On Thursday, a day before the main race, there is a 4 hour enduro for vintage race cars. It is a filler event between practice sessions. Practice is called training for this race. There are day training, night training and wet training sessions. We were ogling the cool vintage metal like this older RSR. Since the Ring is covered with grass, race cars don’t seem to get rock chipped and pitted like cars do on our crappy tracks. We marveled on how nice all the cars looked, even after 24 hours of pounding, Although the Nordschleife is tough, it’s like racing around a golf course.
Wow! A real live BMW M1, BMW’s mid-engined supercar. I have never seen a real one before! Unfortunately, it burned up pretty good later on in the race it was leading.
Some racers like this Opel GT are like what you would find at a NASA or SCCA race. Opel’s are like the Datsun 510 in our country with a rich racing history.
This NSU is raced by KW Chief Engineer Klaus Frank. Sometimes Klaus comes to the US to give race support so some of you might have met him before. Klaus is a mega brain. The NSU was a compact car that was way ahead of its time and it was known for its advanced engineering. In the US we know it as the first car to get a rotary engine but not much else. Well they were known for having high output advanced engines using motorcycle technology with overhead cams, etc, when sports cars had pushrods and siamesed ports. This car is really cool and very nicely prepared but what else would you expect from Klaus?
Us engineer guys have cool colored glasses.
The NSU rear mounted engine had dual sidedraft Webers and overhead cams when sports cars had copies of crappy limey forklift motors for engines. The thing is air cooled as well. Among other things Klaus is famous in the world of NSU tuning just like yours truly is know for his tuning of another weird car and certainly less cool, Sentra SE-R. This NSU is well known, sorta like the Infamous Dog Car.
Bobby Rahal used to race this car in IMSA GTX, the precurser to the late great GTP cars. This paint scheme was cool in the 80’s but it now looks like something in a Gay Pride parade. My how things have changed….
Twin Turbos on the IMSA GTX car!
The cockpit is clean and tidy and not too bad even by today’s standards.
|While the vintage cars race, the GT cars are prepared in the garages for qualifying.|
As our first night at the ring falls, the festivities ramp up. Hardcore fans have been camping in the woods around the track for as long as a week prior to get a good place. Tent cites spring up with temporary bars and night clubs being assembled, complete with lights and DJ’s. Viewing areas with big screen TV’s and even spas with hot tubs are somehow assembled. It seems like groups try to top each other with more outrageous camp sites. Literally hundreds of thousands find homes out here. Grass gets trampled into a quagmire and thousands of liters of beer are consumed. The friendly crowd is all too pleased to feed you and fill you with alcohol.
Remember this isn’t even the race yet, it’s simply night practice!
We were not able to get good pictures of the craziness in the woods because of the scope of the event and trying to be everywhere at once but it seemed to be like a rave and a race put together. Kleg lights and Neon lit the place. Fans build huge multi-storied viewing towers around the track lit with colored neon.
Bitburger seems to be a very popular German beer. We saw all sorts of things made with the plastic cases.
A lot of people were blowing flames, this is a Nurburgring tradition we were told.