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    1. Member
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      07-10-2019 02:10 PM #1
      Finally had a chance to visit the Green Hell for one of the Touristenfahrten. I have limited experience driving on a track so I booked a VW Polo GTI with an instructor through Apex Nürburg. Very glad I didn't go at the it alone. Between the countless blind and cresting corners and all the other cars coming up fast, it would have been a very stressful ordeal and presumably a lot more dangerous too.

      Given my heritage, I was paired with countryman Mike who provided pointers in Dutch. In a nutshell, he would continuously indicate breaking and turning points, which side of the track to aim for and whether to hold or push the throttle. The whole lap went something like this: “go to the right side of the track … hard brake … turn-in at the sign … hold the throttle … back to the right side in a straight line … soft brake … speed is good … turn-in … on the throttle and let the car pull you out to the other side … car approaching”, etc.



      I quickly realized it was best to follow Mike's instructions to the tee. Early on, despite Mike's assurance that “the speed is good” and general instruction to only break in a straight line, I felt like we were going into a corner a little hot and in a reflex lightly tapped the brake after having turned in. The Polo was not amused and the back-end suddenly got very light; quickly corrected my error and let trust in Mike override my fear from then on out. We did two back-to-back laps and the whole experience was a complete rush from beginning to end.

      As for the Polo, it felt similarly sized and powered to the mkv GTI I used to own. Given the overwhelming impressions of a first-timer I left the DSG in Sport, but found the transmission hunting for the right gear quite often. Especially coming out of an corner going uphill it went for a double downshift quite a few times, losing a lot of momentum. If there is to a be a next time, I'd probably go for Apex's manual BMW 218i or Toyota GT86.

      Having been the slowest driver on the track (not counting the Polish hippy van), I was very curious to also experience a fast lap. Luckily, Apex's McLaren 600LT was available for a ride-along. Riding shotgun to Apex's driver and mechanic Tim, I was now in the fastest car on the track. The G's and the unreal grip Tim pulled out of the McLaren were beyond my comprehension. Happy I didn't have to follow the one instruction of where to find the puke bag and ended up grinning throughout the 8-minute lap. Uttered some profanities at the end. A very exciting but also humbling experience.

      For a first-time visit I'd definitely recommend the ride-along above driving yourself. Doing both is preferable. Highly recommend visiting if you've never been to the Nürburgring and hiring an instructor.

      Here is Tim in the 600LT with Apex co-founder Misha:


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    3. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 02:44 PM #2
      Awesome stuff man! I have a few buddies that are heading there soon, and they decided the new M4 was the car to rent. I'm sure they'll be over their heads.
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen.
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillie Phanatic
      SoS - please shoot a message when Brendan & His Retarded Sycophants has another gig. I’ll be there, front row.

    4. Junior Member
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      07-10-2019 02:53 PM #3
      YES!!!!

      I had a similar experience when I visited 2 years ago. I rented a Suzuki Swift that was race prepped from Rent-a-Ring (great outfit fyi) and was able to get in 4 laps on my own with a run in the company M3 Comp. with a hired driver. While not McLaren status, the way the driver ran the car around was beyond comprehension. I never thought I'd hear carbon ceramic brakes groan under protest, but man did he work that car.

      I didn't have a hired co-pilot during my runs, but did do 2 laps post M3, and surprisingly, was able to remember a few of the turns and where to position the car, thus improving my times. I wasn't the fastest guy out there, in fact I was probably the slowest. But I had the time of my life. I almost enjoyed taking it a bit easy and just enjoying being on a track I've pined over for years.

      I will go back, I will bring my kids, and we will CONQUER THE RING! Just kidding. I'll be even slower and more careful so I don't wreck the car, or my family!
      I'll post pics when I get on my phone.

      Glad you had such a good time! The whole country is beautiful.

    5. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 03:00 PM #4
      Apex is a well run operation. We stayed at their hotel last fall and drove the 218 for a few laps. It's a well prepped car and a good first ring car if you prefer something RWD. In general, I don't think there's any need to go nuts renting a quick car for the ring unless you already have a lot of experience there. However, I did have a blast in the E36 race car I rented from ringfreaks. The hotel is pretty basic, but totally serviceable and well situated.

      Personally, I found the instruction to be mostly helpful for those who don't know the track and don't have too much track experience. Untold hours in i-racing meant I already had the corners memorized and knew where pressure points were, so I found the instructors (both at Apex and at the other outfit I rented from) to be a distraction. I was hoping for a bit more insider knowledge, but I gather that 90%+ of their customers don't know the track at all or have much performance driving experience.

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      07-10-2019 03:01 PM #5
      Apex channel on youtube is great. They put out videos so frequently and they are intimate with a lot of regulars so you feel like you are almost there.

      its great.

    7. Member TheDeckMan's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 03:07 PM #6
      Looks like an absolute blast. The 600LT is a wild ride on the Ring, bottoms out like crazy!
      -Noah
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    8. 07-10-2019 03:08 PM #7
      This experience is on my bucket list.
      Quote Originally Posted by Captain Picard, Hide and Q
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    9. Senior Member VWVan's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 03:23 PM #8
      I'd love to do this.

    10. Member
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      07-10-2019 03:27 PM #9
      Looks like a great time

      If I ever get to go hopefully my video game experience will come in handy. I've probably done a couple hundred laps in games. Only part that kills me is the Adenauer Forst complex

    11. Senior Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 04:41 PM #10
      Glad to hear you had a good time It's a great experience.

      Did this back in 2012 with my dad. We rented a Suzuki Swift stage 2 from Rent4Ring. They had just mounted a brand new set of R888's on it, and then it poured rain. Great, fresh greasy/oily tires in the full rain!

      My dad being a typical dad decided he'd take the helm first figuring "how bad could it be?". We both had some track experience but not an extensive amount at that time. So there I sat co-driver calling out all the upcoming turn sequences like a rally navigator. We drove onto the long straight from beneath the gantry and after having not said a word to me all lap exclaims "How in the **** did you remember all of those turns?!?!?"

      I had played Gran Turismo nightly for months leading up to the trip to memorize the track.
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      yes, i am bored by FWD driving dynamics, and anyone who doesn't drive there cars to the limits and the beyond.

    12. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 04:50 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Glad to hear you had a good time It's a great experience.

      Did this back in 2012 with my dad. We rented a Suzuki Swift stage 2 from Rent4Ring. They had just mounted a brand new set of R888's on it, and then it poured rain. Great, fresh greasy/oily tires in the full rain!

      My dad being a typical dad decided he'd take the helm first figuring "how bad could it be?". We both had some track experience but not an extensive amount at that time. So there I sat co-driver calling out all the upcoming turn sequences like a rally navigator. We drove onto the long straight from beneath the gantry and after having not said a word to me all lap exclaims "How in the **** did you remember all of those turns?!?!?"

      I had played Gran Turismo nightly for months leading up to the trip to memorize the track.
      Yeah, we drove it in the wet too. Driving the ring in the wet on R-compound tires felt like driving in the snow.

    13. Senior Member
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      07-10-2019 04:58 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Sold Over Sticker View Post
      Awesome stuff man! I have a few buddies that are heading there soon, and they decided the new M4 was the car to rent. I'm sure they'll be over their heads.
      Oof. For a first time at the Ring? I'd be choosing a Suzuki Swift, methinks. Slow car fast and all that. Even then you see far too many newbs (and even racers who allegedly know the Ring) making ugly mistakes.

      Glad you enjoyed it and kept all of the car's pieces (and your own) in place! Smart idea to do an instructed lap. I'd spend a few months beforehand doing VR racing to try and get some sense of where the course goes, then do the same.

    14. Senior Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 04:59 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Nealric View Post
      Yeah, we drove it in the wet too. Driving the ring in the wet on R-compound tires felt like driving in the snow.
      Yeah it was slightly concerning a few times. Especially in a couple of lift-off oversteer situations with guard rail close to the outside of the corner.
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      yes, i am bored by FWD driving dynamics, and anyone who doesn't drive there cars to the limits and the beyond.

    15. Senior Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 05:05 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      Oof. For a first time at the Ring? I'd be choosing a Suzuki Swift, methinks. Slow car fast and all that. Even then you see far too many newbs (and even racers who allegedly know the Ring) making ugly mistakes.
      I always laugh at the Youtube videos where the guy sits on the curve between Brünnchen & Eiskurve that catches everyone out...

      I saw someone wad up a new VW in one of the videos there recently and decided to log onto RSR's website to check the rates for damages.

      2:44 in this video.

      Last edited by Cousin Eddie; 07-10-2019 at 05:07 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      yes, i am bored by FWD driving dynamics, and anyone who doesn't drive there cars to the limits and the beyond.

    16. Member smoothsix's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 05:07 PM #15
      Epic. I did 6 laps in a Suzuki Swift and still came nowhere near my limits, let alone the car's. I'm sure i was in the 11min range.

      Got a ride from dude I met at Sliders in his E46 M3 CS, I clocked him at 8:25 BtG. Holy hell it was a wild ride. I've been in plenty of fast laps in plenty of fast cars, but the combination of lack of control, and how bloody close the walls are.. it doesn't sink in until you're hopping off curbs and there's nothing at the exit but armco.
      Dash cam people suck. Don't be a dash cam person.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dravenport View Post
      this thread is a mess, I can't tell if it's full of trolls or idiots and I'm not sure it matters

    17. Member
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      07-10-2019 06:10 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      I always laugh at the Youtube videos where the guy sits on the curve between Brünnchen & Eiskurve that catches everyone out...

      I saw someone wad up a new VW in one of the videos there recently and decided to log onto RSR's website to check the rates for damages.

      2:44 in this video.
      I certainly did check the cost of potential damages beforehand, so besides being a bit 'slower', the Polo I rented also has a relatively low 'insurance excess'. Still a substantial sum (more so once you add the cost of getting towed, repairing the crash barrier, fluid spillage on the track etc), which can be mitigated a little with additional insurance at a hefty cost. Trusted myself that with the help of an instructor and an approach on the humble side I should be okay.

      It's also worth mentioning that one can easily spend the day just hanging out at the entrance or one of the many viewing locations, like Brünnchen. Good German food all around, mini gatherings of all kinds of gearheads and cool cars wherever you look. What I remember most was the roaring exhausts approaching the track.

      My outing ended up costing just south of $800, but with just some pocket change for a beer and a bratwurst you can have a very nice day sightseeing(hearing). Or for a little more come with three and you can split the cost of a taxi-ride in a BMW M3, M5 or Jaguar Project 8.

    18. Member Stangy's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 06:26 PM #17
      Congrats. Bucket List!
      Quote Originally Posted by StressStrain View Post
      Cheapest way to 9s is to buy someone else's 8 second car, then drive it yourself.
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    19. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 10:02 PM #18
      Nice!

      Also, was this the inspiration for your user name?

      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
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      Quote Originally Posted by Crimping Is Easy View Post
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    20. Senior Member LT1M21Stingray's Avatar
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      07-10-2019 10:41 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Glad to hear you had a good time It's a great experience.
      This!

      I watched these two videos before driving the Nordschleife (in my own Scirocco) last month. But I ran out of brakes at the 2/3 mark. I have a full video of the whole ride that I need to post eventually.

      I think it's much better to drive the Nordschleife yourself slower than having someone drive you around fast.



      Last edited by LT1M21Stingray; 07-10-2019 at 10:47 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Madness
      Back when making your car faster and better handling was the big thing.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tavarish
      The car's best safety feature includes ejecting you in the moment of impact and wishing you the best of luck.
      Buy my couch!

    21. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 12:36 AM #20
      Glad you had fun and didn't become another statistic.


      I can't wait to be heading back to Europe... NL this time. Unfortunately, my GTI is gone. Might just have to resort to renting.


      Nürburg is one of my favorite places ever. So pumped for VLN and Touristenfahrten once again!

    22. Member esrballa's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 02:44 AM #21
      Nice job. I think I might be doing a Germany trip next year, but the more I read about the amount of idiots there, and just the repair fees of the track alone incase of an accident, I think I'm just gonna take a ringtaxi and not have to worry about ****.

    23. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 02:48 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by esrballa View Post
      Nice job. I think I might be doing a Germany trip next year, but the more I read about the amount of idiots there, and just the repair fees of the track alone incase of an accident, I think I'm just gonna take a ringtaxi and not have to worry about ****.
      Where's your sense of adventure? I did twelve laps in my DD over the space of a few trips...

    24. Member
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      07-11-2019 03:45 AM #23
      Awesome. My car got here 2 days ago so it'll happen soon. I'd decided I'd drive the car on the 'Ring before I ever bought it.. the time is nigh!

    25. Member
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      07-11-2019 05:12 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      Nice!

      Also, was this the inspiration for your user name?


    26. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 08:37 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by esrballa View Post
      Nice job. I think I might be doing a Germany trip next year, but the more I read about the amount of idiots there, and just the repair fees of the track alone incase of an accident, I think I'm just gonna take a ringtaxi and not have to worry about ****.
      I hear you. For those who are used to regulated track days where everyone attends the same safety meeting and noobs are with instructors, the ring feels bat poop crazy. On the other hand, if you go to the ring and just ride the taxi, you are going always be wishing you'd actually driven it. Rent one of the Swifts (or similar low-powered car), take it easy, hire an instructor, and you'll be fine.

      Put it this way: I actually money shifted my rental E36 (4->3 at redline instead of 5th) on what was supposed to be my second to last lap. No real excuse other than it was a super notchy short shifter and I wasn't familiar with the car. They charged me about $3k for a new head. Even knowing that would happen in advance, I'd do it again
      Last edited by Nealric; 07-11-2019 at 08:41 AM.

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