Nürburgring September 2007 – been there, done that, will be back again!
With the second trip of the year done, many of us are left with mixed feelings. We had once again an all together amazing trip, with plenty of track time mixed with just the right amount of R&R. On the other hand, the long, cold and dark winter season is approaching, and it will be many – way too many – months until we can be back again.
This was the second time in a row we used the new FinnLines Star-class ships to cross over to Travemünde, giving us a chance to confirm our original findings – the overall experience is just that much better than with the other competing ferries. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still a long trip, and it *will* be boring. But at least it can be tolerable. As far as I know, this was the longest trip we’ve done so far – quite exactly 2 weeks from start to end for those of us who were there for the whole trip. Despite two consecutive days of no track time at all, we still had 4 full days, one half day, and 3 evening sessions at our disposal. Now that should be quite adequate, don’t you think?
And indeed it was – even if the most of the time the track was a chaos, with more crashes than one could keep track of, and very very frequent closures. I’m not exactly sure of the number, but I believe the record lap for me had 7 different crashes all around the track – cars and bikes alike. Even the evening sessions were no longer closure-free, which, from what I’ve heard, unfortunately seems to be a new trend. Looking at the positive sides, at least the unpredictable Eifel weather was on our side this time – sure, it wasn’t very warm, but there wasn’t much rain either. And that’s what counts.
Luckily early mornings and late evenings were still relatively quiet, giving us some time on the track to do quicker laps too. Three of us managed to make the 8.0 BTG mark (ml with the M3, and Kai and Mika with the 996 TT’s), while the rest of us where not that far behind either. I personally managed to scrape 9 seconds out of my previous time, and I’m quite happy with the 8.30 result. And what has been said earlier, remains equally true – there’s still plenty of room for improvement for all of us. It’s amazing how you can find more speed even at places where you thought you had already maxed out yourself. All it takes is a combination of skill and balls to do so..
If chaos and closures was the main theme of the trip, brakes would have been a good and close second. Many of us had at least some degree of problems with the brakes, and one of us was even less fortunate than the rest – having one’s brakes fade completely at the entry to Aremberg is not something to look forward to. Kai and the black Turbo were still plaqued by the same weird random-brake-lockup-problems as the last time, while Mika’s white Turbo had some what mysteriously cured itself. Maybe it’s the color?! It’s becoming quite clear that even the upgraded Brembo kit I have is not able to handle the heat levels the ‘ring creates. Time to go larger then.. Bigger is indeed better again.
Erkka, Mika and Teemu were responsible for an interesting change of pace, something we had not done before. They had booked a few hours of time from an experienced professional driver to evaluate their driving, and to offer advice to improve it. Although this was done during the normal TF sessions, and was therefore subject to all the normal traffic and closures, the impression I got was that all of them were quite satisfied – money well spent one could say. It would have been really interesting to do this myself too – perhaps one day I will. We are also seriously considering alternatives for being able to drive outside the regular TF sessions – the place is simply becoming way too busy. If you’d happen to have anything to offer in this respect, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Cheers to all the nice people we met over the two weeks, and once again to Manthey, Ring Racing and Car Service Nürburg for taking care of our rides! A special hello goes out to the group of crazy Norwegians we had the pleasure to meet. Göte and his M3 CSL were without a doubt the fastest car on the track, and you’d have to be quite bold to claim Anders and his GT2 to have been slow either. While the track was constantly packed full, there were still very few actually really fast drivers around. To have a chance to meet and speak with some is always very refreshing and welcome.
All together, one thing is certain: we will be back!