I’ve been meaning to share these for awhile. Last year I was fortunate enough to go not only to Germany for the first time, but to the N24 to chief Rotek Racing’s Audi TT-RS, which I’d done previously for them at the Thunderhill 25.

The 2 days prior to the race went reasonably well, and we qualified on pole for our group. The race itself didn’t go too well, with the car springing a catastrophic oil leak at the head in the early morning hours, so we retired it. The silver lining was that I got to do a bit of sightseeing that would not otherwise have been possible on a pretty tight schedule. For a lifelong German car nutter, it was an amazing experience, one I hope to repeat in the future.

NOTE: Kinja will now not let me edit or move photos from the order I loaded them in, though I could yesterday. So I’m not going to edit any further, and there is no particular sequence here. This is really long, sorry if it takes forever to load for you. Enjoy!

A rare calm moment on pitlane. Seriously, I expected a German pitlane to be locked down, impeccably organized, better than anything I’ve seen in the US. Not so. It was barely controlled chaos when the track was hot.

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I was pretty stoked to see the new WRX in action, the team was super cool too.

Obligatory Schulze GT-R

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I loooove the Falken livery on anything, especially this.

One of about 30 new M235i Racing models entered. Seriously, there were swarms of them.

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I”m not really a fan of the street SLS, but damned if these don’t sound like Armageddon. They were also unbelievably planted through Adenau & Pfantzgarten.

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Another TT, similar to ours but in a lesser class and with a 2.0L engine, but it’s allowed more modification so can actually turn faster laps.

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Who doesn’t like Astons?

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I could have shot hundreds of photos of amazing cars on trailers through the weekend. But my head can’t rotate that fast.

US VW dork, meet Scirocco R. Scirocco R, meet US VW nut who can’t have you.

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Pretty cool to see this driving in, being the first time. I got all tingly.

Wonderful little inn we stayed at in Adenau, the day of my arrival.

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The walls were covered in decades of amazing race photos, autographs, and team memorabilia.

The important Bit(burger)

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5 hours after wheels down in Germany, doing it right. Enjoying the beautiful surroundings, with racing engines echoing off the surrounding hills. I then took a really long nap to catch up, then the rest of the guys showed up & we drank until the wee hours.

The Rotek RS4rent

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Another great trailer car

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There was fuel pump right in front of our garage, and the first thing I saw when walking out the door during the Oldtimer practice was this. As I own one, I was immediately smitten.

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I would do terrible things to have an NSU TT. What great cars.

It’s another ‘02. Of course I took pictures of it.

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A rather famous 635 that I’ve seen in race coverage for years. Very cool to see in person.

My spidey sense detected this Mk1 Scirocco quickly

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Alfa GTA

Moar NSU

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Another Mk1 that blew my mind

Proper Porsche Pit Parking

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$kaybait warning! A highlight for me, a real GT40 used properly

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Can I get a DAT AZZ

Even more NSUs. I’ll have mine in orange, please.

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Real-deal 190E Evo II. Crisis.

So happy, yet so menacing

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Crummy through the garage wall pic of the next garage over. One of these set the pole time by a large margin, with huge air at Flugplatz. Everyone was riveted to the track TV.

Yet another 02, with a 3rd variant of flares.

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Properly used

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Mmm RSR

And another

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Another 02, no flares

Oh... my...

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I did not did have sexual relations with that woman car

Of course it rained

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Buttoning her up before quali

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Very cool Fangio tribute on the way in

Also very cool list of race winners on the way in

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Scirocco N24 aero detail

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DP 935. I did not know I was capable of so many consecutive crises.

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Le Mans winning Aston, in all it’s battle scarred glory. Quite special & moving to see this in person, knowing what it meant to the team after the death of Allan Simonsen in the year before.

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Soon...

935... aaand another crisis

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Abt R8 we shared the garage with.

190E DTM, no shit. Crisis number 439.

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E30 M3 DTM, no shit. Crisis number 678.

And another

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Plucky little RX3. So loud.

This particular collection of cars about caused me to faint.

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Yes, I followed this car onto the track when I had a spare minute.

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This may have been the highlight of the trip for me, the Le Mans winning R18, which was used to pace the field on the formation lap. It just boggles the mind. Le Mans is my ultimate aspiration as a racing mechanic, and has been since before I was even old enough to drive. I’ll get there someday. This just put me over the top.

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Quite a feeling, walking out onto hallowed ground as a competitor. Thoughts ranged widely, to all the legends & history made here, success and tragedy... as a student of racing history, it was pretty emotional for me. I was very nearly brought to tears. In the big picture, it’s a trivial thing to get emotional about, but going racing in such places is all I’ve wanted to do professionally since childhood so it was very, very special.

Primed, shined, and ready. At this point, all we can do is wait for the pitstops. A very nervous time for me. Many others are buoyant on the grid, confident, openly excited. I get very anxious, quiet, my mind racing, thinking of all the possible issues moving forward. That feeling tends to last until the car finishes the race.

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Meanest looking TT I’ve ever seen.

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I had to shake these guys’ hands before the race & wish them luck. They were super cool, so excited to be there with their new baby, and everyone was happy to have them.

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Robb Holland & Team Rotek, as clean & rested as they’d be all weekend. Wonderful people, all. I love working with these folks.

The grid was madness. I generally want people to stay the hell away from “my” car. Much like aircraft chiefs, I tend to be pretty possessive of the vehicle until it’s on track.

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Clearing the grid, my man Enzo getting the driver situated.

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Sunrise on pitlane, an otherwise hopeful time, disappointing because we were out of the race.

Ze Germans, doing it right.

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Cool to see this place in Adenau

A little cheers with Enzo, his gal Janine, and our engineers Ryan and Marcos

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Down the hill into Adenau. Creative graffiti.

Through town & back up the hill. Amazing to watch the cars in transition here, the SLSs being most impressive, just planted.

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Of course we had to see the castle

The pub at the foot of the castle

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View across the valley, with the top of Dottinger Hohe running through the middle of the pic

View towards the GP complex

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Coolest Alpine I’ve ever seen

The model shop at the gas station outside the track, just incredible for a die-cast dork.

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Z4 GTE on display

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Post race ceremonies. This all happened right in front of our garage, so we had to stick around for the ceremonies before we could disassemble the pitbox. Not the end of the world.

Not something you see everyday. Pretty sketchy at times.

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Watching this dude in the tight pants trying to arrange this in the midst of the crowds was hilarious.

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Champagne!

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Our garage is open to the right

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We do not always walk out of the Nurburgring, but when we do, we take all the beer.

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Marcos, in his performance art piece summarizing our condition at the end of the day Sunday after being awake from about 6am Saturday: