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Discussion Starter #21
Nordschleife mission #1 complete!!!

All I can say is, what an INCREDIBLE experience this place is! Totally hooked on the buzz of the whole affair and already we're thinking about the next adventure out here....

I'll have photos to follow and a more detailed write up of it all, as I have lots of thoughts about how the R8 performs on that track - this being without doubt the hardest it's been pushed so far.
We are heading to Amsterdam for the next two days, but just as soon as I'm home I'll sit down to pen some further thoughts and accounts of it all.
But yeah, WHAT a truly fantastic experience. W.O.W

Brunnchen.jpg
 

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that's quite an experience...hopefully you'll have pics of your r8 flying on the nurburgring.
 

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Looking forward to your observations on the R8 at the 'ring. In Amsterdam too against the bikes, trams and taxis!
 

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Nordschleife mission #1 complete!!!

All I can say is, what an INCREDIBLE experience this place is! Totally hooked on the buzz of the whole affair and already we're thinking about the next adventure out here....

I'll have photos to follow and a more detailed write up of it all, as I have lots of thoughts about how the R8 performs on that track - this being without doubt the hardest it's been pushed so far.
We are heading to Amsterdam for the next two days, but just as soon as I'm home I'll sit down to pen some further thoughts and accounts of it all.
But yeah, WHAT a truly fantastic experience. W.O.W

View attachment 240356
Look forward to reading your thoughts soon! I went last weekend and I’m hooked now, definitely want to go back again. Did you join a track day or just a normal TF session?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Look forward to reading your thoughts soon! I went last weekend and I’m hooked now, definitely want to go back again. Did you join a track day or just a normal TF session?
We just did TF on Thursday and Friday evening.
Closed early on both days, one due to some chap rolling his E36 on Brunnchen, but we still managed some laps..

https://m.facebook.com/282685641941438/posts/1165389710337689/?d=m&s=100006846966263

Details to follow!

Were you lapping in an R8?



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It was my first time at the Ring so I didn’t feel brave enough to take my R8 out on track!

I rented a car from Apex and had an instructor with me for 4 laps to guide me through the track. Definitely worth the money, will probably take the R8 out next time!

I was there last Saturday when they had a full day TF session planned. The track opened two hours late due to fog and there were a few long closures throughout the day (car on fire plus a biker was badly hurt after coming off).

https://www.facebook.com/282685641941438/posts/1160791594130834?sfns=mo
 

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Discussion Starter #30
It was my first time at the Ring so I didn’t feel brave enough to take my R8 out on track!

I rented a car from Apex and had an instructor with me for 4 laps to guide me through the track. Definitely worth the money, will probably take the R8 out next time!

I was there last Saturday when they had a full day TF session planned. The track opened two hours late due to fog and there were a few long closures throughout the day (car on fire plus a biker was badly hurt after coming off).

https://www.facebook.com/282685641941438/posts/1160791594130834?sfns=mo
Oh that BMW crash was when you were there, I read that story just before we headed out and couldn't believe the nightmare he faced .... No passport, money card and also no car. It definitely played a big part in being v vv vv careful on there. **** gets real pretty much on every session it seems!

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I was on track with the Apex instructor when we drove past the biker who had come off. He was being checked by paramedics and looked to be in a bad way. Apparently it was bad enough that they had to call for an air ambulance to get him to the hospital.

The Nurburgring is no joke, definitely need to have a healthy amount of respect for the place.
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
We drove from Bristol to Folkestone, taking the Eurotunnel to Calais, from there through France, and Belgium and into Germany. We both felt the R8 was super comfortable for the long drive – 12 hours in total sat in the car and not in the slightest bit of twinge or numbness! On some long sections we were rolling along at 29 MPG, with an average of 24 (there are some lovely fast roads, too nice to not enjoy!)

On the first evening that we arrived the GP track was open for a public session, which essentially works just like the Touristenfahrten (TF) on the Ring; but instead of your 25 Euros giving you a lap, you have 15 minutes instead to do as many laps as you can. Watching from the stands we are facing the main straight and some rapid speeds are built up here especially on the bikes! From all accounts the GP track is safer (as there are wide run off areas unlike the Ring) but also much harder on the cars due to the heavy braking zones after long straights – so tyres, brakes and bushes do get worked much harder on this circuit. But I think next time would definitely try to get on there.

