Nürburgring (18-20 September 2004)
Swedish Weekend 2004


Trip 1 (Easter 2002)
Trip 2 (May 2002)
2002 24H (June)
Trip 3 (June 2002)
Trip 4 (July 2002)
Trip 5 (August 2002)
Trip 6 (August 2002)
Trip 7 (September 2002)
Trip 8 (September 2002)
Trip 9 (September 2002)
Trip 10 (November 2002)
Trip 11 (March 2003)
Trip 12 (April 2003)
Trip 13 (Easter 2003)
Trip 14 (May 2003)
Trip 15 (May 2003)
Trip 16 (June 2003)
Trip 17 (July 2003)
Trip 18 (August 2003)
Trip 19 (August 2003)
Trip 20 (September 2003)
Trip 21 (November 2003)
Trip 22 (November 2003)
Trip 23 (November 2003)
Trip 24 (February 2004)
Trip 25 (March 2004)
Trip 26 (April 2004)
Trip 27 (April 2004)
Trip 28 (May 2004)
Trip 29 (May 2004)
Trip 31 (July/August 2004)
Trip 32 (August 2004)
Trip 33 (September 2004)
Trip 34 (October 2004)
Trip 35 (October 2004)
Trip 36 (October 2004)
Trip 37 (November 2004)
Trip 38 (November 2004)
Trip 39 (November 2004)
Trip 40 (March 2005)
Trip 41 (April 2005)
Trip 42 (April 2005)
Trip 43 (April 2005)
Trip 44 (May 2005)
Trip 45 (June 2005)
Trip 46 (July 2005)
Trip 47 (August 2005)
Trip 48 (August 2005)
Trip 49 (August 2005)
Trip 50 (August 2005)
Trip 51 (September 2005)
Trip 52 (October 2005)
Trip 53 (March 2006)
Trip 54 (April 2006)
Trip 55 (Easter 2006)
Trip 56 (April 2006)
Trip 57 (May 2006)
Trip 58 (June 2006)
Trip 59 (July 2006)
Trip 60 (August 2006)
Trip 61 (April 2007)
Trip 62 (April 2007)
Trip 63 (June 2007)
Trip 64 (August 2007)
Trip 65 (September 2007)
Trip 66 (November 2007)
Trip 67 (May 2008)
Trip 68 (May 2008)
Trip 69 (June 2008)
Trip 70 (July 2008)
Trip 71 (September 2008)

The RingBunny
Who's the RingBunny?
Full laps
Bits and pieces
Guest producers
RingBunny R-rated *

Ecurie Europe
First pics

Sabine Schmitz
Guest commentator at 24H
Video: 24H-rennen lap
Meets Jeremy Clarkson
Video: Inside the Ring Taxi

Odd bits
The Ring in print
Preparing for the first laps
24h 2006 torrent
Sĝren having fun with his M3
Ringers quiz 2002
Make a donation
Site stats *

Jĝrund Seim
Video: Lap of Legends
Video: Hire van

Links marked with a * require a password.


Thanks to the track being closed until the afternoon we had a relaxed start to the day. The breakfast table at the B&B was rather quiet with the other (UK-based) guests having left. Packing our bags was accomplished quickly, and thanks to my ankle still being out of action Adri got to drive the 964. In the meantime I phoned Anders to arrange a meeting to copy a load of pictures I'd taken during a Swedish vacation to his external harddrive. The time we had before the meet was spent by taking a little tour of the area (B-258 to B-412, then the back road to Adena, then the back road to the B-258, and from there to Ring Racing). At Ring Racing we had a look at the damaged BMW 7-series I'd read about on the Ringers list. It was fully kitted out, but the passenger side had some nasty scrapes on it, and the exhaust was pushed against the bodywork. According to a sticker on the rear window, the car had participated in One Lap of America, like Keith.

German tour BMW German tour BMW German tour BMW German tour BMW German tour BMW

Our poor little C-car was standing outside too. In the past weeks it has become a storage depot for new seats for the G-car, bits of exhaust, and other mechanical bits. The idea of storing these things in the car is to try to avoid Ring Racing selling them to other customers before we get the chance to bolt them to our cars. It seems to be working so far.

German tour BMW

Adri and I reflected that the disposal of used tyres might be a good business opportunity in the Eifel mountains.

German tour BMW

Another damaged car parked outside was Ricky's Speedster Turbo. The left rear wheel looked a bit like Keith's Speedster after his off-track excursion: it had an impressive amount of toe-out.

Speedster from Ricky Speedster from Ricky

Yet another broken-down car was Soren's (and Christer's, though I haven't seen him use it much lately) 318is: the exhaust was falling apart and it couldn't be welded.


With the weekend winding down people started to pack their things to head home. Passats seem to be the tow-car of choice for Caterham drivers.

Packing up

Next on the agenda was our meeting with Anders. We found a free table in a corner and copied the pictures to his external drive. The drive was small and had a flashing blue light: couldn't be better.

Copy in progress

Over the next minutes more Swedes started to trickle into the restaurant for an early lunch, and I turned my laptop around while it was running a slideshow of the pictures I'd taken earlier in the weekend. It must be the fastest way to induce total silence.

Quiet, please

With opening time getting closer and closer, everybody started to leave to get ready for the track. In my case that meant hooking up with Matt again in the G-car. He had spotted Jeremy Clarkson again, on the point of going out in the S-type. After Karl and Ed overtaking Clarkson twice in one lap we figured it might be fun to go into stealth mode, wait for him to go to the barrier, and follow him round for a bit. The G-car had already been warmed up, and after a short wait JC obliged us by starting his car and heading for the barrier. We immediately went out too, but he'd gotten a sizeable headstart when we entered the track. At Schwedenkreuz repairs were underway to the armco.

