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A few days ago I drove the famous/infamous Nürburgring here in Germany. I went up with a friend who has a beautiful 2008 BMW M3. He took me out in his car first to show the ins and outs of the track. I almost threw up! Hitting high speed on tight corners for 14 miles can make your stomach turn a little. Kinda like driving 101 in Cali, but 20x faster. He's an experienced track driver and knows the course well. We held our own on the track, save for a couple of GT3's who bested us around a turn. There were many experienced drivers on the track that day. Cool!

My co pilot (wife) and I climbed into the Lotus to hit the track. She was worried about the speed and I reassured her I would take it easy. The Ring is no joke people. If you don't know it well and want to be Mr. or Mrs. Macho and floor it, you will either seriously destroy your car, kill yourself or kill someone else. Racing bikes are all over the track and people are literally driving inches from each other at extremely high rates of speed on straights and around corners. BTW, if you break something (guardrail, car, track, your neck) you pay for everything, including the short ambulance ride! On with my drive... We enter the gate, put our ticket in and pulled out of the cones to the track. Then, I floor it. The beginning is a straight and has a few small corners. I was making all the turns and playing the turns correctly at this point.

Then the bottom fell out! I was coming up on a sharp, blind S turn a little fast. I braked into it and the rear wheels gave out to the right. I started the "Fishtail from Hell" portion of my Nürburgring rookie experience. Using defensive driving techniques and being very calm, I turned into the slide. Then I hit the grass! Luckily at this point, nobody was behind me because some serious wipes would have happened. The wheels decided to kick out left towards the track now and we were at a right angle sideways burning rubber, trying desperately to gain control. I slid back out to the right and then back left until I was about 5 feet from the wall. I gained control of the car and drove off. Everything seemed normal after that. My wife made me drive slower and I didn't argue with her. I was very impressed with how the Lotus handled the near disaster. We got off the track and I gave the car an inspection. There was lots of noise during the near wipe, so i figured something had to be broken. Nadda. Car was just dirty. Yeah! My friend had passed me on the track about half way down (he started about 1 min after me) and was waiting to hear the word on my experience. He laughed, as he should have. I told my wife not to beat me with her shoe. She didn't.
The M3 guy said... "I saw some dirt tracks and wondered who the hell did that". Yep. Rookie. :mad:
 

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You are a lucky bastard. I hear those guard rails are expensive to replace. Nice experience overall though, right? And I am sure the crap will come out of your pants when you wash them.;)
 

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I had about 17 laps driving and a lot more riding with a friend. You really have to know the track well.

My friend had a season pass and I rode with him a lot and then had him ride with me. It's ok when you have someone who knows the track tell you, "trust me, it opens up, floor it!" But, if you don't be careful!

There is a spot around the 5 KM point that tightens up a lot and if you aren't expecting it, you will be in trouble. I saw several accidents there and in a few other places, too.

It is an incredible experience! I just returned to the US and miss GE so much for the Ring, autobahn and other stuff as well. Enjoy it while you are there!
 

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The 'Ring is fun to drive, but I've always left myself a lot of comfort room. I've only done it three times in my life, but in two of those three times there was a spin by another car during the course of a given lap.

It's a very dangerous thing; much more at risk than a typical track day. I just can't see myself doing it on a regular basis.

Steve
 

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I've driven 99 laps (literally -- I'm one short of a hundred and a couple of those were done in MS355's wonderful Elise) and ridden as a passenger for another couple dozen, and I always feel compelled to offer a STRONG note of caution to anyone thinking about making the trek. For one, it's a complicated track (I spent weeks ten years ago with Grand Prix Legends driving the track over and over again before my first trip). For another, it can really bite folks, including those who think, "oh, I'm just going to do a touring lap at 6/10ths." For a third, the cost of an incident can be hugely expensive, including the cost of amrco repairs, lost track time, landscaping, hospital transport, medical care, tow truck service and so forth. For those of you thinking of going, the best website (in English) on the Ring is Ben Lovejoy's which can be found here. Joe, I'm glad you weren't hurt.

Twin
 

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I've driven 99 laps (literally -- I'm one short of a hundred and a couple of those were done in MS355's wonderful Elise) and ridden as a passenger for another couple dozen, and I always feel compelled to offer a STRONG note of caution to anyone thinking about making the trek. For one, it's a complicated track (I spent weeks ten years ago with Grand Prix Legends driving the track over and over again before my first trip). For another, it can really bite folks, including those who think, "oh, I'm just going to do a touring lap at 6/10ths." For a third, the cost of an incident can be hugely expensive, including the cost of amrco repairs, lost track time, landscaping, hospital transport, medical care, tow truck service and so forth. For those of you thinking of going, the best website (in English) on the Ring is Ben Lovejoy's which can be found here. Joe, I'm glad you weren't hurt.

Twin
So true, Christopher - you need to come back for the 100th lap. Thanks for the compliments about the 1ZZ :) It was a pleasure to be a passenger in my own car. :clap:
 
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