Nürburgring (11 June 2006)


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
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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
Søren having fun with his M3
Ringers quiz 2002
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Jørund Seim
Video: Lap of Legends
Video: Hire van

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Yet another trip where the best laid plans went out the window. This time I had intended to swing by Bob's place to drive to the Ring in convoy from there. Naturally higher powers intervened, so Bob (and as it turned out, Dave) went to the Ring a bit ahead of me.

Enjoying the sunshine I decided to take the B-257 instead of the 258 for a change. At the bottom of one of the hills a boik was lying in the middle of the road: a boiker had crashed. An ambulance was just arriving.

Oops on the 257

Most of Nürburg had been invaded by the 24H-crowd already, making the streets rather narrow.

Sidewalk parking

Bob texted me to warn me that the track wouldn't open until 15.00 at the earliest. I parked across the road in the dusty carpark (which is much better than a muddy carpark), where I noticed a familiar car. It's been prepared by Lothar of Rennsport, who also maintains my 964.


In the less dusty (but at least as hot) carpark I found the Bad Dragon and his matt black support vehicle, the tailgate of which provided a bit of very welcome shade. The Dragon himself was to be found near Dave's Elise. Bob was there too, providing tools. Dave provided some well-chosen but mild swearwords.

British engineering

A friendly enquiry told me that there were two things wrong with the car. First of all, it had managed to lose some of the brakepad retaining clips. Dave was busy fitting some spares that Bob happened to have on hand. The clips were a bit reluctant to go into their assigned spaces. Small miracle: they're in a tight, dark and dusty place. I wouldn't want to be there myself. Still, Dave managed to convince the clips it was in their best interest to snick into place.

British engineering

However, that was only the first problem. During his last visit the Elise had suffered from consistent misfiring. The same problem had occurred today. This time it was my fault though: because I was delayed, Dave had been tempted into washing the Elise. And as it turns out, the car is afraid of water. A bit like the BastardWagen, really.

Even spraying everything and anything remotely electrical with liberal doses of WD-40, the Elise didn't want to run properly. While spraying, Dave explained some of the finer points of Lotus design to me. I've forgotten most of it by now, but I do recall that the engine management was put it the wettest spot they could find, and that it was right next to the high-voltage stuff for maximum interference. Somebody really thought that one through. No doubt it's good for weight distribution. Or something :)

British engineering

Dave's car also had a supporter on board: a real Wuppie. The bright orange Wuppie was a nice contrast to the freshly washed black of the Elise.


As we were admiring Dave's handiwork, an announcement told us that the track wouldn't open before 15.30. Time to get something to drink, then. Bob found us some good places and enough chairs on the balcony of the Grüne Hölle. Of course I couldn't help but ask after the big "Burt & Bob's Cloggie Bash" sticker on his Elise. As it turns out it refers to a tour of Holland of lots of Elises. This not only involves driving Elises, but also racing shopping carts in the middle of the night :-)

The next announcement from the office was that the track wouldn't open before 16.00. I had some things to take care of at a B&B in the area, and decided to pop by to see if anybody was home. Luckily there was, and I ended up having a long chat with the owner about the Ring, the local economy, how the two were entwined, how prices had risen stupidly over the last year or so, and how annoying it was that the neighbour's kids always wanted to borrow her stuff, and how those things then disappeared into thin air. But I digress. Even though the track was still closed, I made my way over to Quiddelbacher Höhe to take some pics when the track opened.

Despite nice weather and lots of boiks around, only a few of them obliged with a wheelie. The synchronised wheelie of this duo was highly appreciated by the spectators.

Wheelie x2

It was interesting to note that most people turn in quite early for Flugplatz. Notable exceptions were the Viper, Ed (in one of the Ron Simons Alfa's 75), and Swiss Fabian.

Viper Instructor Ed Fabian

Not everybody was patient that afternoon.

Quiddelbacher Höhe

Sometimes the track was nice and quiet, though. Bob and Dave were making the most of it.

Quiddelbacher Höhe Quiddelbacher Höhe

Some people know the track so well that they don't need to look where they are going.

Quiddelbacher Höhe

Some random shots:

Quiddelbacher Höhe Quiddelbacher Höhe Quiddelbacher Höhe Flugplatz

An MX5 was trying to convey his sentiments to an Aston Martin. From what I could see the concepts "mirror" and "looking" featured prominently in the display.

Quiddelbacher Höhe

Some more random shots:

Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz

Did I ever mention that I'm partial to GT3s? I did? Oh... :-)

Flugplatz Flugplatz

Kermit had come out to play too.


As had this rather quick thing.


This Jag was going round at a more stately pace.


The driving school was there too. Maybe a student took a wrong turn?


The passenger of the Sylva Striker (there's that Burt Reynolds movie again) seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.


Taking this much kerb isn't the recommended way to enter Flugplatz.


More random shots:

Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz Flugplatz

This 997 had put his codriver to work, reading a Nordschleife map.


A rare sight indeed:


It's supposed to be a replica, with a hand-built SLR body on a 1957 SL frame. It's close to half a million euros worth...

After a little while I decided to pack it in and do some laps myself, using the Breidscheid entrance for a change. There were lots of yellow flags and fresh accidents. Apart from that I was glad to be able to do at least a few laps.

On the first full lap I happened upon a Golf VR32 that was going just a tad slower than I was, so I overtook him. Based on his driving, I assumed that he didn't quite know the track yet, but he wasn't about to let that slow him down. I pulled away slowly but surely nevertheless, but thanks to the yellow flags he caught right up again several times. The second lap was more of the same. Which can be good fun, until Eiskurve. The yellow in Brünnchen had allowed him to catch up again, and on the approach to Eiskurve he stuck the car up my inside. Would have been a nasty accident if I hadn't noticed him. The funny thing was that despite almost coming to a full stop, he still managed to hold me up before we got to Pflanzgarten. Wonderful.

With that many hold-ups during each lap, and given the rather aggressive driving (not only of the Golf), I decided to park the car and walk around for a bit. The Dragon support van was still providing support to all and sundry, and from its shade I spotted Ed. Ed was working for Ron Simons as an instructor. He'd been at the scene of the accident earlier that day, and told me what had happened.

Time was getting on a bit, and hoping for a quieter track I went out again. Things had settled down a bit, but the number of accidents per kilometer hadn't really decreased. After a lap of that I called it a day. Not that I had much choice in the matter, as the red light was on again when I rounded Galgenkopf.

On my way home I noticed a damaged white 997. A stark reminder of the big crash earlier that day.

Damaged 997