Nurburgring 24hr Endurance
This is the 2nd running of the Nurburgring 24hr Endurance for me, and the previous attempt for lower A-spec points can be found in: Smallhorses' A-Spec Endurance Companion.
This time round though, the gloves are off, I'm gunning for a full complement of A-spec points, and what follows is that story!
(More of my stand-alone reports can also be found here: Smallhorses' Race Report Link Dump.)
Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01 (Downforce F/R 22/34, R1 tyres) / FR / 297HP / 1150kg / 3.9kg/HP
which, when pitted against the following lineup, yields:
200 A-spec points!
Audi A4 Touring Car '04
Opel Calibra Touring Car '94
BMW M3 GTR Race Car '01
Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01
Nissan Falken*GT-R Race Car '04
Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01
Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01 (Downforce F/R 22/34, R1 tyres) / FR / 297HP / 1150kg / 3.9kg/HP
which, when pitted against the following lineup, yields:
200 A-spec points!
Thanks to AMG. for the circuit map!
Passed the other Silvia out of Aremburg on lap 1 and go about closing the gap to the Falken, who is cleanly outbraked into Wehrseifen. The Calibra is caught in the Karussell but I'm unable to find a way by until Pflanzgarten III, screaming past on his right before braking for Schwalbenschwanz. Predictably given my car's lack of oomph the Calibra & Falken pass me on the run up to Antoniusbuche and I finish a clean lap 1 in 5th place, about 6.5s behind the leader.
Have to follow the Calibra/Falken combo for a while as there's no good passing opportunities, although they do switch places before Aremburg. I'm able to cleanly outbrake the Calibra into Breidscheid and he remains in 5th place as I close up on the Falken for the rest of the lap which is also finished immaculately. Passed the Falken in similar fashion as the Calibra on the previous lap, also cleanly outbraking him into Breidscheid, and although he's able to close up under braking for Bergwerk, he drops back on the fast run up to Klostertal. Complete the 3rd lap in clean fashion too, and am maintaining roughly 7 - 8s gap to the leading Audi.
Have my first lap in clean air on lap 4, and put in a 7'20.846 laptime, the fastest so far and still haven't had 4 wheels off the tarmac, although there were 1 or 2 scares! During lap 5 the BMW takes over the lead and is able to pull away from the Audi, I'm still able to gain a little through the twisty sections, but he's fast down the backstretch, extending the lead to 9.5s before he pits, while the Audi continues. I evaluate my orange-ish front tyres and decide not to risk another lap, pitting in and briefly registering 2nd place as I pass the stationary BMW! Having used 40 units of fuel so far, I top off briefly to 50 units to leave a safety margin for a 6th lap if necessary, but still buying me time over the BMW who fills his tank to the brim. The Falken also pits from 4th place which the Calibra takes over as I'm able to get away in 3rd position.
Spend the lap slowly closing up to the BMW, while the replay finishes recording as I hit the Karussell, and I eventually catch a good draft down the backstretch passing the BMW for 2nd place just before Antoniusbuche. The Audi who began the lap with a 29s lead and maintined that gap upto the Hohe Acht checkpoint drops time through the latter part of lap 6 as his tyres go off, and the gap is down to 24s by the time he pits, allowing me through to taste the lead for the first time.
Hour mark passes 24.783s into lap 9, in 1st place, 3.4s ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Continue to lap cleanly and quickly and stay ahead of the BMW despite a very close call at Pflanzgarten I on lap 10 when I nearly ran wide into the sandtrap after missing the braking point. Pitted in from just under 2s lead ending lap 10, but the BMW continues on for another lap, taking over the lead. Am down to 9 units of fuel remaining, and once again take on fresh tyres and top fuel back up to 50 units before resuming the race in 3rd place as the Audi goes by.
The Falken does maintain a 5-lap strategy, pitting from 4th place ending his 10th lap. Gain a little time on the BMW throughout lap 11 before he pits from around 17s lead ending lap 11 and allows the Audi 3.4s ahead of me to regain the lead while I resume 2nd place for the time being. Took back 1st place cleanly under braking for Wehrseifen during a beautiful lap that leads to a new fastest time of 7'18.578 and puts me 5s ahead of the Audi when he pits ending his 12th lap. The BMW takes over 2nd place but is now strangely 33s behind.
The Calibra makes his 2nd stop while I'm already 1'40 into lap 13 and the Silvia which I'm rapidly catching goes in shortly before I complete an unlucky 13th lap. Since it's already apparent with under 2hrs gone that even in a 200 point ride which should be outclassed by a long way, the race is going to be a cakewalk, and my only "race" is going to come from trying to beat my fast laptime.
The previous lap's error is atoned for when I post a new fastest laptime of 7'17.224 ending lap 14 and growing the gap to the BMW to 37.7s! The hotlapping takes it's toll on the tyres though, and my tyres are orange by the time I get to Hohe Acht on my inlap this time round, which doesn't help me avoid another minor barrier contact as I overestimate how fast I can negotiate the turn. Pit in ending lap 15 and once again take tyres and fuel back up to 50 units before resuming the race in the lead with the gap to the BMW cut to 11.8s. I'm 59s into lap 16 when the Falken pits for his 3rd stop ending his 15th lap, and as I complete my outlap cleanly, the BMW has chomped 6.5s off the gap
Hour mark passes 48.234s into lap 17, in 1st place, 6.0s ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
A bad start to the hour after I've had a break for dinner & a glass of wine! Unpause the game to find that I'm midway between the 2 fast right-handers after Pflugplatz and can't react quick enough to keep the car on the track. Avoid barrier contact, but do get 4 wheels onto the grass for a brief period before the car is brought under control. I also fall foul of the bump at Speigelkurve which throws me onto the grass inside the bend at speed, although once again quick reactions control the car and avoid the barrier thankfully! The BMW drops back through the latter part of the lap, and pits in ending his 17th lap, leaving the Audi to take over 2nd spot for a while.
