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  #1  
Old 08-03-2013, 09:18 PM
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Meeting Napolis and P4/5 C M at the Nurburgring

*Moderators, please move this thread if this is not the appropriate section*

This post is a long time coming but since P4/5 Competizione is now home, I wanted to share my adventure with FChat. As some of you may remember, last year Jim and the team announced an auction for a trip to the Nurburgring. It was for a charity event, benefitting the charity that his son is a part of. Long story short, I more or less decided I wanted to win the auction. So after an entire month of careful planning, and many nervous hours on the final day of the auction, I ended up winning it. Upon receiving the email confirmation I leapt from the couch and was more or less reduced to a babbling, yelling fool. I hadn't told anyone about my plans and my girlfriend (who was sitting with me on the couch) was a bit incredulous at the whole thing. After convincing my best friend I hadn't been suckered into a Nigerian scam, we put together a plan to "do the trip right." We arranged flights, car, and planned out a trip that would require us to arrive in Frankfurt, Germany and travel down to Modena, Italy. There we would visit Ferrari, Lamborghini, and finally, Pagani. After that we would bomb back to Frankfurt where we would meet the team and watch P4/5CM compete in the Nurbrugring 24.


So after 30 hours and four flights (Boise is a nightmare to get to anywhere from) we touched down in Frankfurt. Grabbed the car and headed to our hotel. We rested up and started our way to Italy, arriving at our first stop: Hockenheim.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2013, 09:32 PM
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After leaving the Hockenheimring we were driving along and all of a sudden my friend yells out something like "Holy crap that's a TU-144!"

So we pull off at the next exit and find what he saw. Sure enough it's a real deal Tu-144 airplane mounted on a plinth. We had arrived at the Auto & Technikmuseum Sinsheim. An absolutely astonishing museum. Hundreds of cars, planes, etc. We got to go inside a Concorde and the TU-144. Mind blowing! Couple of pics:
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2013, 09:37 PM
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2013, 09:41 PM
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After leaving and grabbing some McDonald's (could we be more stereotypical American?) we stopped for the night at a place called the V8 Hotel. It's an astonishing car themed hotel that has several exotic car dealerships attached to it. After spending the night we got up planning to head out early. However the dealerships had opened up and there was also a car meet put on by some local forum members. We stopped and chatted with them. It was very fun to swap car talk. After that we headed out. Making a brief stop in the Alps. Even the sight from the gas station was amazing.More pics:
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2013, 09:52 PM
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Continuing on the adventure we stopped at this place:
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:00 PM
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Then here. It had just opened a few weeks previously!
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:13 PM
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Wow, what a great trip. Thanks for sharing

Did you get to drive the ring too?
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:13 PM
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We finished the day by having a delicious dinner at a restaurant next to the hotel (Hotel Real Fini by the way, wonderful place!). Went to bed early because we had a couple special places to go in the morning:
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:21 PM
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Good story. I am fairly new to the whole Ferrari, Internet forum worlds but I do remember seeing that auction last year and wondering how cool would it be to win and be in the company of those people yet at the same time I knew it was too far a stretch for a guy like me. I'm glad you are writing about it, your experience. Please post more.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:28 PM
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And now the big one, Pagani. We were given a tour of the factory and saw many of their amazing cars. No pictures allowed in the production area but saw Huayra 006 and 007 under construction, the Zonda R Evo (?) having the final touches put on it, the press Huayra which arrived during our tour, and then a very special Zonda being built for a special customer: Lewis Hamilton. It's known as the Zonda 760 LH and is a three pedal six-speed manual. We were there on the day it was complete and fired up for the first time. Unfortunately my camera battery started to die so I was unable to get many photos of it. However, my friend did and some of his photos are here:

