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Nürburgring Nordschleife Mega Trip 2008

October 15th, 2008 - Track
ring082_20.jpg

We had a mega trip in August-September to the Ring. Some guys stayed in our rented villa for weeks! Excellent time and excellent driving once again.

That place is like magic.

Niko’s and Toni’s amazing pics can be found from the gallery.

10 Responses to “Nürburgring Nordschleife Mega Trip 2008”

  1. Tommy Says:

    Superb photos and nice insight info on those pics..

  2. Pasi Says:

    Love the extra-ordinary angle on the Karusell pics. Nicely done guys!

  3. Jyri Says:

    Quality pics for sure and nice background info. Love it!

  4. Trackster Says:

    Any specs (or detailed pics) of “ultralight race alloy wheels by Rial” available?

  5. Kaizu Says:

    Trackster, the model is Rial GTR, http://www.wheel-whores.com/news/?p=32

  6. Olli Says:

    Brilliant Karusell photos! It’s always worth to take the extra effort, just about always it pays off, just like this time.

  7. Niko Says:

    Thanks! It does get quite a boring to take the same photos everytime. So finding nice new places is a good challenge and makes pleasant change to the normal shooting :)

  8. Jim Says:

    Great pics – thanks for the pic of me lifting a wheel in Kleine Karrusel in the E30 335.

    Was a great weekend. Roll on 2009!

  9. ml Says:

    Great stuff guys!

    Those photos brought back all nice memories, which otherwise were in danger to be buried down by Finnish autumn darkness.

    So I had to re-open my track diary for season 2008. The first impression is – again – that weekends at Ring have grown to something that I could not anymore enjoy from driving point of view. Luckily we had opportunity to stay close to the track for almost three weeks in a good company. We experienced many evening sessions, especially in the middle of week, which were quiet in terms of traffic. This topic was discussed at lot and the conclusion seemed to be that if you drive along the traffic (say 8:30 – 9 minute laps) overtaking is not huge problem. It becomes an more of an issue when you start going faster. Over the years I have visited there I have constantly tried more and more to minimize risks in overtaking. If I’m not sure that the other driver has seen me, I will not overtake. Again we saw some crashes which had occured during overtaking other cars or bikes. Just forget timing your laps especially during weekeneds and you’ll enjoy more. :)

    Then something happened; a day I thought would never come again. The track opened three hours before schedule for tourist drive. There was nobody out there except a couple of locals and us. It reminded me about the good days some years ago, when you could go around and only see a handful of cars and no ongoing road work. Everyone enjoyed it at the maximum and everytime you stopped at carpark you heard that somebody had made a personal best laptime. Under those conditions it was possible to try to run a fast lap with dataloggers running relatively safely. So I also did a two laps stint and managed to stop the clock at 7:51 BTG, which was 8 second faster than my previous best time driven with BMW E46 M3. Words cannot describe how it felt after that lap. A mixture of excitement, joy, insecurity, fear and relief. A clean fast lap with some drama at Wipperman, where I noticed that you cannot too heavily cut over the kerbs at high speeds. Also I missed braking point at Kallenhard and a few other small driver errors. I guess you can never get it 100% right. ;)

    After that lap it was obvious to stop laptiming and just enjoy. Weather had been nice almost every day, but towards end of our journey we had a couple of rainy days. Before this trip I never felt comfortable in the wet Nordschleife conditions, but now I decided to try it again. Although my suspension is very much set up for dry conditions and semi-slick tyres, which is way too hard for wet, I started to enjoy driving in wet. It took at least one full lap to heat up tires well and by playing with tire pressures I managed to find something reasoable fun to drive. You can learn so many new things about Ring under wet conditions, but the downside is that margin for error is extremely tight. The key is to keep driving – lap after lap – and you start to find the grip levels and get better connected with the car. It’s all about feedback, if you cannot sense the amount of available grip it will not be any fun. But when you do, you can move towards the limit in different corners and learn how you lose the grip, sometimes rear, sometimes front. Also the grip difference of dry line and wet line is enormous in some corners. Better read that Sportauto guide. :) It seems that not everybody will enjoy wet conditions because it can be too stressing, but after a couple hundred of (dry) laps I think it’s worth of trying. :)

    //ml

  10. ESu Says:

    ml: great briefing and excellent story! I almost felt being there with on your 7:51 lap!

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