PIT STOP

The Calm Before the Nürburgring 2014
Posted by | June 21, 2014

The lodgings from today, is at a long stay cottage: The Lindner Ferienpark Nürburgring

I started writing for the Pit Stop Blog in a very comfy room with its own bathroom. No A/C though.

Yamauchi san asks me “Why are you in short sleeves in this cold weather!?” but I’m fine in the cold. Though Yasukichi san before my flight told me “you need a good goose down jacket” …

I opened the windows all the way. Though its cool at night being in the mountains and all, I wondered how they get through their summer days around here.

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The Nürburgring rollercoaster also appears as a course side object in Gran Turismo. Its not recreated in game in its operating state, but actually, its not operating in real life either…

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In its test run, the instant the roller coaster entered the Ring Werk building, the resulting wind pressure shattered the glass windows of the building. They never figured out how to make it work, and that was it. You’d think the Germans who are known for their precision would design it better…

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The rails going through the building have been abandoned as is.

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Racing cars begin to gather in the paddocks, and I’m starting to get excited at the still-quiet Nürburgring.

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The mascot car of the Nürburgring, the Open Manta. Participation in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring is prohibited for cars that have passed a certain number of years since its manufacture, and of course the Open Manta falls short of this regulation, but the car has been in the race year after year, every year. No one would tell me why. Can someone let me know what the “mystery behind the Opel Manta” is?

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The “fluffy thing” seen in person is bigger and heavier than I thought. Looking forward to seeing it in racing action.

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In the car, there is a strange stuffed animal secured with tie-wraps. Details like this you can only find if you’re here yourself.

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With the daylight hours being so long, you hardly realize its dinner time. With Japan’s fastest Gran Turismo driver at the wheel, we head to the Italian restaurant of Sabine Schmitz, the famous and fastest lady racer on the Nürburgring.

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I still remember very clearly a Nordschleife match on BBC’s Top Gear, where Sabine challenged a laptime set by Jeremy in a Jaguar, driving a cargo van.

Watch for Sabine’s performance in the race final!

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On the menu, there is a warning: “Don’t put pepper on the stone”. The reason for this is that the pepper will vaporize on the hot stone and basically turn into pepper spray. Never, sprinkle pepper on the hot stone.

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German food often involve lots of Pommes (french fries) and mashed potatos. Its probably like rice to a Japanese person. And the salads are incredibly large.

As I was thinking we would start heading back soon, GT Academy’s Mark Schulzitsky, who barely missed a win in this year’s LeMans 24 Hour race in the LMP2 Class due to machine trouble that occurred while he was in the lead, happens to stop by. The place becomes a mini-press conference.

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Mark Schulzitsky is here as a guest for GT Academy Germany. Virtual and real, is definitely connected here.

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The Team Schulze drivers this year include the two Schulze brothers and Yamauchi san, joined by Jordan Tresson, a GT Academy winner and driver in the WEC, and a driver in the LeMans a few years ago.
Yamauchi san said of Jordan, “He’s tough and eats a lot! Its important for an athlete to raise his energy efficiency, and if you eat more you can burn more energy. So eating is important.”

The other night Jordan went on a night jogging run around the whole north loop. A truly tough driver!

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And now the Schulze Team is on the move…

 

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