The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have the opportunity to potentially combine a work trip in October into a track/fun day.

This will be my first time in Europe. I would like to rent a track car for a track day ideally. If that doesn't pan out where can I go to rent something to take it on one or both SPA and the ring.

Any suggestions for other car related things in the area? I will be flying into Denmark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I have the opportunity to potentially combine a work trip in October into a track/fun day.

This will be my first time in Europe. I would like to rent a track car for a track day ideally. If that doesn't pan out where can I go to rent something to take it on one or both SPA and the ring.

Any suggestions for other car related things in the area? I will be flying into Denmark.
Check out RSR, they rent at both tracks. There are other outfits at Nurburgring, RentRaceCar.de and Rent4Ring.de. I've had positive experiences with both, but I'm not sure if they rent at SPA as well.

Most importantly, I cannot recommend a day at Nurburgring enough. You will probably sit in the parking lot a bunch while they clean up crashes, so don't buy too many laps upfront. Learn the track beforehand and respect it. I would not treat a day at the Nurburgring as a track day, but it'll be an experience of a lifetime.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RavynX

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Okay so if you could only pick one you would say go for Nurburgring?

What car would you recommend renting?

I have heard that from a few other people. Even driving it for hours in the sim doesn't fully prepare you for it. I plan on going to enjoy it and like 60-80%

What about the tourist days?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,723 Posts
I enjoyed my time in the Rent4Ring Swifts. They aren't fast, but they're set up properly and you won't be in over your head as a first-timer. Great group of guys over there.

Be aware that the track is closed for more than half of the month of October.

https://www.greenhelldriving.nuerburgring.de/#/landing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,267 Posts
I rented a race prepped GTI from RSR Spa earlier this year. I highly recommend them and also suggest an instructor for at least one session so you can learn the track. The GTI was much faster than I expected and well prepped including an overnight brake flush and pad change between days 1 and 2. If you want a manual you may want to do the FocusRS instead which some of the people in my group did.

My track day was through book-a-track and they put on a great event. Open track the entire time and the only difference was passing on the left only.

Spa-Francorchamps | The Racing Geek
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Okay so if you could only pick one you would say go for Nurburgring?
Yes, I would go for the 'Ring if only a single track day is workable for you. The track is so long and the terrain changes so large. There is really nothing like it anywhere.

What car would you recommend renting?
I'd recommend renting a Caterham or an Elise if you can swing it if you are renting a track car. Ron Simon has had both of these available in the past. Check their website to see what they presently have in their fleet. The usual rental car companies check the various 'Ring photo sites to see if you have misbehaved with one of their vehicles. That said I've driven regular rentals on the 'Ring, Spa and Zolder several times. Swapping license plates or a bit of tape can help with this. A word to the wise: in the event of misfortune this tactic may have legal ramifications.






.
Even driving it for hours in the sim doesn't fully prepare you for it.
You might want to watch this video of Han Stuck, It uses the complete track, both the Grand Prix Strecke and the Nordschleife. The video starts on the Grand Prix track and at a sharp left hand turn around 1:25 into the video it transitions to the Nordschleife. It will give you a good idea of what the track looks like from a great Racer's perspective.


This link gives a good idea of what it is like to drive a 2006 Mercedes E420 most of the way around at relatively safe speeds:


I don't claim to be any kind of race car driver and you can see this in spades with my classically bad lines at Kalenbach. But I do have a fair number of laps at the 'Ring and visit regularly and respect it tremendously. My son's narration here gives a good layman's perspective. Also, pay attention at about 6:45 into the video.

.
I plan on going to enjoy it and like 60-80%
There are something like 6-15 Touristenfahrten fatalities per any given year at the 'Ring. It is a very dangerous place. It takes a lot of laps to get a good feel for the track. Don't let testosterone or red mist get the better of you. Take it easy and enjoy yourself. Jackie Stewart thought the Nordschleife to be so challenging that he called it Grune Holle, The Green Hell. The nickname stuck. Here are a couple of videos to remind you of what happens if you aren't paying attention:


And one of my favorites focussing on a single part of the track, Adenauer Forst:

Places like FlugPlatz (litterally Flight Place) Adenauer Forst, Ex Muhl, Barbecue Bend, Bergwerk, and Brunnchen all offer fantastic opportunities to do great bodily harm to yourself and others. Motorcycles are allowed on the track along with the cars. Be very careful around them. They are faster than you on the straights and much slower in the corners. Give them lots of room! If one is holding you up, slow down and give yourself a gap. If you do crash, you are responsible for the cost of damage to both the car and to the track. Guard rails are expensive! The elevation changes are dramatic. From about Metzgesfeld to Bergwerk, approximately 4km, it is all downhill. So you can get going very fast indeed. The complex Wehrseifen thru Ex Muhl in that downhill segment is very steep and can get you into big trouble in a hurry. Pay attention!

