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Author: Subject: To the ring and back again, Bi22les story. Detailed and pics, get comfy!

posted on 4/7/10 at 04:22 PM Reply With Quote
To the ring and back again, Bi22les story. Detailed and pics, get comfy!

Nurburgring Story

To the ring and back again, Bi22les story.

These events took place between Wednesday 23rd and Monday 28th 2010.

We was leaving for Germany early Friday morning, but there is a big group of us going. There was about 15 bikes and 7 cars going. Nobody new everybody so it was decided to all meet at a quite country pub for a drink and a shake of hands. The tour tee-shirts in bright yellow were given out and after a bit of gassing to new friends Me and my brother left to go home. My brother is my pillion in my car for the journey, he is also insured on the car and has always wanted to go to the ring and is a keen motor sport fan. On the way back from the pub I started getting excited and started playing as I was speeding up and slowing down between local speed humps. As I revved the engine and dropped the clutch I heard a metallic crack which resulted in a complete loss of drive! The damage, one snapped half shaft. The count down till the ring stood at less than 36 hours!
I got the car towed back by my brother (he walked back to grab his sensible car!) to my house and a couple of my friends arrived to help. At 10:30pm we started stripping both half shafts off. None of us have ever done this before so it took a while. I was in bed by 12:30 needing to go to work the next day. My friend had kindly offered to take the drive shafts to a local gearbox and driveshaft specialist for checking and repairing.

I arrived home at 6:30pm to my friends and brother just as my car was coming off of the jack. ďAll done mate, your just in time for a test drive!Ē What would I do with out my friends. I really felt a Gumball Ďmuck in together and helpí style of road trip coming on, the anticipation of a great weekend ahead and we have not even left yet! We are back on track and I could not wait.


the start
the start
My brother getting strapped in as we leave for Brands Hatch.

So 6am Friday Morning and we all met at Brands. Its going to be a glorious weekend, the weather looks scorching! One of the cars (Vauxhall Astra Coupe Turbo) had arrived with a misfire issue and may not make it to Folkestone! They left earlier than the rest to crawl to the Euro Tunnel. We all made it in time for the train and got across to France with no issues. Then the trip really started.

Euro tunnel outbound
Euro tunnel outbound
On the Euro tunnel.

It was previously decided that the bikes and cars would go in separate groups. Not due to speed but fuel stops. Also if there was traffic we would loose the bikes anyway. It was also planned to stop in a town called Eupen which is a nice town just on the Belgium German borders for some munch and regroup. We would then do the last leg as one large group. After frog leaping the bikes we by fluke stopped in the same garage as them just out side Eupen. We all made our way into town and stopped for a well earned break and some grub. We set out for the ring in convoy with almost everybody present. We lost a few of the slower cars but they did not mind.

waiting for back markers
waiting for back markers
Waiting for some of our group because they overshot the turning at about 150mph!!

As Myself and about 7 bikers were calving through the hills in Germany we came across a road block. Yep you guessed it, they let all of the bikes through and pulled us in. The German cop was a nice fella. He was checking that I had insurance and all documents. He didnít check the car over or ask that I had a warning triangle and first aid kit (I had a triangle but no first aid kit). I found out later that this was lucky as other friends got stopped and got a grilling for having no first aid kit on board!! He finished the interrogation by asking how fast does the car go, what engine does it have and how many miles can I do to the tank? He wished us happy racing and let me go on my way with the bikes that had obviously stopped to wait for me. Nice policeman!! Now this is probably the one piece very important advice; Take copies of ALL of your documents including insurance car ownership and paper driving licence. Also a warning triangle and first aid kit, they pulled every car over regardless of nationality and asked for the same details. I think I was lucky with my policeman because he liked my car. He asked to see proof that the car is mine and the only way I could sort of prove it was that the insurance and driving licence had the same address, it did not prove anything but he still let me go! So we carried on to our first sighting of the famous track.

Adenau track
Adenau track

This was at Adenau, which is one of the towns the ring runs through with quite a famous set of corners, it has a cafť and various view points. The track looks amazing, the area is incredible with rolling hills and finally we are here, we are at Nurburgring!

At the ring
At the ring

After watching some cars pass through for about half hour we had a drink. The day was heading to a close and we were all shattered so we made our way to the hotel about 20 mins drive to eat and get some beer down our necks! We get to the hotel and I find out that the hotel is completely geared towards English people visiting the ring. Its owned by an English lady and her German husband and they were very tolerant of our late night drinking. They even had garages for the bikes and some for cars. I managed to blag a space for the kit car in the bike garage which was cool.

our garage
our garage

The garage is massive and has water supply for cleaning and shelves full of various motoring care products to keep our toys in tip top condition. What a great hotel! My friend with the Astra brought some spark plugs on the way and fitted them at the hotel. The car run perfectly after that, superb! We all made it safely to the hotel in a number of groups and had some nice food. We then drank merrily into the night knowing we had a late start the next day.

hotel bonfire
hotel bonfire

The hotel staff started a bonfire for us and supplied us with wood. They also walked up and down the garden all night so we did not even have to get up. One of our group had brought a Rugby ball with him which is common amongst out group, it always ends in tears!!


