GTROC European Tour – Day 8

by iansmith
8 years ago

A pleasant day – no rain for a change – saw us all up early for brekfast so we could look around the museum/workshop areas of the hotel before we left for the Porsche Museum.

Some pretty rare and nice motors in the hotel and fascinating service areas, meant we were not ready to depart until 9:40am.

As usual, I lead the way with John’s itinerary and apart from one missed turning (I just told everyone it was nice to see some German suburbs!!) we arrived at the museum and parked downstairs, as instructed.

The museum is not massive, but there is plenty to see and each exhibit is mounted on a plinth with a number alongside.  Upon entering the number, you get a commentary (in your chosen language) on that exhibit.  In truth we all dotted around a lot as we did not know how long it would take, so 2 hours seemed enough, but if we had listened to everything, I’m sure it could have been 3.5 – 4 hours!

Some fascinating machinery on display:


All too soon, it was time for a coffee and a last opportunity for a group photo, before most set off for their ferries/chunnel crossing etc:

Everyone got home safe & sound, but for 3 of us, we extended the tour to Nurburgring, so to finalise this blog, here’s what happened…

Shaun, Eamon, John, Mary and Sue and I set off to Nurburgring.  We met at Hotel Teirtgarten, sorted out our things, had a shower then headed to the ring for a couple of laps.  I’ve never been interested in the ring (I know that sounds crazy, but there are just too many stories of people crashing and being charged a fortune to replace armco, pay for track closure etc…never mind the bikes, 56 seater coaches and ring taxis jossling for position around you) but it is just one of those boxes you have to tick in your GTR owning life!

I was therefore delighted to find a nice clear, almost empty ring awaited us – no bikes, I’d seen the coach go past 5 mins before I got my ticket (now €26 a lap!) and with only a couple of fast Porsche touring cars being taken out, no real worries.  Off I set!

I didn’t go bonkers – I’d left the car fully loaded, but I did have a scare when the washer bottle failed and I got foam only on drivers side right before a 90 left at the top of a blind hill – tyre squeal and a little bit of back end oversteer was quickly controlled (due to low speed) and that was enough to remind me about why the place is so dangerous (and enthralling)!

A fast lap courtesy of John M reminded me about how good it can be when you can remember more than the first 5 corners only and then it was back to the hotel – a quick change then dinner with Nissan – steak on a stone at the Pistonhaus (another box ticked, thankyou!).

The next day was a visit to the GP circuit, but bad weather prevented Nissan from completing testing, so a quick look round the ring’s new facilities/centre (including the roller coaster that never worked!), a coffee and final goodbyes ensued.  Sue and I set off on our own to Amsterdam and our Ferry to North Shields…9 miles from our house, thank goodness.

One final twist – on our way out of Germany, a horse box jack knifed and shed its load on the autobahn – solid stone blocks about 3 foot long.  This time we noticed well in advance and were able to avoid another bent alloy…in fact, I’m proud to say we were the only people to stop and help the unfortunate men move the stone from the autobahn and make sure they were OK (a very shocked passenger needed water and some calming words).

What more can I say – a wonderful trip and a great set of people – roll on the next tour and more unique experiences!

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