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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NURBURGRING.......Thrills, Spills and Pretty Paddock Girls.



Carina and Jana at Suzuki Motorcycles would.........girls, over here please....

.....thank you.
Carina and Jana at Suzuki Motorcycles would like to welcome you all to this episode of Wherethehellismurph.com, coming to you from the Nurburgring in Nurburg, Germany.



Germany's Nurburgring first opened on June 18th, 1927 as The Nurburg-Ring, 14 miles of the most challenging racetrack in the world. 
Built around the village and medieval castle of Nurburg in the Eifel Mountains in western Germany, the track had 174 corners, an almost impossible number of turns for a race driver to remember the racing line throughout the whole course, but some did, and there at the Nurburg-Ring, men made history.

Scotsman Jackie Stewart "The Flying Scotsman", arguably one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, nicknamed the old Nurburg-Ring race track "The Green Hell", as the Nurburg-Ring is nestled among the seemingly endless green trees of the picturesque Eifel Mountains.
The Nurburg-Ring was such a formidable track that Stewart was once quoted as saying " I never did a lap of the Nurburg-Ring that I didn't have to do".

Trivia: Did you know that Jackie Stewart was dyslexic?. Due to this undiagnosed condition he was not allowed to continue his school education and instead began working for his father in his car business garage.

The Grand Prix track or new track was completed in 1984 and called 
the GP-Strecke. Built to meet the highest safety standards, it was considered a 
mere shadow of it's older sibling. In fact, some fans at the time called it the Eifelring or Green Party Ring or similar as they didn't feel it deserved to be called Nurburgring.

It also had a characteristic of many circuits of that time in that it offered few overtaking opportunities.
This was changed in 2002 when the former "Castrol-chicane" at the end of the start/finish straight was replaced by a sharp right-hander (nicknamed "Haug-Hook)
in order to create an overtaking opportunity.
Today unfortunately, the Nurburgring is officially bankrupt, mostly due to inept and irrational government development of the complex. Easy fix?. There is none, but Save The Ring will give you much more insight into what's going on and what an alternative solution is.

Personally, I don't think the Ring will just disappear or be bulldozed to make apartment buildings, there's too much history there, but I do know from the friends I have started to make here in Germany that racers are a little worried and lot pissed off at how such an iconic racetrack such as this could end up bankrupt and in danger of closing.




Before I ended up at the Nurburgring on Sunday for the World Championship Superbike racing I was back in Sinzig on Saturday to support my new sponsor Wunderlich Germany and their "End of Season" event that they had at the Wunderlich Compound. 

Some German license plates like this one in the picture are seasonal, allowing the rider to ride from April to September, 04/09, so Wunderlich Germany  coincide their season opening and season closing events around this. So the next time I will be back at the Wunderlich compound in Sinzig will be the end of April 2013 for their season opener event. I'll be in Ireland at the end of February on so I'll be making my way over the third week of April to be at Wunderlich in Sinzig in time. If you have any motorcycling planned in the Sinzig area in April, be sure and stop by, at that time I'll have a whole lot of stories and pictures from Russia and points east.



















Frank Hoffmann, Product Manager and Testing for Wunderlich Germany.







It seems today that riders learning to ride for their first time are getting younger and younger, or maybe I'm just getting older and older.

Whatever the reason, it's good to see that Wunderlich Germany are keeping pace with the growing demand,  and their commitment in teaching the younger generation the basics of life on two wheels.

So, Sunday at the Nurburgring, my first time at the Ring. Even though it's bankrupt and in danger of shutting down, that fact did nothing to dampen my inner child and the fact that I was there in a place that racing history was and continues to be made. The Nurburgring is the Nurburgring, there is nothing like this track anywhere else in the world.















Race time.





































So, Max Biaggi, Aprilla's factory rider, secured his first pole of the 2012 season and took Race 1 win to take the lead in the championship standings.
Race 2 however was a different story for Max.
It was also one of those lucky moments in photography for me.


I had my camera focused on this sweeping right, just before the chicane that Max crashed at. 


At the start of Race 2 I decided that the chicane looked more interesting, nice little gravel pit on entry and with 5 or 6 bikes going in at the same time, it would make for some nice shots.

Warm up was over and Race 2 had just started, so I was really only shooting the first lap to get an idea of how my shots would look. But then, photography is all about capturing split second moments in time.

































The goods news was that Max was ok, he picked up his bike and rode the rest of the race like a man on a mission, making his way from last in the pack to finish in 13th place and three crucial championship points. 
Every time he came back around through that chicane the spectators in the stands were clapping him for giving it his all.


Next stop for me is Berlin and then on to Denmark. I just got my Russian visa approved and pick it up in Holland this week.
The final installment of my BMW Duo-Drive Sidecar build is next up here on Wherethehellismurph.com

Thanks all for stopping by.


Murph.

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