Automotive, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Motor Racing, Racing, Track Driving

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What happens when you take the running time of Le Mans and add the Nurburgring? Easy! You get the greatest GT race in the world. It is that time of year again, we are gearing up for the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring. Because this race takes place on the one of the tightest race tracks, fans will not see any prototype cars out on track. To makeup for that, cars entered will be true GT raced cars, from purebred GT3 cars to European GT4 cars, and finally, heavily modified sports cars (called SP class) from all makes and models to fill out the field. At the announcement of this race there were 175 cars registered for the race.

While it is challenging to get complete information for the race, since it doesn’t have the same level of appeal on the world stage it is our understanding that Porsche’s Manthey Racing team will not be here this year. They have taken on the WEC with their factory Porsche efforts. Therefore the closest team we have to a factory favorite is the Falken Porsche Race Car. Nissan is here again to show the world that their GT3 spec GT-R is worthy enough to win the hardest race. Outside of those listed the favorites continue to be Audi with their R-8, Mercedes with their SLR, BMW with their GT3 Spec Z4 race car and finally McLaren will be running their MP4-12C race car. All of these cars are fielded by well qualified teams so the battle should be exciting. Finally, there will be a few teams running the factory race car program produced by BMW with the M235i Race car. It will be interesting to see how well these cars hold up to the abuse.

  Following links should help you enjoy this year’s race that will take place at the famed Nurburgring.

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Automotive, Driving Enthusiast, Motor Racing, Track Driving, Video

Falken Tire Expansion Hits Europe

More and more companies are realizing that they need to be in more than one market, especially if you’re name is a title sponsor for top race teams. In 2013 Falken put together a movie highlighting their campaign at the famed Nurburgring 24H. In the states we are bit spoiled since the Falken Porsche car has been running with AMLS for the past couple of years. What’s better is the have stuck with their iconic livery, so no matter what year of racing you can easily spot the team. For the Nurburgring 24H they did just that, along with bring a film crew, Motioncrtl, to capture that wins and failures as it played out during the race. The video is 30 minutes, but its a great watch especially for those Porsche lovers. Grab something to snack  on or simply plug in your headphones and enjoy art in motion.

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Automotive, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic

Nurburgring 2013

It has to be every car enthusiast’s dream to drive the world famous Nurburgring Nordschleife. In October 2013, I was fortunate enough to journey out to the world famous track and get in 3 laps with a stage 2 track prepared VW Scirocco. The car was rented from rent4ring. The process is simple, show up bright and early; thirty minutes before the track actually opens. Complete the necessary forms and agree to the insurance policy provided in the rental agreement and you are all set. Our total rental time was 4 hours to run 6 laps. Once you’re finished with the paperwork you simply follow the man/woman to your car, they show you a few features and then its all up to you to make the magic happen. The golden ticket to get out on track actually comes in the form of an electronic card that you hold up to the gate sensor. It reads the number of runs you have and if available the gate will open up to the greatest track on Earth.

Our ride:

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The morning of our run was foggy and damp, which made us a little reluctant to go all out and try to slam in a hot lap. The truth is you spend more time monitoring the rear view mirror than watching whats happening in front of you. There are always people who will be faster and have been to the track many more times than you – as a result they will dive on the inside of you if you’re not careful. Therefore a more aware driver gets back safely with no accidents. Prior to going to the track I practiced with Gran Turismo 5. The difference – no in game feedback and the game does not capture how steep the hills actually are.

Now back to the 4 hour time limit. I’m sure to the newbie that sounds like ample time to get in 6 runs. Well for those that are experienced veterans know that it only takes a few short hours after opening to see how crowded this place really gets. The lines actually start to run out onto the public roads surrounding the track. Then when some awesome hot shots decide to crash out on the Ring you’ll encounter over the loudspeaker a notice that the track will be closed for 20-30 minutes while they sort out the issue. All of these things eat into your driving time. Generally after a few runs you will want to relax, think a bit about the track and have a bite to eat. Again more time spent away from the track and running down the clock. In hindsight, getting out on track while it was damp and foggy was a good idea. It allowed for some fresh tracks with limited traffic and we were able to finish right as they announced the first track closure due to an accident.

Here is my turn. Enjoy!

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Automotive, Cars, Driving Enthusiast, Inspiration, Video

Bringing car lovers closer to their cars

This type of event is one we would like to enjoy here in the U.S. With so many car enthusiasts around, it would be nice to bring them together for a unified day of high performance driving on a race track, while on-lookers enjoy and gather around the course. Why? It’s all in the name of love, which we share for the automobile. The videos below highlight Germany’s 2011 Carfreitag to help give you a sense of their way of uniting fans. (I’m sure the US version wouldn’t be as dangerous.) To safe motoring and Sunday Drive!

Below is a video that shows the variety of vehicles on the track at any given time.

Lastly here’s an onboard video of a Mini Cooper S racing around the ring with a passenger! This gives you a great sense of what it’s like on the track. Talk about nuts.

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