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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just got back from the 'Ring...amazing trip that was far better than I even anticipated. I thought some might be interested in a little write up, so here we are....there is a video - watch it here.

On the road to Germany, somewhere outside Brussels
We headed out Saturday morning from Dover UK with a few other fellow 'Ringers, taking the short ferry crossing to Dunkirk. A bank holiday weekend in the UK means the Ferry is packed with 'Ring sticker wearing cars of all kinds, all headed for one place. Just under 2 hours later we dock in Dunkirk, and it's off across France and Belgium to Adenau, Germany.

The route takes us just south of Brussels and the scenery is varied - around Dunkirk things are fairly flat and industrial, but things get interesting as you pass Spa in Belgium and head out towards the rolling hills of Northern Germany. Here you find roads every car lover can only dream of - sweeping straights, switchbacks and hairpins as far as the eye can see, and good road surfaces throughout.

Country roads outside of Adenau
We arrived in Adenau at 2pm in perfect weather - 27C! The area is just beautiful - rolling hills, dense forest and perfect little towns along twisting country roads. The vibe here and in the local area is hard to explain; commercialism, though certainly present, is in its infancy in taking advantage of this place. There is obviously something going on; I haven’t had to squeeze past five Porsche GT3s, a Carerra GT and three race prepped Lancer Evos on the kerb outside a pub in other Germany villages, for example, and I don’t think you will find 7 BMW M3 CSLs (six grey, one black) in a supermarket car park in your average little town. And then there is the scream of engines through the forest in the distance at speeds which confirm that’s no ordinary road….But the scale of the track is so large, rural Germany exists in and around it.

The villages are cashing in on the 'Ring but its far from their sole purpose for being - our (awesome) hotel, for example, was more geared towards hiking and horse riding for Germans than 'Ringers. It feels like the 'Ring is at that perfect stage; its globally known and a Mecca for petrol heads, and though busy is not over crowded or touristy. It’s almost a community – the cars you saw caining round this morning are parked outside the pub you are now drinking in.

Opposite Sabines restaraunt...
The famous Sabine is something of a local hero of course…her permanent grin in the M5 as she cruises out for another lap shows she’s obviously used to the constant attention by now, and you will certainly see her if you come here. Her restaurant does a mighty fine steak on a hot stone by the way!


And so to the ‘Ring itself. Sunday morning was a torrential down pour...not great for my first 'Ring experience, but I go for a passenger lap with a friend in his MK4 Golf GTI. He has plenty of Nurburgring time under his belt and a no crash record, so its looking good. He thrashes through the wet overtaking all manner of traffic…but then the back end goes through the Green Hell when we hit some oil. Left, right, violent left and BANG as the rear of the car catches the barrier. Minor damage - it felt much worse - but a worrying first lap for a newbie! As we wait for the marshalls to check the barrier (you pay for any damage), my friend texts me to ask when I want to take the M3 out....erm…..
Eventually I decide to brave the wet and jump in the BMW - I leave tomorrow and do not want to miss my chance. I am told the wet benefits from A) Bikers are banned and B) Everyone is taking it slow, so a good time to learn the track. We certainly aren’t taking it slow, but my lines through the corners are questionable as I keep an eye out for faster traffic behind me. All the 911s and TVRs are sitting it out because its so wet, and I discover why…even with DSC on, the back end lets go three times – one quite seriously – but thankfully I manage to catch it each time. This place can be nerve racking when your insurance, like all UK insurance policies, specifically excludes the ‘Ring from your coverage….
We make it to the end, and thankfully the weather dries up in the afternoon, allowing me to go for a proper lap. WHAT A DIFFERENCE. In the dry the car feels sure footed and grips hard, allowing me to tear up the track much, much quicker than before. I am soon overtaking slower traffic and enjoying perfecting my line, but etiquette rules here and when faster traffic arrives, move over. One Ford Escort RS Turbo is all over me through the corners due to his superior skill but simply cannot catch me on the straights…so I move over to let him pass – to stay in front would just not be cool!

No turning back...

One thing that GT4 and their ilk can never convey is the compressions and centrifugal forces of this track. You have heard that before but my god is it true. The ups and downs are so severe your ears pop as the pressure changes, and you feel your organs sink as you hit dip. Having avoided hitting the massive concrete wall at Breidscheid for example, you head for what looks like a near vertical hill bending off to the right – more like a rollercoaster than a race track. Most of the corners are blind and require major commitment, while the Carousel - despite how well we think we know it from You Tube – is so steeply banked and so rough, it feels like its doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to your car….but damn is it fun. To a newbie like me, a lap of the ‘Ring is a truly amazing feeling. It’s exhausting concentrating but so enjoyable its over too soon – you just want to keep going.

If you are thinking about going to the ‘Ring and just aren’t sure, I cannot explain how good it was. YOU MUST GO. It’s a bit of a trip from North America but if you are here in Germany/France/Belgium/Holland, take a weekend to visit on a Touristfahre day. You will not regret it, I guarantee it.
My friends and I have over 1400 track pictures between us, but rather than bore you with an endless stream here are a few choice pictures from the Adenau Forest section.












THE VIDEO



Modified by Mikedav at 11:46 AM 6-1-2007
 

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Re: Nurburgring Road Trip 2007 Report... (ToledoTDi)

Ugh, sweet. I was laughing and smiling reading your post. It seems so cool.
Next time I go to Europe, I need to hit up the Ring.
 

