the project cars (Modified 300+ hp RX7, MX5, E28 etc. ) had either broke down or didn't get finished in time. That resulted in in people bringing their daily drivers or just hiking with other cars.
We arrived at Kiel around 10-11 and headed directly towards Adenau. The weather was awful with all sorts of rain hammering down from the skies. I had to limit my speed to under 80 km/t on the autobahn several times to avoid skidding of the road with the R888. There were also a lot of "Stau" around Köln and Hamburg which meant a lot of 1.gear snailing while listening to german radio (Which is like being sendt back to the 80s).
One of the cars had a turbo failure and had to be swapped out for a rental for the rest of the trip.
The 12 bed appartment was pimp and perfect with the exception of no WiFi. Lots of parking space and located close to some kind of horse training facility with Horses running around the house farting.
We ended the night with several beers outside Blaue Ecke in Adenau. Nice place to sit and watch exotic and classic cars driving around the small town during the Oldtimer weekend.
The following days was a mix of watching the Oldtimer events at the GP-track, chasing laptimes at the Nordschleife, eating Pizza at Picasso in Adenau and drinking Bitburger. Nice combo indeed though I have had enough Pizza and old farts driving even older cars for a while (Oldtimer GP).
As usual "Tourist fahrten" was crazy. Grüne Hölle was the usual mix of exotic cars, motorcycles and dedicated track toys crammed into the limited parking area. They seriously need to expand the paring area and move the track exit to the other end of the parking. I also noticed the increasing amount of track rentals from rentforring, rentaracecar etc. Usually Suzuki Swift or Renault Clio but also the new Corrado and some non V8 M3's. I have never considered renting a car instead of using my own. I might consider it in the future as rumors say they will start renting out NC's complete with cage and stuff. That would be the perfect ring toy.
I did 16 laps this time. Most of them at full throttle trying to get a sub 9 minute lap.
It started out slow with a wet track and 10-11 minute laps. Actually this was very useful for refreshing the optimal line and breaking points. You have to be very smooth trough the corners with the R888 in the rain to avoid having the back end stepping out.
Pretty soon there was a fierce competition among the group for the fastet BTG lap time. The rules were... non existent . Horsepower, weight, suspension, tires or driver was irrelevant. The logged lap time with GPS or timed from a movie was all that mattered. I was way down on power compared to the other guys but had very good tires and brake setup. With about 55 laps of experience from previous trips I was leading this totally irrelevant competition without no sort of trophy from the start with a solid 09.00,5 already on Saturday when the track had dried up. I had little traffic on this lap but I knew I could go faster as there was a part at S13 that were rerouted trough a low speed narrow part due to activities on the GP-track easily adding 3-4 seconds to the time. I had pretty much reached my goal of a sub 9 min lap with the 100 whp MX. Thats a massive 50 seconds better than what I managed with the RatX5.
But on monday one of the guys who brought his backup all beaten up and ratty 320 with a transplanted 2.3l(?) straight six 170 hp, flat city style intake tuned china ling long ding dong performance tire shod fake bbs rs wheel'ed green stuff yellow koni fitted BMW decided that he could put a skilled racing driver behind the wheel eating a two handed bratwürst AND making a f***** Youtube documentary while setting a BTG lap time of 08.53. Not cool.
What to do ? While the BMW owner was celebrating "his" win with expensive champagne and celebrity friends at Grüne Hölle I once again strapped on my HANS and set out for a hot lap in "the Machine".
This time I got a really clean lap and logged nearly 160 kmt gps trough both Flügplatz and Schwedenkreuz.
I nailed both the start of the long climb at Bergwerk and the high speed left at klostertahl taking valuable seconds. I managed a 8.47,06 and was more than happy. Good times.
I was once again on the bragging rights throne but another guy came very close with a 08.48 with his latest gen pimped BMW 330 diesel.
After some more bitburgers, pax laps, sightseeing and Pizza we went home. Me and a fellow MSM owner drove all the way to Hirtshals in denmark and took the ferry over to Larvik instead of wasting 1 day via Kiel.
It was a wonderful trip but there are a couple of things I will do different the next time:
- No more Oslo - Kiel ferry. Thats two days wasted compared to driving all the way from Oslo-Larvik-Hirtshals-Adenau in one (long) day. Start in Oslo 0530, take the first BitBurger in Adenau 2130.
- Pick dates with more Tourist fahrten. OldtimersGP is all played out and there is not much to do in the Eifel district when the track is closed. September is supposed to be good both for opening times and nice weather.
- Maybe attend a trackday at the ring. Costly but you get to drive the whole track including the straight with fewer cars, no motorcyles = a much safer way to chase laptimes.
- Check the possibility of having the cars transported on a 8-car trailer service. The cost of driving down with a gas gurgling turbo/kompressor modified car is around 3-5K including the ferry. That is 30-40K to the driver + plane tickets instead of a 16 hour driving x 2 at 6K rpm in a sweaty noisy MSM.