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 Live from Breidscheid

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Rallye James
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PostSubject: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:03 am

That's right, I'm sat in my hotel room, less than 100m away from the infamous 'Green Hell'...

Yesterday: After driving down from Gloucester to Ashford the following day, we woke up at a touch before 4am and made our way to Dover's Eastern Dock to board a rather large boat. A couple of hours later (plus a time zone's difference), we disembark in France and continue with our journey. Heading through Belguim we find a service station and Kris takes the wheel of the Rallye to have a little try of the LHD before hitting the motorway. 5 minutes later and Kris has to navigate the Brussels ring road. I start of a little nervous in the passenger seat, concious of his road positioning. Soon enough he adjusts to sitting in the correct side and we head towards Spa. On arrival we learn two things very soon: Eau Rouge is mega steep, photos do not so it justice. There is also some sort of insanely modified 2CV endurance race on. Break over, we press on towards our hotel for the week, via some epic back roads over the Eifel mountains. Sure, the road surface makes our roads look smooth, but I've got a smile on my face and those following with no sat navs are no where to be seen. I'm having fun Very Happy Four hours after leaving Dunkerque and after a slight detour past the 'Ring visitors centre, we reach our hotel in Adenau. Priorities are sorted and after a bratwurst and pommes me, Kris, Lee and Ian head to Bergwerk as the 'Ring opens for the evening's two hour session and Phil and Toby head off to put a lap in. Bergwerk, a tight right hander with no run off and a slippy inside line turns out to be a good corner to photograph cars and amongst the masses of M3s and 911s, our Clio and 106 come round for their photo. We reconvene at the hotel and then set to visiting the 'beer supermarket' to stock up for the evening. The rest of the evening is then spent chilling on the balcony, drinking various flavours of Bitburger lager, watching the last of the days casualties (one of which was a totalled new shape Impreza STi that had apparently jumped some armco) being recovered from the track.

Today: The 7am alarm is at first ignored, but come half an hour later our continental breakfast of cheese and salami rolls and a donut (WTF?) is calling. Priorities are sussed once more. My brace of wash buckets are retrieved from the garage and the Rallye is shown some love (which later proves to be a waste of time). With both the Rallye and myself cleaned up, we head to the track entrance. Looking fairly quiet, I go out for a scoping lap. I've been on the 'Ring before in snow and rain, but one thing I'd never seen is fog! Thick fog! In both the area round the GP circuit and later on in the lap (around Karussell and Hohe Acht for those that know the circuit) the visibility was poor. Every corner was slippery and power could only be put down on the straights. I still somehow managed a respectable 12:30 lap (I did a 12:04 in the dry in the 306 last year) but then waited for a dry line to emerge before putting any more laps in. An hour later, I went for my second. This time, the racing line was dry, but as a result, the track was busier and I found myself pulling to the right for the faster cars more often. The Rallye was perfect and I shaved a further 30 seconds off the lap. I then found the courage to let Kris have his first lap. Initially a little nervous (and shouting 'curb' a few times!), I found it quite enjoyable. He took the conditions sensibly and I can report that the Rallye came out unscathed. I got my last lap of the day in quite a bit later after the track had reopened after some more carnage, this time much drier again, but reflected by the amount of traffic. I was going well, heading for an 11:30 (hustling a Carrera 4 through Karussel!) before a yellow flag in the last few corners, a string of cars ahead and the safety car in front (while Kris was illegally filming) slowed me down drastically and I finished with an 11:51. I called it a day at this, as the car had already had a gearbox mishap on the roads around the track (wouldn't go into gear at all). The day was finished off with the standard Pinocchios dinner (15" pizza for those that don't know) and a stagger back to the hotel feeling rather ill.

Plan for tomorrow is to get a lap each done early after breakfast, around 9am before the track gets busy, then see how it goes from there. I want to explore a few more photo spots (Hatzenbach, Ex-Muhle and Brunnchen) later in the day. We have the whole day tomorrow of the track being open and another 2 hour session on Monday. Fingers crossed for good weather!

On the way



Spa







Bergwerk



UK GTI with B4T stickers?



