It's worth noting that it seems to take the BMW a long time to get into the pits given that he was only 7s behind at Antoniusbuche. The Audi pits from 2nd place ending lap 18, and is only just passed by the BMW for 2nd place as he leaves the pitlane. I'm 2'50 into lap 19 by the time the Calibra makes his 3rd stop ending lap 18. Pushing hard for another fastlap results in a 3rd barrier contact exiting the turn before Karussell on lap 19. 3'30 of lap 20 have elapsed when the message alerting me to the 3rd stop of the Silvia completing his 18th lap appears! Pit in ending lap 20 from just under 58s ahead of BMW in 2nd place. The timer shows 1'30 into lap 21 when the Falken pits again, so I'm pulling roughly 30s per stint over him. Was on my way to another fastlap, but overcooked the entrance to Galgenkopf, running wide and sideswiping the barrier before rejoining the track, a sloppy way to get my 4th barrier contact of the race.
There's 44s of lap 24 passed before the BMW pits from 2nd place ending his 23rd lap allowing the Audi through again. The effort finally pays off, ending lap 24 with a 7'16.773 laptime, which also saw me gain over 6s over the 2nd placed Audi who is on his inlap, and he pits as I'm just over a minute into lap 25.
Hour mark passes 1'40.546 into lap 25, in 1st place, 1'31 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Again starts badly with a barrier touch outside Drei-Fach Rechts as I'm momentarily distracted by my wife arriving through the front door after her girly-movie night. 4'19 of lap 25 have elapsed when the Calibra completes his 24th lap pitstop. Pit in ending lap 25 from 1'28 lead over 2nd placed BMW. True to form, the Falken stops ending his 25th lap too, and I've gained another 30s over him as the timer shows 2'04 of lap 26 have passed. 7'10 of lap 26 have gone by when the Silvia makes his 24th lap stop, meaning that he's lapped a 2nd time while stationary as I begin lap 27.
Get caught out again by the same kerb that got me off-track on lap 8 and stick all 4 tyres on the grass momentarily during the 27th lap, manage to avoid the barriers though. Rip through a monstrous clean and satisfying new fastlap time, ending my 29th lap in 7'14.914
My cold tyres catch me out as I run out onto the grass outside Metzgesfeld just before I get a message, sure enough 2'30 into lap 31 that the Falken has pitted again having lost a further 30s. I'm annoyed with myself just afterwards when I run over the kerb and touch the red & white barrier at Breidscheid.
Hour mark passes 2'01.678 into lap 33, in 1st place, 1'33 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
The first action of the hour is marked 3'45 into lap 33 when the other Silvia finally makes his 30th lap pitstop. Get 4 wheels on the grass after the fast right before Hatzenbach on lap 35 while trying to push too hard on tyres that're due for a change soon. Pitted at the end of lap 35 from 1'36 ahead of the BMW who also makes his next stop, once again allowing the Audi into 2nd place. Predictably, 3'10 of my outlap has passed by the time the Falken pits ending his 35th lap too.
The Audi's next stop comes ending his 36th lap while I'm 1'32 into my 37th lap, and he relinquishes 2nd place to the BMW again. The Calibra's 36th lap stop occurs as I pass the Dottinger Hohe checkpoint on my 37th lap, and puts him another stop closer to the inevitable lapping! Lap 39 brings some excitement for a change, I catch the Calibra towards the end of lap 38 and shadow him through the first bit of lap 39, eventually going by cleanly at speed just before Kottenborn. I also catch the other Silvia at Metzgesfeld, and cleanly pass him under braking for Wehrseifen to drop him 3 laps behind now.
Make contact with the barrier outside Mutkurve as I'm distracted by the combination of washing machine buzzing, and wife discussing which laundry I should do next being as I'm down in the garage!
Hour mark passes 2'25.605 into lap 41, in 1st place, 1'30 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Following the time losses following the Calibra & Silvia to pick a clean passing point, the Falken pulls in for his 40th lap stop with 3'30 on the clock for my 41st lap, a gain of just 20s this time round. With almost 7 minutes of the hour gone, the BMW makes his next stop ending lap 41, having been held up by the other Silvia for the latter part of the lap, and the Audi resumes 2nd place again. Catch up to the Calibra again at Galgenkopf on lap 42 and get a good draft down the backstretch, easing past cleanly just before the Antoniusbuche checkpoint, which confirms the Calibra's status as permanently lapped!
The Audi is the first of the 42nd lap stoppers from just under 2 minutes behind, with the Calibra & Silvia (eventually!) to follow suit later (the Calibra's stop coming 23s into my 44th lap & the Silvia's sometime later at 3'54 into lap 46.) My next stop comes ending lap 45, pulling in from 2'32 ahead of the BMw in 2nd place. There's 4'08 of lap 46 on the timer when the Falken's 45th lap stop occurs. Get 4 wheels onto the grass outside one of the turns between Hatzenbach & Hocheichen on lap 48 while pushing hard for fastlap times,
The Audi is first into the round of 48th lap stops about 2 1/2 minutes behind me on my 49th lap and gives back 2nd position to the BMW. Get distracted and up onto the grass again entering Adenauer Forst as my laptop screen switches from my writeup file to my e-mail screen as a post notification comes in from GT Planet!
