THE NURBURGRING; Some Cool Pictures

DfgDfg Admin
edited March 2013 in Man Cave
And and links to different blogs, well a blog in this case. James May from Top Gear hates it, he doesn't like how all the sport cars or most of them get tested their and others don't mind it at all. To me it's something you should at least drive around once in your life time. It's just a fuck all track. Something that will shake you to the bone and yes give you an erection that will last for 4 laps and then more. Whenever I imagine someone driving around there, I always assume that after they finish there laps, they park the car and literally fuck on the side of the track just to get all that pent up energy out. On a second thought, it would be a good place to open up a new business there :D.

Cars + Girls, I mean that's a winning combo right there. Anyway, enjoy a sweet ass car:

2003 Grand Am GT - Nurburgring Edition

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And then read this blog post:
I couldn’t really believe it at first. Was this patchy, graffiti-covered twist of asphalt really the same circuit upon which countless racing careers had been made, legendary cars proven and young lives taken? It was months since I’d made the commitment to travel to Germany and drive the track, but standing upon the hallowed earth of the Green Hell I began to question whether the countless Gran Turismo laps were enough, and whether my nerves would be up to the challenge.
The Nürburgring’s Nordschleife needs no introduction to Sehr Gute readers, but I’ll rehash the facts: 20.81 kilometres, 300m elevation change, 154 turns ( though this is disputed) and a mix of asphalt and concrete surfaces. It’s clear from those facts alone that this is no normal race track, but the Nürburgring has taken on a life of its own as the mecca for motorsport enthusiasts the world over.
Today I would be joining the pilgrims and driving four laps of the circuit during a weekday ‘Touristenfahrten‘ session, which is when the track opens to anyone with a road registered vehicle, appropriate license and sense of adventure.
These sessions run for a few hours in the afternoon, as the track is typically booked by manufacturers or race teams testing, or in today’s case hosting a drive day for VIP clientele.
My diesel Nissan Qashqai rental (what we call a Dualis here) had been surprisingly capable on the Autobahn, but would not quite cut it on The ‘Ring. I got in touch with RSR Nürburg who are one of the largest race-car rental companies based near the track to see if they could provide me with something suitably European, and suitably fast.
Thankfully they obliged, and after much deliberation it was decided that my weapon of choice would be this very handsome Renaultsport Mégane R26R. Although the R26R has humble roots as an amiable hatchback, the crazy Frenchmen have put it on a diet to produce a true track warrior. 123 kilograms was stripped from the standard car by the removal of rear seats and seat belts, passenger and curtain airbags, climate control, rear wash/wipe and heated rear window, front fog lamps, headlamp washers, radio/CD player and most of the soundproofing. In addition, this limited edition features a carbon fibre bonnet, polycarbonate tailgate and rear side windows, Carbon fibre Sabelt seats, 6-point harnesses, rear spoiler, roll cage and optional titanium exhaust. Critically, the car also features a more aggressive suspension set-up which modulates an upgraded wheel and tyre package featuring Toyo R888 semi slicks. The 2.0L turbo from the regular R26 puts down 169kW through a short-shift six-speed gearbox. Weather in this part of Germany being unpredictable as it is, I couldn’t go past this FWD beast, especially since it was right hand drive (a bit rare in mainland Europe)!
Of course, if you wanted to go even faster, RSR had a range of other vehicles on offer. This Lotus Exige 240S was ready to deliver thrills to another customer that afternoon.
And there’s plenty more were that came from!
In fact, RSR had nearly every automotive base covered. For the ultimate ‘Ring experience, can a 911 GT3 be beat?
This cult-legend was available to rent for sight-seeing trips around the area (I wonder what happens if you tried to sneak it on the track!).
RSR have recently extended their operations to encompass Spa-Francorchamps, which is only a short trip across the Belgian border.
There were also some hidden gems tucked away in the workshop. But enough snooping around here – it was time to head for the driver’s briefing and grab the R26.R’s smart key!