One-Off Purple Pagaini Zonda 750 Back From The Grave Gallery
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:42 PM
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So after celebrating our day with another delicious dinner and going to bed a bit drunk, we embarked on what would be an epic drive. We went from Maranello to Frankfurt in one 11 hour day. We attempted to do the Stelvio Pass but I think we ended up on the wrong portion of it and found it closed due to the weather. We then proceeded on and after getting caught in a white out in Switzerland finally made it to Frankfurt. We stayed at a pretty terrible hotel but the next day would bring something amazing.....
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:49 PM
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We drove to the Frankfurt airport and after a hilarious exchange with the gate security we bid our rental Ford Focus diesel goodbye. The girl was practically brand new and never skipped a beat. I think we did something like 2,000 km on the journey. We had been in contact with the Scuderia Cameron-Glickenhaus and then we waited at the airport for them to kindly pick us up and take us to the Nurburgring. After meeting with a couple guys from the team, we loaded up and headed for the hotel where we would be staying. During this time, we got our passes. At this point I was thinking: "**** just got real." I was pretty tired but unbelievably excited. My friend was so overcome with joy and anticipation that he slept the entire journey.
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:52 PM
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drive550PFB View Post
Don't stop now. Keep posting.
I'm fading fast, but will keep at it! We're just getting to the meat of the story.
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
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I'm fading fast, but will keep at it! We're just getting to the meat of the story.
I'm not going to bed until you show the 'Ring.
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  #16  
Old 08-03-2013, 11:17 PM
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After an all to brief journey, we hit the hotel. After checking in, the guys from the team asked if we wanted to rest up a bit and hit the track later but of course the answer was "Hell no! Let's roll." So that's what we did. We arrived at the track and I was in sheer awe. This was my first trip to the Nurburgring (hell, it was my first trip outside the US!) and I marveled in its magnificence. It really is a stunning place. You can feel the history, and the passion that resides in it. At one point we were stuck in traffic and I looked to my right and saw a race car screaming past. I realized that the stretch of road we were on was parallel to the track and you could see the cars through the trees. I had hit automotive Nirvana.

I was a jumble of nerves as we walked into the team's suite. I felt almost like I didn't belong. It sounds super pathetic I know, but I was stunned that I was experiencing such a thing. I don't come from anything resembling money, my family views cars as tools rather than things of passion, yet here I was at the place of my dreams about to meet a team, an owner, and above all, a car that I thought I would never, ever see in my life. So I did the thing that I thought was the most appropriate: I grabbed a beer and plopped my ass down on the couch. I simply drank it all in. No photos, no videos for a few minutes. Just bask in the sun, drink a delicious beer and watch the cars scream by.

My friend and I chatted a bit, and then all of a sudden, boom: Jim Glickenhaus.

He was dressed in full race gear, still wearing his headphones. We shot up from our seats and shook hands. He immediately launched into a status update on the car and told us we could go down and view it in a few minutes. We were waiting for his son, daughter in law and the other auction winners to arrive. I had completely forgotten there would be others there. After a bit everyone trickled in, we all met one another.

Soon after that there was a team meeting. I was stunned when Jim looked at us and said something like "You all can gather around and listen in." What access!

We sat and listened in on what was going on. There was a lot of Italian going around which I could not understand so I wasn't exactly sure what was being said, but strategy was being discussed. Soon after we went down and saw the car for the first time......
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  #17  
Old 08-03-2013, 11:26 PM
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And here she is.....
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2013, 11:48 PM
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That concluded day one. After that we packed up and headed to the hotel. Even with massive excitement building I slept like a rock. But seriously Germany, what is it with you and no top sheets on the hotel beds? Why just one heavy blanket? Come on!

Anyways. Day two started with a breakfast at the hotel. A McLaren backed team was staying at the hotel and we passed Nick Heidfeld in the lobby. Pretty random.

We piled into one of the team's vans and arrived at the Ring. My first impression is that it's borderline overload. There are so many amazing cars (street and race), people, attractions, etc. Manufacturers have R&D centers there which I did not know. The whole place is basically a Disneyland for car guys.

We hung with the team for a while and watched qualifying. We walked around and into what is like a giant shopping mall. Stands everywhere. Collected plenty of swag and bought some small souvenirs.

Now, less talk, more pics:
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  #19  
Old 08-04-2013, 12:20 AM
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Awesome, thanks for sharing!

Best part...N'Ring toaster!
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  #20  
Old 08-04-2013, 12:20 AM
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The day concluded and there were more debriefings. We headed back to the hotel and slept. Got up the next morning, had breakfast and now on to the main event....race day.
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