Damned Sage and his persistent posting!
Hour mark passes 3'14.805 into lap 49, in 1st place, 3'03 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Standings at 1/4 race distance:
1st Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01 6:00'00.000
2nd BMW M3 GTR Race Car '01 ~+3'03
3rd Audi A4 Touring Car '04 ~+3'15
4th Nissan Falken*GT-R Race Car '04 ~+4.30
5th Opel Calibra Touring Car '94 + 1 Lap
6th Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01 +3 Laps
The first action of this hour comes as I reach Adenauer Forst on lap 50, when the Calibra completes his 48th lap with a pitstop. I do something dumb at this point, daydreaming about how quickly I'm catching the spot on the map that represents the other Silvia, I blast by the pit entrance ending lap 50 without stopping! It's not until I've crossed the line that my orange tyres register. Bugger, got a lap to do on very worn front tyres, but set about it anyway, keeping it as tidy as possible, but still losing over 20s to the 2nd placed BMW in the process.
The Falken does remember to stop, albeit 4'58 into my 51st lap! Crawl into the pits after a slow, but clean, lap with bright red front tyres and 1 unit of fuel remaining! The error costs me almost a minute in all, the BMW having begun the lap 3'03 behind, finishes it at 2'13 back! I do catch the other Silvia ending lap 52, and hand him a 4th lapping as he dives into the pits ending his 48th lap. The BMW takes a further 10s off me on my outlap beginning lap 53 at 2'03 down, a full minute better off than he was 3 laps ago! Get 4 wheels on the grass just before Hocheichen on lap 54 while pushing hard to atone for previous stupidity.
BMW pits ending his 53rd lap with 2'17 of my 54th lap already gone, the Audi following suit with his 54th lap stop while I'm 2'27 into lap 55, and the Calibra's 54th lap stop coming 2'39 into my 56th lap, shortly before I put 4 wheels on the grass exiting Ex-Muhle narrowly avoiding barrier contact in the process. 5 minutes into lap 56 the Falken makes his 55th lap stop, and I'll be going in at the end of this lap restoring parity between us for a while.
Hour mark passes 3'15.246 into lap 57, in 1st place, 2'38 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
After the overnight pause, the 8th hour begins in unspectacular fashion, missing the braking point at Aremburg and putting 4 tyres into the sandtrap. I also get overexcited exiting Kleine-Karussell on the same lap and get 4 tyres onto the grass, 2 off track moments in a lap. Grrr.
The Audi begins a glut of 60th lap stops, with the Falken, Calibra and Silvia (much, much later!) due to stop at the completion of this lap. Oddly enough though, the Audi is exiting the pits and the BMW passing by when the Calibra dives in a lap early, at the completion of his 59th lap, maybe after pushing hard to stay with the BMW & Audi who've spent the last few circuits trying to lap him! A little over-zealous on my inlap (61) and run wide onto the grass just before Brunnchen for my 3rd taste of off-trackness this hour. The Falken's 60th lap stop arrives 5'32 into lap 61 for me. Pit myself from a shade under 3 1/2 minutes ahead of the 2nd placed BMW. Break the fastlap record on lap 63 shaving off just a 1/10th of a second with a 7'14.809, but the smug satisfaction it gives is tangible!
Wipe that smugness away on lap 64 with an even more impressive 7'14.457 time as I close up to the Silvia for a 5th time as we cross the line, me into lap 65, him into his 60th lap. He's lapped again cleanly down the hill before Hatzenbach just prior to me then ruining a potentially contact free hour by getting complacent at Schwedenkreuz and hitting the barrier reasonably forcefully. (If I'm honest, it's my worst & most prolongued barrier impact yet. )
Hour mark passes, 4'13.386 into lap 65, in 1st place, 3'16 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
A little under 40s have passed in lap 66 when the other Silvia stops ending his 60th lap from 5 laps behind my identical lead car!
Continue to lap cleanly in this session and hit my next goal of dropping the fastlap time below 7'14 on lap 69, scraping in by just 22/1000ths with a 7'13.978! Still pushing for more when I catch a little too much kerb just after Pflanzgarten III it chucks the car left onto the grass momentarily at high speed. Calm nerves mean that disaster & barrier contact is avoided and the track is easily regained. The quest for the fastest lap has taken a toll on the tyres though and they're more worn than usual on my inlap, causing once again an off-track incident as I get 4 wheels on the grass just before Brunnchen as the car's front grip fails. I'm rapidly catching the Falken who pits 7'04 into my 71st lap as he ends his own 70th lap. I catch sight of him in his pit-stall as I pull in too, about 15s later watching as he drops from the jacks and passes me as I rise up to take new tyres and more fuel.
The BMW also pits ending his 71st lap, albeit from over 3 1/2 minutes behind now, and is followed in about 40s later by the other Silvia completing his 66th lap stop, and 2 more minute pass by before the confirmation of the Calibra's next stop ending his 70th lap flashes up, and he's gone back to a 6-lap pit window. Just before the hour ends, the Audi stops ending his 72nd lap from around 4 minutes behind me now, and I've caught right up to the Falken at Mutkurve, but have to figure out where a safe, clean pass can be made.
