May 18, 2022

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Car Friday At The Nürburgring


We call the Friday before Easter ‘Good Friday’, but in Germany it’s actually called Karfreitag. That roughly translates to ‘Car Friday’. The epicenter for this day in Germany is the Nürburgring, so on the Friday before last I got my camera gear together, filled up the car and made the three-hour journey to the Green Hell for Car Freitag festivities.

Two and an half hours into the drive I knew the event was going to be wild; on the derestricted highways some performance metal passed me by at incredible speeds. But another thing I noticed was that the arrival time on Google Maps was increasing the closer I got to the Nürburgring. The traffic headed for the ‘Ring was so heavy that I eventually arrived an hour later than I had expected to.

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If you’ve never visited the Nürburgring, you probably won’t know that Nürburg, where it’s located, is just a small village. So when there are thousands of car enthusiasts looking for a parking spot, and parking is limited because it’s not an official race day, the roads become gridlocked really fast.

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I chose to park my car at Apex Nürburg, an official Nürburgring taxi company that rents out track-focused cars and offers passenger rides in their Manthey-Racing-prepared Porsche GT2 RS. But more on that later.

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I had planned to go see several spots on and around the track, but because of the amount of traffic and lack of parking, I decided to focus my attention on the entrance of the Nürburgring. So let’s dive right in to Car Freitag 2022…

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The first car I noticed from a distance was this BMW E34 Touring, but it got even better close up – it’s fitted with a full roll cage and Recaro seats up front. After some time on the ‘Ring it was overheating, so the owner had the car sitting to cool down, before filling the tank and heading back out again.

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Using a car for its intended use always gets my approval, and the owner of this Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series wasted no time getting his gloves and racing shoes on and running some laps. In the right hands (read: Maro Engel, long-time Mercedes-AMG factory driver) this model is capable of a 6:43 Nürburgring lap, which is moving. I love the details like the carbon AMG logo.

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This BMW F80 M3 GT3 wouldn’t be out of place at a car show, but when you realize it can do a 7:11 laptime from Bridge to Gantry, you know it also means business. If you want to see it in action, check out the video its owner Cristian Vidal made of a lap from the day.

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Like I mentioned in the intro, I parked my car at the Apex Nürburg compound. This Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR (MR for Manthey-Racing) edition is one of their cars you can pay to have taxi laps in. The guy stepping out of the car in the image above is Tom Morley, one of Apex’s professional racing drivers. Last year, Ryan Stewart did a great write-up on a Manthey-Racing GT3 RS MR.

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By now you might have noticed a few Spanish license plates. It seem as though a number of cars were trailered from Spain to the ‘Ring especially for Car Freitag, one of them being this green BMW E46 M3 that ran a 7:49 Bridge to Gantry lap during the day.

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Another favorite was this very yellow BMW E92 M3 with a big spec that includes RAYS Volk Racing TE37 wheels, AP Racing brakes, custom front fenders and a massive rear wing. Those are just the things I could see from the outside; I’m sure there’s much more under its skin.

A paradox on wheels is what I call this… The Lamborghini Huracan STO is built for the track, but during Car Freitag, with Touristenfahrten rules in effect, it’s too loud to use on the ‘Ring. Yes, even at the Nürburgring there are noise limits. Other than that it’s a cool car, even if some of the color choices owners make are a little, err… gaudy.

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At one point I felt like the Spechunter, trying to find the best new-model Porsche 911 GT3 with the best specification. There were literally dozens of them parked up in the lot at the ‘Ring entrance, from black to white and this, which I’ll call NATO Green. I wonder if this is a PTS (paint to sample) color or maybe just a wrap?

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I’m going to finish things off with Car Freitag summed up in a single image: An EG Honda Civic followed by the Lamborghini Aventador S. It really is that diverse, but if you need more proof, be sure to check out the huge gallery of images below.

Jeroen Willemsen
Instagram: jaccojeroen

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