Also, don't underestimate the Brunnchen complex. It is a nice downhill left had then sharp uphill right hand that loads up the suspension at the bottom of the gulley and unloads just as you crest the uphill right hander that becomes a slightly off camber left hander as you reach the top of the hill.

Good advice 1: Watch out for anyplace on the track that you see spectators on a Touristenfahrten day; this will be a dangerous place. The spectators are there because there is a high probability of seeing multiple crashes.

Good advice 2: Check at the ticket window for the track emergency number. Program it into your phone as a hot key. Be prepared for yourself and for others.

I have been to the track many times. I have never been there when the track did not close for some amount of time to either clear an accident or to make guard rail repairs as a result of an accident.

What about the tourist days?
The only days that you can have access to the track are on tourist days. The German language term for this is Touristenfahrten. Literally Tourist Driving. Check out the calendar here and look under the tourist dive banners near the bottom of the page:

https://www.nuerburgring.de/en/fans-info/info/opening-times.html

If you have some flexibility about scheduling your visit, check to see if there is a combined Grand Prix track and Nordschleife (you will get to run them both together as a single lap just like Hans Stuck in the previous video) Touristenfahrten opportunity that works for you. It makes the track even longer, more challenging and more enjoyable; It's the ultimate 'Ring experience.

Lastly, you'll want to stay in a nice hotel for your visit and dine in a nice place. If you want to stay at the track, Hotel am Tiergarten is owned by the Schmitz family. Hint: Ever heard of Sabine Schmitz? Her parents own the place. It's not too badly priced if you can book a room. Lots of history and it's inside the track in Nurburg. Their Pistenklause restaurant is a must visit, even if only for an espresso and cake.


In Adenau, less than 1/2km from the Ex Muhl turn, is a wonderful old inn, built in the 1700s IIRC, the Hotel Blau Ecke. Much less expensive. All of the rooms are racing themed / named. And the food is most excellent.

A bit further away in Auderoth is my personal favorite lodgings, Hotel Wilhelmshoe. The owners, Jacqueline and Uwe are great hosts. Jacquie makes delightful jams and jellies. Outstanding for breakfast.

And Uwe is an accomplished chef. His dinners are not to be missed. Just order his special. Dinner in the garden is wonderful:


And since you will be a tourist, the Eiffel region of Germany is very beautiful. The view from atop the Burg ruins is fantastic. Definitely worth the time. Here you can see see the Grand Prix complex in the distance to the north:


And the roads in the area are fantastic. Almost as much fun as the 'Ring itself.


Enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I agree with much of what had been said. Definitely pick the Ring over SPA, since SPA is a racetrack and the Ring is its own animal unlike any other. The two biggest mistakes you can make before you go is not to learn the track and to sign up for too much car. Watch narrated on-board footage, ideally from professionals or Ring instructors, watch the RSR safety videos, and maybe take an instructor for a lap or two. I had plenty of fun with a prepped DSG GTI and a manual Clio RS and passed GT 3s, M3s and RS5s (I was also passed by an Opel and a 1 series).

The Ring is certainly dangerous, but if you prepare, respect it and stay away from the hooligans you will be fine. Most fatalities are bikers who should never be on track with cars at the same time (or on the Ring at all).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,713 Posts
For the Ring there are after hours track walks you can join as well, I did one the day before I drove. They drive you around in a van with some pro racers and they stop at the crucial points to show you where to aim for. I rented a race prepped M3 and managed to get 5 laps in between the crash clean ups. If you can afford it stay at the hotel Dorent it is truly amazing you have a balcony on the F1 track and can watch whatever group happens to be running that day.
Be sure to read up on the etiquette, stay to the right and let locals pass. There are people who have driven that track most of their life and on public days you should stay out of their way as they are probably trying for personal bests.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
For the Ring there are after hours track walks you can join as well, I did one the day before I drove. They drive you around in a van with some pro racers and they stop at the crucial points to show you where to aim for. I rented a race prepped M3 and managed to get 5 laps in between the crash clean ups. If you can afford it stay at the hotel Dorent it is truly amazing you have a balcony on the F1 track and can watch whatever group happens to be running that day.
Be sure to read up on the etiquette, stay to the right and let vetrans pass. There are people who have driven that track most of their life and on public days you should stay out of their way as they are probably trying for personal bests.
Do you have more info on these van rides with experience drivers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to everyone for the awesome info!