Hour mark passes 4'48.807 into lap 73, in 1st place, 4'21 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Bad start to the hour when I'm trailing the Falken closely out of Kallenhard and go off into the barrier just before Drei-Fach-Rechts as the car gets unsettled on lap 74. Catch back up to him through Lauda-Linkskinck and get a good exit from Bergwerk allowing me to draft him a little, pulling out to pass cleanly just after Kesselchen and putting him a lap down, where he remains at the beginning of lap 75 despite pulling back a little time between Dottinger Hohe and Hohenrain Schikane.
4 tyres go onto the grass exiting Ex-Muhle on lap 75 as I'm trying to stretch the gap to the lapped Falken. Catch the other Silvia again at Pflanzgarten I on lap 76, and narrowly avoid running into the back of him at Pflanzgarten III as he brakes unexpectedly and unnecessarily!
Set off in pursuit of the other Silvia to hand him a permanent 6th lapping! Catch him at Klostertal, but am unable to find a clean way by until just after Pflanzgarten III as he's clearly on worn tyres and is weaving all over the track! Catch too much kerb inside Galgenkopf which launches me into the grass outside the turn, but miraculously control is regained without barrier contact! The Calibra pits again ending his 75th lap with 6'39 on the timer for my 77th lap, and it turns out I'm wrong about the other Silvia as he follows me through the start/finish line to begin another lap. He's obviously just drunk!
The BMW pits ending his 77th lap as I pass Klostertal on lap 78, and the other Silvia goes in ending his 72nd lap as I'm 40s into lap 79. Storm
Hour mark passes 5'41.195 into lap 81, in 1st place, 4'51 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Claim the first action of the 11th hour myself, pitting in at the end of my 81st lap and I've put enough distance between me & the Calibra that he's not quite close enough to steal back his 2nd lap before I get underway again. The Falken pits ending his 80th lap as I'm 25s into my 82nd lap. Repeat the kerb clipping incident at Galgenkopf, but this time with barrier bashing consequences
Disaster strikes on lap 85 at Drei-Fach-Rechts as I drift out too far at the last apex, catching the grass and completing a full 360-degree spin,
Hour mark passes 6'05.271 into lap 89, in 1st place, 4'54 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Once again I ruin the chance of having a clean hour within the first 5 minutes, this time misjudging the fast crest before Adenauer Forst and getting grasswards with a side-order of barrier-crunchies in the right turn before the sharp left-right flick.
The Calibra's next stop at the end of his 87th lap occurs 1'57 into my 90th lap and the BMW's 89th lap journey to pitland comes up with just over 5 minutes on the 90th lap timer. The Audi is next, going in with 5'15 on my lap 91 timer, and I follow that just over 2 minutes later with my own stop, as does the other Silvia around a minute after me although 7 laps down at this point. Last but by no means least the Falken's 90th lap happens as I exit Aremburg on lap 92.
Guilty of another lapse of concentration at Metzgesfeld on lap 96, getting 4 wheels onto the grass for a fraction of a second, but enough to upset the car and slither a little under braking for the left-right kink before Kallenhard while fighting the car back onto the track.
Calibra pits again at the end of his 93rd lap while I'm showing 3'19 of lap 96, and at 5 1/2 minutes gone, the BMW stops from his 95th lap. Tired tyres catch me out again approaching Schwalbenschwanz as I run wide across the grass in the fast righthander. Pit in ending lap 96 and head out into lap 97 with the Audi currently holding 2nd place, but due to stop at the end of his 96th lap too. The Falken pits ending his 95th lap as I'm 1'52 into my 97th lap, and the Audi hands back 2nd place to the BMW as the hour rounds out.
Hour mark passes 6'33.358 into lap 97, in 1st place, 5'46 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Standings at 1/2 race distance:
The other Silvia takes the first credit of the hour, stopping 4'47 into my 98th lap at the end of his own 90th lap. Just contemplating how this hour has been uneventful and how I've not left the track when my overstressed front tyres slip exiting Sprunghugel and I get 4 tyres onto the grass. Pit in ending lap 101, the Falken's 100th laps stop comes 2'20 into my 102nd lap, while the Calibra's 99th lap stop occurs almost 2 minutes later as I approach Karussell, and the BMW's 101st lap happens at 5'38 of lap 102 for me.
Treat the other Silvia to a full-throttle, full-tilt flyby
Hour mark passes 7'10.338 into lap 105, in 1st place, 6'12 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
What is it going to take to teach me not to continue to push at fastlap pace during my 5th lap on a set of tyres? Another spin perhaps?
Pit in at the end of the lap and take new tyres & fuel. The Falken's next stop comes at 2'44 into my 107th lap, having only gained 24s over him this time due to the accidents on lap 106. The Calibra is next in at 4'46 into lap 107, going back to a 5-lap pit window. Make another error between Wipperman & Eschbach on lap 108, getting 4 tyres grasswards again. The BMW has been held up a little by the Calibra during his inlap, pitting from around 5'45 behind ending his 107th lap. The Audi stops when there's more or less exactly 6 minutes of my 109th lap gone and it appears that he's able to get away before being passed by the BMW again. It's confirmed at every checkpoint for the next few laps, showing the Audi is holding 2nd place, but dropping back on his cold tyres, and doubtless holding up one rather peeved BMW!
