The Nurburgring 24hr... Where to start. We've been going for 6 years now... Every year there is highs and lows. Last year we managed to finish 3rd in class (SP3) after a brief panic attack over the rules as Max limped the car over the line with a cracked sub frame held together with fast welding and ratchet straps!

 

So this year we had high hopes for the Clio Cup car. The car had been treated to a full respray- well all the scuffs were now white! So we thought it was a good time to get some Toy Stor-age stickers on there!

Practice happened, all drivers (Xavier Lamadrid JNR, Xavier Lamadrid SNR, Max Girardo and Nicholas Abril) all semed happy with it. The two parts to qualifying (drivers have to do a day and night stint) all went well and we were placed 4th in a class of 12.

Now, maybe its a good time to talk about the Clio, from an outsiders point of view i absolutely love being a part of the guys racing. After 5 previous years the conversation always comes up as to what car should 'we' upgrade to? The Clio is in the slowest class of the 24hr race so although its still racing its even more dangerous when the GT cars (Merc SLS's, Aston's, Porsche's etc) are charging past you as if you're going backwards.

But the problem is always down to cost... yes a 911 or an M3 maybe- but the little Clio costs circa 20,000 Euros for 4 drivers to race at the Ring24hr (5,000 Euros each). Racing in the bigger cars can be around 80,000 Euros and climbing. Then what happens when you/or someone else 'bends' it?

Costs start to spiral and the fund rapidly disappears

The lovely thing about the Clio is that its a great little car, it doesnt cost too much to run and the parts are abundant and most importantly cheap!

So, here we are 6 years on and the Clio is on the starters grid...

Max has been elected to start the race, the buzz on the grid is fantastic. Everyone is excited and its a chance to see all the cars up close. The marshals sound the whistle and we clear the track, Max is strapped in and we all stand in the pits waiting to run to the pit wall after the pass the start line for the start of the 24hr race.

The top 30 cars buzz past us, then the 2nd batch and finally the 3rd batch of cars come flying past us. Max makes it past the 1st corner un scathed and we settle in to watch his lap times. Unfortunately 3 laps in the weather has other ideas...

Rain was forcast, so we knew wet tyres would be arriving at some point. What we didn't expect was a hail storm and the track turning to an ice rink (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F41XrKrO3oU). Luckilly Max pitted just as the race was red flagged (stopped) due to the weather but still there is aprox 30 cars stranded out on the track.

After 1-1.5 hrs the drivers were requested to rejoin their cars and re start the race with a formation lap. 3 formation laps later and the race is back under way. It's still raining but not too heavy.

2 laps into the re start and we get a message on the radio- Max is off at Adenau bridge- a BMW Mini has lost control and slid across the track punting Max off into the armco and damaging the car. Because the track is so big (nearly 13 miles) it takes forever forever for the car to be recovered by Schlaug Motorsport and when it does finally arrive back at the pits the damage to the car is too much for us to continue.

We drown our sorrows in cheap beers and J├Ągermeister shots, luckilly Max is ok and the car, well the car can be fixed (relatively cheaply) and ready for another race in 2017!

 

 

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