Why you should keep your cool on the Nordschleife

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aka NO BRAKE CHECKS

There are a lot of differences opinion on the Nordschleife. Hell, it’s a race track and it’s full of men. Emotions can run high.

But when you get emotional (and angry) on the world’s most demanding racetrack, then things can also get dangerous.

First, watch this video*, and see what you think. We’re onboard with Mr. Black (E36) ahead is Mr. Orange (1M Coupe), and behind is Mr. Blue (M4).

*video removed – now you only have the explanation below*

Well thanks to the magic of the internet, and that all of these drivers are regulars, contactable through BookFace, I’ve spoken to the two major antagonisers of this video and multiple witnesses.

Now, let’s go through that first minute-and-a-bit of action, blow-by-blow, with relevant insights from Mr. BlackMr. Blue and some opinions from me in italics.

I apologise if this reads like a crime scene as told by toddlers to a school teacher… but let’s get on with it:

  • 10s – Mr. Orange leaves the cones, but doesn’t go full throttle because I think he’s waiting for Mr. Blue. Mr. Black goes full throttle all the way. Behind him, a few seconds later, so does Mr. Blue in his far faster M4.
  • 17s – Mr. Black moves left to overtake Mr. Orange, but Mr. Blue says that Mr. Black “blocked me before me overtaking him… he drove so far to the left that i needed to go into the dirt…”
  • 22s – Mr. Orange’s superior acceleration now kicks in, while Mr. Blue is pushing through on the left. Mr. Black is now in the middle, nearly brushing door handles with Mr. Orange. “So far so crazy,” in the words of Mr. Black, and he stays on the gas to finish the overtake. While Mr. Blue says that Mr. Black “pushed the BMW 1m Coupe driver to the side.”
  • 28s – Mr. Blue brakes quite early into Tiergarten, probably not what Mr. Black is expecting after being flashed out of the way and he gets really close.
  • 38s – Mr. Blue says he’s not brake-checking, Mr. Black thinks he is. Mr. Orange overtakes BOTH cars on the right (naughty).
  • 47s – Mr. Black also overtakes on the right (also naughty) but then it gets even worse… “I thought (Mr. Blue) was stopping and I didn’t want to stop in Hohenrain because it’s too dangerous. (after I overtook) my passenger suggested to let him pass.” and this braking and moving to the right means that Mr Blue says now “(Mr. Black) hit the brakes himself and blocked me two times”
  • 51s – Seconds later, Mr. Black has moved over full right and slowed down. Is this the end of this automotive confusion?
  • 58s – It’s not over yet. Mr. Blue slows down, pulls to the right and stops. In a live racetrack.
  • The rest of the lap? Does it really matter? Mr. Black patently doesn’t want to go anywhere near Mr. Blue.
  • At the end, Mr. Blue gets to the marshalls first and demands the immediate expulsion of Mr. Black from the circuit.
  • In the car park Mr. Black angrily confronts Mr. Blue “he pushed me”, it gets heated (“I thought it might get physical, it was really bad” said one witness) before Mr. Black calls it a day and goes home.

What do I think?

  • The perfect lap, on the racing line at full speed, is NOT OUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT. It’s a public road, and we all have to SHARE.
  • If you want to fight for ‘the line’, just go racing.
  • I sense a certain urgency amongst drivers to make every €27 lap a great one. JKs (year passes) can alleviate this stress (though at €1600 a year it’s a helluva luxury).
  • Brake checks are STUPID and DANGEROUS. I have my own reservations about Mr. Blue, and as a guy driving a LOT of laps every day, I believe I’ve had my own run ins with him, as well as other people doing similar things.
  • I’ll leave the final words to Mr. Blue: “I can blame myself for still not staying calm.”

What do you think?

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