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The next day the ring was open in the evening for a TF session, we had tuition booked and were in a hired BMW E90 330. Fully decked out for the ring: bucket seats, roll cage, low hard ride, big cambers, and horrendously screechy racing brakes. We were both pretty (very) nervous about what was to come, and being frank it all goes past so fast. It was a bit like being ball bearing being dropped in the top of a downward spiralling track – you just have to hold on and listen to what the instructor is saying. 11 minutes literally feels like 2. I learned so much about driving fast and he picked me up on some bad habits, so I would say the instructor lap was one of the most valuable things I’ve ever done.
It was a busy evening on the first TF session, the sun was out and so were many other cars. Our first laps were around 11.20, with several Porsche GT3 RS coming past at double our speed in places, but this was exactly what was needed, I think having a serious fright or god forbid an accident on your first ever lap could quite easily put you off trying again. We did a lap each, but only managed one more before the circuit was shut down due to an accident of some kind. But this didn’t bother us one bit! We went to the Pistenklause and soaked in the atmosphere absolutely buzzing with adrenaline, even 3 hours later we were still talking in fast forward and wide eyed!

The next day we were back on the ring for another TF session. This time I thought ‘it’s now or never’ I must take my R8 out. I have to do it....
As a UK driver you can never have third party insurance, even the specialist track insurance I got from Moris doesn’t cover this – so this is the gauntlet for everybody. If there is a massive pile up and it’s your fault, the costs can be truly life changing – some I heard of run up into the hundreds of thousands. Add a big accident with a Senna or LaFerrari and, well, I have no idea what happens there… One thing I did learn was that there is a piece of regulation that means even if you don’t have third party cover and cause an accident, either by driving or indirectly from an oil/fluid spill, your insurer HAS to pay out, but then they could/will/might chase you down for the money… it’s all a massive grey area, and everybody from the UK on a TF session was in it.

With all this being said, It was another beautiful evening and the sun was falling across the track and surrounding forest hills in golden orange angles, and tonight there were less people around than yesterday: it all just felt right, I was a little nervous, but much more so excited this time and most importantly, confident. I came out here to put the R8 on the ring, so this is exactly what I did.

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I didn’t push the car or myself too much, but at the same time this whole thing is on another level to anything I’ve done before, so in many ways it was both me and the car pushed the furthest to date. The issue I was having was through not knowing the turns well enough there was a tendency to accelerate up but then hang in third gear into a corner, where it would have been better to change up and take the corner in fourth, picking up speed on the exit, but I’m sure this will all come with time. On the long sections like at Flugplatz the car was up to 125mph, any many other sections of over 100mph, but as a first timer the various sections like Bergwerk to Pflanzgarten are areas where you realise you have so much to learn: for instance I was overtaken by a kid in a Polo through there as we approached Brunnchen!

Although the R8 obviously has more power than the 330, I would say on stock set-up it doesn’t actually handle as well. The mag ride was indeed better in sport mode, but even then it felt slightly boggy on some corners with still too much travel in the dampers. The remapped V8 was more than enough power to really enjoy that track, but the main issue I would say is Brakes and Suspension. Putting some coil-overs on there would be an interesting experiment and I think it could make a much better experience of the corners.
Even after a cautious lap of 10.50 the brake disks and callipers were incredibly hot, I don’t think they were fading yet, but I get the feeling the stock R8 brake set up would be insufficient if pushed hard on the ring, I might be wrong, but for another trip out there upgraded brakes would be my first port of call.

racetracker_7553698_112607.jpg

The whole time we were there I saw only 3 other R8’s of any type (Mine was the only V8). While talking to various people there such as instructors, and people at the hire company there isn’t a massively positive attitude towards R8’s – and actually ringers are not that positive towards Audi in general. With the R8’s, quite a few people have commented on its handling saying it has severe shortcomings and is not an ideal ring car. Porsche has clearly won out there: the stock 911 GT3 RS seems to be THE ring car, I must have seen over a hundred of them there in the few days. And although a bit defensive at first, after taking the car out myself I could see what they meant. It doesn’t feel like a race car, but as we agreed that’s not it’s design, it’s a mid-engine GT, and I think one of the best in its class. You can drive for 12 hours in it, take a turn off onto the Nürburgring and have a real blast, then probably drive another 10 hours in it… all the while having a very special driving experience – how many cars are out there that can say this?

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But in summary I would say it’s an incredible place, a driver’s paradise in so many ways. You feel like you grow in terms of skill and knowledge and it’s simply so much fun! I would strongly recommend it to anybody who’s thinking of making a trip out. My ideal future trip would be to align it with an open day on the GP track, do a Saturday session of TF (as it’s open all day), or perhaps a track day and then a couple of TF midweek sessions too, plus also take a ring-taxi trip just to experience insane speed and driving skill.
My intention is to take the car out there again next year, perhaps with new mag ride in there by then, and maybe the carbon ceramic brakes. With a good number of laps under the belt I think a lap in the low 9’s might be possible for me.

