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May 25-29 2007

   
Friday 25th May

After getting the Porsche serviced and a few outstanding issues taken care of, it was time for its first trip of 2007. I’d managed to get a good deal on Michelin Pilot Sport Cups, and a mate (Neil) sprayed them black for the price of a beer. For the first time in a long while I was pretty excited, driving the 944 on R rated rubber is always a pleasure.

Clare was driving the support vehicle, the trusty Astra.

 
 
The journey to Dover was a simple enough affair although I did experience a little bit of road rage when I was flashed out of the way in the M1 road works, but had no where to move to. However, this did not stop the guy behind flashing me and giving me the Nescafe signal…… quite what he expected me to do I have no idea. He probably didn’t expect me to brake and pull in behind the vehicle to my left.

The queue for the ferry terminal was pretty large, and I was glad I’d given myself an extra 15 minutes travel time. Although I was right behind Clare at the queue due to the height of the 944 I was parked with a few other suspiciously ring bound cars. It also gave me a chance to take a picture of Clare boarding the ferry and a few other likely suspects heading in my direction.

 
 
 

As I was at the front of the ferry, as was Clare in the Astra, we made a speedy exit and were on the E40 around 11am. We made steady progress at about 80mph to avoid the rozzers, and as there was no TF today, it made no sense to rush.

I knew a couple of pals with 968s were making a trip over this weekend, but travelling in style on the Eurotunnel. We stopped for Petrol and a spot of lunch just the other side of Brussels, and when we rejoined the E40, who did will pull out right next to? Yep, the 968s! What are the odds of that?

 
 
Without aircon the journey was a bit uncomfortable, but we made it to the camp site around 4pm, after a stop off and chat at TTE. The weather forecasts had predicted rain and thunder for the evening, and annoying they were right! A bit of shopping and it was food, beer, bed.
 
 

Saturday 26th May

We got up early to get a train from Cochem to Koblenz which runs alongside the Mosel.

From the train station we walked up to where the Rheine and Mosel meet, and had a spot of lunch and an ice cream. During our pit stop a huge river cruise boat turned up full of old American people. Needless to say we didn't hang around too long, andheaded back to the campsite as Nige had mentioned that he may need some help setting up.

   
   
 

Despite the weather forecast it was still dry, although it was very humid.

The track opened at 6, and I joined the queue, and finally got on track at 6.30!

I’d only fitted my new EBC yellows and a new set of disks prior to the journey over, and had done very little braking. This was probably why they had gone by Metzgesfeld! I took the rest of the lap a bit easier, and you could feel the brakes working again after they’d had some time to cool. The only other moment to speak of was a nice sideways moment at T13 because the tyres had no temperature in them.

Due to the queue to get off track I went straight out for another lap, this time the brakes lasted till Breischeid before feeling a bit spongy. Again, after a while without use, they’d start to get a bit of feel back in them. During this lap a UK Audi A6 forced me on to the grass at Eiskurve. He apologised for turning in on me, but it was probably just as much my fault for diving down the inside following an M3 closely. At this point Clare had had enough and wanted to get out. I managed one more lap before the track closed. This lap felt much better and the brakes seemed to work for the whole lap….maybe I should have broken them in before now!!

The only other concern I had was running too small a tyre on the rear of the car, it did not feel as stable as before especially when the car become unsettled in a corner.

We spent the evening in the Chinese celebrating Ian’s birthday, although getting ready for this was interesting as a thunder storm had just hit town! For the first time since camping, I was concerned that the tent might blow away!! A later learned that there were trees down in the area.

Sunday

The track opened an hour later than normal at 9 due to a road sweeper having to sweep parts of trees off the track, by this time that car park was already busy. I managed to do 2 nearly dry laps before petrol, air, and breakfast. I went out to do another and the heavens opened, that was me done for a while.

I met up with the girls and we went for a coffee at the new sports bar in Breidscheid. After a while sat in the warm and dry, we did half a wet lap in the Astra, followed by a full lap with a couple of interesting slides due to the Nang Kang ditch finders.

Clare then did a lap with a nice sideways moment at the start of Hatzenbach, nicely held too.

We then went to watch the action at Brunchen 2 and took some pics for an hour or so, before finding somewhere to watch the Monaco grand Prix..

 
 
 

I wasn't sure where would be showing the GP, but the Paddock Bar in Nurburg had a big screen and some spare tables, so that was lunch and the GP taken care of. During this time the rain had stopped and the roads were drying.

I then went out and did a few laps while Hollie and Clare went surfing the internet at the PK.

I was begining to get used to the car again, although always aware that the narrower rear tyres were causing some interesting moments. Smoothness was key, in fact more than normal. Took Paul out for a lap, and by luck Paul follet in the white 968 was following.

 

Pic courtesy of http://boelsphotography.be/

 

I then took Nige's lad Matty out for a few laps. One of these was pretty memorable as I had to take to the grass on the run to Swalbanschwantz. There was an accident and the car in front reacted quicker than me, leaving me no option but to take to the grass. Thank
goodness there was no big kerb and the grass was not too wet.

I managed a bit of car park chat with Lasse about his VLN antics, and I went out to do a laps with Clare, me first, but there was lots of accidents and a closure when we got back. Clare’s first lap in the 944 for 2007 would have to wait a little longer. Parked up at the bridge and watched for a bit before Clare went out to do her maiden 944 lap. She’s lost a bit of confidence and ended up getting out of the way of others cars more that enjoying the lap. I did the next lap which was littered with crashes including a biker down on the run up to Hohe Acht.

As expected the track was closed when we returned. Went to the PK for an arpres drive beer and spoke to a friendly Ferrari owner chap and his mate. Then it was back to the camp site for a curry and to meet our new noisy neighbours.

While I was cooking Clare went and had a chat with them about the volume of the music and the some of the innapropriate lyrics. Instead of getting a volley of abuse they were happy to turn the music down, and eventually off altogether. I didn't want to ruin there time, so once Hollie was in bed we had a chat and said that having music was OK, just not too loud, and certainly not all night!

They were a real good bunch of guys, and we enjoyed a few beers around the campfire before retiring to bed a little unsteady on our feet.

 
Monday

I was hungover, and it was wet so thought it was a good idea to start writing my report. Unfortunately it while I was doing this that I got a call from a mate who had a slight Armco bill, I was relieved he was OK and the car was still drivable. In fact he was lapping again later in the day.

The rest of the day was pretty forgettable, as it never stopped raning all day. Well, it nearly dried up around 5pm so I thought I'd go and get the Porsche......yep you guessed, it started raining again. But not before I'd had several interesting moments.

We had dinner at La Lanterna before resuming drinking with the noisey neighbours in their huge tent, complete with hot tub, and sofa!

I eneded up speaking with a chap from Alabama who insisted I should walk across the campsite and see his Chevy Truck, look at the engine, and rev iit up. Later in the evening Steph joined us. Clare and I left around 2am, leaving Steph to carry on the party. Apparantly he left over 2 hours later!

These Rock am Ring guys made our weekend, and I hope I get to see them again next year.

Tuesday

7am came way to early and my headache was not helped by having to put the tent away in the wet.

The traffic in the UK was useless meaning I got home at 7pm.

I'd not had such a wet weekend since May 2002 and May 2004, maybe I was due another.

 
 

: : : (C) David Malings & Gary Kinghorn 2005 : : : Design by Clare