The other Silvia stops again with around 5'12 of my 111th lap passed and I'm due to bring my own Silvia in ending this lap. It's back to usual with the Falken, stopping at the end of his 110th lap as I'm 3'16 into lap 112 having dropped 30s in 5 laps. The BMW takes back 2nd place towards the end of his 111th lap, leaving the Audi to hold 3rd for a while until the BMW's next stop which is due at the end of lap 113. The Opel's 110th lap pitstop occurs right in front of the other Silvia, with the BMW & Audi poised to lap him too, as my timer shows 6'20 of 113 completed.
Hour mark passes 14.756s into lap 114, in 1st place, 6'34 ahead of 2nd placed Audi.
The scrap for 2nd place has taken on Titanic proportions, the Audi taking it back at Antoniusbuche on lap 113 just before the BMW pits in, and leaving him to record the accurately timed 2nd place marker for the end of hour 14 as he crosses the line into lap 114. (The S/F line marker was the last checkpoint I passed before the previous hour ended, and I don't record a gap to 2nd place until he crosses the same marker.) Catch the other Silvia again exiting Aremburg and follow him to Adenauer Forst before passing by cleanly on the run down to Metzgesfeld.
The Audi stops from 2nd place ending his 114th lap just after I've passed Dottinger Hohe checkpoint and I can see 2 cars ahead of me on the long straight. This time the BMW has gained sufficiently on the Audi's inlap that he's able to take back 2nd place as the Audi exits the pits and begins to draw away. Pit in myself ending lap 116 from within sight of the Calibra who'll be lapped a 3rd time in the near future. Bang on time, at 3'39 into lap 117, the Falken pits ending his 115th lap. 9 laps back the other Silvia pits ending his 108th lap while I'm 1'05 into lap 118. Made it through a little over 1/2 hour before getting 4 tyres onto the grass after Metzgesfeld on lap 118 and kissing the "clean hour" goodbye.
The Calibra stops ending his 115th lap and I pass him in the pits as I begin my 119th lap, putting him 3 laps behind now. The BMW pits ending his 119th lap after appearing to have some difficulty at Hohenrain Schikane which allows me to lap him, at least temporarily, as he's stationary. Another inlap mishap occurs at Mutkurve on lap 121 where my worn tyres make me run wide and touch the barrier as I'm trying to pull out a gap over the lapped BMW. The Audi pits ending his 120th lap, and I pass him briefly in the pits as I head for my own stall. The BMW passes both of us to resume 2nd place and unlap himself for the time being.
Hour mark passes 42.059 into lap 122, in 1st place, 7'08 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Like clockwork, the Falken stops ending his 120th lap as I'm showing 4'17 of lap 122 elapsed. Begin lap 123 right on the tail of the 3rd placed Audi but lose time following him around as he's making the Audi very wide and difficult to pass cleanly. Go by cleanly out of Pflanzgarten III before Schwalbenschwanz, but he's easily able to pass again down the back stretch. Take an enormous risk of him pulling over into me as I dive back through just before Tiergarten, and thankfully there's no tears as the move is executed cleanly and sticks.
The Calibra pits from 3 laps down, 41s into my 124th lap as he ends his 120th lap and appears to be back on a 5-lap pit window for now. There's a smidgen over 5 minutes of lap 124 passed when the other Silvia makes his 114th lap stop from 9 laps down. Touch the barrier outside the fast left over the crest before Adenauer Forst on lap 125 as I'm making efforts to pull away from the lapped Audi, and a similar error leads to me putting 4 tyres on the grass in the slower right-hander just after that on lap 126 with worn fronts tripping me up again. Pass the BMW who is stationary on the grass inside Hohenrain Schikane just before I pit making my 126th lap pitstop, and the recovered BMW follows me in, a lap down now at the end of his 125th lap. The Audi takes over 2nd place and unlaps himself temporarily while we're stopped. Predictably the Falken's next stop ending his 125th lap comes as I'm 4'50 into lap 127 and doing a good job of putting some distance between myself and the lapped BMW on cold tyres.
The Audi's stop ending his 126th lap sees him lapped (probably permanently this time) while stationary as I begin lap 128 and the BMW takes back 2nd place. Blast by the other Silvia at full speed at Kottenborn to drop him down to 10 laps behind. The Calibra makes another stop ending his 125th lap, continuing the 5-lap strategy for the 4th stop in a row, while I'm 1'40 into lap 129.
Hour mark passes 1'35.830 into lap 130, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
The other Silvia, now 10 laps down, takes the first credit of the 17th hour, pitting at the end of his 120th lap as I'm 1'47 into lap 131. Pit in ending lap 131 and wonder if I've made enough of a gap to avoid having the BMW & Audi unlap themselves. Get my answer as I exit the pits and the - 1 Lap marker for the BMW flashes up as he crosses the line. Nervous moment as I swerve across the kerb exiting the first corner which throws me left across the track and onto the grass with 4 wheels, but I'm able to regain control quickly and remain ahead of the BMW who closes up a lot at Hocheichen before dropping back for the rest of the lap as his worn tyres compensate for my cold ones. The Falken stops ending his 130th lap with 13. 5'28 of my 132nd lap done and the BMW goes in ending his 131st lap just as I cross the line into my 133rd.