Briefing complete, I meandered the R26R down the road (thankfully there were lots of signs telling me which side of the road I belonged) to the public parking area which adjoins the ‘Ring entrance. It was my intention to jump straight on the track, but upon seeing the amazing turnout of cars I decided to park the R26R and go for a quick stroll, DSLR in hand.
It seems that many of the punters at the Touristenfahrten sessions are regulars who return to the ring time and time again, attempting to master the infamous circuit. One local shared an interesting observation: ‘In England you go to the driving range and hit golf balls after work. Here, we come and drive our 911′s on the Nordschleife“.
Although he said 911, M3 would have been just as fitting. The Germans clearly have a lot of pride in their local manufacturers – it was impossible to walk more than ten metres in this car park without bumping into either a BMW or Porsche.
This E46 M3 was looking far too clean for a track car, but had all the right bits: roll cage, wheel and tyre upgrade, a healthy drop and even some lightweight door cards.
Here was it’s twin, sporting almost identical modifications!
The owner of this MkI GTI was making sure that the high-horsepower cars weren’t having all the fun!
A lone E30 silently awaiting the next lap.
Older Lotuses don’t measure up to the recent cars in terms of performance, but boy do they look good.
Speaking of looks, here is a ridiculously clean BMW 2002 sporting an aggressive stance.
These Ford Escort RS Cosworth’s are renowned for their highly tunable engines, I wonder how much this one was putting out?
Motorcyclists love the ‘Ring too and flock there in large numbers. Out on track, they will leave most cars behind on the straights but lack cornering speed. It’s important to always be mindful that these guys are out on track as well.
I guess this motorcyclist is scouting out the competition? Look at how large the 599 is, it barely fits in that huge parking space.
It was being driven HARD, when I saw it come up behind me on the track I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough!
This car made me fall in love with E36 M3s all over again. Simplicity cannot be beat.
Eventually my excitement could wait no longer, so I headed back to the R26R and strapped in. In the background of this photo you can see the line of cars queuing to go through the toll gates which feed onto the main straight. No time to lose!
Unfortunately there are no photos I can share with you from the track itself (my hands were rather full!), but I can say that driving the Nordschleife was easily the best car-guy experience of my life. The R26R was simply unflappable and displayed balance and finesse that I had not expected from a FWD car. The power was enough to chase down nearly everything this side of a 911, gearshifts were a pleasure and the braking and steering inspired confidence. As for the track itself… you have to drive it to fully understand. High speed sweepers, tight, cambered hairpins and enough elevation change to make my ears pop. It was more comparable to a roller coaster ride than a typical race track. Yes, there are construction areas to slow down for and the inevitable tour bus to dodge. And as you can imagine, the four laps were not nearly enough to satisfy me. But my only thoughts as I drove the Renault back to RSR were “I’m coming back!”, “That was awesome!” and “I’m definitely coming back!”. Alas, it was time to say goodbye to the car and to Germany, but not before the RSR guys offered to take a happy snap of me next to the R26R!
After reluctantly turning in the keys to the Renault I asked the RSR team where the best place was to grab a traditional style dinner which would suitably appease the uber-appetite I’d worked up driving the track. They pointed me towards a ‘BBQ place’ a little down the road, which was conveniently surrounded by a bevy of desirable cars, including the eye-catching Swiss 599 from the track parking area. Notice how even the wheels have been painted to match the Italian-tricolore theme!
I can only assume the GT3 belonged to the owner’s friend, no doubt banking buddies from Geneva who have snuck across the border to enjoy some high-speed thrills and German hospitality.
I had to smile when I realized, tucked around the corner was a predecessor of the GT3…
…and a stunning 512 TR of similar vintage! This car contrasts so much with the newer Ferrari, while the Porsche has hardly changed. Which would you have, the old or the new?
I soon gave into my hunger and ventured inside to enjoy a local German beer and a rather unique steak! The specialty here is hot-stone steak, the cut of meat is actually served on a hot stone which cooks the meat as you eat it. Surrounded by racing memorabilia, I could only smile and reflect on what had been a truly amazing experience.
Now to plan that next trip…

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