And some of me/Kris in the Rallye







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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:07 am

Sweet dude, i'd love to be out there, not in that weather though! Looks wierd having headlight reflectors on a LHD!

Hope your having a good time!
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Norledge
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:20 am

Mazzin!

Whos the silver 106 with our sticker? Embarassed

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Rallye James
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:34 am

We think it's someone called Josh off OC but not sure on the user name. Plate is J3SHG.
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Reechard
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:34 am

I hate you!

I need to stop reading and seeing pictures of the ring. makes me want to go even more!

Hope you guys are having fun!
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Chris_429
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:09 pm

James, it's well strange seeing you on the 'right' side of RACK! lol!

Looks like it's all going well, have fun...

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nellers2001
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:21 pm

Looks awesome guys!

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AndyMS43
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:17 pm

Looks great really wish i was there!

Have a safe trip lads!
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bomber
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:06 am

you guys staying with Eddie? we had the top floor apartment to gaze out onto the track.

ring in the fog would scare the ass out of me tbh, have a good time
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Mr Yella
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:09 am

Have a good safe trip peeps and i await the pic's on your return..... Cool Cool
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Rallye James
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:12 am

Yeah, we're at Eddy's. I've got one of the back rooms but we're on the balcony most of the time anyway.

Have just returned from an hour out by myself in the Rallye, so will write up a post about today later Smile
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Rallye James
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:16 am

Sunday: We woke up to a clear sky, it was clear today was going to be dry and sunny. Brilliant. After breakfast we headed up to the entrance and I headed straight on track. Everyone else had the same idea though, lots of traffic. I finished a decent 11:22 lap and parked up, ready for Kris to do his lap. Once the car had had a break, we headed out of the field onto the entrance roundabout, only to have a no entry barrier placed in front of the car. The track was closed and we went back to the hotel. Four ambulances and a roadsweeper later, the reason became apparent when a BMW Mini, minus all of it's glass, two wheels and with the roof folded in half came down the hill on the back of a truck Sad Over an hour later and the track finally reopened. Kris drove up to the entrance where we waited for around 45 minutes queueing to get on. First lap was heavy with traffic, but we stayed on and did a second back to back. With a good clear run Kris pulled out an 11:00 dead, beating my previous best from May by 6 seconds. The track then closed again and in the meantime, we decided to drive to Hatzenback to get some photos for an hour or so. I then went out later on, but even more traffic (everyone wanting to get a lap in before going home) meant I was off line most of the way round only completing the BTG in around 12 minutes. A third accident close to closing time pretty much ruled out any more track action for the day. Back at the hotel, everyone was mainly left to their own devices and having no access to the room, I went for a drive, exploring the south loop, finding the skid pan (which will be explored properly tomorrow) and then giving the Rallye a proper thrashing 'the long way' back to the hotel via Brunnchen and Hohe Acht while the sun went down. I could feel the love coming back...

Monday: With the track only due to open 5-7pm, I slept in late. After breakfast my inner whore came out and the car was washed again. The black steelies were made white again and to start the day we went nosing around the welcome centre for a few hours. We then took a couple of hours watching the testing session on the track. The new M5 was hooning around, as well as a camouflaged new SLK. At 4pm we got back up to the entrance to be first in the queue, only to find that the track was now only going to be open from 6pm for an hour. A long wait ensued, but it was much quieter in the car park then the previous days. I started off in the passenger seat with Kris putting the first lap in, then we switched seats in the queue to get on and I smash my sub 11 minute target (my previous best from May was an 11:06) putting down a 10:53 with a very near off (i.e. riding a lot of kerb through Eiskurve!). I pulled it in to cool for five minutes, then with quarter of an hour before the track closed for the rest of the week, I offered a passenger lap to the rest of our group who were in the car park and the Rallye rolled onto the Nordschleife four up, to show them how it's done. After a belting lap, with some scary speed through the mini Karussell and a little brake fade in the final quarter of the lap, I had equaled my time of the previous day (11:22) with an extra two people in the car. Couldn't ask for anything more from the car. The evening was rounded up with a meal in the Blaue Ecke. Nice, but don't have the 'special sauce'!

