A day in Volkswagen Altstadt Wolfsburg

27 05 2013

Plenty to see and do here. Massive place. Highlights being the Museum and Porsche centre. The Audi centre was disappointing, more like a glorified showroom for new product.

Here’s a selection of pics from the day:

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Post – race

27 05 2013

Well it’s done and dusted, an amazing experience and great memories from what has been an incredibly challenging event for Team Gotz and the drivers. 68th overall, 5th in class and most of all-FINISHING!

It;s been a wonderful team to be part of – very professional, and wonderful people. The temptation to come back again next year is intense – ideally with another 3 kiwis.

Here are some final images I have thrown together, a tiny selection of the total.

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Final race report

21 05 2013

Job done!!

Team Gotz has completed the 2013 Nurburgring 24 Hour race, finishing 68th overall and 5th in class. An incredible effort from all concerned, the team being faced with a major repair through the night after a crash in the first qualifying period, and the drivers facing at times almost impossible conditions on the track, and at others having to cope with completely different surface condition around it’s 25km length.

The race was red-flagged through the night from about midnight due to very heavy rain and fog – lost about 8 hours. That meant one driving session less at least per driver.

For my final drive, it had been raining all day but the rain had stopped (at least at the pits) and from the TV coverage there seemed to be a dry line developing. Given our experience in Qualifying when the car crashed when moving off the dry line onto the wet it was decided to send me out on wet tyres. After two laps on an essentially dry track they went to mush so came in for slicks. As I returned to the track it started to rain again on the GP track (the first part before the Nordschleife) it start to rain again. With warm, but not fully race-warm, slicks on a wet corner I had a spin off the track – fortunately on the widest part of the track so no harm!

Naturally from here on I was very tippy toe until getting back onto dry surface once heading into the Nordschleife. At the end of the lap was called in to go back onto rain tyres as it was raining heavily at the GP circuit. Still dry on the Nordschleife and the tyres not too happy up there and definitely slower than slicks, but by managing them more carefully this time they didn’t go too soft.

Two laps later it was raining on the Nordschleife again and several cars on slicks crashed – some heavily – I was very pleased to have wets on, and actually passed quite a few going very gingerly on their slicks. Then for the last four laps it was dry again – the wets lasted not too bad, but  of course significantly slower than slicks.

Many yellow flags and several major wrecks!

Huge relief to come into the pits in one piece after one of the most challenging drives of my life, but fizzing for having completed my sessions without incident (plenty of close calls) – not the fastest sessions, but coming home clean is the primary goal!

Team Gotz has been a great team to be part of, a well oiled machine that works brilliantly when the going gets tough.

Huge thanks to Dieter and Sonja for the way they have welcomed a Kiwi from the other side of the world into their team like one of their own 🙂

I have made many new friends

 

Thanks to Nik Gannaway for this link to a NZ report on the race.

(Time is short right now – will post pictures later)





1st drive done

20 05 2013

1st stint over safely. Traffic v heavy and rear visibility in Scirocco not the best….. Was on slicks when it started raining with over half he Nordschleife to go. Got slippery around Brunchen and very slippery from Pflantzgarten to the pits to put on wet tyres. Carnage galore with several yellow flags each lap. We are currently 76th 5th in class of 14 having started in 92nd. Long way to go still…..





Qualifying completed

19 05 2013

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An uneventful final qualifying session today, a great relief after the drama of last night.

Today despite only a couple of hours sleep, the crew are in full flight again fine-tuning aspects of the car – all a bit of a mystery to me!

My session in the car was aimed at finally shifting to left foot braking – a skill I have never acquired and I decided that trying to learn it in the middle if this event was probably not a good idea. However the car really demands it for two reasons – one is the placement of the brake pedal, well to the left and not an easy move from the accelerator, and also the downshifting in the DSG box (specifically modified as a race box) is much better if a little throttle can be applied during the downshift – the pedals are definitely NOT suitable for heel and toeing.

Fortunately I found the left foot braking pretty easy to use and it definitely made the shifting better also – combined with sorting out my shifting patterns – so different driving a car with 450NM of turbo torque compared to my own Honda screamer with no torque to speak of!

Next stop: the 24 Hour, which starts tomorrow at 5PM local time (that’s 3AM NZ)

 





Scirocco repaired!

18 05 2013

After 5 hours of hard work through the night the Gotz team have restored the Scirocco to original – amazing effort!

To watch this team in action was a sight to behold – no orders, no confusion, everyone knew what they needed to do and just got on with it. Dieter can be very proud of his team!

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Scirocco damage report

18 05 2013

Damage photos of Scirocco – all damage is in front – early indications it is repairable………. the driver (not me fortunately!) had been in battle with a Cayman and passed, carrying extra speed into the next corner understeered off the dry line onto the wet surface, lifted – on slicks and back stepped out and nose went into the armco.

At this stage the engine runs, the front rails are straight……….. hopeful we will be running tomorrow.

The Gotz team are hugely impressive – professional and slick ++

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