A weekend at the 'Ring
On the 6th and 7th September I decided to spend a special weekend at the Nürburgring as their were 3 events taking place that I didn't want to miss. So a friend (330i) and me (M3) headed out for our long drive to the Ring via German Autobahn
On Saturday our only agenda was to watch the 6 hours endurance race over the Grand Prix and old Nordschleife track. Unfortunately we arrived a tad to late and just missed the warmup lap. After getting over our disappointment we headed to the grandstand to find some seats and get ourselves something to eat and watch the first part of the race.
Finding a good view on the track was easy as there were a lot of free seats. We could hear the engines revving up as the pack of cars were ready to accelerate to begin with race when all of a sudden the track speaker reported a major crash on the straights. A BMW got clipped by behind and rolled over 3 times until the car hit the rails. The race was stopped immediately. We later found out that the driver ''only'' had a brocken arm. It could have been a lot worse. The car was a total loss.
Turns out we had some luck after all as the race would be restarted with a 1 hours delay. That gave me enough time to 'pose as a reporter' and take some pictures on the starting grid and pit areas
Here are some pictures I took with special emphasis on E46 M3's. Below the Scheid BMW 3rd on the grid. He uses a V8 that is among others tested and optimized by FEV:
The Alsen/Klasen Porsche Turbo that would in the end win the race:
Here some more E46 M3's using S54 series engines:
Here is an E30 M3 that when all was done came in 3rd! One very fast oldtimer!
Pictures from the pits with some nice E30 M3's:
Another E46 M3. Note: I am not the sponsor of the team
Unfortunately this beautiful M3 didn't make it to the grid:
Here (11.5 MB, WMV Format) is a video segment taken in the pits and the starting grid.
After seeing several rounds on the new Nürburgring and having a small bite to eat we headed out to the old track:
Below is the famous 'Caracciola-Karussell'. It is really cool to watch the race cars coming into and out of the carousel!
Here (6.1 MB, WMV Format) is a video with the starting grid taking off / first lap and here (8.5 MB, WMV Format) a video taken at the 'Caracciola-Karussell'.
In the evening we went to eat and meet up with guys from German forums who were also at the Nürburgring. A lot of car talk and we had our share of laughs
Sunday was another big event. They had a 'Michael Schumacher Fan-Day'. Ferrari presented many race cars among several F1 racers. It was a fantastic event and the first time I got to see and HEAR formula one cars. Very impressive
Below some pics of Ferrari's on the track:
Luca Badoer takes to the track in a F2002 F1 Ferrari:
In the next video segment Michael Schumacher gets out of a Ferrari Modena and waves to the crowd. Afterwards Ferrari F1 race cars from different time periods are on the track. Click here (15.2 MB, WMV Format) to view the video.
In the afternoon it was our intention to do some driving on the Nordschleife. Once we got there we were amazed as to how crowded it was. As I watched all the cars and bikes flocking the track it was clear to me that I was not going risk going on the track.
Later in the afternoon our friends from the restaurant showed up. Among them was a guy by the nickname of 'Isch'. I've met this guy several times and he has got to be one of the best amateur drivers out there. I had always wanted to take a ride in his modified M3 and as it just so happened he ask me if I wanted to hop along. Of course I couldn't refuse.
After snuggling into the Recaro seats we were off. The first round was just to bring the tires up to temperatur. Everything you could think of passed by. It was shameful
Finally we come up for the second turn that I was looking forward to. Well.... what can I say. It was better but nothing that I had expected. I was looking for the famous 'Isch Nordschleife Turn' but it really didn't happen I don't know why he was so conservative but when the turn was done and we entered the pits he kinda got the message that couldn't have been it. He noticed my disappointment and asked me if I wanted another turn which of course I agreed to. I then felt a lot better and couldn't wait to get the show on the road .
Ok, so finally he let it rip! We had luck in that we caught up with a Porsche (typ was unknown to me but had a huge wing) and my ace driver decided to haunt him down, literately. We were glued to the Porsche's bumper, it was crazy. The Porsche could do nothing and after about 2 minutes he gave up and let us by which was a real shame. Sorry, no pics in this case as both my hands were firmly clamped to the Recaro seats
I was excited and couldn't get enough
Now, you might ask if I got my adrenalin going? Well... the answer is no. This was because Isch's driving style was so confident that I never once had the feeling he wasn't in control. His car is fantastically set up. The cup tyre's glued to the track like nothing I've experienced before. Never once did his M3 slide in a corner or show any chirps or squeals from the tyre's.
The driver wasn't cramped to the steering whatsoever, his hands as dry as a babies bum after it got powdered by mommy. Watching him take the corners was a blast. The ride was pure pleasure!
Here a picture I found on the net of him and me (codriver) on the track that day!
I won't forget the ride for a long time. His M3 is what I call a modified M3 and maybe something the CSL should have been (well maybe to extreme)
All he needs are carbon panels to make the inside look a bit nicer
By the way, no mods were done to the engine and exhaust system.
Well, the traffic lightened up a bit on the track and I had wanted to do some turns of my own. Unfortunately I was out off luck as the track was closed for the day due to a big accident. So we decided to have a bite to eat and then head home.
BUT the day was not over YET
While cruising on the Autobahn something up front caught my eyes. Yes oh yes, it was a CSL. When things like this happen there is only one thing to do. Full speed ahead and pull up one foot behind the prey Well, the CSL driver got the message and woohoo it was a go!
I don't want to go into detail as to what happened next but just say we drove like wild maniacs and believe it or not..... the CSL fell prey. I was more than surprised to say the least. At one point I drove up to him on the right side. His (one damn good looking) lady friend and him gave me the thumbs up. I then realized who it was, the guy at the restaurant I met and he knew who I was. Well, we continued the race for about 30 minutes and I could get away from him every time. Frankly it was too easy!
Then he lost me.... such a shame but I didn't want to wait for him. He later told me he needed to fill up his baby.
The next day I got an email from him where he congratulated me on the encounter we had the fortnight. He was baffled as how I could out accelerate him every time. He then told me it had to do with the cup tyre's he had on for the Nordschleife. Once warm they get so sticky that he loses power to the raod and therefore couldn't accelerate as fast as my M3. I (sorta) agreed and we left it at that.
Well, several weeks later I get another message and he tells me that there was something wrong with the air intake system and that BMW corrected it. Seems he didn't have the power which would frankly make more sense than the warm cup tyre's because the performance difference was to big. Now the problem here is that he has a heavily modified CSL which proved fatal in our little encounter.
Again let this be a warning that anyone moding the M3 engine e.g. altering intake, software or exhaust system MUST know what they are doing or else are going to gain the opposite! I can only emphasize people not to fool around with already perfect M3 engine. This isn't the first time a modified M3 had problems with my stock M3.
At least he seems to be happy now and wants a revenge fight with me that I will of course honor. Of course I'll be fully aware that my M3 will be looking at his pipes this time around. Stay tuned
Below his modified CSL with street tyre setup:
I hope you enjoyed my little weekend outing
Please comment on my Guest Book if you have any thoughts on the subject. Thanks.