M3 only parking
M3 only parking
More M3s then I could count. A very impressive sight.

The track was closed to the public due to a private event till about 5pm. Then it will be game on till 7:30pm as long as there are no incidents. Due to this we spent the day at Nurburgring GP welcome centre where we saw some iconic cars and browsed the shops, there was also a little fun area with various arcade machines and exhibits. Well worth the 15 Euro entry fee. This was also the first time I got my hands on a ďring cardĒ. This is a card that you put all your laps on and money for the Nurburgring bars and restaurants. A handy bit of kit and a good souvenir for when I got home. For lunch each day we went to Adenau. The cafť menu was all in German which was a bit of a pain but they understood English. So you could not read the menu but could ask for something you had seen on another table! Price of food was quite steep but that was to be expected. The food in Germany is generally meaty and salty with plenty of cheese or curry sauce chucked in, perfect for any petrol head! So 5pm came we had already made our way back up to the ring. At 5pm we expected it to be open but nothing . . . . . at about 5:45pm finally the call came over the German tannoy ďze ring is now open to ze public!Ē. There is something chilling about having a German voice come over a loud tannoy but it was good news (a lot of the announcements were in German with no English translation, this was quite annoying). Like an old school Le Man start it was a stampede to get to the tolls. As I got a lucky car parking space I was quite near the start tolls. I joined the fast flowing queue to the tolls. I was about the 100th car through. The ring is a funny place. It seems like itís the opposite to extreme political correctness. Essentially NO rules!! Apparently there is a rules and warning board next to where you buy laps but I did not notice it or have to sign any paperwork. The toll barrier cant open and close quick enough and with two car lanes and two bike lanes the queue is short lived. All vehicles are aloud with no checks and no rules on speed or overtaking as far as I could see. Before I know it me and my brother have gone through the tolls and are driving through the last set of cones out to the massive straight to start one of the longest, most dangerous and complex circuits in the world. I wont go through the lap but ill describe a few corners of my first lap:
Coming off of a left I accelerated hard down a slight hill I let off and let some loonies in Honda Civics fly past. I speed up again and back up the hill. On the brakes I turn into a left then right complex. As I come round the right I see thick dust. A new shape Civic has had a very nasty accident. Passenger wheels front and rear are shoved under the car, a 3 foot crease down the roof and not a window left in.

Civic crash on the ring
Civic crash on the ring
Sorry for the poor quality, it was a pain to get from the vid. We met the driver at the recovery centre by luck and it turned out ther were 3 people in that car all without crash helmets on . the good news was that everybody survived. Lots of cuts and bruises but they survived.

It was horrific and it was my first lap and less than 30 mins after the track had opened. I was not the first car there and there was no help we could offer. We drove on and finished our lap at a pushing but sobering pace. The ring can bite, hard. . . . They closed the track, I was the only car that got out in my group and most of the bikes got a lap. We all talked about the accident and decided that it did not look good. The passenger was not moving and other people were out of the car with lots of blood on their faces. We went back to the hotel for plenty more drinks and food. Sunday was the big day. It will be open all day and the weather still looked very hot.


nurburgring car park
nurburgring car park
The car park from just one view!

Sunday went well. Up early(ish!) and down to the ring. I did another lap with my brother in the car which went well. When I get back I hear my friend(car driver) has been out on track for a while. Now he is not the fastest or best driver so we sit anxiously and wait. Nobody wants to go out on track until we are all back. I could not wait any longer and call my friends mobile, he was the guy that already had a mare with a misfire on his Astra. A shaking depressed voice on the end of the phone confirms our worst. He hit some slippery stuff on the inside of a corner, span 360 and finished head on into an Armco! He had damaged his rad, bumper, wing, bonnet, steering arm and anti-roll bar. He had to get a flat bed back to the hotel and had damaged the Armco. The cost with out even starting to repair his car? A shade over 1600 euros, donít crash at the ring its not cheap!!!! I did a lap on my own at a reserved pace and bridge to bridge managed a 9:50 lap. Im over the moon with that because I didnít try that hard. I could easily shave about 30 seconds off with no changes to the car at all! I then did a following two laps with a couple of different people in the passenger seat. On the final lap I had a brown pooper moment! I went hot into a long right and let off half way round the corner. As I know now this is a big no no for RWD cars and I span. Luckily I collected nobody and didnít even touch the grass! Pure fluke so somebody was looking after me that day. After that I called it a day, I was going home the next day. I was happy with the laps that I had done and felt I deserved my sticker!!! So the tally of accidents JUST IN OUR GROUP was 2 bikes (1 duck taped back together the other a complete right off) and 2 cars (Astra into the Armco and a mk2 Golf that blew its engine). The two cars are being collected and brought back to the UK by recovery. One bike was ridden back and in fact did several laps around the ring even after the accident, I donít know what happened to the other one.
Monday morning and we packed our stuff and left for the Euro Tunnel. All of the other group stayed till Tuesday but I could not get anymore time off of work so we left a day early. I brought my stickers from the Welcome centre and we made a nice drive through Germany, Belgium and back into France. Finally the last leg after the tunnel to home. We had made it!! Over 1000 miles 7 tanks of fuel and plenty changes of pants! What a road trip.

