Monday, August 14, 2006

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring

Last weekend we visited the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. For the second time in succession we did a full weekend camping. This year was a bit special as we had visitors from the UK. Dave Powell and James Carruthers came over in Dave’s beasty Spitfire. We were all very pleased to see them and enjoyed their company. Think they enjoyed our company as well..

My report from day to day:


The day started off early picking up James end Dave from the F1 hotel in Kerkrade. They where still asleep as we arrived. Dave was the first to show up and he told us about the hairy drive through Belgium they had the other night. Lots and lots of rain had slowed them down and resulted in a arrival time of 04.00 at the F1 hotel. So they had a very short night. Must have been rather unpleasant, driving a lightweight not 100% waterproof Spitfire without a heater on the Belgium motorways in pouring rain. After a while James also showed up. Time to hit the road. We took the scenic route through Germany driving down the B258. In Roetgen we stopped for a healthy breakfast at a supermarket. Got completely amazed by James who ordered two baguettes in fluent German. The 1/4th bit really showed off. Back on track we enjoyed the twisty B258. Luckily there wasn’t too much traffic so we could keep the speed up. Only a couple of bikers really annoyed me. Bloody Goldwing drivers! Luckily the GT6 is a small car, I wedged it between the bikes and forced my way forward. And so did Dave in the Spitfire. Don't think the bikers appreciated our action. At exactly 13.00 we arrived at the campsite. Time to put up tents for Dave and James. Not much later Theo, Rene, Herbert and Mario arrived with all the camping gear for the weekend. Time to put up our stuff and make the site as comfy as possible. Think we succeeded in that pretty well. Although the weather wasn’t that good we all survived! After getting settled we went to Breidscheid to do some shopping and watch the 4hr race at the Nordschleife. Always good fun seeing the old GT’s and sportcars driving the Ring. GT40 is still a very impressive tool!! We also saw a Jaguar E-type crash backwards into the bridge at Breidscheid. Luckily it was only body damage and they managed to get it back on track. We also watched the cars at the Brünchen area. Especially the Eschbach section is good for photographing. Think Theo and James (20d team) where very pleased. Hope they made some good shots. The race finished at 6, time to go back to the campsite and prepare dinner! BBQ was excellent, especially the Tjernobil sausages are superb. (they make you glow in the dark) Think Dave and James went to bed around 9 as they where very exhausted from their trip. Not much later Rob and his girlfriend arrived at the scene in his TR8. They had to put up their tent in the dark which is always amusing. We had a couple more drinks and went to bed around 2 o’clock I think.


We started the day with a very healthy breakfast. A huge omelette made from 30 eggs, including bacon, paprika, unions, tomatoes, mushrooms and many many more ingredients. Yummie! Saturday is the day for watching races at the GP track. We all went down the track around 11 except for Dave who decided to drive the Nordschleife in his Spitfire. This turned out to be a wise decision as it was nearly dry all day. First race we saw was the 70’s revival of German touring cars. One of my favourite races involving my very favourite Capri RS, also CSL’s, Pantera’s, 911RSR, Corvettes and many more interesting cars. Unfortunately the Capri blew his engine after 3 laps being in the lead. In the end a green 911 RSR won. Next race was historic F1 cars. Not that exciting so we went for a walk through the paddock. Far more interesting to see so many great cars in one event. After the pitwalk we went back to the campsite to relax and get ready for the evening sessions at the track. James and I went out in the GT6 to see how Dave was doing at the Nordschleife. Just as we arrived the track got closed. Finally we met up with Dave who had a great day testing the beast. As the track was still closed we called it a day and went to Adenau to find a cash machine for James. It had started raining which wasn’t that good as the tyres on my GT6 have had their best days. Taking it very easy on the twisty backroads we drove back to the campsite. Time to watch the evening races at the GP track which is situated next to the campsite. Involving GT’s and sportscars up to 1965 both races promised some cool action. Especially the GT’s were great to see as they had a wet qualifying. All Mini’s in front of the big heavy US cars! It didn’t take long for the muscle cars to beat the Mini’s in the dry. It was a great race involving lots of action. Well worth watching! Think we all got hungry so we went back to the campsite for more BBQ-ing. In the meantime Ivo arrived at the scene is his M3. He joined in for doing some Nordschleife laps on Sunday. We had a pleasant time sitting round the fire and drinking beers. It became even more pleasant as a car stopped in front of the entrance to our site. Rob and I decided to go down and investigate what was going on. Loaded with an axe and a torch we walked to the entrance. It turned out to be a Berlin registered and very old Renault Espace that had a puncture. The guys were struggling to undo the nuts to unbolt the sparewheel. In the meantime Herbert, Mario, Theo and Ivo had joined us and instead of killing the Berlin boys with the axe we decided to help them. We are not that bad!! We offered them a beer and finally they managed to change the wheel. Then we invited them to have some more beers which resulted in them leaving the scene at 02.00!! Most of our group went to bed already. Only Herbert, Mario and I being the survivors. After the Berlin boys left the 3 of us went to our next door neighbours to say hello. Luckily the Germans remembered us from last year and we where more than welcome to join in. We had some more beer and Jägermeister and discussed all different kinds of subjects. (not being scared of mentioning 40-45) At 4.15 we went back to our tents for a short sleep. What a day!


