After sleeping in the forest for the night I awoke with sore legs and stiff knees.
The GTI was no luxury hotel but it kinda did the job, the hugging seats were nice but the leg room was little.
I slept like a rock for a few hours which was enough to recharge my energy for the day to come.
I fired up the engine around 7am and head’d out of the forest for the super market and breakfast, cruised the back roads to the pits area and waited for the rain to ease.
The day was called for rain in the morning and then to clear later in the day, this only meaning that once again it was going to be a shit to walk around in the mud. I start’d off in the main pavillion and walk’d up to the N.Schleife start (Track) having been here once before I knew it was an ok spot, still pissing down rain I decided to walk down track more and see what the mass of people were up to.
I wanted to see what was around the corner more, sloshing through the mud, caravans and other asortment of shit lying on the ground I found Hatzenbach
along with some more holes in the fence to poke my camera through now I just had to stand there in the rain and wait for the Porsche cup to start.
A wet start for these guys and still they drive them like they stole them, sliding around the bends and still giving gas.
Not wanting to sit in the one place the whole time I was soon on the move again. Slipping and sliding through the amusment park I went.
Hocheichen this place was nice, very tight for the camera to get in and really only one man at a time but still it’s nice and low on the track.
By the time I got to Aremberg
it was the end of the porsche cup. Here a few cars had gone off and the Nuerburgring team of men were repairing the armor for the next round of battering. Once again my legs were killing me so I decided to sit down and see what was going on.
Not much was going on.
I had a few hours before the main race start’d and had to decide on what I wanted to do.
I wanted to walk back to the pavillion and see what the Nissan store was like and then walk back out to where I was….crazy I thought. I end’d up on the other side of the track instead sitting under the Audi VIP stand. Sitting under a tree out of the drizzling rain for hours bored with nothing to do, I had to tell myself that walking so far was stupid and not going to happen.
Finally it was time, with the ring prayers being heard over the speakers I knew it was about to get exciting.
Standing up at Flugplatz you can hear the cars start up and rev around the grand prix circuit then up into the nordschleife, louder and louder they come then into sight, Ferrari then the two Mercedes followed by the Bmw and then a flurry of autos.
Another 10 minutes or so they were on there way around again, this time full throttle. The noise was amazing a high pitch’d note from the Ferrari followed by a deap note by the two Mercedes then the flurry of noises came through. Gaps were starting to show but that didn’t really matter, this was a long race, this was a 24hr race.
As time went on into the evening I slowly head’d back to the pavillion.
After refueling myself I wanted to head back to Hatzenbach
for some long exposure shots but that only ment I had to walk there again another 3-4 k’s my legs couldn’t do. I cruised off in the GTI to find a parking spot closer to my destination.
It was midnight or 1pm by the time I park’d the hotel on a side road, hopped over to the passenger side and spread out.
Woke around day break.
First light was starting to break through the cracked clouds and it was time to try and move.
I was still so tired but wanted to visit my favourite spot.(Schwalbenschwanz)
Come early morning I had had enough of walking and I just couldn't hold myself up, I was off and just like last year was on my way home to watch the rest of the show on t.v.
This was the second part of my fun weekend, the roads were close to empty people were either at the race still on their way to church or in bed asleep. The roads had few cars on them which was good and by the time I reached the autobahn I was ready.
No speed limit for a few k's only ment that my foot hit the floor harder then tyson hitting some ones face. The GTI climbed fast and before I knew it I was hitting 200km ph.
this went on for a while until I noticed a black Audi S5 at 6 o'clock. it was coming up fast, so i moved out of its way only to put my foot down again and making this GTI get to work.
I was in a race (in my head) and the GTI was struggling to keep up with the audi, the only time I was able to pass was when there was traffic. The GTI was infront for a few seconds only to be passed again by the Audi, it was fun and also scary hitting corners at 230km's hoping the GTI was going to stick to the floor. After 40mins of eating up the autobahn my exit was about to come up, one last push for the Audi but the GTI was no match I let off the gas and watched the S5 sail away.
With in around an hours drive I was back at Frankfurt.
The weekend of madness was over for another year and I'm only looking forward to next years race.
© Clint Smithers Photography