I'm considering the swift from Rent4Ring.de it's a full caged car with race seat/harness.

Yes, one must respect this place for sure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,713 Posts
Thanks to everyone for the awesome info!

I'm considering the swift from Rent4Ring.de it's a full caged car with race seat/harness.

Yes, one must respect this place for sure!
If you get a car with a full cage be sure to ask for a helmet !

Also some more tips, go to the gate the day before you drive and buy your laps card, I would shoot for 4- 5 you can always get more. To be honest I was pretty tired after the 4th lap, probably mostly from stress. And also have them check the weather forecast. It has its own micro climate and the weather can change very quickly, the day we arrived it was pouring rain, luckily the day I drove was beautiful until the end of the day when I was done it started to rain again. It is technically illegal to video or time your public day runs but my wife did a video from the passenger seat. Also be aware you could be %100 fully liable for damage to the track, armcor railing , pavement , your car and other peoples cars, check to see if you can get insurance. I think they said it was something like $1,200 a yard to replace armcor ! Every lap there were always some douchey drivers trying to be the next Schumacher, one kid was actually trying to race against the Ring Taxis and ended up in the woods ! Speaking of which if you are there multiple days and want a feel before you drive you can hire a ride in the taxis https://www.ringtaxi.com/en/home/. Finally be sure to visit the official merchandise store at the gate or others around town, there is one below the Hotel Dorint. The official webstore does not ship to the US if you want something after the fact.

Here is a link to my first lap, notice how I am getting the F over when I see more experienced/ faster drivers approaching. I would recommend approaching your first lap accordingly , I did not know the track at all at this point in the day except from the track walk and a friend driving me around the day before.
Nothing impressive but keep in mind I was first and foremost thinking of my wife's safety and knowing she was very nervous. We only had insurance on the car not the track or other peoples cars. The brakes are squeaking because they were ceramic and I was not even close to getting them warmed up. The car was amazing I think we figured out at one point we were doing close to 170 mph. Towards the end of the lap I was getting a bit sick of being passed but had to suck it up.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/07q0gbmn4afhng2/Nurburgring Lap.mov?dl=0
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,713 Posts
Do you have more info on these van rides with experience drivers?
I don't know if this is the same one , we were in a plain white van but a quick google found this company, looks like there might be a few now.

https://www.nuerburgring.de/en/news/artikel/trackwalk-nordschleife-auf-tuchfuehlung-mit-der-rennstrecke.html

It is kind of weird walking around thinking, hmm what if somebody managed to sneak on at the halfway entrance and is doing 140 mph headed towards us
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,713 Posts
More info on the amazing hotel there

https://hotel-eifel-nuerburgring.dorint.com/en/

how cool is a hotel that has F1 cars hanging from the walls and ceilings when you walk into the lobby. We still talk about the breakfast buffet, it was one of the best we have had anywhere in the world. The bathrooms have race car tiles. And we watched a porsche GT race from our balcony

You could spend hours walking around the underground parking lot the day before a public day is like a huge car show. Incredible cars down there. Be warned it is not necessarily relaxing if there is a race going on, and some of the races start at sunrise. I did not get much sleep the night before driving anyway I was too nervous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kubera

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Rise Your knowledge If You Want To Enjoy Spain Road
The public transport in Spain will not thoroughly take you to all the beautiful places you may want to explore and driving in Spain can be both dream and nightmare depending on which place you are visiting. You need to be a minimum of 18 years old for driving in Spain and 21 to hire any car. Passengers and Drivers must wear seat belts at all moments. Don't need to drive if your blood alcohol level is above 0.5 g/l in the bloodstream.
Documents you need for driving in Spain
It’s always a good idea to know some of the rules and regulations before you go driving in Spain. Usually driving in Spain is very easy but you do need to be conscious of certain travel requirements and basic information, particularly when driving and those information are given below
While driving in Spain you need to have proof of insurance.
You can’t forget passport as proof of ID.
You should always keep your V5C certificate
All the visitors should be careful about a few things among those who are one is a warning triangle.
It would be unforgivable if any of the visitors who come for driving in Spain forget about GB sticker or Euro plates.
All knows how important is the headlamp adjustment is.
Visitors should be aware of the high-vis jacket.
If you were glasses you can always keep a spare pair of glasses.
Penalty fees
Accordingly, low-level violations cost about 100 Euros on average, major level ones cost 200 Euros, and very serious violations cost 500 Euros or more. Driving in Spain can give you a great experience if you can avoid all the problems and most importantly all these fees that charge on you.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top