Sunday, June 25, 2006

Triumphs @ the Nürburgring

Last week Andy Flexney tipped us about a Triumph meet at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. A german club ( TR IG SuedWest) had rented the famous Nordschleife for 2 hrs. Anyone in a Triumph could enter for peanuts and drive round the track. Sounds like good fun so off we went this morning! I started the GT6 at 5.45 (sorry dear neighbours) and headed for the German border where I met up with Theo in the TR7. We drove down the empty motorways and arrived at the Nordschleife carpark around 7.30. There where already loads of Triumphs (and other English cars) waiting to get started. After paying the entry fee, we set off for a couple of laps. I wasn't sure if it would be any fun driving the GT6 around. It's not that quick really and I already had the feeling when I drove the BMW round it felt a bit underpowered with 170BHP. I was more than surprised the GT6 managed to go round even better than the BMW. Obviously it isn't that quick, but the overall feeling was much better. Superb handling and the engine pulled really well. It just loves smooth surfaces! Although temperature was rising to a maximum in my GTSauna I hardly could stop driving. It was just too much fun going round the track. After 5 laps I stopped to shoot some pictures. Something you normally can't do, but this morning it was all possible. I parked my car next to the track at the exit of the steilstrecke!! I took position behind the armco and started shooting. When I turned round and watched my car I saw it was loosing coolant. For some reason the engine started boiling after I stopped it. Not much you can do about it as wait. So I carried on photographing. I was hoping to shoot some pictures of the CT cars in action, unfortunately they where having coffee at the very same moment.... (why socialise when you can drive such a great track??? Don't ask me!) After 30mins I deceided to continue on. See how the engine temperature would develop. Just as I took off I realised I left my sunglasses on the Armco. Right, now I had to do another lap.. hoping the engine wasn't cooking up again. Luckily back on the track the temperature was fine. On the next lap I stopped again at the steilstrecke to pick up my sunglasses (they where still there) and carried on driving. I took it easy on the last section, not overstressing the engine. Round 9.40 I came back at the carpark. Theo wasn't there and also no yellow missile. After some 10 minutes waiting the TR7 came in a couple of minutes later followed by the TR3. Finally I met up with Andy and Jutta. We joined them and their German friends for breakfast in a restaurant with a marvelous view. To get to the restaurant we had to drive up a narrow road including a couple of 1st gear hairpins. The road brought us on top of a hill and also the end of the world. How on earth can you start a restaurant in the middle of nowhere??? And how on earth have Andy and friends ever found it?? Driving up the hill was great fun, we went up really quick and had some wheels spinning in the tight hairpins. Not only the altitude climbed also the temperature needle of my GT6. Just in time we arrived at the top. Rest for the cars and healthy German breakfast for the drivers. And yes, the view from the restaurant was awesome. It was well worth the drive up. After breakfast we made some more pictures and almost it was time to head off. Although, no CT meet without working on cars. The yellow missile suffered from a clonky front wheel. It turned out to be a knackered wheelbearing. I think they tightened it up a bit, good enough for the drive back to one of the German friends. He has a wheelbearing "in stock" so hopefully they manage to get it fixed. After saying goodbye we went downhill back to the civilised world. We continued on driving some scenic roads back to the motorway. Back home round 14.30 and completely cooked. This time it was me, not the car!!!

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