(yawn)…. I just dragged my self out of my hotel bed…. It's six in the morning and we are going to be leaving Germany after breakfast for the quick sprint across the border to Belgium, and the town of Spa-Francorchamps. We'll be there for around four days in the run up to the FIA GT Spa 24H race. I haven't been to an FIA GT race since the year 2000; I am very much looking forward to seeing Maseratis, Aston Martins, Saleens and Corvettes battling each other up the cliff race known as Eau Rouge…. Should be good!
So let's look at the photos from yesterday. We spent a good portion of the day travelling from the former East Germany west to the Nurburgring. The goal was to get a sense of the track day culture that surrounds the Nordschleife.
Part of our plan was to check out the parking lot at the entrance to the circuit…. Germany's version of Daikoku Futou perhaps?
It's only around 16:00 that the track was opened to the public that day……. as we arrived the lot was already quickly filling up with cars from all across Europe; we saw machines from the UK, Italy, Netherlands, even as far as Russia!
Note just how many Porsches are in the picture. You get a real sense how serious the owners of these cars are about performance driving. The most dominant model type in the lot was the GT3 type.
Three ranges of cars: a stripped out fully caged Golf, M3 and behind an Aston Martin. I think that the scene around this famous track is amazingly inclusive. Doesn't matter what type of car you have, you are free to take it out on the circuit.
It was a treat to see these two Abarth spec Fiats waiting to get on to the track. Love the 500! Behind them you can see the ticket office where you buy your laps.
Which ticket would you take?
This Karman Ghia was outfitted with a Porsche flat 6 engine and Porsche rims.. very clean car although I didn't like the two tone paint.
Have Porsche: Drive on Nordschleife….. The two seem to go hand in hand.
Two touring type cars waiting to go out. Let's look at the silver one some more….
I REALLY liked this slammed RS4 from Switzerland. We later saw it out on track being driven real HARD. (I got some stickers at the booth BTW for the Speedhunters crew in Vancouver)
Clean Mk2. Ok this car isn't that agressive looking… but…. it was driven to it's maximum out on the circuit. The owner obviously knows his way around the green hell.
By this time, the line up to enter the circuit was stretching out of the parking lot and down the road…
So we wandered down the road to look at more cars. This UK based track spec E21 BMW was fully stripped and caged up. I already had my eye on the Alpine behind though.
This roll caged, stripped out 1 series coupe was available for rental… Good stance although am not 100% on the rims.
I still want to see a full pro drift version of this car type done up!
So once the cars got out on track we drove into the woods to have a further look at the track. I love how close to the circuit's edge you can get. That's me in the background there….
Its odd… I have a mental image of this place from various video games so I knew where I was at all times more or less. But only from the virtual version of this place haha….
This is what it's all about! That's a 60's TVR behind chased by a 356 in the distance.
You can get a real sense from this photo how the track feels like a thin, walled up strip of tarmac snaking it's way through the forrest.
I think I'm going to need to get to know this place…. I'm amazed to think that every day of the week you will find average car owners taking their track cars, exotics, luxury barges or economy cars down to this legendary circuit to push their limits to the next level. What we saw yesterday was just a normal day at the Nordeschleife.
A truly inclusive and participatory scene wouldn't you agree?
It's that and we need to paint a Speedhunters logo onto the track surface!
Ok gotta shower, pack and we are off to Belgium!