The Audi pits from 2nd place ending his 132nd lap and hands back the 2nd placed baton to the grateful BMW. The Calibra is 3 laps and 2'38 behind when he stops ending his 130th lap while I'm on lap 134. Continue to race cleanly on until, having grown the gap to the lapped BMW,
Hour mark passes 2'02.502 into lap 138, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Bloody Hell! Clinch the first action of the hour and not in a good way. Hop the kerb at Hohe Acht and it throws me into the barrier between there and Hedwigs Hohe with less than 3 minutes passed. The BMW registers the first stop of the hour, going in at the end of his 137th lap, while the Calibra stops in from his 135th lap as I'm 3'28 into lap 129. The Audi which was only just able to sneak by the BMW into 2nd place, having seemed to lose a lot of time in the last 6 laps, pits ending his 138th lap and the BMW resumes the chase, 1 lap down. The Silvia is caught again on lap 140 in the identical position as before at Kottenborn and is treated to another high-speed flyby as he drops down to 11 laps in arrears. Slip wide at Mutkurve on lap 141 with my worn front tyres screaming for mercy, and contacting the barrier in the process.
Note to self: Slow down a bit on your inlap, dumbass!
Stop in at the conclusion of my 141st lap, and the Falken who is sticking to his 5-lap pit window resolutely goes in at the end of his 140th lap as I'm 6'42 into my outlap, which puts him close to another lapping by the time he exits. I catch up to him rapidly, and I'm on his rear-bumper by Wehrseifen before cleanly outbraking him into Breidscheid then pulling away through Ex-Muhle. 2'05 of my 144th lap gone and I get the pit message to say that the other Silvia is stopping again from his 132nd lap.
Looking at the trackmap at this point
Hour mark passes 3'09.654 into lap 146, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Standings at 3/4 race distance:
1st Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01 12:00'00.000
2nd BMW M3 GTR Race Car '01 + 1 Lap
3rd Audi A4 Touring Car '04 + 1 Lap
4th Nissan Falken*GT-R Race Car '04 + 2 Laps
5th Opel Calibra Touring Car '94 + 3 Laps
6th Nissan C-West Razo Silvia (JGTC) '01 +11 Laps
Claim the first action of the hour once again, but this time legitimately for my 146th lap pitstop, although I lose my 2nd lap over the Falken temporarily in the process. Spend my outlap reeling in the Falken again, catching him out of Galgenkopf but unable to pass due to his better straightline speed. Finally take him just as we exit Hohenrain Schikane and he dives into the pits for his 145th lap stop. Hop the 2nd kerb at the left-right-left between Hatzenbach & Hocheichen on lap 149, which chucks me out onto the right of the last part of the turn, impossible to tell without a replay whether I kept 2 wheels on the rumble strip, so I'll go the honest road
Exactly 6 minutes of lap 150 are gone when the other Silvia pits from his 138th lap making him the next obvious target for lapping again. The BMW's next stop, ending his 149th lap comes as I'm 1'25 into my own inlap 151, and this time he's able to get away without forfeiting 2nd place to the Audi, but only just! I pit from the end of lap 151 within sight of the other Silvia whose 12th lapping will probably happen before the hour is up! The Audi pits from 3rd place ending his 150th lap, thus ending his challenge and consolidating the BMW's 2nd place (barring him doing something really stupid, but hey, this is GT4 after all, so who knows?!!! )
Turns out I was way over-generous with my assessment of the other Silvia, he's caught by the Karussell on my outlap, and I learn why he's so slow as I follow him through the twisty section that follows. It seems the AI driver is afraid to use full-throttle on that car and I'm forced to follow him at 1/2 - 3/4 throttle until I can blow by him cleanly after Pflanzgarten III. The Falken pits ending his 150th lap as I've completed 28s of my 153rd lap.
Hour mark passes 3'30.798 into lap 154, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
It's the Calibra that grabs the headlines for the 20th hour, making his 150th lap pitstop as I'm coming out of Galgenkopf on lap 154. 2000 miles appears on the odometer just after Dottinger Hohe, 6'39 into lap 155 with 10 minutes of the 20th hour passed. A couple of hairy moments on my inlap at Adenauer Forst and Ex-Muhle, but I manage to stay on the track completely at both places, albeit by slowing down significantly, but I'm still clean as I go into the pits ending lap 156. The BMW appears to have one of his stupid moments at Hohenrain Schikane ending his 155th lap before he limps into the pits and this does allow the Audi, which I'd previously written off, to sneak back into 2nd place for a while.
The other Silvia pits from the end of his 144th lap, 12 laps behind the leader, as I'm 2'09 into lap 157. The Falken, who is now 2 laps back pits from the end of his 155th lap while I'm 57s into my 158th, while the Audi stops almost a minute later ending his 156th lap. Catch the Calibra at Schwalbenschwanz on lap 159 and follow him round to the completion of the lap where he dives in for his 155th lap pitstop and goes 4 laps under in the process. Bugger, Bugger, Bugger. I'm trying hard to prove that the chassis-wear isn't really a factor and I can lap quickly still when I touch the kerb on the left while braking hard for Steilstrecke which skews the car right back across the track and into the barrier on the inside of the turn. 45 minutes had gone by cleanly, about the most I'd managed since the first hour, but yet again I've 🤬 it up! Forced to concede that yes, there is a chassis-wear issue as evidenced by accelerated tyre wear in these latter stages, my front tyres being dark orange by Wippermann on my 161st lap and causing another 4-wheels-on-the-grass moment just before Brunnchen and I pitted at the end of this lap.
