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Old 02-08-2015, 08:05   #1
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Nürburgring - A Trackday Too Far?

So to set the scene.

There are various way to get to trackdays - some people drive the car, track it, and drive home. Others use a trailer, just incase of mechanical breakdown or even worse an accident. A good alternative to the trailer is a flatbed or recovery vehicle, so some use those. And there's also those that use a truck! My friend Chris had decided the truck method was the one for him. And here the story begins....




Thats Chris in the middle, Myself closest (PAX on this trip). Martin i think was taken abit by surprise by the sudden appearance of the "selfie" shot


So this 7pm Sunday night, middle of Yorkshire. Trackday is on Tuesday so the plan is to travel through Sunday night into Monday morning and arrive in Nurburg Monday teatime to relax and prepare. First destination is Dover, and thankfully Operation Stack has finished; we are booked on as freight. After a nice steady drive we arrive at 02:45 in the morning. Brilliant, this looks like we are going to be on the 04:00 ferry.

Or not.


Turns out theres no room left, and even though we have an open ticket; the idea being that you turn up and get put on the next ferry, this isnt happening today. oh no, its happening at 14:00! So 12 bloody hours sat waiting

Here we are parked up in the middle of the big boys...




Cargo nice and safe....




Anyone for football? You? ....




Me and Martin at this point are relaxing in a couple of chairs in the back of the truck, camping stove on making a coffee so no chance of that Chris



So finally 14:00 and its time to board. Second vehicle on....









So its not long until we are on our way. Happy days...


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Old 02-08-2015, 08:06   #2
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A few hours later half way through Belgium not so happy days.....







This is 20:45 at night, and the front wheel bearing has just decided its had enough and no longer wants to be in Germany. Luckily Chris has breakdown assistance and so gets on the case. Unfortunately things are quite as smooth as we would have liked and its taking alittle long than you'd expect.

So long infact that at 23:00 the police turn up and decide that they will escort us off the motorway. However not before checking all the tyre depths and also breathalyzing Martin. Oh, and an interrogation into why we were stopped. I dont think for one minute they actually believed us when we told them that there was a problem with the lorry. . the conversation went something along the lines of...

Police - "You will follow us to the next exit 6km away"
Martin "But the front wheel bearing is shot"
Police "Just drive the truck"
Martin "But what if the wheel the wheel falls off?"
Police "Then stop, but only when it falls off"

ha! Not much choice then. Drive the truck, or be arrested and we'll get someone else to drive the truck...hmmm.

And so the police escort... one at the front



..and one behind...




We were moving so slow the front police car had to keep stopping to allow us to catch up....





After around ten minutes thankfully the recovery truck turned up and pulled in between us.... very much looking like an alien space craft at the time it has to be said;




Police just watched on....





So quite soon the truck was hitched up and driven off. Plan is to take it to the nearest dealer, leave Martin with the truck whilst myself and Chris drive the remaining 160 miles down to The Ring in the 205.

What could possibly go wrong?


hmmm. How about the escort vehicle that we were in losing the tow truck? I kid you not. Our man phones the tow truck asking where he is. Tow truck driver starts shouting down the phone at our man, telling him he's stupid and that he'll have to come find him?!!! wtf?!

So for the next hour and half!!!!!!! We are driving around looking for the bleeding tow truck (!!!!!!!!!!). There are several phone calls, both drivers shouting at each other down the phone .... you could not make it up.





Finally....





At this point we still arent at the dealership to get the truck fixed, and so we decide to get the 205 out there and then and set off. Let them take Martin and the truck onwards.






Time is now 01:30 Tuesday, we have 160 miles to go, havent slept properly since getting up at 8am Sunday and we have to be at the trackday briefing for 07:30!
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:07   #3
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Luckily we make it!!!!





We had arrived at Nurburg at 5am. Immediately got some shut eye (which wasnt hard surprisingly....) then got back up at 7am and get down to the main entrance.

This is my first experience of a closed trackday at the Nurburgring, and it is unbelievable. There are only 50-60 cars on the day according to the organisers RMA and boy you can tell. The place isnt full at all like what you normally get during touristenfahrten, its relatively quiet and theres quite a broad section of cars on the day....


















