13 May 2007


So a couple of weekends ago I met up with Peach and friends at the Nürburgring in Germany. An ex Formula 1 racetrack with lots of history. Now it opens up the 20km north loop track to punters for ragging their own cars around.

As you can see from a previous post, I was advised that any laps undertaken in my own car would be at my own risk. So I was more than happy just to be a spectator. Yeah right!

When I arrived there was a VLN race in progress that happens every few weeks. Here's some video footage:

I've never watched a car race live before and it certainly fired me up for having a spin around the track myself - against the advice of my insurance company. After the race, Nick Heidfeld, took his BMW F1 car around for a few laps. Apparently a big deal cos that's not happened in something like 30 years.

Then we all jumped in our cars to the tracks entry toll gates. I was really fired up for a spin but it was probably a good thing that the track was closed for the day. That evening was an evening of steak frites, many German weissbier's and stupid tired laughter after a long day of travelling. The conversation soon deteriorated into developing a business plan for creating Nurburg's first stripclub to be called "Driveshaft". Helmet and ring gags were a plenty. World domination was contemplated by opening Bangors Driveshaft for the Angelsey race track punters. It was time to go to bed when special guests Ruth Maddock and Sue Pollard were brought to the table... But I guess you had to be there.

We awoke to the sound of another GT3 purring down the street to the track. Helmets polished and at the ready we headed for the track. Sorry, I'll try not to mention helmets any more!

I was certainly more nervous in the morning. The amount of traffic was crazy, Ferraris, Audis, Mercs, BMW's, Bentleys and the ringtool of choice a Porsche. And after the previous nights conversation of crashes and costs of barrier repairs and S2000 avoidance had put me off. So to get the adrenaline pumping I went out with Tom and his Clio Cup. Awesome, the track is long and sooo hilly. There is not much vision in front of you because there are so many blind corners and crests. Then add the crazy other drivers and motorbike riders, it is easy to see how you spend more time looking in your mirrors than forwards!

Returning to the entry/exit point, wild horses could not have stopped me from having a spin in my own car. And I was glad to see there was a VW Sharan people carrier in the queue! So off I trotted to get my wagon - aircon off, passensgers airbag off, engine warmed up, seat adjusted, steering wheel adjusted and set to "sports" mode (WTF?), radio off - didn't think I was going to need the Firestarter to get me going. And off I went.

Unfortunately for 50% of the way round the track I was stuck behind a 206CC. I was going faster but the bastard would not let me pass. Yet I was not going fast enough to overtake quickly enough to be safe before some supercar spanked into the back of me. But we came to the infamous Karoussel corner and the 206CC wuss went high so I dumped it down a notch and took the banked apex. Such a sweet feeling going around the banked corner overtaking hanging on for dear life. I felt like a world champion! Here's a few pics including Bod flying round the Karussell ->

Once I was free I zoomed around the next few corners only to slam the anchors behind a full sized 55 seater coach. Where the hell did that come from?! Apparently, you can take a bus round as a tourist! I joined the queue of maybe 6 cars behind the bus until the car behind me booted it past them all. So I followed. Yay more overtaking! Just called me Schumacher.

However, at the end of the run I was most glad that I had not bought three laps. 1 was definitely enough, the chance of spanking it was high, the cost of such scary high. I heard it was about €15,000 to €20,000 to repair barriers and get towed off, add the cost of my own car repairs as I was uninsured, the cost of maybe other car repairs (I bet replacing a Ferrari wing costs a few bob) and running over a biker can't be cheap either!

So I chilled out for the rest of the day, checking out the car porn in the car park and eating ice cream. But I did manage a spin as a passenger in Bods Mini which was class.

Cheers gents for a top weekend, here's the pics - watch out for the sticker I now have on my number plate!

click here to view photo slideshow in Flickr

And some video footage I found whilst browsing around. Here's a selection of vids that show how busy it can be and a good on board video footage of the whole track.

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  • Legend - good write up mate. Except it's me driving Bod's mini with Bod passengering. You can tell thanks to the poor technique!!

    Loving the fact that you got a photo of the wagon on track - genius.

    By Anonymous Peach, at 13/5/07 20:50  

  • It's a shame I've not got her up on 2 wheels tho!

    By Blogger Malcolm, at 13/5/07 21:01  

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