Hour mark passes 4'02.999 into lap 162, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
It's the Falken's 160th lap stop that clinches the first noteworthy moment of hour 21, going in as I'm 1'31 into lap 163, and the BMW's 161st lap stop comes about 20s later as I exit Adenauer Forst. In a burst of Deja Vu from lap 150, there's exactly 6 minutes of lap 163 gone when the other Silvia makes his next stop ending his 150th lap. The Audi is next in ending his 162nd lap as I'm approaching Breidscheid on lap 164. Catch sight of the other Silvia at Kleine-Karussell while I'm at Schwalbenschwanz on lap 164, and in full view of Nurburg Castle
Once again it's an inlap on worn tyres that catches me unawares and putting 4-wheels on the grass just after Flugplatz on lap 166 which I pit-in at the end of, and I then misjudge the fast turn after Pflanzgarten III on my outlap, dipping 4 wheels onto the grass there before regaining the tarmac. Falken's 165th lap stop occurs at 2'08 into lap 168 for me, while the BMW's 167th lap stop occurs 2'14 into my 169th, the Calibra's 165th lap stop comes up at 1'54 into my 170th, the Silvia's 156th lap stop at 2'45 into my 170th and finally the Audi's 168th lap stop completes the field for this round of pit activity at 3'02 into my 170th lap before the hour ends.
Hour mark passes 4'58.871 into lap 170, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Was hoping to make my 171st lap pitstop the first action of the hour, but that's scuppered when I run out onto the grass outside the fast righthander before the braking zone for Schwalbenschwanz as my front tyres protest and they get switched ending this 5-lap stint. Another moment of supreme stupidity strikes...
Left the game paused overnight with the car just going onto the jacks in the pits. Come down and start up the iPod and the game again, but the iPod doesn't unpause, so I turn round to push the button again, inadvertently catching the accelerator pedal in the process with my left foot, and leaving me with just a single fuel bar! D'oh. Now have to pray the remaining fuel will last a full lap and will have to pit in at the end of my 172nd lap too. It doesn't. Run out of fuel just before Hohe Acht and now face a 50mph crawl back to the pits. The Calibra takes the opportunity to steal back his 4th lap, and the BMW unlaps himself before Antoniusbuche as I'm treated to the same sort of humiliating flybys that I've been doling out to the other Silvia all race. The Falken also falls back to a single lap down as we approach Tiergarten and my laptime passes the 10 minute mark, just before he pits ending his 170th lap and I pass him back briefly in the pits. The Audi is also able to unlap himself due to my error. Bummer. As I leave the pits with 48 units of fuel and some new tyres, my laptime flashes up, 10'58.383, which breaks a record all of it's own!
Catch the Audi at Wehrseifen on lap 174 and follow him round until I'm able to get a good draft going out of Kesselchen and re-lap him cleanly. Catch the Falken at the Karussell and since he's holding me up a little I've got one eye on the rear-view mirror to make sure the Audi doesn't ruin my AI contact-free race by bumping me from behind. This distraction causes me to jump the kerb going into Hohe Acht though and results in a barrier contact instead, but the Audi doesn't close up too much and I continue to pursue the Falken.
The BMW pits in at the end of his 173rd lap, closely followed by the Calibra's 170th lap stop too. The draft I catch from the Falken all the way from Galgenkopf up to Antoniusbuche gets me up to 171mph and allows me to pass him cleanly before Tiergarten, and results in a 7'12.707 laptime, although I'm not counting it as the fastlap due to the barrier touch rendering it unclean. Catch the Calibra at Karussell on lap 175, but I'm forced to stay behind him for a while, finally going by in the fast section at Pflanzgarten III. Unfortunately he's still close enough to draft me out of Galgenkopf and goes back past before Antoniusbuche. I'm just debating pulling out to pass him back at Tiergarten when I, by chance, glance at my rearview mirror to find the Falken bearing down on us like an Express Train! I'm just about able to pull far enough right without going off onto the grass to allow him to avoid ploughing into the back of me, and he uses the Calibra as brakes instead! As our 3-car train begins our next laps, 172 for the Calibra, 174 for the Falken and 176 for me, the Audi stops from the end of his 174th lap. The other Silvia completes his end of 162nd lap pitstop as I'm 3'07 into lap 176, and still trying to figure out how to get by 2 AI cars safely and cleanly that're engrossed in their own battle. Hang back and watch as the Falken bullies his way past the Calibra before Mutkurve and starts to pull away, while I remain stuck behind the Calibra for a while. Get 4 tyres on the grass outside Kleine-Karussell as I avoid the Calibra's slow and wiggly exit line! Drafted him out of Galgenkopf again and passed him by Antoniusbuche, this time making the move stick as there's no Falken to worry about. Have to follow behind the Falken closely throughout lap 177 as my tyres are worn and I can't risk a clean pass anywhere with the unpredictable front grip. That is until he's painfully slow thorugh Drei-Fach-Rechts where I'm able to close right up and outbrake him cleanly into Wehrseifen. Push hard to keep him behind me, but run wide onto the grass just before Eschbach, for yet another off-track moment and I pit in at the end of the lap, followed by the Falken ending his 175th lap, but undoing the re-lapping of the Calibra anyway! Run off track again on my outlap between Hatzenbach & Hocheichen which just about tops off this woefully inept hour's display.