A boiker was ahead of us, and he was just quick enough not to hold us up too much. A red 968 moved over before Kallenhard in such a way that we didn't lose any time at all. Thanks!

Matt took Bergwerk nicely, and the G-60 was making its usual vacuum-cleaner sounds while propelling us up Kesselchen. By this time we had the S-type firmly in our sights Jeremy had definitely picked up some speed during the weekend, but it was only a matter of time before we would be overtaking Mr. Clarkson. Approaching Mutkurve the gap was still pretty big, but where JC slowed down quite a bit before going round it, Matt hardly slowed at all, closing the gap almost completely. The blind right kink before Steilstrecken kurve did the rest: we were past him before we knew it.

JC then used us as a guide by trying to stick close to our rear bumper. This worked well all the way through the Karussell, but by the time we got to Hohe Acht he was nowhere in sight.

Having gotten that out of the way, we overtook a 993 before Matt did a well-deserved victory cry. At the exit Clarkson's camera crew was waiting. I couldn't resist rolling down the window to tell them that he'd be along in a minute or so now.

Camera crew

We hoped he would go out for another lap, but instead of getting behind the wheel he lit yet another cigarette. Matt and I decided to do another lap.


At Breidscheid Matt checked the rear door to make sure that it was closed properly, and we thought it might be a good idea to wait for a bit at Breidscheid to watch the traffic go by. And you never know, maybe Clarkson would do another lap too. As it turned out he didn't, but we had an interesting conversation while critiqueing other people's approach to Ex-Mühle.

Having completed the lap in style by executing some more overtakes, I figured I just had time for one or two more pax laps before it was time to leave again.

A lap with Ulf is always a pleasure, and this lap was no exception. On the way to Hatzenbach the Merc didn't seem to want to provide full power, which was quickly solved by switching off the ESP.

The track was nice and quiet, in stark contrast to Saturday. Not only Ulf was enjoying the clear track: several of the other Swedes were out to liven things up.

I was determined to pay particular attention to the way Ulf would take Bergwerk. Last year Ulf, Anders and Sabine had a long discussion on where to turn in for Bergwerk, and whether or not the Scuderia-painted dot was in the right position or not. Naturally a discussion of this type mandated the use of lots of scribbling on beer mats. To make getting to the beer mats easier, the beer glasses would be emptied first. This weekend I was lucky to see Ulf coming up behind me when I was going up Ex-Mühle. I slowed way down and indicated right to make sure that he would overtake me before Bergwerk. This worked very well, and I had a front-row seat to his line through Bergwerk. I couldn't quite figure out how he did it, but somehow his line seemed a lot smoother and with a wider radius than what I normally see. So, now would be my chance to have another look from inside the car. Alas, this was not to be because when we came through Lauda Links there was someone warning us to slow down. From the looks of it a boik had gone down on the approach to Bergwerk, and the left side of the track was blocked with boik, people, and a GT3.

Even though the magic line through Bergwerk had eluded me, it was still a very enjoyable lap. In the hands of Ulf the Merc shifts along at impressive speeds by setting the car up exactly right before turning in. A tip for the Mercedes engineers would be to stiffen the rebound of the shocks a bit, but otherwise it's a well-behaved car. The brakes did rumble a bit after a weekend at the Ring, but at least they didn't catch fire like last year.

As is usually the case, the track in the rearview mirror was empty when we came to the gantry.

ThoRSten was almost on his way home, but Christer L. was happy to take me for along for two laps. He's the driver of the beautiful blue 911 that Ben hitched a ride with last time out. In the pictures below the car is fresh out of winter storage. (Pictures courtesy of Christer L.)

Christer L. Christer L.

This time he had his usual Ring-car with him, a Sternrubin 964RS with Big Reds in front. To stop getting hassled by 996-drivers about the lack of an onboard computer he'd neatly fitted a cycle tripcomputer to the center console. I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to how many laps he's driven on the Nordschleife, but I do know it's a LOT. He makes going round at speed seem very easy. Which is a good thing, as we were talking about Porsche 964s, the line, and my short vacation in Sweden of last week which included a visit to Mantorp Park and the PCSR races.

It didn't take me very long to lose count of how many cars and boiks we passed, despite being held up by a dutch boiker from Eschbach to Schwalbenschwantz. Hat off to the guy though: he hadn't seen us come up on him, but realised he must have been holding us up when he did see us, and approached Christer in the carkpark at the end of the lap to apologise.

After thanking Christer for two great laps it was time to start saying goodbye to those who steadfastly remained, including Jon and Matt. I also had my first real-life look at the 997. In my opinion it looks nice, but is only a small step from the 996. I still like my 964 much better when it comes to looks.

Matt has a closer look at a Porsche 997

From there it was back to the cars: Adri and I to go home; Jon and Matt to do another lap.

Jon and Matt go out in the 996C4

My ankle was still bugging me enough that I was glad to have Adri along to act as my personal chauffeur.

In the passenger seat of the 964 Adri driving my 964

Executive summary:

  • I only drove a handful of laps but had lots of fun doing it;
  • I took a load of pictures that I still need to sort out;
  • I went on some excellent passenger laps;
  • The dinners were in the top-5 socially.
  • I'll be back for more :)
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