GLP 1 - The first run!

About tow hooks, stomach U-turns and the question whether a teacher's car can conquer the Nordschleife.

As Volvo and especially as C30 drivers, we are used to being the only ones with our model almost always and everywhere. But with 160 participants no other Volvo, not even a Saab? Statistically there should be at least one more Viking on the grid. But all right, let's just hold up the blue and yellow flag by ourselves.

Arrival and technical inspection

The 500km journey from Hamburg to Nürburg went relatively unproblematic. As already mentioned in the text for the first roll-out, the C30 is very pleasant to drive with the current setup. Arriving at the Graf-Ulrich-Halle, we joined the queue for the technical inspection. Since the GLP is driven with road-legal cars, all changes to the vehicle must be approved and registered by a technical inspection. Since it is important in GLP to repeat a betting lap time as accurately as possible and not to drive out the best times, this ensures that all cars have a minimum of technical safety and stability. Our acceptance went correspondingly smoothly, as both the Bilstein chassis and the wheel-tyre combination had already been freshly inspected by an inspection body. According to the inspector, only the original Volvo fire extinguisher holder lacked further metal lashing lugs, which we have to present until the next run. We've got a hook. Or is it? Right, the urgently needed second tow hook from Daniel's C30 slept peacefully in the carport at home. But thank God we were able to organize replacements from a V40.

Starting line-up and the special atmosphere of the Nordschleife

It's our first motorsport event now, that's the only reason why there's so much that still has that certain magic, tingling feeling that triggers it. But in the morning 7 o'clock at the tourist entrance to the Nordschleife stand, in the first morning sun the last checks at the car make, the many old-established professionals and Nordschleife connoisseurs around one, that pops already properly away. Driver's briefing, rookie sticker, (both) hooks on it, last look at the transponder for timing on the dashboard in front of the passenger A-pillar, and we roll to the T13.

The first block, the first confusion, the C30 stays cool

The C30 gets off well, Charleen heads for our first GLP-kilometers with confidence. Thanks to the very good weather the track is almost completely dry, the T5 is visibly pleased with the cool intake air.

As always, you read the rules a dozen times in advance, are sure of yourself, and then comes this one sentence in the driver's briefing, which lets you consider whether you may not drive faster or not slower than 11:15min. Hm. Introduction lap, a lot of traffic, our manageable knowledge of the route, 13min something. This will be a short pleasure. Charleen heats up the C30 well, my humble self notes in my head that the standard leather seats, which do not even pretend to have ever heard of side support, must necessarily give way to sports seats. The result is a 12:23min. Short disappointment, are they waving the black flag for us now? But then short reflection, the rule is of course, not faster than 11:15min for a round. So all's well, except for the fact that we have a tight lap as betting time for the first block. We write it off and use the laps to get used to the traffic and the track. Listen to the mechanics around us in the form of the C30 every now and then: Engine healthy, brake fit, tyres satisfied - running. In addition, we are approaching the open Döttinger Höhe, even if we still have no good feeling for getting along with the right-wing parkers who are waiting for their minimum time. I've been thinking for a moment that in my mind 95% of all-pulp and then three minutes of parking, then jogging to the finish straight at 60km/h, don't have much to do with smoothness. But all right, we're just getting started, and we don't want to attract attention again. Note for GLP 2: Döttinger Höhe, pedal to the metal, left has right of way!

Between round 6 and 7 we could drive out to refuel, but we don't need it. With roundabout 14l/100km we easily get over the distance of about 250km. So into the second evaluation block. The most important questions have been clarified, the tablet is ready to stop, I have set myself three measuring points for now: Airfield bridge, Breitscheid bridge, Wippermann marshal. Charleen and the C30 have grooved in.

We bet in round 8 a 13:41.57 (stopped). I take my bearings from the GPS meter that we stuck on the dashboard in front of the front passenger A-pillar.

Everything fits.


First confirmation round, we drive well in the field and function as a team. The measuring points fit well with 1:25min, 5:25min and 9:25min. At the end there is a 13:43.04, so only 1.5s deviation over the full Nordschleife! Hammer. For the first time I have the feeling that we can manage this and that all the effort is worthwhile. The only mistake, however, that increasingly forces itself upon me from below: I should have had some breakfast.
At this point the important insert: twelve laps of the Nordschleife with standard seats and seat belts are a real challenge for the passenger's circulation. So if you want to make GLP with standard equipment or, for example, several rounds of tourist rides: be sure to give the co-driver a spit bag. This is not embarrassing at all, but definitely better than spreading the well thought-out stomach inside the interior. Fortunately, we had made provisions at the front.
Back on the track, second confirmation round in block 2: Two participants hail us with their speed-60-sneak in the connection from the Döttinger Höhe to the T13 by consistent coasting and not overtaking the time. Thus, almost 170 tenths of a premium in the form of 170 penalty points land on our account. But whatever, we're rookies.

Last confirmation round, it's going really well again. We come well over the track, have relatively free track on the Döttinger Höhe and land a decent 13:40.16. Only 1.4s below the setting time. In the final lap I'm still struggling a bit with my circulation, but Charleen routinely finishes the extra-long roller coaster ride.
Back at the Graf-Ulrich-Halle adrenaline floods us. The relatives and our good friend Marcel welcome us and we enjoy the declining tension. Adventure GLP, the first. Passed!

Here will follow soon a list of the stopped and measured times as well as the ranking. First of all: Despite the bad first block we don't have the red lantern, but land on place 30 of 48 rookies, ten of which didn't make it into the classification.

Picture by Marcel Bäumer -
Picture by Marcel Bäumer -