Hour mark passes 1'40.407 into lap 178, in 1st place, 6'27 ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Spend the next 2 laps catching the Calibra again, closing right up to him at Antoniusbuche on lap 179 but not risking the potential contact by trying to pass as he's on his inlap if my calculations are correct. Sure enough, he pits ending his 175th lap and makes re-lapping him for the 4th time a formality. Pushing too hard to atone for the last hour's errors when I slip wide at Mutkurve, up over the grass and touch the barrier to ruin another hour's cleanliness. The BMW pits at the end of his 179th lap and it allows me to move a little closer to taking my lap back from him for a while
The Audi's next stop comes a lap later when he goes in ending his 180th lap and I'm already into lap 182 and I go on to repeat my grass-cut & barrier rub at Mutkurve in exactly the same fashion as earlier in the hour. As I'm coming down the backstretch on my inlap, the other Silvia also pits ending his 168th lap and sets himself for a 14th lapping at some point soon.
Fuelled up and re-tyred, I exit the pits into lap 183 as the Falken heads into the pits himself ending his 180th lap. Catch the other Silvia as Eschbach on lap 183 and am forced to follow him round at 1/2 throttle until I can pass him cleanly in the fast section between Pflanzgarten III & Schwalbenschwanz. 4 laps back again the Calibra pits at the end of his 180th lap while I'm 46s into my 185th. Finish the rest of the hour out cleanly and uneventfully.
Hour mark passes 2.23.327 into lap 186, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
The BMW appears to have a nightmare on his inlap, somewhere around Pflanzgarten I he suddenly drops from being 6'38 behind to being 6'55 behind when I pass the Dottinger Hohe checkpoint. He also appears to have another nightmare at Hohenrain Schikane and he only just makes it into the pits as I'm braking for that bend, and gets his lap taken back off him while he's stopped.
I'm due in at the end of my 187th lap though so he may resist a little longer, depending on how much time my worn tyres cost me versus what his cold tyres cost him. Get the waiting out of the way and the weight off my back of trying to complete a fully clean hour as I run up onto the grass in the fast approach to Adenauer Forst on lap 187, but thankfully avoided a barrier touch. Doesn't take long before that's rectified either, running over the grass at Pflanzgarten I and then back across the track to swipe the barrier before Sprunghugel and a hat-trick of inlap errors is completed as I run wide in the fast right-hander before Schwalbenschwanz and put 4 tyres on the grass again as my front tyres turn from orange to red.
The BMW sprints by the start-line as I'm making my way down the pit-exit to unlap himself temporarily again! The Audi's 186th lap stop occurs shortly after this and the Falken pits ending his 185th lap as the Audi is getting ready to leave. The Silvia's next stop, putting him at the end of his 174th lap, comes with 2'48 of my 189th lap passed and I'm right on the tail of the only unlapped car left now. I manage to catch a draft from him out of Galgenkopf and pass cleanly him just before Antoniusbuche but it's nervous glances at the rear-view mirror all the way through to the end of the lap to make sure he's staying there! The same glancing costs me another error between Hatzenbach & Hocheichen on lap 190 as I'm still keeping an eye out for a BMW with a taste for Silvia rear-end, and get 4 wheels on the grass as I hop the kerb!
The Calibra completes its 185th lap stop while I'm at Adenauer Forst on lap 190. Make my final pitstop ending lap 192 with just under 11 minutes of the race remaining, and the BMW follows me in about 11s later ending his 191st lap. Not needing a full fuel load for a 5 lap stint, I top off to just 22 units and head on to victory! The Falken's last stop ending his 190th lap comes at 1'28 into my 193rd and penultimate lap. There's 23:57'05.870 showing on the timer as I cross the line into lap 194
Hour mark passes 2'54.130 into lap 194, in 1st place, 1 lap ahead of 2nd placed BMW.
Musical accompaniment in playlist order (Album - Artist): 1) Abbey Road - The Beatles, 2) Blood On The Tracks - Bob Dylan, 3) Costello Music - The Fratellis, 4) Dub Side Of The Moon - Easy Star All Stars, 5) Exit Planet Dust - The Chemical Brothers, 6) Forever Faithless - Faithless, 7) Get Used To It - The Brand New Heavies, 8) Hopes And Fears - Keane, 9) If The Beatles Had Read Hunter - The Wonder Stuff, 10) John Henry - They Might Be Giants, 11) Kollected (The Best Of) - Kula Shaker, 12) Lost Souls - Doves, 13) Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited (Tribute To Serge Gainsbourg) - Various Artists, 14) Navigator - Jose Padilla, 15) Oppenheimer - Oppenheimer, 16) Peaches (The Very Best Of) - The Stranglers, 17) Remixes '81 - '04 - Depeche Mode, 18) Sawdust - The Killers, 19) Teachings From The Electronic Brain - The Future Sound Of London, 20) Us And Us Only - The Charlatans, 21) Vanishing Point - Primal Scream, (Sunderland 0 vs. 1 Liverpool - Liverpoolfc.tv live commentary 08/16/2008), 22) Works - Pink Floyd, 23) X - Kylie Minogue, 24) You Could Have It So Much Better - Franz Ferdinand, 25) Zoolook - Jean-Michel Jarre.
13 & God - 13 & God, Simple Things - Zero 7, Yello 1980 - 1985: The New Mix In One Go - Yello, Pieces In A Modern Style - William Orbit, This Is Music: The Singles - The Verve, The Best Of 1990 - 2000 - U2 , The Mirror Conspiracy - Thievery Corporation, The Remixes - The Stone Roses, Hot Rocks 1964 - 1971 (Disc 1) - The Rolling Stones, The Prodigy Experience - The Prodigy.