Sick of GTR’s? I am…
How about some Gallardo Balboni action? That’s better.
With only 250 examples created worldwide and sending all of it’s 550hp of power to the rear wheels only, discerning gentlemen need only apply.
Unlike the following Porsche’s from the UK that were fresh from the car wash, this guy was keeping it real bugs and all.
Had you turned up today not knowing much about cars, you would have sworn the Ford Focus RS was the most common car in Nurburg.
Actually there was an owners club meeting happening so at least 30 examples were out and about.
Waiting patiently we heard the call that the track was open and proceeded to make our way into what was now an ever increasing traffic jam.
Kiddies take note: When uncle Taz went previously they went on a quiet trouble free Wednesday. You will see why…
As we wound our way towards the carpark entrance (we never made it that far) the track was announced closed once more.
As we parked up on the side of the road behind a now overheating E30 BMW touring (wagon) we heard the sirens.
Two emergency vans were screaming past us. Tilman stated that normally they only send the one if needed since it is a simple medic. The second van was only sent for far more serious injuries or fatalities.
Now the first lot of drivers/riders to go through the boom gates of the Green Hell were a group of British bikers who had spent the day hooning around the surrounding countryside from a conversation I heard earlier and were all literlly revved up to hit the ‘ring.
As is normally the case, bikers are the ones involved in serious accidents either through their own over zealous riding or quite often crashing and being seriously injured and/or killed due to a car dropping fluids onto the track.
Many of those who crash are foreigners from England.
Putting two and two together, you can guess what must have happened.
Deciding to not push our luck on what was now an expensive traffic jam, we decided to head back safe in the knowledge we had driven the ring before and had nothing to prove.
With all the commotion and sirens, our better halves were relieved to see us collect them from the diner after some worrying moments.
My first experience in a car set up for the ring was still fresh in my memory so I wasn’t too cut up about the prospect of missing out on the day, the rest of the trip more than made up for it.
A line of Noble M400’s on their way to the ‘ring entrance as we headed off.
We said a farewell to the Green Hell for today, but not goodbye. We will be back…
There are a few ‘showrooms’ and merchandise stores, most are empty except the merchandise stores that seem to be doing a decent trade from customers such as myself who can’t help themselves.
Yes I bought those posters! They will make a welcome addition to my collection that will eventually be on show in my garage in Australia.
The Nissan display was the biggest and nicest so I had to take a closer look.
Then it was off to the newly built and opened Ring World complex, this was under construction this time last year.
BMW’s new satin finish M series (I spotted an M6 at Hamburg airport also in a satin metallic finish)
The complex is massive, capacious and to be honest quite empty.
Even on a Saturday where the track itself and the surrounds were teaming with people and cars, there was not much in the way of people here. Basically it is only nearing capacity during the Grand Prix or a 24 hour/major race.
In the second pic, you can see a rail line/metal structure and U shaped beams running down the centre of the roof. This is for the rollercoaster which begins just behind where I was standing.
Unfortunately the rollercoaster was closed after the grand opening since there was an issue with it, all mention of it has mysteriously disappeared from the website according to Tilman. I think it is somewhat of an embarassment.
We made it…
Main spectator area.
A very different affair from last year. Last time was a weekday, very quiet and many manufacturers had dedicted sessions for testing.
Prototypes and test mules were out in full force, unfortunately since it was a Saturday the place was packed.
Heaps of car club meets from all over Europe and the UK. The number of brits out there was insane.
Martin spotted a friend who was running a Mercedes in a timed session that rewards consistent lap times.
We managed to catch up to him later on.
After some lunch where we spotted a few nice cars…
A whole group of E30 M3’s plus some newer ones.
Given we had brought our other halves along, we had to legitimise the trip somewhat with a tourist/scenic visit of sorts.
So while we waited for some on track action, we decided to visit the Nurburg Castle.
Offering views across the Eiffel mountains and the entire Nurburg region including views of the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix track and ring world complex.
In late June I met up with some friends for my second annual Nurburgring trip.
After my first road trip to meet my friend Tilman in Essen in the Golf not quite going to plan after breaking down only 30klms into the journey I was hoping this time things would be different.
This time I had my wife as co driver, so this and the VW repairs done so thus far should mean I surely should make it there…
A hot 30 degree day greeted us and off we went soon to be stuck in some heavy traffic leaving Hamburg. After 30 mins of not much movement we were off and the Golf Gti miraculously did not show any signs of overheating! VW repairs have managed to fix my problems the second time around.
Some five hours of driving and 370klms later we had found our way to Essen where we could meet the rest of the Europe posse, Tilman and Martin for dinner.
Yes that Golf cabriolet plate does say F*CK…
No, we didn’t check out the exciting sounding Munsterland, perhaps next time…;)
A combination of Redbull, a funny pillow in the hotel room and a tinge of excitement meant for a sleepless night.
After meeting up for breakfast we were off to the magical Nurburgring.
With Martin’s American Dodge Musclecar car not co-operating, Tilman’s 28 year old Italian car and my Golf GTI with a newfound lease on life made the journey.
Given it was a European 30+ degree day, Martin wisely chose to ride with us in the car that had climate control vs a black car with many angled bits of glass that let you bake nicely on your journey with no AC.
Ok, let’s get down to business.
Back to the track.
Given this was a Saturday, the place was literally overflowing. Unlike Ring World which was mostly empty, the line up for getting onto the ‘ring and the carpark itself was stretching outwards and along the surround road.
Mugen Type R + 430 Scuderia
There was a line up of parked Westfield/purpose built track weapons along the road also…
Fully caged cars with beautifully made scaffolding was a normal sight. Everything from Porsche’s, M3’s and even an Audi TT-RS was adorned with a cage. Serious business is serious folks.
OK, now given we had a busy day we decided to get in and buy our lap buy topping up the Electronic ring card. The same card is used at the cafe and shops where you add money to purchase food and drink, but the lap money is separate for some reason.
At €22 a lap, serious business is indeed serious.
The track on the day was primarily being used for private track/event sessions which is the norm for the ‘ring. In the past there have been more full day “Touristfahrten” (public driving) sessions but these are becoming less frequent due to the demand of manufacturers who use the ‘ring to test their cars and crack new times for the record books bringing us ever faster cars to drool over.
Mostly in the summer months, evening sessions are the norm (usually 5pm onwards).
Due to an incident from the earlier private track session the opening of the ring was pushed back from 5:15pm to roughly 5:45pm.
I used the opportunity to take some photos of what was in the car park, but didn’t have much time to be honest.
The result are some quick photos.