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Wreckage at the Wheeltorque trip to the Ring

Richard Ince

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I have never seen so many wrecked cars on a track day. Yesterday a M3 had a major accident at Brunnchen that closed the circuit for an hour. As well as that a brand new GT2 went off at Ice Curve and an old Porsche when straight on at Adenau!

After a briefing this morning it which Gerard said that the Nurburgring management were looking closely at track days it go even worse! At 9:30 a M3 went off at Aremberg just before the bridge on the way down the Fox Hole. A Porsche Turbo ignored the waved yellows from that incident and went flat out toward the Foxhole hitting a 1965 Porsche 911 race car that had been restored over the last 8 months. This sent the 911 into the barriers badly damaging an irreplaceable car. The Turbo then hit the barriers at vast speed on the right before hitting about 70 meters further down on the left. It the rolled and went about another 70 meters before it stopped upside down against the barriers on the right hand side. Unbelievably the driver did not have a scratch, if he had been 2 or 3 inches more than his 5 ft 6" he would be dead. A passenger would have been killed instantly. The roof of the car was level with the bonnet and boot.

At 11:00 the track reopened and at about 11:30 a Z3 (New yesterday) hit oil that had been dropped by a Lotus 340 and went into the barriers at high speed. The barriers were flat! Due to testing for a race at 4:00 and the large amount of barrier repairs the day was declared over at 12:00!

I only managed 5 laps in total today and 2 of those were under red flags. However one of the laps was taking the editor of Circuit driver around to show him was an R500 will do, See the August issue!

I did not see any bent 7's over the last 2 days which was excellent.

It was good to see so many familiar faces including Slipperman our leader.


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It was a disastrous couple of days, wasn't it?


In this case I think people were too pressured to do as much as possible in a shorter space of time. I had no idea the circuit was being closed at 2pm until the morning briefing, I imagine the same is true of a number of others who then felt the need for immediate speed rather than building up gradually to 100% - essential for the 'ring.

So accidents were almost inevitable. If it had rained you miht have been able to blame that, but this year I felt the atmosphere was too pressured and not relaxed enough.




I hear the M Coupe driver (I understood it was an M Coupe, not Z3) went to hospital but was essentially OK despite his car being half its' usual size. An excellent argument for proper rollcages - both he and the 911 driver were very lucky, judging by the wreckage.

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I had been hoping to go on this trip - rather glad now that work intervened...


I haven't heard of carnage on this scale since... errm... er... Ascension Day Bank holiday at the Ring in May.

That day, the helicopter got more outings than some of the cars.


Sounds as though it's mostly broken metal this week, thankfully. Relieved to hear that you're all coming home safe and sound.

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Blatman -

There was a dicussion on this a while back in ''another place'' - the various tales recounted there described incidents of varying complexity and types of carnage - it was hard to work out detailed charges without doing multi-variable simultaneous equations (and I suspect the charges may not be consistent!)


However, the following is para-phrased from a reliable account - I've reworded it a little to protect the guilty and updated the currency from DMs, so it's only a rough guide...


... yes, you are charged for the armco too. When I crashed at Fuchröhre,

a marshal inspected the armco very closely. I'll be billed for 36m + one post. Sounds a lot, but I hit the armco twice. First impact was light and only one section (4 meters); second

harder - two sections + post so it was 8m. 8+4=12, multiply by height (3 rails high) = 36 metres. Approx cost will be around 1500 Euros. Plus, 30 mins of marshal's vehicle use and 30 mins of 'manpower' for the time he spent on track (they didn't do that when I had

the mechanical failure last year).


..had a mechanical breakdown last year - was charged 150 Euros transport from track to Adenau. Car stayed overnight (free); then transport from Adenau to Koblenz was about 200 Euros. Transport man said he had to pay some moneyto Nurburgring Gmbh.


Edited, because I screwed-up the arithmetic... although in the context of this thread, maybe the prices will be going up...!


Edited by - tony pashley on 29 Jun 2002 14:21:30

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I had a problem with the Hybusa engine in the Radical. On the first steady lap I noticed oil smoke after 2 KM. The crankcase had split around the starter motor and had a gaping hole! Good job the engine had a dry sump. This could not be repaired and Tranzpower who were running my cars put in a spare 1300cc engine.

