Learning the Nurburgring in a Porsche 911
8:01

Learning the Nurburgring in a Porsche 911

Auto Tech
-If you have been once here, you'd never forget it out of your brain. -There are many, many bad accidents happening every race. -And then it's no space for mistakes. Be careful. It's really easy to walk away. -Jesus. -This the Nürburgring, one of the world's best known toll roads. I've been invited by Porsche to partake in Sport Auto Perfection Training. Two days of intense training, following instructor, then it would be time to go solo. If you like cars, there's a few things you should definitely do. You should be magical, learn to drift, and tackle the Nürburgring, which is exactly what we're doing today. I've got a Porsche 911 Carrera S and some kick-ass instructors. I'm a little bit nervous about this one for a few reasons, mostly because it has claimed over a couple of hundred lives. Niki Lauda had an incredibly nasty accident here in 1976. There is little to no run-off. The curves are high. The speeds are high, and it's very, very long. So no matter how good the magical team is in the ambulance, the chances are of having accident on the other side of the track. -It will be fine. It will be fine. Just take it nice and easy. -This is emergency number. -We have just been handed an emergency phone number in case we, you know, die a little bit. -Let's go. -I've sent myself the task of managing a sub 10-minute lap, an easy task for a Porsche 911, but not for a ring rookie. I'll level with you. I have been practicing this on folks here and Gran Turismo and all that nonsense. I didn't bring a PSP with me with Gran Turismo Portable buried onto it to try and learn it. Actually being here is such a strange sensation. You feel the lift of a changing chain. If you break the [unk], you have to pay for it. Now, you'll have to excuse me not doing my usual looking down at the camera and try to give you a little bit of detail, but I've kind of come [unk] so I see. -Very good. -It's so balanced, the Carrera S over the standard Carrera. That extra 50 brake horsepower, oh, it makes a world of difference. -It's a good speed. -Okay, now we are coming next and the name is Karussell. It is very famous. -The Karussell. Oh, will you-- -I think you should know it. -I've always wanting to do the Karussell. Yeah. This is mad. -Now I know one. And I've got one more lap left before it's time for-- to drop a big boy pill's time. It's-- fear is definitely showing now 'cause I'm getting really nervous about actually having to do it myself. I was very, very tensed. My arm hurts. I have stitch marks digging into my hands, but the whole thing is just-- it's-- it really takes out of you. I've absolutely knocked it. I worried I won't do it just because I won't have the safety net of-- Herman's all there ahead of me, showing me where to brake, where to turn, and giving me advice, telling me to power up. We ended up having a lovely chat with Walter Röhrl and he drove me around here in a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which is frankly insane. -Every lap is a game, a big challenge, and I have done thousands of laps, and I still-- I looking forward for the next one, and I'm like a small boy who is 20 years, I'd say, "Let me go again. It's so nice." -Anyway, I'm gonna have to go as a flying lap of my own. Now, my personal target is under 10 minutes because, well, I'm not the most talented to drive this, and I'm a little bit concerned that if I push too hard, I'll fall off and it will be incredibly painful and I might die. -What I like is you have many respect. Many people that's come to us at Nürburgring and they haven't any respect, and that is danger because this circuit here is so special. It's so long, and you need many, many laps and many times to learn it really step by step. -So, my first ever solo run on the ring was underway. I wasn't doing too badly, but would I make my 10-minute target? -I spoke to Herman [unk] before we went out, and he was here with one piece of advice, "Just bring my baby home." So, this one is for you, Cristine. I can see why people come back and back and back and back and back 'cause if I learned this properly, I can shave tens of seconds off my time. The Karussell does get on me. Progress was good, but off to the Karussell, I was beginning to wonder whether I'd make it. Time was slipping, and I was getting nervous. This is, I wanna say, the most intense thing that I've ever done. Wondering will I ever make it? This is a matter of personal pride. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little fearful we won't make it. I hadn't learned the track in full, but I knew what to expect. I knew what was coming, but I also knew that if I wasn't sensible, it could have rolled badly. On the last corner, we could actually do it. It is possible for an idiot with only Gran Turismo experience and they come for this training to do it in under 10 minutes. We're coming into the gantry, and stop that clock, 9.37 benches. So, there we go, I've managed to achieve my under 10-minute lap target. Now, I know that sounds a little bit woozy, but still, for me, it's a massive milestone. And the thing about a track like this is that it shouldn't be about, "Oh, yeah, I'm gonna beat that guy. I'm gonna beat that guy." It's about bettering yourself and knowing your limits and understanding it because the margin for error here is that much. It's so small and it can be incredibly dangerous. So, here with my fly-splattered, water-splattered car with tires that are on their way out a little bit. It's such an honor to go around the track where, well, some of the world's greatest ever drivers have cut their teeth. It's-- You can even barely do it.

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