I spent last weekend at the Nürburgring and thought I'd do a quick post to share it with the jalopnik community, so that everyone can enjoy it!
As with all car adventures, it starts with being on the road, on the way there. It's a 120 miles drive from where I live, mostly on small german country roads:
(this is actually in Belgium, but who cares?)
I got there around 4:30PM on Saturday and met with my friend who had arrived about half an hour earlier (sorry!). Since my car was still warm from the drive, we thought we'd take it for a spin right away!
Here's what the fuel consumption looked like after one lap..
(that's about 14mpg, for a 1.6 liter engine!)
Sadly, the track closed for the remainder of the day because of an accident, so my friend didn't get the opportunity to lap it. We headed to the Burgstube to grab a couple of beers, and drove to the GP track to see what was going on. We opened the door of the 'ring complex and were greeted with a small surprise:
I'm pretty sure my jaw touched the floor at this point. The XJ220 is my childhood dream and I had never seen one in person. This was amazing. I spent a good 15 minutes looking at it and couldn't get enough of it!
We then headed for the track to see what the 15 minutes sessions were. The view wasn't too shabby:
A couple of beers and some burgers later and we went in for an early night, in order to be ready early on Sunday morning.. (spoiler: I'm not a morning person)
... and arrived a the track at 11:00AM.
We set off, and I managed to do a 9:51 BTG, which I am rather proud of. It's really nothing to write home about, but with my limited talent, it's more than I was hoping to achieve. Here's the video:
(the action starts around the 0:40 second mark)
Before setting off for another lap in my friend's Subaru (which probably did not get 10mpg on the track), we saw another unexpected thing at the gas station:
Yes, this is a Lola racecar with the world's biggest velocity stacks:
The last lap in the Subie ended with an impressive 9:36 BTG despite a lot of traffic and some short shifting.
While pulling over into the parking lot and letting the car cool down a bit, something unexpecting drove past us:
This is a real Skyline GT-R V-Spec II Nür! Another car I had never seen before..
The couple of laps each of us had logged on the Nordschleife seemed enough for the weekend, but we really felt like trying out the new 15-minutes sessions at the GP track. So we bought a couple of passes, and headed there.
... And of course, before buying the ticket, we forgot to ask the magic question: "is it open today?". Because had we, the cashier probably would have told us "yes, but only after 5:30PM, because there is an oldtimer event there and they're using the track"..
But we didn't ask, and only realized this when we got there. Happily though, the event wasn't too bad, and there were quite a few nice cars:
There were three other GT40's in the garage the red one was pulling out of. Including two Gulf ones. I don't know GT40's that well, so no idea on whether or not they were replicas:
Don't they say that the devil is the the details? (Yes, this is a Gulf-livery toolbox, on a Gulf-livery GT-40):
Here's the sound that comes with the GT40's:
While walking around the pits, we also stumbled onto this thing, whatever it is, but it wasn't starting up. I must say that it had lapped the track before, and it wasn't as slow as you might expect.
(they don't look very happy about me taking a picture, sorry!).
Then we got to see from up close this incredibly loud Lola racecar, that had been lapping the track quite quickly. Here it is in the pits, where they were doing some fine-tuning, apparently on the intake side:
What the video doesn't show is how incredibly loud the car was (except if you notice they guy putting his fingers in his ears at 0:38!). I don't remember ever hearing an engine that loud. One could feel the vibration in his chest from several meters away. Again, no idea what precise model this is, but it had a DOHC inline-four engine.
Here's a Volvo Amazon racecar ready to get on the track:
A 21 windows combi. I'm not big on VW's, but they are quite rare, aren't they?
I tried to blend in as best I could, but I'm not sure it worked out:
(day #1: they don't seem to notice I'm not an oldtimer...)
As I said, we left without being able to lap the GP track. But it was a great weekend nevertheless, and we come home with the promise to spend our un-used credits on GP track-time next time we go there.
tl;dr: I was at the Nürburgring, saw some cars and made a video of myself being slow.