I couldn't write before since I had to go on a business trip right after I came back home.
It was a great weekend albeit little too warm but we all got back with a sun tan I believe. It's was a good opportunity to meet with several new members and catch up with old friends. The members I remember being there are: Kees, Johan, BlackB8, Raymond, Mainka, HIPAD & KSA ///M5 (all the way from Saudi Arabia) and Konstantin. Forgive me if I missed someone. There were other fellows but I'm not sure they're board members or not. Here is a summary of two cracking days.
We hooked up at the BMW Test Centre on Saturday around noon. Kees and Johan were soakin' wet from a morning long ringing! We first had a lunch together at which time HIPAD and KSA ///M5 called and joined us. They were there for the BMW Advanced M3 training starting on Sunday evening. I hope it went all fine and I look to hearing their experience.
After lunch we headed back to Nordschleife and made some laps in Kees' WRX and Johan's stripped down and track prepped M3 and had a great time. Kees knows how to drive his WRX to the max.
For the unprepared, I wouldn't recommend going into Johan's car with full stomach. He does drive it hard, I say no more. But his skills, ring experience and focused M3 gives you confidence.
At the end even the Pagid yellow pads, said enough on Sunday evening!
The parking lot of the Nordschleife was to be seen to be believed. It felt as if it's magnet for Porsche GT3s and M3 CSLs. We've seen at least 4 new CSLs including the first one in Sweden. Amusingly, one had a 330Ci badge at the rear. There was also a fake CSL that bodywork wise you could not tell it from the real one. I had to see the engine to believe that it was a normal M3. Interior was also standard with GT3 seats. The CSL sound very quiet on idle but Johan who had a lap in one of them said it sounds georgeous under power. Some other cars ranged from 1929 Bugattis to recent exotica such as the Weismann, lots of Ferraris and so on.
Late afternoon, some of us went down to the Grand Prix Paddock to check out the Ferrari car club parking lot. We saw two Enzos and two Challenge Stradales. Enzo also sounds surprisingly mild and motorcyle like on idle and slow speed.
We then met for dinner at Sabine's restaurant. Thanks for Kees and Johan who included the rest of us in their plan with the ringers-group. Sabine's "Keep your Distance" T-shirt attrackted well deserved attention. Johan's friend Erik had made a video of a lap in which they followed the Ring-Taxi driven by Sabine (last year of course). We wanted to watch that together with Sabine on the restaurant's TV but when we learned that the head of BMW M Division (I believe Gerhard Richter) was also having dinner at the same restaurant, we decided to do it later. I won't say more about this clip not to give away a future surprise for the board members. After other customers left, we've watched the video and had a great laugh seeing Sabine doing power slides. I left soon afterwards as it was getting into the early hours of the morning and reaching my bed meant driving thru mountain roads for half an hour. Apperantly, Kees and Johan hung on more
and paid for it the next day!
On Sunday, we've met around noon and Kees I started with an instructional lap in my M3. It's going to be a long time before I can memorise all the bends. Later on we (Kees, HIPAD, KSA ///M5 and myself) had a couple of laps in HIPAD and KSA ///M5's rental E60 530d with Kees instructing the racing line again. That was big fun!
One scary moment we had was when Kees and I was lapping again in my M3 and KSA ///M5 was following us in the 530d, a Porsche GT3 kind of overtook us in between the cars and almost running into the rear of KSA ///M5.
Yes, the UK registered black Alpina B3 was damaged front and rear on the right side. It wasn't pleasant looking but nothing that wasn't repairable. I've talked to the owner and he said he spun 360 degress and the DSC was on when it happened. Don't over-rely on the DSC is my advice. We also talked to a new M3 owner whose previous M3 was stolen from the parking lot of Dorint Hotel (by ht GP circuit) only 3 months ago. Apparently at least one expensive car is stolen every week arounf Nurburgring.
Before we know it, the day came to a close and some of us headed back home whereas some others stayed for another day. Raymond had to be at home before midnight at which time his E28 M5's temporary German License Plate expired. A bit Cinderella like. I hope everyone eventually made back safely. I really enjoyed it a lot and already look for the next year's event.
I have some video footage and hope to put together something at the earliest possibility when work permits.