Nurburgring 24 Hour Race 2013

adac_nurburg_map.jpgOpel Astra J OPC Cup 4

It’s happening again……. I have just accepted an offer to drive in the 2013 Nurburgring 24 Hour!

The car is an Opel Astra J OPC, prepared and a fully supported race entry by Gotz Motorsport.

The specs of the car are very exciting: 300PS 400NM, 6sp manual, mechanical LSD – should be significanty quicker than the KTN Civics I drove in the race in 2010 and 2011.

http://youtu.be/qCujeYyJsA8

Design Opel0001

More follows………

Not the actual car, but will be v similar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSUR2YmHNLA

UPDATE: April 18th
Things have moved ahead nicely now.

BRfoto, VLN2 Scirocco1 Scirocco2 Scirocco3

The big news is that I am now going to be driving a Scirocco GT24! This is a seriously quick (7min:25s Nordschleife time!) purpose built race car designed specifically for the 24 Hour race (hence the name GT24). It has 320HP and 450NM and weighs only 1100kg – compared to my Integra Type R that’s over 100hp, 250NM more and about 20kg lighter! In it’s debut year (2008) it placed 11th and 15th overall – a phenomenal result in such a field and indicates that we will be circulating with some of the quicker cars in the field, unlike the KTN Civics which were at the other end of the field. The driving experience will be very different and I will need to adjust very quickly.

I must admit that I am a bit daunted by the prospect of driving a car this fast. I’ve always wanted a chance to drive a seriously quick race car – I just hope this isn’t too much!

The team in the car is truly international: 4 drivers: Germany (Olaf Schley), Japan (Yasu Yamamoto), Ecuador (Adres Serrano) and New Zealand (that would be me). Hope they all speak English…….

All my licencing requirements are in place – International Grade C licence, medical clearance and international FIA visa. Airfare and accommodation booked, rental car……. getting seriously itchy feet now! Depart May 10th…………

Here are some links:

Gotz Motorsport Scirocco GT24 (use Chrome for automatic translation)

Gotz Facebook for pictures

Scirocco GT24 first race in the Nurburgring 24 Hour – 2008

Video Nurburgring qualifying laps

Video Nurburgring in 7min 25sec

UPDATE 21/4/2013

The team is put together:

The Team

Link to Facebook

WATCH THE RACE LIVE ON THE INTERNET

Several people have asked where you can watch this on the internet.

This page might have some possible sites

UPDATE Sunday 12/5/2013

All settled into my accommodation at Kottenborn, 7 minutes from the track

Went to the track last last evening to the Tourist entry, caught up with Heide rom Rent-race-car, where i am hiring a Scirocco Cup+ for my first taste of the ‘Ring in 2 years on Monday evening – can’t wait.

A couple of the cars at the track:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Typically German breakfast of meat, eggs, cheese and bread washed down with excellent coffee, followed by a brisk walk of 4kms. Might take a day trip to Cologne today.

Morning walk views:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Where else would your room be bounded by two pictures of a racing track?!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

UPDATE MONDAY 13/5/2013

Quiet day yesterday – took trip to Cologne and got on one of those gaudily coloured little trains which I’ve always been a bit anti- touristy and all that. But it was a good way to get a quick squizzy around the centre with some commentary usually drowned out by the clatter on the cobbles or garrulous passengers.

The Dom (Cologne Cathedral) is truly awe-inspiring – spared in the war from the bombing by an agreement between the Allies not to bomb it – thank goodness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Street buskers – they were really good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And you can’t come to Germany without sampling the bratwurst – primo!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Back to home and decided to visit the Wald Hotel and have dinner there. This is where we stayed in 2010 and 2011, but they couldn’t confirm a reservation for me in time this year. Was good to meet up with Peter and Lotha, the two brothers who looked after the KTN team for 6 years. Peter was wondering what was supposed to be happening with the old black Honda Civic Type R which has been parked there for 2 years! He’s changed the battery and run it around the block a couple of times – it still goes – “it’s a Honda”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Slept in a bit late this morning and punished myself  with a forced march down through the next village and back! Here’s some pics form the walk. The houses here are in the main beautifully maintained and the gardens immaculate and decorated with all manner of articles (gnomes etc). There is the odd exception of course.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The two Yorkshire terriers at the residence – very cute little dogs – a mother and son – “let us out please?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This evening my first taste of the ‘ring in a hired Scirocco Cup+ race car from Rent-Race-Car – can’t wait

Will update again then.

UPDATE POST TRACK SESSION

Tourist_drive

About 15 minutes before the tourist driving session was about to begin the heavens opened. Had been dry all day of course. But as it turned out it was very good experience and it reminded me of where the really slippery places were.

I truly had forgotten how daunting this place can be, how narrow it is, how steep it is, how high the kerbs are, just how incredibly challenging it is – butt clenchingly so – but how rewarding it is when the confidence starts to return. After a few laps it started to dry out and the last couple of laps were mostly dry.

By the end my hands had relaxed a lot on the wheel and the grin wouldn’t leave my face when I climbed out and handed the keys back to Theo at Rent Race Car – I knew why I had come back!

Next phase is the Driver’s Course on Wednesday and Thursday.

The team arrives at the track on Wednesday morning, so after helping them set up it’ll be off to the course.

Feels like Christmas all over again 🙂

Day off tomorrow – might just be a tourist for the day…..

ALL UPDATES NOW ON THE “Updates and Comments” page – click on it at the top of this page!

3 responses

15 05 2013
Dennis

Good Luck Greg! This is way cooler than just doing a track day on the ring. Mind you I think I’d be scared to actually race on there. I’ll be watching with interest how you get on. What did you really do it Cologne?I have been told that Cologne is famous for some 7 story strip club

17 05 2013
audidude

Lol, I’ll check it out next time…..

To be honest, racing here is pretty scary, even 3rd time around. With the prospect of rain and/or fog on the night session, even more so.

20 05 2013
Tony Devitt

Hi Greg,
Following with keen interest … keep the updates coming!
Tony

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: