Nürburgring (8-12 April 2004)
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ThursdayThe weather forecast didn't look too good when I packed my things:
It was not only the weather forecast that was bad; the weather itself wasn't looking too good either when I had to go outside to pack the car. The SquealMobile was covered in hail. Fortunately this was to be a 964-weekend.
The weather kept improving on my way towards the Ring, which I interpreted as a good sign. The drive over went smoothly, until hitting a traffic jam on the A-61.
Shortly afterwards the weather started to deteriorate, with rain pouring down in serious quantities.
The shitty weather had me a bit worried, but once off the Autobahn and on the back roads near the Nordschleife, the sun started shining again.
At the Ring some cars were being put through their paces: some Peugeot 407's and some Mini's. One of the guys working on them was Keith.
A walk round the parking lot showed the usual collection of impressive vehicles, including a 325i (with the Charles-upgrade: it had an M3 engine...), 996C4 with a GT3 bodykit (or the other way around), and of course a very sweet 964. It might have been the weather (cold and damp), but the parking lot wasn't very busy yet.
After meeting Søren and Jeppe I dropped off my bags at the Pension. The RingBunny was along for the ride and grabbed the chance to relax a little. Planning ahead I put a can of Coke in the fridge.
Back at the track I spotted an interesting nut. More of them, really, but we'll start with a single nut. One of those jobs that help you change wheels faster.
Espen had brought something infinitely more useful than a fake center-lock wheelnut: a very nice digital camera with a monster lense attached to it. Naturally Jeppe was a bit envious, having just bought a digital SLR himself. The Compact Flash card in the camera was quite impressive too.
Having faced a drooling Jeppe I figured I was ready to tackle a wet track. This being the first lap of the year in the 964 I took it nice and easy. Most sections provided reasonable grip. Ex Mühle was quite slippery though. I had just let a Golf past and started following him up the hill. He went through Lauda Links at a fair clip, with me some ways behind him at a similar pace. As it turns out the bend was slippery enough for the back of the 964 to step out. Fortunately it happened a good ways after the turn-in, so a single counter-steering movement of the wheel was enough to send me on my way to Bergwerk in the generally approved fashion: with the rear wheels following the fronts.
Backing off the pace even more I made my way round to Pflanzgarten. By that time a pair of industry pool Peugeot 407's came up in my rearview mirror, and I moved over to the right at Pflanzgarten 3. This restored order in the 1-lap universe, as this time the back stepped out in the other direction. Again I caught the little slide with a single correction, enabling the 407's to go past without slowing down much. It's nice to see that some reflexes die hard, and that the money spent on anti-skid courses and Porsche training days paid off. Let's just hope this isn't a jinx for when the back steps out next time.
The track conditions made for some interesting conversations with other Ringers back in the car park. Tor Helge had been out for a lap in the back seat of an Audi RS6. Down Fuchsröhre they had put some wheels in the grass, but they managed to avoid going off altogether. That same RS6 was later spotted parking near the Zur Burg with steaming brakes making cracking noises.
The parking lot at the Zur Burg contained quite a bit of plastic. A mate of Jeppe had bought a similar collection of plastic recently. May these pictures be an inspiration for him.
My Danish buddies were dying to get some Grillhaxe. Dinner therefore was at the Lindenhof. On our way there we saw a nice sunset, but ignored most of it in favour of the Grillhaxe. Ordering it was quite funny: the waitress brought a stack of menus and walked away despite a chorus of "We want Grillhaxe". Just to be different I ordered a Zigeuner Schnitzel.
When most of our food had gone Matt, proud new owner of 1/7th part of the C-Car, showed up. It goes without saying that we heartily recommended the Grillhaxe to him. This time I was a bit faster on the shutter, allowing me to take a picture of a still-intact Grillhaxe.
It didn't take Matt much time to clean his plate, leaving only some bones and other inedible stuff.
The night-time entertainment consisted of the neighbour across the road from the guesthouse having a little disco-party. It could have been entertaining, except that he only had one CD. Either that, or all his CD's have the same bass-rythm. He managed to keep it going until the early hours, making for a somewhat restless night.