Lovely....








Chris heading out for a lap....




We then headed back up to the digs for breakfast and a couple more hours sleep. What a crazy journey for sure....






So moving on, it wasnt long before we were back down for some fun .... i was PAX and Chris was at the wheel. He's done over 750 laps so i was in good hands...












It was Chris who first introduced me to the The Ring back in 2004. Life has never been the same since





As yes the speed camera man was out once again here at Flugplatz....














Happy days



Though not for all.....





Unfortunately we passed this poor guy whilst he was running back down the track from his crashed car to warn others of the hazard. He'd passed us not more than a few minutes earlier cracking on well. But such is the ring. One minute your having the time of your life. The next second your worst nightmare. Lets hope he can get his car back to how it was....


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Old 02-08-2015, 08:07   #4
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Time for a rest.....





Chris and 205....






So the rest of the day went well, we had lots of fun and despite the journey to get here we able to stay awake and make the best of it what we could. No semi-slicks, no spares and a distinct lack of sleep but even so, another day that we'll certainly never forget for the rest of our lives.


I can never tire of visiting this place....






And the cars still looking well at the end of the day, thats the main thing........





And so as all these trips go, time for a few of these....





A couple of these....





and time for bed. At last.







The next day we are up and away for 9am, a long drive upto Dunkirk for the ferry home. This will probably be the last time i'll be seeing this until next year...






.... and i cannot wait!


No doubt your wondering what happened to Martin and the truck. He ended up flying back home, the truck needing parts that are over a week away to get hold of. Him and Chris will be travelling out next week to get it fixed and to bring it back. Lets hope they have more luck on the return leg


What a trip that was! Cheers, and thanks once again Chris
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:23   #5
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Great Report RichW.
feel sorry for the wheel bearing
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:34   #6
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An experience of a lifetime to say the least! Great write up
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:40   #7
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What a fantastic little road trip, despite the lorry trouble. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:54   #8
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What a trip !! glad it all came good in the end
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:30   #9
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Wow that sounds like a epic trip from many different perspectives lol! Your probably right and you'll never forget that.

Sounds awesome attending a trackday with minimal traffic about. Is filming allowed at this kind of an event? Also how many laps did you manage to get in and how would the price compare to similar amount of laps on an open day?

Thanks for sharing your experience, was a good read indeed.

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Old 02-08-2015, 14:20   #10
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Thats serious dedication Rich! What times was your mate putting in- bet it was fun from the passengers seat especially as you knew you were in good hands?
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Old 02-08-2015, 18:15   #11
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Great write up. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-08-2015, 19:43   #12
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Great write up.

Feeling for the 1M owner.
I'm taking mine there in September.

Any vids of the track action?

cheers Jamie
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Old 03-08-2015, 17:16   #13
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Thanks for everyones kind comments


Quote:
Originally Posted by GUM EVO View Post
Is filming allowed at this kind of an event? Also how many laps did you manage to get in and how would the price compare to similar amount of laps on an open day?

We only did around 10 laps as Chris was feeling very tired due to the lack of sleep. Filming isnt a problem

Lap wise you can do as many as you or your car can cope with. obviously the more you do the cheaper it gets per lap.

Price for this trackday was £630 IIRC so it isnt cheap, but if you compare that to the prices some people charge for Silverstone then its not so bad. Totally awesome too with the lack of traffic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mondie View Post
Thats serious dedication Rich! What times was your mate putting in- bet it was fun from the passengers seat especially as you knew you were in good hands?

We wasnt timing so i havent a clue. The plan was to run with semi-slicks but with the lorry breaking down we were on normal road tyres. Good to know that he knew what he was doing yeah. Not nice being scared in the passenger seat



Quote:
Originally Posted by octainejunkee View Post
Feeling for the 1M owner.
I'm taking mine there in September.

Any vids of the track action?

Yea its a real shame. He was really knocking on when he came past us, but thats the ring for you

No vids sorry
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Old 03-08-2015, 18:24   #14
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Great write up rich and thanks for sharing
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Old 16-08-2015, 21:29   #15
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I bet that thing handles. Bet it felt surreal being on that track.......good post.
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