||Gallery of this visit can be found HERE
A very early awakening
at 4am saw us all drag ourselves out of bed for our
second ring trip of 2006. We were really looking forward
to it, so it made the hour seem a little less bleak,
however nothing could make us look on the bright side
of the weather – it was cats and dogs, but on
the webcam, it looked dry. Time would only tell.
In the Clio for this
trip again, we navigated all of the stupidly slow roadwork
limits on the M1, M25 and M20 and finally arrived at
the Channel Tunnel check-in with 2 minutes to spare.
Great, we thought. We’ll be able to get our train.
WRONG! Because we were held up at passport control,
we missed it by minutes. Oh well, there’s always
the next one and weren’t held up for long, but
always a bit gutting when you’ve rushed to get
clio with her new adornment - a giant Northloop sticker!
to Adenau at about 2.30pm and dropped off our stuff and
made our way up to the car park to see who was about.
Met up with Ian and Jude in the Audi S3, John Reeves who
was in a very lightweight, but held-together-with-cable-ties
RX7, Mark in his Impreza and Pete Rallye and friends in
his ultra-lightweight Peugeot 306. Pete was showing off
his new modifications, i.e. the cut-out door linings and
Perspex back windscreen. Very hardcore indeed!
After a few wet laps
for both myself and Dave, we drove up to Adenauer Forst
to do some viewing in the wet and found Bren and John
up there also getting very wet. Unfortunately the track
was shut and we didn’t see much. We later found
out that a BMW, only a few cars behind us on one of the
laps, had gone into the Armco at Fuchrohre. Jude and Ian
were at Adenauer Forst at the time and described the sound
of the crash as 2 gunshots. The driver was fine, but his
car wasn’t and the Armco bill will be huge!
When the track reopened,
a yellow Ferrari F40 chanced the slippery conditions and
went out for a lap. Dave wondered if he could overtake,
so we got in the car setting off behind him. We thought
it would be a good idea to get pictures of this awesome
car on the Ring, so Dave handed me the camera mid lap.
this car is worth more than our house by about 3 times!
a few more laps in the wet, Dave, Hollie and I went to
the Pig to catch up with Karl and then went back and enjoyed
a fabulous meal of chilli with Claire.
Dave got up early and
decided to get some rolls for breakfast via a certain
derestricted toll road in the Eifel mountains. While on
his second lap in the drizzle, a British 911 crashed in
front of him at Tiergarten. The car drove off and brought
loads of mud and gravel onto the track where he had gone
off, and then continued to deposit every time he went
round a corner. As soon as Dave got back to the car park,
he informed the Marshal of what had happened. Let’s
hope the Armco bill wasn’t too big.
wheel drive and very wet conditions = Armco + bodyshop bill
Dave came back to
deliver the breakfast rolls and we had a hearty German
breakfast before going out for the morning. Hollie stayed
with Karin and Kim, a much better day than being dragged
around the track by us!
I had a couple of
dry laps, but a long closure saw us venture back into
the car park to catch up with the usual suspects. The
accident was a nasty one where a biker came off at Kallenhard
and was run over by a car coming blindly round the corner.
The result was a two-hour closure. Met up with Mark,
Ian and Jochen in the car park and chewed the fat. Karl
was fed up waiting for the track to reopen and went
to walk Sunny.
||One like mine without
the track did finally open, Dave went out for a couple
of dry laps with me as a passenger. At Adenauer Forst,
Tor Leif came up fast on the Clio and Dave let him pass
after the second corner. What he didn’t see was
that there was a Civic right up behind Tor Leif and it
was only the tyre squealing which gave away its position!
An apology and we don’t think he was too upset,
even though it got our hearts beating rather quickly for
I did a couple of very
busy laps before deciding that it was lunch time and headed
back to Adenau. On one of the laps, we came across yellow
flags and people slowing us down at Metzgesfeld. Once
I’d got to Miss-Hit-Miss and there was no accident,
I laughed and thought how they’d kick themselves
later because they were flagging nothing!
The heavens opened
again and we went to meet Claire and the girls at the
Imbiss at Breidscheid. Hollie was having so much fun,
she wasn’t really bothered that we’d turned
up, so we went back to the track and waited for it to
dry again. A dry line did appear thankfully and we both
got a few more laps in between chatting in the car park.
Evening arrived and
it was back to Adenau for a brilliant dinner and more
beer. They seem to appear from nowhere!
