October 13, 2008
Getting off the airplane at 7:00, I needed to find something to do to keep me awake for the ENTIRE day in order to adjust to the jetlag. Hmmm - something that requires intest physical activity - I know, racing!
So, I headed out to the Nürburgring Racetrack in Nurburg, Germany. It was 3.5 hours away from Schipol Airport - perfect!
The poor rental car never saw it coming - a 2008 Saab 9-3 1.8t SportCombi (otherwise known as a "station wagon" in the US). It sported a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4 with a six speed manual gearbox.
I met a nice Swiss gentlemen at the track with an E36 M3, sporting a 3.0 inline-6, gutted, fully caged, and ready to attack the track. He was kind enough to take me out for a few laps on the 'Ring.
It was definately a tight fit into the racing bucket, complete with a 5-point harness.
He said he'd go "slow" for me to make sure that I wouldn't get car sick. I was a bit disappointed, until he hucked the M3 into the second series of corners. Holy crap - talk about g-forces!!! We ended up clicking off a 8:45 lap time - anything faster than 10:00 was considered fast, and boy, was it!
I spent 70 Euro for 4 laps, and just went to town. Hammered the Saab pretty badly. The fastest lap was my 3rd lap, as I clicked off a 10:05 (averaging 62 mph!), down from an 11:45 on the first lap. Boy, by the time I was done, the rental car was hammered. On the 4th lap, the brakes were completely faded, the motor had been over revved at least 10 times, and the tires were sticky hot. There was brake dust EVERYWHERE...
So, on my way out, I snuck a few photos of the other cars on the race track:
Skyline R33 Mid Drift.
Pair of Elises.
Skyline R34 GT-R coming out of the corner.
BMW M5 Estate - one of my favorite cars.
Skyline R35 on the racetrack already!
A gen of a car - Audi R8.
For more pictures: