Tour de Trackdays 2022
A review. Without bikes.
- 10 March 2023 |
- Member stories
Photos:Ronald Grimminger, Nina Utermann
It all started for me in March last year in Hockenheim. The weather was fresh but sunny. We shared - as almost always - one or two pits. The Hockenheimring is always a good place for me to start after the winter break. Enough space to get used to the car and the circuit again safely. It works great, the warm-up lap for the season is done, so to speak, and possible injuries are prevented.
Like a little holiday
Others go on holiday to the beach or the mountains. I like that too, especially with the family. But every trackday, especially with friends, is always like a holiday. In mid-May, we went on a three-day trip to the Nürburgring Grand Prix track, followed by a visit to the Nordschleife. The weather gods played along, but unfortunately the brakes didn't. Luckily there are Nina and Horst from boes motorsport. I like being a regular customer here, they always help in an uncomplicated and professional way.
The Nürburgring Grand Prix is a great mix of fast and difficult sections, including gentle uphill and downhill stretches. Especially when you hurry to the Dunlopkehre in the afternoon hours and the smiling evening sun announces itself, such a race track drive has something almost romantic about it.
Free after Karl Valentin: I drive when it rains. Because when I don't drive, it rains anyway
At the end of May, it was off to Spa Francorchamps. This time in the company of my much better half. She bravely decided to take part in the co-driver's seat. That's what heroes and heroines look like.
Spa is simply one of my favourite circuits. The surroundings, the exciting track layout - and the terrace: it's simply beautiful to sit up there and look out over the landscape. Even though the weather changed at midday. There was rain, sometimes even very heavy. But where better to test the limits of a car with semi-slick tyres in the rain? Okay, I still have a lot of potential, but who doesn't? Thanks to Wolfgang and Rolf for leading me to the rain line!
I think I got something mixed up. In mid-June, the first thing on the agenda was the Hockenheimring for the after-work party. It already felt like a trip to the far, very far south. Instead of cocktails at half price, a thermometer with temperatures far above 30 degrees awaited us. All right, fill up more often, the car with fuel, I'll fill up with water. Without sparkling water. At this point, a big "thank you" to the catering! The machine had to take a break every now and then. I could have...
A holiday - how convenient!
In June we went to Spa again. Good thing that the next day was a bridge day. The weather was fantastic, the "open pitlane" format a treat for any sports driver. This time I was accompanied by my father-in-law and Volker with his Camaro. I left the guided laps to my father-in-law and took a seat in the lead car without further ado. My thanks go to Walter for the lift - I learned something again! As expected, the day was great. It was a great grid, there was plenty of driving time and, conveniently, boes motorsport was right next to our pit. Brake service, again - thanks Nina!
After a short summer break and a trip to the Nordschleife, a very interesting date suddenly appeared spontaneously in the calendar of the Pistenclub. And since "spa" is synonymous with "wellness", and both body and soul demanded the same, we naturally drove there. This time, almost everyone from our group was there; we occupied two boxes. And the temperature was again our guest. The temperatures rose to more than 30 degrees - good that we had shade in the box. This led to increased fluid intake - and delivery throughout the day. Yes, anything is better than cold and windy rainy weather. But tyres and brakes were happy when the end of the day was heralded - humans too, of course. After a relaxing evening at the hotel, we returned home the next day. Looking forward to the next event, of course.
Nordschleife - from rain into mist - into driving fun
At the end of August, the Nordschleife was on the agenda. Markus and I met the evening before, it was still very hot. The next morning, the castle was covered in fog. It had also rained and the temperatures had dropped sharply. Of course, we hoped for Peter's mercy, because the Nordschleife is rather "interesting" in the rain for us Sunday drivers.
Nina from boes motorsport looked up at the sky and said, "This will last." And she was right. It was a great day with lots of driving time and once again a classy and fair field of participants. Markus and I stayed another night to watch the DTM. But this time, Peter was tough and the team didn't drive the first race until the evening, and we headed home before that.
Speaking of the sky...
September is the first month of autumn. Last year, autumn was in a particular hurry to arrive. On 19 September, Spa was on the agenda again. Thomas in his Mini and I met at the hotel the evening before. It was good that we had the cars on the trailer - it was raining cats and dogs and the weather for the next day looked the same and not very promising. But what can I say - or rather write: The weather gods were once again kind to us. Only in the morning it was still damp. Just after our nap, the sky actually opened up and gave us dry sunshine for the rest of the day. We were able to ride through to the end. There was not a single interruption on this day. Great praise to all participants. In the evening, we treated ourselves to a well-deserved pizza in a small restaurant in beautiful Malmedy. After all, the body needs replenishment of the lost nutrients and trace elements in sufficient form.
And now a post from the category "New friends through the Pistenclub". Dominik and I had been in contact via Instagram (@ronodrive) and shared a box together this time. The journey in the evening and a delicious pizza in Barweiler framed the "preliminary conversation" accordingly. Dominik had his father in tow, I had my repeat offender father-in-law. You want to know how the weather was? Of course: perfect. 20 degrees and sunshine all day. We were able to use all the riding time, there were no incidents, just the big grin at the end of the day.
One last thing
Okay, there was another event in Hockenheim. You can't just let that pass. Since the Hockenheimring is just around the corner from me, it was a logical place to end the season. Despite a full track, it was very easy to drive, especially in the afternoon. Due to the characteristics of the track, it is also a good place to learn traffic management. Under certain circumstances, this also helps to manoeuvre more safely through everyday traffic in the wild (on the motorway).
But now it was really good. For dessert, I ordered fresh brake service from the great company boes motorsport. So the car can be driven home relaxed - and this time also on the road.
My conclusion of the past year: The weather is always good. I am happy that it is possible for us to enjoy our hobby so much and hope that it will stay with us and many others for quite a while. I thank the Pistenclub, our small troop, the participants and look forward to a great 2023 season.
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