Dave got up to do some
early laps and Hollie, Kim and Karin wanted to join him
so he obliged. It was a damp track, so he took it very
easy before getting the breakfast rolls and came back
to the house to pick me up. I wasn’t quite ready,
so he went out again and came back at 10.30am.
Went to get on the
track at Breidscheid and found it closed. Dave had seen
an accident involving the Ring Taxi and a British Lotus
at Tiergarten and apparently it was this that had closed
the track. Lots of rumours and car park speculation ensued
later about this one! While waiting at the Breidscheid
entrance, we met up with Fabian. We’d heard his
name a few times, but never met him. It’s always
great to get to know the marshals and in a positive way,
not like last summer when I had a telling off!
I did a couple of laps
once the track was opened and exited at Breidscheid. It
was amazing but Peter, the biker whose accident I was
nearly involved in last time, had managed to track us
down. In his mind, this was the first time he had met
us as he still doesn’t remember a thing about the
incident. He looked well and has suffered no ill-effects
from the crash. We tried to find him later to see if he
wanted a passenger lap in the Clio, but we couldn’t
After getting petrol,
Dave did a couple of laps and then back to the car park.
Nigel and his family had arrived so we went to say hello.
He had bought a friend and his family along who had a
2002 Skyline bought specifically for ring trips!
Dave had previously
spoken to a few guys with GT3s on a new forum and they
were coming to the ring before going onto Spa for a 2–day
track day. He went over and introduced himself to them
and managed to blag a lap with Glen in his bright yellow
GT3. He’d already taken him out in the Clio and
the ‘F’ word came out of Glen’s mouth
a few times!! Dave was very impressed with the GT3 and
its driver who had not done too many laps, but had some
real potential in an amazing car.
the one Dave went out in, but a GT3 nonetheless!
Dave was out in the GT3, I took Nigel’s wife Louise,
his daughter Catherine and their friend’s daughter,
Gemma out for a lap in the Clio. Louise said that whatever
they’ve heard about women drivers, they should forget.
Perhaps there’s a couple of future ‘Sabines’
Dave and I decided
it was lunchtime, so bought a couple of rolls and went
to watch the start of the Grand Prix from Monaco. Another
closure followed which was the result of a BMW off at
Schwedenkreuz. It took an hour to sort that one out and
luckily the track was still dry by the time it opened
again, so I took Jude and Matthew, Nige’s son out
for 2 laps. I thought they were quite good and both of
my passengers enjoyed them. Meanwhile, Dave went out with
Tor Helge in his 964 RS Club Sport – a car which
Dave says he would love to own. He enthused about it for
Dave took Gary, (GVK)
out for a lap in the Clio and I went out with Nige in
his Mazda. One more lap for me and then back to Adenau
for dinner. Hollie was extremely tired after going swimming
with Kim and Karin and had even jumped off the 1 metre
diving board! She was very proud of herself.
Golf. Good fun in the wet?
The track wasn’t
open in the morning, so we had some time to kill. I went
German bashing with Claire – Aldi had a new special
offer and boy, do the Germans get excited about a bargain!
I managed to get some retail therapy and Hollie got some
new clothes. Back for breakfast and then Dave and I went
to get some beer to bring home. We bought 2 crates of
Warsteiner and one of Bitburger. Apparently, if you buy
a crate of Warsteiner, you get a lovely World Cup glass
to drink it out of. Claire said that I should ask for
them, which I did. The German bint behind the cash desk
refused to give me them saying that there were no free
glasses. When we came back, we told Claire and she went
back to the supermarket and we managed to get them no
problem. Apparently they have a problem with tourists
there, which is funny seeing as they make so much money
It was bright sunshine
all morning, but at 12.15pm, the heavens opened and I
mean, opened. It lashed it down. Dave got depressed and
started to swear quite a lot. I thought it was a good
idea not to wind him up about it…… We went
to the car park anyway, Hollie in tow and met up with
Ian and Jude, Nigel, Louise and family, Paul, (Nobleman),
and Brian, (MG ZR). There were also a lot of other British
cars in the car park, perhaps we’re the only nationality
mad enough to keep lapping in the pouring rain!