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Great writeup!
I'm going to Germany in August, and am really hoping to pay the Ring a visit. I'm not entirely sure how I'll get around it, if at all. I'll be staying with my uncle, and I have no idea what he drives right now, and I'm not sure how realistic it would be for me... a 19 year old (I think you need to be 25 to rent a car), to rent a car with the express purpose of driving around one of the most challenging race tracks in the world.

I definitely have my fingers crossed that it'll work out somehow... and that the weather will cooperate.
 

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Re: Nurburgring Road Trip 2007 Report... (Mikedav)

Cool video and great write up http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
For us Americans, can you rent performance cars in the area of the Ring? Not a Carrea GT mind you, but say anything from a GTI to a M3 or Porsche?
 

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Re: Nurburgring Road Trip 2007 Report... (Mikedav)

Glad you had a good time. My first time was in the wet too and it is better that way to get to know the track. Plus you don't have those pesky bikers to worry about.
The last time I went (last month) I had a Mazda6 wagon. It limped around the track like wet bag of hammers. Had fun though. I have made a promise to myself to get a respectable car next time.
Cool pics too! I got this gem...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tg2mLUAFXQ A Skyline GT-R mule.
Cheers.
 

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You call that wet?

THIS is wet. I hydroplaned about 5 times on that lap.
http://video.google.com/url?do...9rzGg
Or, try it with light snow for a real rush! High performance tires don't grip much around 0* C, especially on that track.
http://www.pbase.com/nogaroblue/043006
Anyway, I'm just playing with ya. Nice pics and great story. It looks like you had a good time. Glad you kept it off the Armco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Nurburgring Road Trip 2007 Report... (Theoffspring99us)

Quote, originally posted by Theoffspring99us »
hey i have a question...
why is there chalk all over the track or w/e it is?

Fans were/are allowed to write messages for their heroes on the armco and the track. I assume its not been allowed in some time as the sections where there are alot of accidents (and a lot of new armco) have no grafitti on them.
Quote, originally posted by VDubMKIV »
Cool video and great write up http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
For us Americans, can you rent performance cars in the area of the Ring? Not a Carrea GT mind you, but say anything from a GTI to a M3 or Porsche?

Yes. http://www.rent-racecar.de is an EXCELLENT site and I saw several of their cars at the track. I actually booked an E36 325i for the day, really friendly people over the email. But I had to cancel it a week before (long story). When I go back I will DEFINITELY be using them as there is far less risk - fully insured cars. They have 318tis, 325is, an E92 325, Golf GTI etc etc. I checked the cars out at the track and they look well prepared - they allow 4 hours in the am or pm, or a full day. On the half days, they spend 4 hours preping and checking it for the next person so they are certainly looked after.
DO NOT rent a car and take it round, as the rental firms are onto this now and check the CCTV from the car park / track. In fact its recommended not even to park it in the car park just in case they think you took it out - If you take it there, prepare for issues!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: (Shomegrown)

Quote, originally posted by Shomegrown »
You call that wet?

No, I call THIS wet
A pic from the morning, about an hour before I went out...


Watching your lap, it was very similar conditions!


Modified by Mikedav at 7:31 PM 5-31-2007
 

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Re: (Mikedav)

There always seems to be a large amount of cars with British plates at the 'Ring. Are there always really this many Brits there, or is it just a weird coincidence that in all pictures I've seen of the Ring, more cars than I would have expected have UK plates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: (windi)

Quote, originally posted by windi »
There always seems to be a large amount of cars with British plates at the 'Ring. Are there always really this many Brits there, or is it just a weird coincidence that in all pictures I've seen of the Ring, more cars than I would have expected have UK plates.

There is always a very high volume of UK cars there yeah. It was particuarly bad this time as it was a British holiday, a 3 day weekend, so many made the trip. However I think a few cars are kept locally - BMW M3 CSL 'UK53CSL' for example, is there every time I see a photo or video, so it either has either made a serious amount of trips or is stored when the owner goes home.
But yeah, its very popular with us Brits. There are cars from many countries there but the majority of 'foreign' registered vehicles were UK cars.
 

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Re: (windi)

Quote, originally posted by Mikedav »

No, I call THIS wet
A pic from the morning, about an hour before I went out...


Watching your lap, it was very similar conditions!

Your links don't work.

Your host doesn't allow hot linking. I bet it was wet though.
Quote, originally posted by windi »
There always seems to be a large amount of cars with British plates at the 'Ring. Are there always really this many Brits there, or is it just a weird coincidence that in all pictures I've seen of the Ring, more cars than I would have expected have UK plates.

The Brits have always been fans of the 'ring, but ever since the whole Top Gear bonanza, they've taken the place by storm. Most are alright, but some are pricks.
I saw a biker throw a temper tantrum because they wouldn't let him take his bike (which was no where near road legal) on the 'ring. He came a long way for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: (Shomegrown)

Quote, originally posted by Shomegrown »

I saw a biker throw a temper tantrum because they wouldn't let him take his bike (which was no where near road legal) on the 'ring. He came a long way for nothing.

They are extremely hot on road worthiness, we saw a few get turned away. Oh and bad behaviour - one chav (read - UK *****) in a Citroen Xsara peeled away from the coned off entrance area designed to let new cars merge safely, and cained it down the straight....when he returned for his next lap, he was turned away. Good!
 

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Re: (Mikedav)

I hate you...

Awesome write up. You're not the first one to mention the elevation changes and G's, I can recall 3 or 4 other stories/articles where at least one of those two things surprised the hell out of new "'Ringers." I will do this before I die one day. Thanks for pushing me one step closer to lunacy.
 
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