Nürburgring (23-24 April 2005)
One-handed driving


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)

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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
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Jĝrund Seim
Video: Lap of Legends
Video: Hire van

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Figuring that the odds of three cancelled VLN races were extremely long I had planned to be present at the third (first?) race of the season. Both Ecurie Europe and Team Schwedenkreuz had their cars ready and were chomping at the bit to give them a proper workout.

The weathergods were trying to compensate for the crappy weather that caused the cancellation of the first two races of the season. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the temperatures were up. Some spectators had come in appropriate cars.

Renault speedster

The carpark at Brünnchen was dusty and crowded.

Brünnchen carpark

A Finnish 997 was proudly wearing a very appropriate (for the time being...) license plate.

New 911

I still have a weak spot for the brutal power of the 993 Turbo, through.

993 Turbo

There were lots of spectators around, but it wasn't too difficult to find a spot with a decent view of the track if you didn't mind climbing the hill towards Eschbach a bit.


The first car to come screaming through was (of course) the Alzen Porsche. The new colours look very nice, but make the car a bit harder to spot than last year's livery. Not that that's a problem, the noise it makes is really hard to miss. The Bilstein Porsche wasn't too far behind.

Alzen Porsche Bilstein Porsche VLN

The Ecurie Europe Audi TT came through with Christer driving. The Team Schwedenkreuz M3 however was nowhere to be seen. As I learned later, it had broken down shortly after the start.

Ecurie Europe

The race had attracted photographers with a wide range of cameras to capture the action.

Another photographer Close racing

Hiking up the hill a bit further brought me to another good spot for taking pictures.


Stuck's car of choice had burned to the ground in practice. As they hadn't found a cause yet, they didn't risk running their other cars so they switched back to something else.


Meanwhile, the Alzen Porsche and the Viper kept roaring. The Pohlen Bora had a flat tyre, though.


As Christer hadn't come past in a long while I suspected his car would be suffering from some mechanical problems. In order to find out I started down the hill to head to the Fahrerlager. Not before taking some more pictures, though.


A quick walk round the Fahrerlager posed a little mystery. I was looking for the big-ass tent with big-ass trailer attached to it that the Ecurie Europe was using last year. However, it was nowhere to be found. While phoning Job to find out where they were hiding, I did spot another sweet-looking trailer.

Trailer Trailers

Having arrived in the correct box (shared with Stuck and Scheid), I saw the TT parked in a corner with some turbo problems. Apparently some bolts or stuff had sheared or something, and one mechanical thingy had come loose from another mechanical thingy. Before that had happened, lap times were nice and quick, with quite a bit of development potential left in the car.

TT innards

Job proudly displayed the weight loss resulting from the stress of being the team manager of a race team. Below are a "before" and "after" picture :)

Job Job

To continue the scary picture theme a bit, here are two highly succesful race drivers: Christer H. and Hans-Joachim S., and the chief mechanic of Ecurie Europe.

Christer Stuck Jeroen

A result of the loose bits and pieces, hot air was entering the cabin. Really hot air. Hot enough to melt Christer's drink bottle. The drinking water was hot enough to burn your mouth on, which prompted me to suggest to add a tea bag for the next race. All in all Christer was overheating a little when they pulled him out of the car. At least he got to test his nomex suit, and it worked very well. After squeezing the sweat out of the balaclava it was time to do a final lap to avoid a DNF.

Christer Christer Christer Christer Christer Christer Christer

While the TT was doing its lap, I had a quick look round the pit box.

Pit pic Pit pic

Scheid had had an interesting experience: after a pit stop one of his mechanics had found a centerlock safety lying on the ground. After Scheid had pulled away... Even better was that Scheid wasn't told about this, until somebody asked him about the little incident in the Pistenklause later that evening...

Another good story was that Stuck had broken down near Galgenkopf. His team didn't come to pick him up, so he walked back to the pit. Which is quite a long walk. When he approached the pit box, he was overtaken by a car of his team, towing the broken-down M3. Suffice it to say that mr. Stuck wasn't best pleased.

