After numerous trackdays in the Mini Cooper Challenge, Petra Marschner and Stefan Ullrich added a Porsche Cayman to their fleet. They promptly took the new sports machine on the road - to Mugello and the Circuit Tazio Nuvolari.
Petra Marschner and Stefan Ullrich
After having had so much fun at various trackdays with our Mini Cooper Challenge R53, we now treated ourselves to an additional Porsche Cayman for circuits where the Mini is not so well suited. The dates at the beginning of April at the Tazio Nuvolari Circuit (to which we had actually wanted to go with the Mini for a long time) came just at the right time and we immediately signed up for the Tazio Nuvolari and Mugello events, where we could give the Porsche a good try. So off we went to Italy for a week with the Cayman, for which we also needed a bigger trailer. And so, before the trip to Italy, we quickly went to Leipzig to buy a new trailer and took the opportunity to meet our friend Jürgen at a test day in Oschersleben.
We quickly buy two vignettes and now we are ready to go, first from Rastatt to Basel. At the border, there is an extra lane for trailers, so we can get through without any problems. A Pistenclub member at Tazio Nuvolari from Bavaria told us that they prefer to drive over the Brenner Pass because the Swiss border officials have already confiscated accessories such as tyres and rims because they assume that the tyres could be sold in Switzerland. OK, good to know, we had no problems!
In snow flurries and heavy thunderstorms we drive through Switzerland towards the Gotthard, we had hardly any waiting time before the tunnel and made good time, so off into the tunnel and pedal to the metal to Italy, a small traffic jam at the border crossing Como Ciasso, then welcome to Bella Italia, further on the motorway towards Milan, the weather gets better the mood and the anticipation rises and rises.
Arrival at the Tazio Nuvolari Circuit at about 7pm, actually we wanted to spend the night in Switzerland but due to the bad weather we just drove through and were therefore at the Tazio Nuvolari one day before the event of the piste club. How could it be different in Italy, we were greeted by the nice, Antonio a responsible person of the Tazio friendly and he told us we can spend the night in front of the entrance at the gate without problems with the camper, it is illuminated and video monitored, nothing can happen! The next day there is a RES event where you can book self-drive opportunities in Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Porsche and other great supercars. Watching was very interesting and we didn't get bored, our anticipation grew until it was our turn the next day. In the evening, we were allowed to spend the night at the racetrack and Roberto from the Pistenclub was already there.
The next morning we set off, first registering with Roberto, driving again in two groups, we were very few participants, the weather was great, dry and sunny, great track!
Shortly before our trip to Italy, we had the suspension installed at our trusted workshop, Thomas Lorenz was kind to us and turned the suspension down as far as it would go, unfortunately it was a bit too low for the Tazio Nuvolari, we hit the bumps in the right-hand bends and had to "screw" during the lunch break.
We easily turned the springs higher with the help of great tips from Hermann, a very nice Alfa Romeo 4C driver. This community and helpfulness of the drivers at the Pistenclub is simply super!
We did a lot of great laps from morning to night in wonderful weather and on a great course. As they say: Any time again.
Towards evening, Angela and Heiner from the Pistenclub arrived, they spoke to each participant and asked how they were and helped with any questions. This was so super great, because our Italian is limited to buongiorno, buona giornata, grazie mille and cento g di salame, we asked the dear ones to clarify and reserve our planned overnight stay at a nearby winery (about 20 min). Heiner organised everything for us in Italian, we are welcome to come with camper van and car trailer, 2 people and our dog. Many thanks again for that!
Our conclusion: Super day, great track, only nice people, great place to spend the night on a winery, enough space for camper vans with the car trailer, good access, free overnight stay if you eat something from the delicious menu and drink the house wine. Top! For drivers who prefer a hotel room, there are also very nice rooms to rent at the winery.
The next time we visit Tazio Nuvolari, we will definitely stay at this winery again, so that the trackday has a wonderful ending.
The next morning we talk to a nice Dutch couple, also with a dog, who have also spent the night at the winery and are on their way to the ferry to Sicily, and to drivers who were also at the Tazio Nuvolari Circuit and have the same goal as us, namely to head for the second track day in Mugello.
We pack up in peace, say goodbye to the winegrowers' family, say thank you again and set off for Mugello, although we don't take the direct route via Pavia inland, but the slightly longer but super route via Genoa. It is so fascinating when you drive down the serpentines on the motorway to Genoa and see the sea again and again in the distance, I get goose bumps every time, the view is so beautiful.
At about 19:30 we arrive at the race track in Mugello. Before that we go shopping in the small village of Sirantueren, everything is fine.
Overnight stay at the circuit no problem with modern clean sanitary facilities and again with super nice security staff. Angela and Heiner are already there and welcome us warmly. Angela is assigned to look after the participants the next day and Heiner could offer coaching if needed. This organisation and help with questions is great.
So now we are preparing ourselves mentally and morally for tomorrow's trackday in Mugello, we are a bit queasy about driving on such a high-speed circuit for the first time and we are driving the Porsche for the first time. But we hope, as always, for the consideration of our fellow drivers and stick a big red L on the rear.
The night was freezing cold and the car as well as the ramps of the trailer are icy, now it's revenge that we didn't unload more yesterday. The atmosphere on the track is mystical, clouds of fog rise from the plain, part of the track is completely covered in fog and we decide to skip the first stint and wait for dry track and clear visibility. We go to the viewing platform to watch the others and admire the hustle and bustle on the track. But now it's time for us too, helmet on, gloves on and off we go. The first laps we feel our way around the track and it gets better and better, the laps smoother, we become more confident. I have to laugh all the time, because no matter which corner we take, the marshals show us the blue flag (then they won't get bored), but most of the time the other drivers have already passed us, we don't care, it's fun and that's the main thing for us.
It was two super nice trackdays with lots of great impressions, great tracks, wonderful landscapes, good organisation and very nice people and helpers.
Of course, we didn't go home straight after the trackday in Mugello, but spent the night in the immediate vicinity at a beautiful lake with a large park on a fenced-in, code-secured pitch, simple sanitary and shower building but clean for 15€ per night. We liked the area so much that we unloaded the car the next day and took another trip into the mountainous hinterland. It was the right decision and simply beautiful.
The next day we slowly returned home, but not without spending another night near our home in the Kaiserstuhl region of Baden, again on a beautiful vineyard with parking spaces for motorhomes, with delicious food and homemade wines. I can tell you that it was a successful day all round.
I hope I haven't bored you with my report, but I do like to write about the surrounding events such as the journey, accommodation and shopping facilities and experiences on the beautiful track days of the Pistenclub.
I don't need to write anything about the track layout, the curves and the driving experience, that's different for every participant depending on their car and ability, but maybe you'll be inspired to go to the Tazio Nuvolari Circuit or to Mugello if you haven't been there yet.
Best wishes, we will certainly see you at one of the next trackdays in 2023. Stay healthy and have fun driving in circles without oncoming traffic.
Petra Marschner and Stefan Ullrich
We would like to thank Petra Marschner and Stefan Ullrich for their report and reward them with a voucher for a trackday of their choice.
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