It's June 2022, and an upcoming tyre change took me and my Spyder to the Bilster Berg, to Uwe Düchting from Classic & Speed to be precise. But why drive all the way from Hanover to Bilster Berg to have new tyres fitted?
Reek/Car Photo Concept
A personal recommendation for Classic & Speed and the desire to check and optimise the suspension settings tipped the scales in favour of this step. As luck would have it, I was able to bridge the waiting time on site wonderfully, as a trackday was taking place at the Bilster Berg at the same time. For me as a petrolhead, this was a welcome change.
The impressions were manifold and immediately captivated me: very beautifully laid out terrain with an apparently anything but boring track, an incredible number of beautiful and sporty vehicles - obviously organised by a "Pistenclub" that was unknown to me until then.
In short: The waiting time for my car was very entertaining and the plan matured in me to drive here as soon as possible. Since I am a friend of quick decisions, I became a member of the Pistenclub a short time later and booked my first trackday at Bilster Berg for mid-August - also in the hope of good weather.
To make the day as relaxed as possible, I booked a room at the Hotel Germanenhof for the arrival - the last room still available was to be mine. And it was to start on a positive note: The weather was good and after a short time I got into conversation with another petrolhead who had also checked into the hotel. A pleasant and detailed petrol conversation followed and during the evening meal I realised that there was obviously a very relaxed and informal atmosphere between the numerous participants in the hotel, very pleasant and to my taste.
The big day: a good night's sleep and after a hearty breakfast, we set off for the few kilometres to the Bilster Berg at around 7:30 am. I was already well briefed with information and tips the night before and found my way around on site. Registration was quick and I was given all the relevant information about the schedule. The first detailed conversation with someone from the Pistenclub team took place while I was putting on my start number and transponder. It's such small gestures, but it gives you the feeling of being in good hands.
As I had only taken part in driving safety training courses so far, but not a track day, I booked the guided laps with an experienced instructor beforehand. This decision turned out to be absolutely right. I was aware that the Bilster Berg is demanding - but so demanding? On the one hand, I was thrilled, on the other hand, my respect and doubts about my driving skills increased. Will I bring the Spyder home in one piece?
However, the briefing before the introductory laps as well as the big briefing before the start of the actual track day gave me a certain amount of security, as there are clear rules and behaviour for relaxed interaction on the track.
Already during the introductory laps I met a couple again, whom I had already met the day before at the hotel. We chatted from time to time during the breaks and I got the very nice offer to drive a few laps in their car - and so I did, so I had a very quick ride in the Tracktool GT4 and, on top of that, more helpful tips and even more variety on this already eventful day.
I myself noticed from stint to stint that my knowledge of the special features of the track was consolidating and I felt more confident from lap to lap. I also clearly realised that the breaks between the stints were indeed sensible and necessary - at least for me, the Spyder was visibly unimpressed. It's amazing how much potential the car obviously has.
After three stints, not only the driver was exhausted, the Spyder also needed fuel, which was quickly taken care of in view of the petrol pump available on the site. I myself took advantage of lunch at "Turn One", a great location with a view of the track.
After the break, it was straight back onto the track - it's simply addictive. After the day, it was clear to me that I would come back again. The track at Bilster Berg, the organisation by the Pistenclub and the pleasant field of participants make me want to do more - I'll be back in 2023. Next time, however, I will take advantage of the possibility to book coaching by a Pistenclub instructor. I hope that this will keep the Spyder in good condition and give me some valuable tips on how to choose the perfect line.
We would like to thank Sebastian Reek for his report and reward him with a voucher for a trackday of his choice.
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