Nurburgring June 2013: Neil’s first Trip and Trackday

Snaking through the cones and barriers to join the legendary Nordschleife (Northloop) is a truly great feeling. A perfect blend of: WTF am I doing here, this is too much fun to be legal and an adrenalin hit that makes the next 13 miles something all motor sport fans need to experience. As cliche as it reads back, it really is a must!

Joining the Northloop at the Nurburgring
Too addictive…………

This was my 4th trip to the ‘Ring, and the Eifel Region of Germany. For any car / motor sport fan this place is the equivalent of Mecca. With a further million cliches and articles written about why all automotive fans should make the pilgrimage. For my friend Neil this was his first trip (and first ever time on a track). Also the first trip for my company car. Over 600 miles to a tank, it was a good companion for the trip. Even in crazy Belgium / e40 traffic. I couldn’t resist……….. Ocean BMW summed it up by tweeting “BMWs look great at the ‘Ring” and I agree….

BMW One Series Dynamic Efficiency 116de at the Nurburgring
Obligatory!

With a 5 day pass we were excited and all set for a two day trackday run by Destination Nurburgring (DN). In my humble opinion there is no better way to experience the Nurburgring*

* That I can afford. I’m sure there are more exclusive days, quiet industry days and Porsche experience days that are far beyond my means.

DN Events offer great marshalling, no bikes, limited cars and lots of time and space on track. Combine this with a Suzuki Swift Stage 2+ from Rent4Ring and you’re in for a treat!

Rent4Ring Head Quarters at the Nurburgring
Rent4Ring HQ

Under normal circumstances a Swift isn’t something to get excited about. However, R4R’s Swifts are anything but normal circumstances.

Suzuki Swift Stage 2 Rent4Ring at the Nurburging
Stage2+ Rent4Ring Suzuki Swift, affectionally know as ‘See You’ (CU)

There is no safer or more enjoyable way for an inexperienced ‘Ring newbie to drive the track. In the right hands the Swifts have enormous potential. The likes of Dale Lomas, Mr. BridgetoGantry, can lap them in under nine minutes! Modified to a very high standard with semi slicks, roll cages, bucket seats, harnesses, endless brake pads and suspension/geometry designed for the ‘Ring. All cars are thoroughly checked before each rental and during the day(s) R4R keep an eye on all of their customers. Combine this with R4R’s excellent customer service and the reassurance that if something does go wrong you have the R4R team behind you and it’s easy to see why most customers become regulars.

The Swifts feel agile, incredibly dialled in and a joy to cover 13 miles of green hell in. From the first couple of corners you’re aware they’re something special and that R4R have taken a lot of time and effort to develop their cars.

My Fav picture of the Swift
My favourite pic of the trip – Picture credits to Frozenspeed.com – Provided as part of the Destination Nurburgring Trackday #DN8

Our Mission:

  • Learn the corner names
  • Guide Neil safely through his first laps
  • Improve our knowledge of the track
  • Walk the track
  • Tick off some touristy things
  • Soak up being at the Nurburgring.

Our Concerns: Anyone who goes to the Nurburgring and says they don’t fear crashing is either delusional or missing common sense. All Motorsport comes with a certain amount of risk and demands respect. None more so than the Nurburgring. Neil had the additional worry of no prior experience and the fear of being too slow, not enjoying it and getting in everyone’s way.

After a painful trip through Belgium, with a foolish stop in Brussels, we arrived at the excellent Gastehaus Fuchsrohre to be greeted by our host Michaela. Michaela was part impressed by our commitment and efficiency in turning up two days before the main event and part upset by the aftermath of the previous weekend at the Nurburgring. Rock am Ring left scenes of devastation, abandoned tents, rubbish pyramids and litter everywhere.  Michaela estimated she’d had about 6 hours sleep in three days… Ouch……

After a pizza each we called it a day ready for Tourist Experience Tuesday….

Part 2: Nurburgring June 2013: Tourist Experience Tuesday

Part 3: Nurburgring June 2013: Destination Nurburgring 8 #DN8

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