Track action is now over for the week, so will just be seeing what's going on for the next couple of days, probably go back down to the south loop and skidpan, and do some karting. Off to bed now though (1:16 over here!).
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nellers2001
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:29 pm

Sounds like you're having an awesome time there! Impressed the cars are all holding up well after that many laps!!!

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Norledge
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:18 pm

Good write up, you're clearly getting use to the car, as well as the track!

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Rallye James
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PostSubject: Re: Live from Breidscheid   Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:02 am

Back at home now, have sorted the photos, so here's the final part of the write up! Smile

Tuesday: With no track time, we had a later lie in and while part of the group went to spend the day in Cologne, we explored the local area. First up was a trip down to the south loop, this time with the others. As a couple of the guys parked up I headed off down a bumpy track which was once the southern part of the circuit. It soon smoothed out, and although narrow, was quite good fun, knowing that I was the only car on it. Once I reached the bottom and the tarmac faded into a field, I returned to where I left the others to find that the barrier onto the other half of the Sudschleife had been removed and carried on to complete my lap, probably one of very few cars that had done so in recent years Very Happy Continuing, we headed for Brunnchen, the most popular viewing point of the circuit with it's large car park. The cars were posed for the obligatory 'tripod' shot in front of the track and we stood on the bank to witness the new SLK, and F10 M5 that we had seen the previous day, as well as the Astra GTC and the awesome Lamborghini Jota being put through their paces. Having heard about a tunnel under the track here, I looked to find my way to the inside of the track. This did result in near death having scaled a sheer cliff face and then falling waist deep in a pile of cut down trees (carrying a hoodie and a camera bag!). Once I had made my decent from this dangerous position we regrouped at the hotel and headed out for the afternoon to the Michael Schumacher kart centre at Kerpen. Being a novice, I stuck to one outdoor session, but the others had two to four sessions each on the indoor and outdoor circuits, whilst I mainly stuck to photography duty.

Wednesday: The day began with a quick car wash to get the cars looking a bit tidier after the abuse of the weekend, then another trip out to Brunnchen for a group photo. From there, we walked trackside up past Wipperman and Hohe Acht, then finally down to the corner that everyone knows so well, the infamous Caracciola Karussell. Another hour was spent here watching the same cars testing again, this time joined by an Audi RS3, which was certainly not hanging about and sounded pornographic! From here it was decided that it would be easier to walk up Steilstrecke - the access road which runs from the corner of the same name before Karussell, to the highest point on the track at Hohe Acht. In any photos, this section has what I will refer to as the 'Eau Rouge effect' where it looks completely flat until you are stood next to it. Steilstrecke standing in front of you is indeed very daunting. Needless to say, once we had completed the ascent, we stopped at Hohe Acht for a break, now watching a new Camaro join the ranks of the testing cars. The remainder of the afternoon was spent tidying up preparing to leave the following morning. We weighed in our fifty or so empty glass bottles at the local supermarket's recycling machine for a grand total of 3 Euros, which Kris put to good use against a 3 litre of bottle of unknown alcoholic substance. A bit of milling about found the Mini from Sunday in a local garage, virtually unrecognisable and a mint Renault 5 Turbo in the supermarket's car park. In the meantime, the others had eaten, so we took it upon ourselves to visit the famous Pistenklause restaurant in Nurburg, where Sabine Schmitz grew up. I satisfied my search for a schnitzel, whilst the others settled for more English looking food. We all passed on the speciality 'steak on a rock', although it was interesting to see when the table next to us ordered it. We stopped at the BMW M test centre for a quick couple of photos before my batteries ran out, then finished the evening with a spot of 'decorating' on the track outside the hotel. 8v FTW Wink

Thursday: The day had finally come around when we had to leave our hotel and head for British soil. The cars were packed and a quick photo of the fresh graffiti was taken, then we left for Dunkerque. Splitting the driving between us, me and Kris headed off with the northern convoy until they peeled off for Brugge, and ended up in Dunkerque an hour before the other southerners. Oops! One ferry crossing and a quick half an hour up the M20, we checked into our Ashford hotel for the night and then had ourselves a Beefeater meal before an early nights sleep and heading home the next morning.
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