A few weeks ago another trackday on the Nordschleife, beautiful weather but not too hot, best conditions on one hand and on the other hand the fact, Nordschleife is and will remain Nordschleife – The Castiron and Eleanor V, the Ford Mustang, were ready to take the challenge; two experiences seem especially noteworthy.
The triple right hand bend before „Wehrseifen“, downhill, close to 90 miles per hour. Usually, you drive this bend as one, just one steering movement and the apex in the second part. Since the beginning of the lap, The Castiron followed another car; there was no chance for overtaking. At this point that white car in front was a little bit faster and The Castiron a little bit too fast: instead of kissing the apex perfectly, Eleanor V began quite hugely to oversteer. It is a big difference in such a situation to have either a straight in front of you or a curve progression, which leaves less space for correction. The Castiron countersteered as fast as possible and as much as necessary and could handle the situation and consequently the third part of this bend, too.
The car in front of Eleanor V then gave The Castiron the possibility to pass, but followed like a shadow. Conclusion: do not try to remain on the heels of another car at all costs, whatever the situation – do your own thing!
The straight before „Bergwerk“, another lap, another competitor. The organizer allows overtaking only on the left side, according to the German road traffic regulations. This time, The Castiron was significantly faster and thought, the other driver had seen him. Eleanor V was on the left side of that red car, around 100 miles per hour and the other car moved to the same side – obviously, the driver was not aware of Eleanor V! The Castiron pulled towards the left, two wheels on the grass verge, braking quite hardly. The other driver awakened and left just enough room for Eleanor V.
A contact with the crash barrier and / or between the two cars could be avoided. The Castiron knew from a former experience that braking with a car with ABS is possible also in such a situation: two wheels on the tarmac, two wheels on the grass verge – it was really helpful. The Castiron’s opinion on overtaking on the track is, that being allowed to overtake on both the left and the right is the better way. Conclusion: do not count on the other driver and be prepared for everything, as far as possible!
Last, but not least: keep in mind, do not underestimate the manifold challenges of such a day and remember, it is a trackday, not a race, with the main aim of having a happy day – driver and car both well, after a satisfying day with a lot of good (and sometimes thrilling) experiences. Enjoy yourself!
See you next Friday. - God bless you, all the best! The Castiron