Dave did a few wet
laps before we thought it would be more entertaining to
watch some drifts and spins at Adenauer Forst. Saw some
excellent power slides performed by an English lad in
his 3-series estate and a German guy in a SLK AMG. One
British biker didn’t quite make the corner and took
a detour across the grass and a Dutch BMW spun just as
we were leaving.
|He was having serious fun
||Ooops, didn't quite make it
|Oh well, no harm done.
||Powersliding in an expensive car!
took these. Not bad for a complete idiot when it comes
to that camera thingy....
I actually took control
of the camera for a change and managed to get some good
shots of Ian’s car. Quite impressed with myself!
Back to the track
and as I was driving on another wet lap, Gordon, Nigel’s
friend with the Skyline, had managed to spin and hit
the Armco in between Metzgesfeld and Kallenhard. Dave
rang what he thought was the office, but accidentally
called Ring Racing. They were a bit surprised, but he
realised his mistake and apologised. His next call was
to Nigel to let him know what had happened. Nigel then
went out to pick Gordon’s wife and kids up, and
we followed, but the car had obviously been driveable,
so he was already back in the car park by the time Nigel
got back. Gordon had it all on video and it was just
a very unfortunate accident.
Louise and the kids
were going up to watch at Adenauer Forst and asked Hollie
if she wanted to go too which she did. The track was
drying now and Dave was asked by Sundeep if he would
go out for a lap with him in his 993 Targa. Meanwhile,
Paul with the Noble came back from watching at Adenauer
Forst and was searching the car park for Dave as he
had promised him a lap. As Dave was still out with Sundeep,
I asked if I could have a lap instead and once strapped
in, I had probably the potentially fastest lap ever.
from the 350 bhp, lightweight Noble is astounding! I
had never felt anything like it. The car sticks to the
road like glue and turns into corners at speeds you
would think it impossible to do so. Unfortunately, there
was an accident involving a German registered Merc just
after Aremberg which slowed us down, but up Kesselchen,
the car could reach 145-150 mph – fastest speed
ever on the Nordschleife for me!
We got held up at
Brünnchen by a French Subaru driver who would not
pull over. Dave had had the same problem on a previous
lap and didn’t know the track anyway! Paul, being
a courteous driver, did not get angry but just held
back and took it in his stride. It didn’t matter
anyway as the lap was already going down as one of the
best and most memorable laps I had ever had at the Ring.
As we pulled into
the car park, Dave saw me in the Noble and looked extremely
jealous! Things got worse when it started raining again
and Dave knew that he wouldn’t get to go out in
the Noble in the dry. Oh well, there’s always
of my logo.
The track shut due
to the previous Merc crash and Nigel went to get Louise
and the kids including Hollie back from Adenauer Forst
and then I took her to play with Karin and Kim again.
By the time we got back to the track, the rain was horrendous.
Met Fishy Dave and his friend Mark in the car park who
had popped over to the Ring as part of the track day
at Spa on Tuesday and Wednesday where he was hoping
to do some on-board filming.
Nigel had strapped
his bullet cam to the back bumper of his car and suggested
a convoy of the plucky Northlooper in the pouring rain.
I didn’t want to drive in such bad conditions
and it was very hairy, but fun at the same time. (Ian)
Pye21 joined us, Ian and Jude, Nigel and family, Fishy
Dave and Mark, Brian and Paul in the convoy. It was
the first time we’d met Ian (Pye21) even though
we’d seen his 182 a few times over the weekend!
After the lap had
finished, Dave commented that he did not know how racers
managed to get around in such conditions. Following
one car is bad enough, but following a convoy of 4 and
you were driving on instinct.
Farewells were said
and off we went for dinner at Karl and Claire’s.
Dinner consisted of cauliflower cheese and gammon, copious
amounts of beer and silly Nordschleife games which we
all enjoyed immensely!
The journey home
wasn’t too bad and we turned up at the Channel
Tunnel. The queues were stupid and we couldn’t
get into the terminal for any shopping! Bah! Eventually
we got on the train and then onto my Mum’s house
to drop Hollie off for the holidays. The onward journey
was horrible. The roadworks on the M25 had 3-mile tailbacks
and once through those, the M1 had worse to offer including
a nasty accident near junction 15 where a van had been
overturned by a lorry. The passenger had died we later
Back home at
5.45pm in just enough time to enjoy a beer or 5 and
to trawl the internet for pictures. A great weekend,
but a shame about the weather.
Euan at Adenauer Forst
|Matthew enjoying the passenger
ride of his life!