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Car Friday at the Nürburgring 2015: Festival for Nordschleife fans

Roman Domes
Car Friday at the Nürburgring 2015
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D he Nürburgring fascinates its fans in something like this, like a boy band growing up, mostly female teenagers. If you come near him, the hormones go crazy, your heart is racing, crazy, inexplicable things happen.

'Car Friday' is not a silent holiday in the Eifel

More than 50 kilometers from the Nordschleife, a sports car convoy with an estimated 200 vehicles is forming on the A61, just before the Wehr motorway exit. Horn concerts, exhaust sound demonstrations - and that on a silent holiday. It turns into a loud holiday in the Eifel every year: The Nordschleife is opened for tourist trips, and Good Friday becomes Car Friday. Sounds logical.

While the column squeezes away from the landscape bathed in sunlight in the direction of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the small village of Adenau is shortly before eight o'clock in the shadow of the Eifel mountains. The windows of the parked cars are covered with a layer of frost. There is smoke from two chimneys above a bakery, inside two women are busily preparing for the upcoming rush.

Four Mercedes 190 E are lined up in the parking lot, parked face forward. One of them belongs to Marco . Strictly speaking, he drives the powerful version of the youngtimer with a straight six cylinder, 2.6 liter displacement and 160 hp. 'It used to be empty and I drove it on the Nordschleife, including on Car Friday,' says Marco. Today he and his friends - Pascal, Thomas and Lisa - only came to watch. The friends from Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland have been coming to the Good Friday madness for five years.

At half past eight the parking lot at Brünnchen is overcrowded

They are not alone. Overall, the organizers estimate that every year around 15,000 car fans clog the streets around sleepy towns like Kempenich, Meuspath or Quiddelbach.

Rolf Kremer has been up since four in the morning. His job is to tell people where they can and can't park. 'The same madness every year,' he says with a grin. The sprightly senior speaks with a strong dialect, as a non-Eifelaner you hardly understand him. He has been working at the Nürburgring for 20 years, partly as a marshal - mostly at Pflanzgarten - partly as a steward. Like so many here, Rolf is a big motorsport fan.

Today he is at the entrance to theSchwalbenschwanz, that's where he was sent because the Brünnchen parking lot was completely overcrowded before nine o'clock. 'The parking lot there is one too, this one at the swallowtail is just a muddy field.' At this moment, a bubbling Ford Focus RS drives past Rolf without waiting for his signal. Rolf waves the driver over and explains why he is standing here and where the Focus should go. 'Otherwise you won't get out of here, boy,' he calls afterwards, shaking his head. The driver of the Ford will not have heard that, the noise coming from the right-left combination on the dovetail behind him is too loud.

Car Friday 2015 in perfect Nordschleife weather

Nine o'clock: The track has been open for a few moments. One reason for this is the excellent weather. Sunshine and blue skies were a rarity in the Eifel, and not just in the past week. It was still snowing until a few days ago. Today the temperatures are above freezing point - that makes drivers and fans happy. The Nordschleife is almost dry, only in places where the sunlight has not yet reached a damp, slippery layer of asphalt.

At the Brünnchen, bass-heavy music can be heard, the first billows of smoke rise, and there is a smell Beer and grilled meat. And rubber. And exhaust fumes. A familiar fragrance for anyone who has ever been to the 24-hour race. Add a fishing chair with a beer holder and the day is perfect. At least if the route is not closed due to an accident. This happens a few times on this first day of 'free driving' when a driving mistake outweighs your own ambition. We are spared worse events on this day. This is also a pleasure on the track.

When the Nürburgring-Nordschleife closes around seven in the evening, it is empty in no time at Pflanzgarten, Brünnchen and Schwalbenschwanz. Only the traffic jam extends over the single-lane country road to the motorway. A takeaway owner tidies up at the Pflanzgarten, is happy about the business and then gives away the last of the curry sausages. The previously so well-visited hills and meadows behind his trailer: deserted. 'As quickly as they came, they left as quickly,' he says. Just like after a concert.

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