Earlier in June Mark and I went to the UK round of the DTM at Brandshatch (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, basically German Touring Car Championships). I guess you could say they are the equivalent of V8 supercars but for Germany. DTM a number of ex-F1 drivers such as Jean Alesi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen.
Brandshatch is an ex-F1 race circuit where the British GP was held from 1964 to â€˜86. At first glance it looks like itâ€™d be an unreal track to drive at cause itâ€™s not flat like all the other race tracks. Itâ€™s full of uphill and downhill parts. The first corner is known as one of the scariest in the business as it drops away sharply to the right and looks like youâ€™d have to take the corner almost blind as it drops quite a distance. Youâ€™ll see what I mean from the photos. It then heads up a hill to a midsize hairpin and then storms straight back down the hill for a left hander. Thereâ€™s a bit of the straight then a large round u-turn which links back up to the main straight. The DTM ran on the short version of the track. Click here for a map of the track.
So the big Lambo weekend has been and gone. What can I say? I walked away feeling both terribly sad and rewarded. Sad that it was over till I purchase one back home and rewarded and what a thrilling, adrenaline rush, schoolboy exciting, awesome experience it was. My vocabulary just isnâ€™t good enough to describe it all.
I paid for a printed action photo, every time I look at the photo of me in the Murcielago on my wall it makes me sad and happy at the same time all over again.
My first go was in the V12 Murcielago. I was most impressed at how fast the beast went when I floored it on the long open straights. We were at an airport racetrack called Bruntingthorpe. It was unreal to flip through the gears with the flappy gear change paddles and not having to back off for a gear change. It was like having a smooth jet powered rocket at your command and each time you flipped up a gear another rocket fired and propelled you faster along. All with an unreal roar coming from the massive engine behind my head. I wish I knew what speed I was going in the Murcielago but I forgot to look down. I think they call it sensory overload. Hearing the V12 blip the throttle on down changes was unreal.
Murcielago & Gallardo
Look what I got as a present from Rach! Isn’t she the best
Rach bought me an Ultimate Lamborghini Driving Experience day. I get to race around a track in a Lamborghini Gallardo and then jump into a Lamborghini Murcielago, one of my all time favourites cars. I have two die cast models of this beast as well as a large poster back home. In short I get:
– Familiarisation laps in performance Subaru or Mini Cooper ‘S’
– Drive of Lamborghini Gallardo 3-5 laps depending on the circuit
– Session of Karting
– Drive of Lamborghini Murcielago 3-5 laps depending on the circuit
– High speed passenger ride by race instructor in a performance vehicle
The Murcielago does 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and costs about AU$600,000
The Gallardo does 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and costs about AU$430,000
This is the best present ever! I will never be able to repay her for this. All of you know how much I love my cars Thanks heaps Rach!
Germany – We all know about the bad parts of my Germany story so I wonâ€™t go over that again. Of the German Rally that I saw it was unreal. They let you get so close to the cars, itâ€™s great. I guess itâ€™s because they don’t have stupid public liability issues like they do in oz. On one stage I was about a metre at with cars absolutely hammering by. Itâ€™s great for photo opportunities.
It’s a tarmac rally so the cars have huge brakes rotors, huge rims and theyâ€™re low as. The cars hold the road like they are on train rails. Itâ€™s a amazing how quickly and sharp these cars can turn without budging and inch. On some corners you would see the brake rotors glowing red hot.
This is a long one so you’ll have to bear with me. Trust me, you might find it amusing.
I landed in Luxembourg on time at 10am. I got into the hire car, a brand new Renault Clio. Only issue of course being the steering wheel is on the left hand side but I knew this would be the case. Gees it is weird. I went to open the car door on the wrong side and I went to grab the seat belt on my right hand side. It’s not there of course. I’ve done both of these several times. Taking off was scary and I had feared driving on the right hand side a few nights before. I circled the airport car park to have a short go.
I only really had text directions to get to Trier, Germany from Luxembourg airport. It’s only 40kms (30mins) away and the directions look easy. I first turned the wrong way and had to do a bit of a loop but I quickly found the exit ramp to get on to the autobahn. Phew I thought that was easy. I took the turn off to Trier but it seemed to keep going and going so being on the motorway it took forever to do a u-turn. I exited out back on to the autobahn and saw the same Trier sign and the same exit but I drove on expecting another. I ended up going on for ages and found a sign that had Trier on it again. I took the exit ramp and drove for ages again. I kept thinking to myself “I have no idea where I am. I have no map”, “I honestly don’t think I’m gonna be able to get this car back to Luxembourg”, “I am completely lost”. I really don’t know how I didn’t have a break down and a couple times I dead set thought I wouldn’t be able to get the car back. Also I had been up since 03:40am! Iâ€™d also been in a line for 2hrs at the airport due to the baggage restrictions.
I was pretty excited about this as I was interested to see a large international motor show and to compare it to Sydneyâ€™s. The complex was massive. There were two massive buildings with hundreds of exhibitors and hundreds of cars. There was an outdoor mini racing track where they were testing out the Mazda RX-8 and MX-5 to see who would get the quickest time. There was also a massive four wheel drive park set up to show what the new generation four wheel drives can do.
I was most interested the super car paddock. In the photos youâ€™ll be able to see that I pretty much went straight there first, to snap up some good photos before the crowds got too large.
As youâ€™d expect there were some unreal cars on display such as the amazing Pagani Zonda (1 of less than 100), the Ferrari Enzo (1 of only 400), the ultra rare papaya orange coloured Mclaren F1 (1 of only 5) and many more.
I was stoked to see the Japanese GT winner Xanavi wide bodied Nissan 350Z. It seemed out of place amongst the super cars but Iâ€™m glad I got the opportunity to see this beast. Iâ€™ve always wanted to see a Jap GT race. Itâ€™s rumoured a round might come to Perth. Continue reading