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Nurburgring

Posted by David McKell On May - 26 - 2015

Nurburgring

 

On Wednesday we went to the Nurburgring. The Nurburgring is a 23km track around the town of Nurburg. It is technically a toll road with no speed limits and not a race track (as racing is illegal on public roads).

 

 

We hired a track car for 2 main reasons:

1, our hire car insurance does not cover the Nurburging

2, The hire cars are fully track prepared (roll cage, sports wheels/tyres, etc) and include fuel, insurance, lap tickets.

 

We originally were going to drive the Golf GTI around the track, but unfortunately were unable to. Instead we chose the Renault Clio RS Sport, which was not only cheaper, but in hindsight a much better choice. It was 200hp engine and automatic gearbox (with paddle shift). Although 200hp is not a lot especially around a track, it was the right amount for us. Since the track has 70 odd corners, varying track conditions (started off belting down with rain and ended up being dry and sunny) we would need to take it easy or risk a very expensive lap.

 

 

It was decided that I would drive 3 of the 4 laps and Brioney would do the last one. The first lap Brioney was a passenger for. It had just belted down rain so the track was very wet, in an unfamiliar car I took it as easy as I could being in a race prepared car.  The handling and braking of the car was superb. It was pretty quick off the line but not that quick in the higher rev ranges. It had awesome grip despite all the water on the track. This first lap being a slower lap for us while getting used to the car and track meant that we got overtaken by a few cars, which was just like driving a normal road – keep right and let them over take. There is 1 corner that is quite steep but begs for massive acceleration, in the wet however and especially for rear wheel drive cars like Porsche GT3 you really need to take it easy. Unfortunately for the Porsche he found out the hard way facing the wrong way with his nose in the guard rail. We have a partial video of the first lap but the internet here is to sporadic for me to even try and upload it.

Before the second lap we pulled back into the car park to cool the nerves (The passenger) and let the sun dry the track a bit more.  After about 5 minutes I headed out for my second lap without the second brake. The track was still abit wet and the car and track and still very new to me, so again I took it easy while pushing it as much as I felt comfortable to see what it would do. There was a few under steers with a bit too much acceleration going around corners in the wet, that was really fun (and planned for).

The third lap I decided it might be best to have a longer break and let Brioney take her turn. By now surprisingly most of the track was dry and it wasn’t very busy, so seemed perfect. I think she had a great time, but I am sure her parents will be pleased to know that I don’t think she will follow up a racing career. I also have a video of her lap which I might upload when we get home.

The forth and final lap I took the car out on my own, despite wanting someone to film me. This was by far my best and funnest (pretty sure that’s not a word but it should be) lap. The track was almost completely dry so I had no concerns about the car and sliding, in hindsight I know I still did not push it anywhere near hard enough. The corners were taken sharp and fast, acceleration was applied straight after if not during the corners it felt incredibly fast and exhilarating. Still had the thought in my head of “5000 euro excess ($7500 AUD) must not have too much fun” though so that held me back a bit. The final straight I got the car to 180 kmph which isn’t very fast but as I mentioned before the car doesn’t have good top end power, so it was pretty much maxed out.

It was a great experience and very glad we did it.

 

 

 

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