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Nordschleife means weather

19 September 2023 | Member stories

The winter break is over, I finally want to drive again, and right away Nordschleife, so that the high expectations finally come true. For my 2023 season start, I had again reserved a race-ready BMW 325i (RCN car) from Team Hoffmann. Oh, there was something about the weather.
  • Text:
    Albrecht Wantzen
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As I travel from southern Germany, a certain amount of organisational effort is always required. I usually combine the NOS trackday with a visit to the Ahr valley, as I did this year. But one thing after the other: For my 2023 season start, I had again reserved a BMW 325i (RCN car) with Team Hoffmann. Such a race-ready toy has its appeal: come, sign the contract, try out the racing seat and off you go.

At the beginning, the track was still wet from the rain in the morning.

Oh, there was something about the weather: It had rained overnight, of course, and it was still raining until 10:30 am. But after all, we are practising an outdoor sport and I really wanted to start the season with "track open" at 9 am. Well, rain is something special on the Nordschleife. In skiing you talk about "driving on all types of snow", here on the Nordschleife I would call it "driving and drifting on all known and unknown road surfaces". This was demanding, because the degree of wetness was different in almost every passage and required something like track reading. I then looked for the rain line, found it and even learned to love it in the end. It didn't go badly, the hottest parts - although it was actually just the opposite - were at the Wehrseifen, Breidscheidbrücke, exit Brünnchen and Pflanzgarten. The air temperature was 8°C, the tyre temperature felt like 0°C. I have seldom had so much slippage on the rear axle as in these first stints.

But the Nordschleife is not the Nordschleife if the next turn of the weather doesn't come up: The sun came out of the clouds, the Eifel showed itself from its most beautiful side. Dear people, if you ever fly to the Schwedenkreuz after the rain, with the tarmac steaming slightly, and briefly take a look at the "area" from the tarmac - but only briefly, please: Forget Tuscany, the Eifel is more beautiful. But we quickly returned to the track, because the drying asphalt offered new attractions until the track dried completely.

Now there were really great laps, once in agreement with Siggi in a two-pack of identical cars (once he in front, once I in front) around the Nürburg with good lines. That's a great exercise, by the way, when you drive behind each other in a controlled manner and try to let the car "roll" anyway. Great fun.

The next situation gave us that Nordschleife feeling. A large group of GT3 cars came up and naturally had to/wanted to overtake us. Dear sports colleagues, compliments on how you handled me and my supposedly lame BMW. Everything worked great and was fun, the pulse was only slightly elevated. As demonstrated in the e-learning course. The ideal line "is my castle".

Yes, and the weather? Sure, it had to rain again, of course, but only for a short time and then it went on again on a dry surface until the last lap at around 4 pm. And so that we don't forget the Nordschleife, a final heavy shower was necessary. Dear Pistenclub, this event is really awesome and really casual. Nordschleife - always a pleasure! And now to the Ahr Valley.

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  • Albrecht Wantzen

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