During the first two weeks of august me and some friends had a fantastic trip to the Nürburgring.
This was my 5th visit to the Ring and the longest and most eventful so far.

Some of the highlights:
- 4 hour VLN race on the Nordschleife
- Oldtimer GP festival
- Lots of  Touristfahren (TF) laps.
- TF on the GP track (just missed it due to accident)
- Trackday on the legendary Circuit of Spa Francorchamps!
- Nailed a 8:15 BTG laptime during TF!
- Installed a BBK on a parkinglot and helped out with other emergency car repair in 35C
- Beer, bratwürst, BitBurger, food and good company

To save driving time we took the Colorline ferry from Oslo to Kiel.
Then 500 km or so of driving to Nürburgring.
As usual we stayed in Adenau which is a small town some 10 km. from the track.
This year we stayed at a place called Ring Villa which is a beautiful rental house with a separate garage where we could store tools and spares (because racecar).

I visited ILMotorsport.de on the way down and picked up a Vmaxx big brake kit which I installed the next day while the other guys watched the 4 hour VLN race. Read about the brake install here .

ILMotorsport had some nice stuff on display like this ultra rare NB Coupe.

On the next day the Nordschleife was open for TF all day.  We arrived early before the track had opened to be sure to get in some good laps before it got too crowded.
I got in 2 or 3 laps before the track closed down the first time.  After that I got two more before the next crash which I believe resulted in the track being closed for almost two hours. The rest of the day was just a series of accidents closing the track every 20 minutes.  The last accident involved 4 or 5 cars closing down the track for the day one hour early. (It might have been this accident)

I have never in my four previous visits experienced this much carnage on the track.
For the first time I was actually a bit concerned about my own safety.  The  inexperienced n00bs in rental Suzuki Swifts  and faster cars trying to set a fast lap doesn't mix.  Add bikers not using their mirrors and slow people in fast cars and the madness is complete.  I would estimate at least one accident during each hour of TF during our stay.

But despite of the traffic and drama I managed an 08:15 BTG lap which was 17 sec better than my best time in the MSM!  My goal has always been to set a sub 8 min BTG lap but that was obviously not going to happen with all the traffic.

Here is a video of the 8:15 lap.  The phone was focusing on the windscreen (again..) making it blurry.

The car was performing as expected.  I'm confident that the car would do a sub 8min BTG but the driver is chickening out during the three fastest corners: Flugplatz, Schwedenkreuz and Klostertal.
I do around 160 km/t on all corners but 170 should be attainable even with street tires.  Schwedenkreuz probably 180.  Klostertal is where I loose most of the time since it is in the middle of the big climb and need to build up speed again all the way to Steilstrecke.
The biggest problem during the day was the heat.  My Mazdaedit licence actually expired some days before I went so I don't know the actual IAT values. I could feel ECU was pulling serious timing via the temp compensation map when we drove on SPA in near 40C ambient temps.

Some pictures from the pits this day:  (more text further down)

Later that week we went to Spa Francorchamps GP track in Belgium which is a  one and a half hour drive from Nürburgring trough the beautiful German countryside.
The last 20min trackday session of the day was half price but still the same amount of money I pay for the whole day here in Norway.
Spa is a fantastic track. Very high average speeds but on a super wide track with even larger paved run-off areas making this the safest track I have ever driven on. In great contrast to the Nordschleife.  No video but I had the laptimer on and had a best of 3:15.  The 40C heat was extreme (I'm Norwegian...)  even when running with the top off. I was afraid to grenade the engine so I took it easy.  The straight after Eau Rouge was particularly hard on the car.

Here are some fantastic pictures taken by Erik Ealoken Løken from the grand stand during the trackday. Thanks a lot Erik!

Next on the list was the Oldtimer GP festival held on the Nürburgring GP track.  Lots of old racing cars including F1, Group 5 cars, and every other class from the 40's until the 80's.  It was a bit disappointing that 95% of the F1 field ran Cosworth DFV engines as these are fairly cheap to service etc. compared to some of the original machinery.  The coolest race was the Group 5 cars with the screaming BMW CSL and M1 + the super fast Porsche 935 with the turbos hanging out the back.
The pits were packed with rare race cars and different exhibitions.  Porsche had some kind of anniversary and had all the good stuff on display including the 2015 LMP1 Le Mans winner.

Again, pics:

We did more TF laps during the week but I kind of felt that I had done my part regarding setting a nice laptime.  I also didn't like the sound of my car on idle when cold (thought it was the exhaust) + the ammount of oil seepingt trough the crank vent. Turned out I would find out later...

The trip home was uneventful.  Except extremely hot. If Norwegian summers was 35C+ all the time having AC in the trackday car would make sense.

Hope to come back in a couple of years.  I still feel like I need to brake the 8min BTG barrier with this car. But probably on a dedicated trackday.