There was another good story going round: the Manthey Porsche had a French driver who got a bit confused how to get back into the pits for fuel towards the end of the race. So instead of going round the GP strecke and coming in the normal way, he turned right after the Tiergarten Chikane and went through the cones into T13 as would be the case of driving the NS on a public day.

He quickly realised he'd made a mistake, and that this was not the way into the pits. He wanted to come back out of the cones and go round the GP strecke. But the marshalls told him he couldn't do that, and would have to now complete another lap of the Nordschleife. And because he hadn't gone through the timing beam on the start/finish straight he not only lost a lap but also lost 8 minutes and nearly ran out of fuel. If they hadn't lost the 8 minutes they would have won.

Next stop was the pit wall, to see the finish of the race. Jeroen was still carrying his general purpose fix-anything tools.

Pit wall pic Pit wall pic Pit wall pic

Some of the cars passed the finish line close to the wall. Our neighbours from Schubert Motors climbed onto the fencing to get a better view.

Pit wall pic Pit wall pic Pit wall pic Pit wall pic

After everybody had left, Jeroen and I were still on the pit wall, waiting for Christer to finish his lap. By now it had started drizzling a bit, and the temperature was dropping rapidly. Consequently we were very grateful to watch the TT cross the finish line.

Pit wall pic

We then made our way over to the parc fermé, where we couldn't find the TT. It later turned out that the officials hadn't let him in as he'd crossed the finish line too long after the race winner.

Parc fermé Parc not-so fermé

On the way back to the car I spotted a Hummer. A very unique vehicle in that setting, where you manage to walk past Porsche Turbos and Carrera GTs without glancing at them a second time.


On my way to the Pistenklause I spotted a familiar blue 968CS, so I called the owner to figure out where he was. A very sleepy voice answered, and a meeting in the Pistenklause was arranged. As usual the Pistenklause was busy, but I seemed to be the first to arrive of our little band. This gave me the time to throw away the pictures that weren't any good in preparation of a little slideshow later on.

Lots of good stories were told about what had happened to who in the race. Broken diffs, missing center-lock locking pins, burning cars, melting drink bottles, lost French drivers, the lot.


Apart from the Ecurie Europe team, Euan, Tor Helge, Joerg, and Alexander "The Vespa pusher" were there. Most of them watched the little slideshow of VLN-pics closely. Some of them even conceded that I'd improved from taking "total crap" pictures to just "crap" pictures :)

Pistenklause Pistenklause

Then it was time for Christer to make an announcement. Everybody was all ears, anticipating either the worst (e.g. Christer emigrating to Australia) or the best (e.g. Christer emigrating to Australia). However, his announcement wasn't even his own announcement, but rather the non-announcement of one of his team mates who was getting married. Even worse, said person allegedly was going to buy a car with automatic transmission...

The Announcement

When all the excitement had died down, it was time for desert. At least for some of us. Job didn't even look at the menu, but ordered something with lots of chocolate straight off.

Desert Desert

Fortified with Cordon Bleu (ordered with fries, but received baked potatoes) and the chocolate-and-something-desert, Job felt ready to attack my phone. According to him it has the best game ever in it. I wouldn't know, but when he showed which game he meant (Erix) it took me back to my Commodore-64 days. Job proved to be good enough at it to take it to the next level. The goal of the game is to claim pieces of the screen by crossing uncharted territory while making sure that the evil thingies that bounce all over the place don't hit your trail. Once you've covered enough ground, you advance to the next level.

Erix Erix Erix

Our next visitor was Torsten (no, not ThoRSten), sporting a very nice jacket with lots of car-related logos on it. He'd bought a nearly-new GT3, and showed us some pictures of what had happened to it during the 10 minutes of rain earlier that day after a short off-track excursion at Bergwerk. We had a very amiable conversation, but with breakfast ordered for approximately 8.00 and a deeply rooted fear of disappointing the cook I made my way back to the B&B.

On to Sunday