Trip to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, April 2019 - Family 'Ring Trip!
Back to the Green Hell for the first time in 2019. Another family trip, this one, with my two kids (their 2nd trip) and my gf, Miss B for her first trip. Miss B hates going fast, so it was always going to be interesting!!
I decided to take the M4 Comp Pack for this trip, first time I’ve taken it, as it is a nicer car for the journey with the family. Despite it being a very practical car with a big boot, as there were two females along, we needed the roofbox too so the car was FULLY LOADED!!!
Also along for the ride was Bobby, his gf and 8 month old baby girl all in his F10 M5 – first trip for the M5, too.
The trip didn’t start great thanks to French customs people at Dover deciding to ruin everyone’s Easter break creating havoc in Dover and making us miss our ferry so having arrived in Dover at 8.45am, we ended up on the 12.30pm boat!! Twats.
Due to our slow start, we didn’t arrive at the Gasthaus Weber for a Bitburger until 20.00pm, so the kids (and adults) were shattered. We still managed to get to the Pistenklause for a steak-on-a-stone then back for an early-ish night ready for the Nordschleife in the morning.
The next day started with glorious sunshine (which stayed for the entire weekend) so, after breakfast, we made our way to the track late morning. As expected, it was very busy with queues to the Devils Diner car park nearly back to Rent 4 Ring. So I left Miss B driving the M4 in the queue while I ran (faster walk than usual) down the hill to buy some laps. Back to the car, helmets on and queues beaten, we were ready to head out for the first lap in the M4 and Miss B’s first ever lap, kids and I excited, Miss B not so much!!
Having let the tyres down to 25psi cold, the M4 felt all over the place for the first few miles until temps and pressures started to come up, then it started to feel really good, and fast, especially as it was close to two tonnes with four people and a tank of fuel. With that in mind, it makes the brakes’ performance even better, the CCB’s were superb with no fade and no wobbles throughout the trip. The kids were shouting for me to go faster, Miss B said NOTHING for the entire lap!! 8m34s later, lap 1 in the M4 was complete, tyres up to temperature, we decided to head straight out for lap 2, 8m14s later we had matched my previous best time (set in both my old Caterham Supersport and my old Supercharged E92 M3) and I was feeling great as were the kids. Miss B looked a little green and was very quiet. So we headed off to the Motorsport Hotel to get her some wine and lunch!!
After lunch with Bobby and family, the girls and baby Lucya headed off to Brunchen for some spectating while myself, the kids and Bobby headed back to the track. Another two lap stint, this time resulting in my fastest ever lap and finally achieving my target of a sub-8-minute BTG time!! To say I was happy is an understatement!! I was happy to call it a day for laps for Saturday so we headed out for a couple of laps in Bobby’s M5 – minus the kids – to see what the big limo could do.
...... TO BE CONTINUED.......
10 things we learned this trip:
1/ The M4 is awesome! Despite the air temps. being in the high 20’s and running 8 minute laps with 4 people on board, the engine temps did not move!
2/ CCB brakes are also awesome, with 4 people, cameras, full tank etc. we must have been pushing close to two tonnes yet the brakes lapped it up, tirelessly slowing the car from high speeds without a grumble - no fade and no wobbles, spot-on. Money well spent!!
3/ Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are hard work. Starting cold at 25-26psi, the first third of a lap is all about managing understeer and oversteer as the tyres come up to temperature and pressure, by the time you end the first lap, the tyres feel great, so head straight out for lap two and half way through, you’re back to managing understeer as the front tyres are now well over 110°!! Clearly need to adjust my driving style…..
4/ That an F10 M5 is surprisingly capable around the ‘Ring and that Pilot SuperSport tyres hold on extremely well!!
5/ That my son can’t handle a fast lap just after lunch and was sick again, just like in August last year. Luckily not in the car! In fairness, it was extremely hot in the car, too.
6/ That my daughter is just plain hardcore, shouting at me to go faster and overtake everything.
7/ That there are lovely places to visit in the Rhineland Palatinate other than the Nurburgring, one of which is the castle at Burg Eltz - https://www.burg-eltz.de/de/
8/ That forced induction, despite manufacturers claiming otherwise, does not improve fuel consumption! 8.5mpg on track!!
9/ That the French customs personnel at Dover are twats.
10/ That Miss B can handle a ‘Ring trip and actually enjoyed it and wants to go back!!
Can't wait for the next trip, only a couple of weeks away, luckily!!