My Nurburgring Sticker
My Nurburgring Sticker
A well earned sticker!

So what would I do different? I would take all of my stuff with me instead of putting it in the sensible cars and then loosing them for several hours with no changes of clothes. I did have a day bag and thatís it. 5 Laps is a nice number, you need time to calm down and stop shaking so you cant do too many but in hindsight I would of liked to do more. Hotel was quality and I recommend it, although I cant remember its name! I can find it out if you need me to. I would also stay an extra day (go home Tuesday) as the track is a lot less busy mid week and it means you donít feel rushed to fit lots of laps in on one day. It would also give you more time to see the surrounding area, all of the roads a great driving roads. There is a town quite local to our hotel called Cockem (no, im not joking!) and apparently the drive down there, the food and town is amazing. I missed out on that because we left a day early but apparently it was one of the highlights. I would certainly go again but not for a couple of years. Itís a dangerous place and quite an expensive trip so I donít want to be doing it every year.

Thanks for reading and I hope it was informative and enjoyable to read my story. I will be posting up more photos when I get time.


Track days ARE the best thing since sliced bread, until I get a supercharger that is!

Please read my ring story:

Me doing a sub 56sec lap around Brands Indy. I need a geo set up!

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posted on 4/7/10 at 04:38 PM Reply With Quote
wow, it sounds like you had fun, shame about the few problems.

but so wish to go there.


black mk indy, 1.6pinto on cbr600 bike carb's.

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posted on 4/7/10 at 04:45 PM Reply With Quote
i need to finish my car.........does sound awesome
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posted on 4/7/10 at 04:56 PM Reply With Quote
Sounds like a great day out.

Well done.

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posted on 4/7/10 at 05:05 PM Reply With Quote
I would also love to go but it does sound like a high chance of loss.

Both of your car and credit card.

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posted on 4/7/10 at 05:12 PM Reply With Quote
Sounds like you had a great trip despite the mishaps and I think you stayed in the same hotel as we did the 2nd time we went! Lovely food there...

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posted on 4/7/10 at 06:08 PM Reply With Quote
I went over on a bike a couple of years ago. Its a good idea to spread your laps over a few days. Also if you go during the week although the ring is only normally open in the evening you can get quite a few laps in as its quiet.
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posted on 4/7/10 at 06:48 PM Reply With Quote
Nice read. If you want to try and improve the video still I can recommend Topaz Moment. Shit name but good software
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posted on 4/7/10 at 07:02 PM Reply With Quote
It seems theres been a lot of losses at the Ring recently. Put me off completely !!!


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posted on 4/7/10 at 08:46 PM Reply With Quote
I'd love to have a go, would want a sat nav for pace notes though

Beware! Bourettes is binfectious.

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Steve Hignett

posted on 4/7/10 at 09:24 PM Reply With Quote
Good write up - it's such an amazing place to go and leaves such an impact/memory!

Do you have an idea on costs - It's been a few years since I went and would like to know what the whole trip cost you, so do you have a breakdown?


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posted on 4/7/10 at 09:47 PM Reply With Quote
cheers for the replies. It did feel dangerous at times especially when my mates started coming off. Total cost for the trip i would guess at about 600. I spent 350 while i was there which includes most of the fuel. We drank and ate alot and the hotel food was nice but steep. About 40 euros a night. Euro tunnell was 80 euro. The ring laps are 22 euro each. I did about 150 euro in fuel. Hotel was about 150 euro. I would certainly do it again though.

Track days ARE the best thing since sliced bread, until I get a supercharger that is!

Please read my ring story:

Me doing a sub 56sec lap around Brands Indy. I need a geo set up!

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posted on 5/7/10 at 10:39 AM Reply With Quote
I was somewhat aprehensive about reading your report as the furthest I dove it was to Anglesy and back for a track day. So congrats on having the balls to go to Europe and back!

I knew there would be some car problems as there usually is but a half shaft! I wasn't expecting that as I had no problems with them for the whole time I owned it. Oh well they are shortened by RAW so there's always the chance of a poor weld. Maybe the extra weight from your bro was enough to break it while doing the sprints? I'll admit most of the time I drove it I was on me tod.

The same weekend my neighbour did a track day at Spa. Lots of very expensive machinery but in the two days NINE porches were written off!!

Not old bangers all 996 & 997 GT2s, GT3s and not one other marque of car had an incident.

[Edited on 5-7-10 by bimbleuk]

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posted on 5/7/10 at 11:52 PM Reply With Quote
Cracking job, off to the ring myself on weds, camping with a number of uni motorclub mates from loughborough. About 8 cars and 10-12 people afaik.

Just about finished putting the car back together tonight.


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posted on 9/7/10 at 01:00 AM Reply With Quote
We know what you're thinking, Hignett!!!

Sounds like a great trip, and from my eyes, not too expensive either.

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