I don’t have intentions of ruining my car for its main purpose and try to turn it into a race car by putting stiff coil overs on there, poly bushes, massive camber etc. But it sure does get the imagination going! What if someone were to do all those things and maybe put a twin turbo on there, I wonder what kind of lap times you’d see? Could it keep up with the formidable GT3 RS? Perhaps, but after all this I just love may car even more and cherished this bonding experience!

racetracker_7557413_112609.jpg

View attachment 240460
 

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Terrific write up, thanks for posting as it reminded me of my runs around the Ring but on 2 wheels, a life/driving/riding changing experience sums it up very well. With my R8 being in Brasil I don't think there will be any chance of doing the Ring in an R8 for me, but reading your post I was there in my mind in my R8. :)
 

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Nice write up. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Out of interest, are you a regular track junkie and this was your first visit to the ring, or was this one of your first track experiences?
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Terrific write up, thanks for posting as it reminded me of my runs around the Ring but on 2 wheels, a life/driving/riding changing experience sums it up very well. With my R8 being in Brasil I don't think there will be any chance of doing the Ring in an R8 for me, but reading your post I was there in my mind in my R8. :)
Definitely a bit of a trek, but actually I did meet some Americans who ship cars over to Germany so that they can go on both ring circuits and also go to another track called Spa..
Never say never!

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Discussion Starter #36
Nice write up. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Out of interest, are you a regular track junkie and this was your first visit to the ring, or was this one of your first track experiences?
This is my first ever track drive full stop. When I told my instructor he was amused and puzzled at the same time.. 'so you're from the UK and you've come to the ring for you first track experience??!'

I feel really happy and lucky that my first track experience was on the Nordschliefe in an R8 - stuff of dreams. I do plan on doing a bit more in the UK too. Castle Coombe is next on the list I think.

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This is my first ever track drive full stop. When I told my instructor he was amused and puzzled at the same time.. 'so you're from the UK and you've come to the ring for you first track experience??!'

I feel really happy and lucky that my first track experience was on the Nordschliefe in an R8 - stuff of dreams. I do plan on doing a bit more in the UK too. Castle Coombe is next on the list I think.

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Nothing like jumping straight in at the deep end. Good for you.

I've done more laps of Castle Combe than probably any other track. It's a fast, fun circuit but like the ring you need to treat it with respect.
 

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Definitely a bit of a trek, but actually I did meet some Americans who ship cars over to Germany so that they can go on both ring circuits and also go to another track called Spa..
Never say never!

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You're right "Never say never" and Spa-Francorchamps is closer to the U.K. than the Ring kkkkkkkkkk.
 

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Ive gone two of the last four years. First time I went was to experience the ring itself so I was did a taxi lap with an old vln driver then drove it myself. Terrifying when you don’t know the track because it was intimidating. I used Renn Taxi for that trip. The taxi lap was in Friedhelm’s R8 GT and so fun. I did the lap in his E36 3 and was in awe of how fast the people lapping are (or I was super slow). Definitely do Pistenklaus. Delicious food and really cool decor inside the restaurant. Wander around too as you’ll find the test center homes for bmw M, the headquarters of Phoenix Racing, black falcon racing etc. I just so happened to be there during a WEC race too so took that in on the Grand Prix side. The second time I went was this past June for the 24 hour race. Absolutely epic time. I did a vip lounge wsince I knew I was gonna be there for that long. Sadly I stayed like 30 mins out since everything was booked in the immediate area. I lasted 22.5 of the 24 hours. I basically left the track at around 4am so I can shower and change then went right back to the track. Audi winning it made the experience even better hahaha. Definitely something you need to go to in your lifetime (both just visiting the track and the 24 hour race) beautiful track. Awesome atmosphere. Some pics from the first visit. Ill post some more later my phone network sucks currently.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
The second time I went was this past June for the 24 hour race. Absolutely epic time. I did a vip lounge wsince I knew I was gonna be there for that long. Sadly I stayed like 30 mins out since everything was booked in the immediate area. I lasted 22.5 of the 24 hours.
Would love to visit for the 24 HR race and especially to see the R8 LMS car doing the rounds!

We saw the BMW test centre too, saw an absolutely insane vehicle in there, check out this picture....

Also the other cool experience was the simulators'... really impressed by the sensation of them!


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