My first Ring trip ...wow !

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kevin
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My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:38 pm

I sent an email and pics of my first Ring trip back to my racing club in South Africa . One of the guys at home (old home) asked me to post it on the forum so here goes . Note it us under OTHER just incase other cars might offend :oops:

"
Well I finally made it to the holy grail of motoring - the Ring . Due to a cancellation by one of the passengers traveling with the Alex Jupe group of cars I was lucky enough to crack an invite; all I had to do was get a Schengen visa for four days . Now being SA passport holder in Uk this is a nightmare but after three days at visa office and two weeks of deliberation I got it . ( SA passport really sucks !! )
Plan was to leave at sparrows Saturday morning, travel from Bosham to Dover, catch ferry then head directly to the Ring via France and Belgium, spend two full days at Ring and head back on the Monday. Well all went superbly according to plan.
Our touring group consisted of all ex Alfa owners but some had sadly taken a step backwards to bring a Cayenne Turbo, Subaru WRX , BMW 325 and BMW2002 to join the real RING contender of Alex's personal Alfa GTV 6 3.5litre 12v .

Pic1 4am rise and shine
Pic2 our first stop for fuel in Belgium with the team
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:44 pm

After spending several hours in the confinement of a padded roll cage hugged by FIA race seats , with a 3 way safety harness I actually felt surprisingly refreshed considering the GTV is set up with a full RS kit running low profile Toyos .
On our first run up to the ring we found it was closed for an hour to clear up some carnage which seemed to be the pattern for the weekend . So we headed back to our Hotel - Agnesen -Hof which was just 5 mins away - to clear all the bugs off the windscreen and polish up the Alfa after its long journey .


Pic3 quick clean of the GTV at our hotel Agnesen Hof ( chris watching in horror :D )
Pic4 the GTV
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kevin
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:47 pm

Some specs on this pristine GTV are a mighty torquey 3.5 12v motor assembled by Alex which pumps out 260 flywheel BHP with 270 Lbft of torque from 1800rpm . The CB fast road cams with 10.5 compression matches the long ratio box from the 75 3.0 perfectly with no areas where you feel you lacking power to pull hard through the gears. Even though the car did not have semi slicks on, the Toyo Proxis provided plenty of grip and feedback which you feel through the seat . The rear tyres were 225/40/16 on an 8J rim while the 7J fronts were wrapped with a 205/45/16 .
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kevin
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:50 pm

Pic badged correctly
Pic RS kit with 105,series ball joint
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kevin
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:55 pm

The RS kit was Ron's tried and trusted shocks with the usual spec of 60kg rear springs and 125 kg coil overs upfront combined with the GTV 's standard torsion bars . The 30 mm front Antiroll bar along with the rose jointed rear watts linkage completed the RS bolt on kit . Other upgrades included 105 series castor arm ball joint conversion .
Armed with this serious road / track weapon we headed back to the RING for my first few laps as a passenger . I could not believe how many people stopped us and waved to salute the old GTV.
Nearly every car around us was some supercar or track prepped BMW . Coming from South Africa you might see one supercar at a trackday and even then the owner would not even push it but here the place was packed with nutters in caged out corvette Z1 to a Murcielago raring to push these cars to the limit .
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:00 pm

I did notice the chap was rather large for his Mazda . Think he was at least 6ft8 . As I said all sorts go out on public days
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:02 pm

After my first two laps I could not believe this stuff was legal as you would be passing some chap at 150 km with a motorbike on the inside and at the same time a 430 stradale was hurtling passed you. With all this happening i felt totally confident with car and especially with the pilot as I knew Alex had years of being a driver trainer at Goodwood behind him .
After four laps I thought I knew where the blind corners were and the fast straights but on the next lap it all got confusing again as I was trying to pretend I was a navigator giving instructions . So I decided just to enjoy the next bunch of laps and marvel at how easy it was to out handle all the modern cars on the track which were equipped with semi slicks and off course this was aided by Alex's driving skills.
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:07 pm

The drivers in our group which I mentioned earlier were all now lining up for passenger runs in this GTV . I think they now realised they should have kept their Alfas but damn that Cayenne Turbo would still make a good tow car for my race GTV . I had to laugh when we lapped passed our fellow team mates in their 2002 as you would see the profile of their heads and shoulders leaning with the car through the corners . They did not have helmets , safety harnesses or race seats but they still pushed that little BMW to the cheers of the crowds down at Breidscheid . ( see pic of us approaching the little
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:13 pm

Apart from being blown away by the magnitude of the ring I found the social side huge fun over good food and beers at the Agnesen- Hof . The Barbecue or in our terms a Braai which was laid on by the Hof staff was out of the top draw . As you can see by the pics there was enough food for a good few helpings . And if you thought you had enough food after a long day at the track breakfast was equally challenging .
Pics maybe a few hangovers :D
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:25 pm

With all this food the track walk down to the karussel via the old section down a 40 degree decline helped burn a few thousand calories. I never knew the track was altered on this section but it was all part of Alex's tour to help us newcomers appreciate the history of this circuit .
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:30 pm

Unfortunately all good things come to an end and we had to pack our bags and head home in convoy but only after big discussion as to which route to take as there were delays on the major route. Every one got home safely and our GTV assessment showed only a quarter of a litre of oil was consumed over the entire trip but the tyres were in need of replacement .
My biggest surprise was how comfortable the ride was in those race seats with the full RS kit after spending 12hrs in that chair over three days .
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:33 pm

The next most dangerous thing to the Ring was the cat at the Agnesen-Hof . Do not steal its chair :D
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kevin
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by kevin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:39 pm

Big thanks to Alex for organising the trip and to a mad bunch of like-minded petrol heads that joined us . The trip was back was a bit more sedate and finally the GTV was back in its driveway with worn tyres but I understand its done a few of these trips already .
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by dawie botha » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:44 pm

Like we say in S A ,eish !
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Mats
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Re: My first Ring trip ...wow !

Post by Mats » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:02 pm

Very nice write-up!

Which dates were you driving on the Ring? Did you actually drive it yourself? I cannot imagine going there and not drive a single lap, TORTURE! :shock:
Mats Strandberg
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