|05-07-2002, 10:35 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: crAkron OhioVehicle:
Nurburgring: Newbie Perspective
Well I made it back from Germany and caught up with things enough to write about the experience. It was my first trip there, hopefully not my last! My job sent me to a tradeshow in Dusseldorf, so that was the main purpose of the excursion, but the real highlight of the trip was of course the Nurburgring.
My overall observations on Germany: They are great drivers, they have great airports, they are insanely efficient, and they have amazing beer. I took a liking to a brand called Frankenheim Alt. Nothing like it. Nuff said. They serve up big piles of pork too.
TV is interesting in Germany too. I saw an episode of the Osbornes without anything bleeped out
Aside from all that gee-whiz stuff, The real fun stuff was the driving. Our day off was sunday and we found ourselves at the airport rental car counter early in the day. We weren't early enough because they gave away the bmw! aww crap. I was afraid we'd be stuck with a smart car or a diesel minivan. We remained optimistic and actually had a choice between an unspecified lexus or an automatic something-or-other. We picked the lexus
When made our way out to the lot to pick it up i was surprised to see a nice little silver sedan with 17" wheels wrapped with decent rubber! As a bonus, we got them factory altezza-esque tail lights *bling bling*
The only downside was that it was an IS-200 with a scrawny little 1.5 liter engine. (with a 6 speed. yeah like it really needed 6 gears..) It wasn't bad though. I think it was really the perfect car for a couple of guys who have never driven on a real road course. We had 17" rims with great tires, excellent brakes, and a decent suspension. A wise man once said to me... it is better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow...
Anyhoo, we got in and navigated our way along the autobahn 2.5 or so hours to nurburg, doing 130-160kph the whole way. oh so nice.
We saw so many interesting cars on the way down i kinda lost track. We saw the a bunch of porsches / bmws (lotsa m's a few older 3 series with huge wide tires, station wagons with big tires, We saw an elise, a few minis, even a few subies at the track! And they just kept getting better the closer we got to the course. Just before we arrived I stopped at a gas station and i bumped the tires up about 10psi all around. To get to the air pump, we had to squeeze in between a new M3 and some guy sitting in some old car reading his paper. You can imagine who we squeezed closer to... he looked up with an icy stare as we moved forward mere inches from his bumper. Yeah nice parkin' buddy, yeah sorry to interrupt your reading... carry on. donkey-shane
Eventually we found the start of the course and after a somewhat amusing battle with the ticket machine that didn't like larger denominations or german-deficient newbies, we got our passes. it was finally time to drive!
So now as you can probably imagine, I was all determination and focus, taking that first lap with a rental car
But our underpowered little Lexus helped keep me on course for the whole event (well except for the right turn at adenauer forst where i took a 2 wheel dirt excursion.) We'll just pretend that didn't happen, and i apologize for any dirt i may have dragged onto the track...
Other than that 1 little mishap, I think i did pretty well. I stayed very focused and concentrated on being smooth and mostly followed the red and white borders to guide me through the turns. It was raining off and on so no line was apparant. At any rate, the car handled very predictably and kept my speed through the curves. I focused on my braking and tried to keep the car moving forward on some sembelance of a line. i found the limits in the rain even at the slow speeds we were moving, but it was easy to correct the understeer when it made itself apparant.
Overall I think i did okay a bit sloppy but i kept it shiny-side up. gotta love that rev limiter (yeah bouncing offa that more than a few times) i just love rental cars!
It was all kind of a blur, and unlike anything else i've ever driven. I
was able to apply some of what i've learned in the racin books and from
autocross school, but really the course is so big and mean that I
really just took it slow and serious and enjoyed the ride.
I only made 2 laps, but they were the best 2 laps of my life really I hope to make it back there someday. I'll be a much better driver when I return.
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|05-08-2002, 10:18 AM||#2|
Join Date: Sep 1999
1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS
sounds like you had a fantastic trip!
great innit? man i love that place...
can not wait to return!!!
good food, great cars... and the ring!!!
we should organize an iclub field trip!
hehehee i wanna go back!!!
really glad you had a good time,
and thank you for sharing your tale!
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