Scuderia Hanseat: Discofox in hell

Written by Gabriele Spangenburg | Monday, 17 May 2010 21:40

"Joy of driving": are they joking?The following article was written by Gabriele Spangenburg, we are genuinely honoured that she allowed us to post a few of her blog stories on here from time to time. This time she attended the Nürburgring in her Porsche 911 a.k.a. 'Kobold'. Read, view and enjoy!

Many of you know that my most beloved Nordschleife, is nicknamed „green hell“.
Now I don´t know about you, but I used to think this highly unjust, instead of hell, it was „not quite so green“ heaven for me.

Hohoho! How naive! And if you believe the name “green“: shame on you too! Because last week, at the Driving school of “Scuderia Hanseat“ on Nuerburgring we encountered the wettest, coldest, foggiest, unfriendly, slippery May days in History (ever!!!!). Plus it was snowing! Wet, white, wretched hell!

 

Everyone participating under these circumstances should rightfully declared to be mad, and those, stupid enough to drive an old car should be admitted to a luny asylum, without delay.
 
But let me start at the beginning: “Scuderia Hanseat“ is best described as a Dancing Driving school, teaching you how to Discofox on Nordschleife.
 

The (longest, most dangerous, beautiful, blabla and so on) Track is divided in 12 sections, which are taught and explained separately. It‘s cool as you get to walk on this famous bit of Tarmac, and you can appreciate the differences in altitude, grip and width closely.The Instructors show you the IDEAL LINE, not Race line, in most turns and corners. After two and a half days of early rising and going to bed late, they go and sit in their respective wet and freezing corners to see each participant dance past and mark him from 1 (best) to 10 (impossibly bad), according to his precision, speed, ability to handle his car. Just like in a proper Dancing Tournament.


"Altes Fahrerlager" in snowstorm...

If you like Discofox ( I obviously do and so do hundreds of other people out there) its very very nice, and one of the safest ways to learn your way around Nuerburgring. 300 cars and even more people, from all over the world are divided in 12 groups (like  Skischool, summercamp or other grown up experiences), and most people keep coming back for more...

I had been there before and was really looking forward to these three days in the Eiffel,  training for it on Nordschleife with my fantastic Teacher and famous racer Claudia Hürtgen as often as I could.

As it turned out my Kobold Racer was set up to low , just returning from the tracks at the Tour Auto and therefore swimming in high speed corners, like Fuchsröhre, Schwedenkreuz or Pflanzgarten 2. (rendering the car unmanageble for me)
My friends from Raedersport, helped,  via telephone instructions from Marc and translations from Claudia to relieve the Problem somehow, but high speed was still very scary and full speed not possible.

So the relapse of arctic winter was almost fine by me, had it not been for water leaping into my car, windows continuously fogging over, wipers not strong enough to remove the layer of grime building up on my screen, no ESP, no ABS, no steering assistance and my radiator working only when the engine was warm. (which was not often during the first day).

This is Start and Finish of Grand Prix Track, full of mad people!

This first day, the fog on the Grand prix Track was so thick the 150 m Break sign only became visible as we drove past it and it was extremely wet and slippery. And you know what? I loved it! My little Avon Tyres cut through the water much better than big modern ones and the grip of my car was fantastic. I managed to overtake a 4 wheel drive Porsche (997) and the kind (and funny) person driving it, told me later he had problem following me. Yet best of all: When you drive in thick fog not seeing the other cars you delude yourself of being extremely fast and first!
 
I had a blast driving in the rain on the Grand prix track that day, but unfortunately they pulled us in very quickly and the rest of the day we did not get to drive enough, due to Conditions and the rather large number of people in our group.

 Windows are closed: car stays half dry and screen is fogged, windows stays open: screen is not totally fogged and car is all wet. What's a woman to do?

Next day the fog had thankfully lifted, but it nevertheless rained all day, meaning we learned tons but also meaning wet and cold feet, bad mood, sitting in a humid car waiting, no music, no car magazine, hungry, homesick, without family, not sure about friends uuaaaahhhhhh... ( I HAVE to write this, just in case family reads this and thinks is just pleasure, no learning..)

The third and last day our faith had turned. The track was dry and our first tour covered the entire Nordschleife behind a very experienced and good Instructor who let us fly across in a very very pretty rhythm (meaning fast for my car and still handsome for the fast modern ones..).

 

Now you probably want to know how Kobold and I performed at the final exam? I don´t know how it happened but my alter ego took over the steering wheel (I´m ashamed to admit, but my alter ego is an old bloodthirsty disgusting Crocodile, with a knife the seize of a sword between its fangs, ask my children!). The mean three of us (Kobold, crocodile and me) had enormous fun, catching up with, chasing a poor Caterham in front of us. I have never had so much fun on Nordschleife and it showed in our results: 2nd place in our group and Ladies Cup. Great achievement!


But the greatest reward for all the hours spend training last year and all the hours suffering this year was this last ride itself, but that is difficult to explain and a REALLY long story. Next week no more cars, back to warming hearth and homely heaven: I promise!

For more stories please see Gabriele's blog @ www.mealsandwheels.com