I took the R500 out and posted an out lap of 8:26, second lap of 8:08 and third lap of 8:04. On the next flying lap I was hoping to get sub 8:00 but a BMW had an accident at Brunnchen and that was ruined. The Karussell was not in use, going around the outside must have cost a few seconds.

At about 16:00 I took the Radical out and noticed how bumpy the track was; the suspension was far too hard. The Gearing was also wrong as I was hitting the limiter at 128MPH in 6th. However after a trip to the pits I went out and posted 8:18, 8:24 and 8:05.

On the second day after changing the final drive Ratio I had one lap which showed a much higher speed but also a blocked fuel filter, due to the lack of track time I did not get to try anymore. The car has the ability to go much quicker; with the higher gearing and the 1500 engine a sub 7:45 should be possible.

The R500 felt at home on the circuit and on a clear lap would post a time under 8:00 min.

I do wonder how Robert Nearn managed to set a time of 7:56 on a drying track with CR500's. He must be some driver.


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I was trying to impress him! We did an 8:14 with him in the passenger seat. He drove my R500 and was very impressed, the first R500 that he had driven without understeer. I cannot understand why factory cars that are lent to journalists always do this.



Yes, 4 weeks later the concrete has been repaired. Annoyingly it was going to be used for the first time this weekend.


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I am really sorry to hear this and I suspect it will put the whole Wheeltorque event future in jeopardy. Wheeltorque had enough trouble even getting the event booked.


FWIW this sort of incident packed track day seems to be self-fuelling. As soon as the first incidents occur, others follow. If there is any perception of a time constraint on a track day it seems to brign out the worst in people. I have promised myself that next time I witness it starting to go off on a track day I will pack up and go home. Track days with a more clubby atmosphere tend to be relatively immune. IME.



253 BHP K-seriesteeth.gif, no gearboxbum.gifid=red>

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Seconded - I reckon the event is in doubt for future years, judging by the way this one went.


Gerry seemed upset and shaky in the morning briefing; I reckon the track closure at 2pm was a sudden decision, not one communicated beforehand, and not one that would please all paying customers, considering the expense! Maybe he didn't mention Autumn Blast because he wanted to keep the briefing short.

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Yes, it was a horrendous final day. The first day had more incident than I'd ever seen at a track day, yet the second was just a nightmare. 3 drivers in hospital (including 1 for shock just for witnessing the Z3 crash) - it really brings it home.


Apparently, even if the barriers could've been fixed, the circuit management wouldn't have allowed us back on, so you're right, it doesn't bode well for the future.



On a MUCH lighter note, it was good to finally meet Anne Thracks, even if she did go a little shy on me. I can also confirm that her driving is just as bad as her dress sense.


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re the circuit closing to wheeltorque at 14.00, if this was sprung on gerry then surely he has some contractual protection? if he has then maybe he will pass some of the savings onto his customers. if not, perhaps he was taking a flyer....


we were promised '16hrs of free lapping' - before any stoppages the max we could achieve with an 09.00 start on day 1 (instead of 08.00), a second day briefing at 08.00 (track time started at 08.00) and the 14.00 shutdown was 13.5hrs.


on the subject of bent cars, surely a good argument for mandatory rollbars/cages at future events.


well done all the 7 owners who managed to keep it on the black stuff.



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contractual obligation bedammed.


From Gerry's in-briefing comments, it looked like the "FIA" were the big boys and Wheeltorque were small fry. In other words, even if Wheeltorque said "we're not coming back" the Nurbergring management would've said "so what?".

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Never mind banning the foreigners, just require that drivers have at least driven their cars before they arrive. New GT2, the M Coupe was less than a week old and the M3 had been borrowed from a dealer on 'sale or return'!


I'm not sure that the Ring is the ideal place to get to know a new car, although it might explain why so many people could not find their indicators to move over to let the 'little kit cars' through


Graham Jung

The 'little blue kit car' aka Superlight 1800


Edited by - Graham Jung on 30 Jun 2002 07:53:59

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