Nordschleife day!! Woke up around 9 and felt quite alright. After some coffees and another healthy breakfast it was time to clear out the campsite. The Spitfire, TR8 and M3 already went off to the Nordschleife to do their laps. After we packed up our stuff Rob and I went to the Brünchen area to meet up with the others. When we arrived Dave and Rob (we’ve got 2) decided to do some more laps. Sounded as a good plan so we drove back to the start. Again the track got closed at the moment we arrived. Not good, especially not as it took over an hour to re-open. Also the weather was playing up. Typical for this region are the local showers. It looked like it wasn’t improving much and if we didn’t have Dave and James over from the UK I normally would have gone home. Then suddenly the weather cleared up and Rob decided to take me out for a lap in his TR8. Dave also went in the Spitfire. The first section up to Adenauer Forst was dry, still the V8 had enough power to go sideways in the corners. I was really surprised by the power it produces. So much different to the Sprint engine in Theo’s car. Have to admit I prefer the V8 power. Sounds better too! Anyway, coming out of Fuchsrohre the track changed from dry to soaking wet. All sliding through Adenauer Forst up to Metzgesfeld and Kallenhard. The track was very greasy and the torque produced by the V8 wasn’t helping either. Steady through Wehrseifen and easy going down towards Breidscheid, turning left onto the bridge as suddenly the back end kicked out. Sliding on 4 wheels and in a 90 degrees angle from the track we went over the bridge. Rob managed to get the car straight again and we continued our lap! I would love to see a photo of that… The track was still wet and greasy as we followed a silver BMW E34 that went sideways through Bergwerk. We passed it on the straight and finished our slidy lap without having too much trouble. Have to say I really enjoyed it. Rob enjoyed it too but also realised this wasn’t the way to go and went home. We went down to Breidscheid to watch some action on track as the weather still was pants. Dave and James went for a meal. Very unexpected the weather changed, the sun came out and dried up the track really quick. That made us to go back to the start and do some more laps. I did one lap in the GT6 which wasn’t that exciting. Still a bit wet at some spots and far too busy watching faster cars in the mirrors isn’t good for driving a decent lap. Still great fun trashing the car round. The engine just sounds too good! Still passed a Porsche Boxter btw.. Back at the start we met up with Dave and James again. Now it was time to do a lap with Dave in his beasty Spitfire. Have to say Dave is a superb driver. He drives really nice lines and also the Spitfire is a true beast!! Great handling and revs like mad. It looks the business too! Well done Dave. This was nearly the end of another superb weekend. After the lap with Dave it was time to say goodbye. The Brits had a fair amount of driving to do, catching a boat in France. Rob and I stopped for a meal in Adenau and took the scenic route back home which was interesting as usual.

Breakfast in Roetgen.

James is testing my GT6 for sleepabilty. Looks like it passed the test. RBRR proof!!

We have a new pope! Tent on fire...

How low can you go??

Saturdaymorning at the campsite. Zwaaibraai in front!

Sideways, Beans and James representing CT.

Ich bin ein Berliner and have a puncture. But why am I surrounded by a couple of mad Dutch folks?? And why is one carrying an axe ?!

The Dutch being helpfull as usual.

Some other people made photo's as well and put them online. I feel free to link their sites.

Cars in the paddock

Friday race at Nordschleife

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