I am now four days away from my dream. If everything goes right, I will race at the Nurburgring on Sunday. And if that goes well, I qualify for the 24hr in June! Then I sell my rally car and buy a seat! I've wanted this since I first realized that regular guys like me could race cars.
Remember when I quit my job 5 years ago? The first thing I did was book a flight to Europe to drive the Nordshlieffe. And I fell in love. It was better than I had imagined. Faster, way more elevation, and just AWESOME. The part I didn't expect was how much I would love this region of Germany. The Eiffel Mountains are beautiful. The air is so fresh and the hills so green. The Schnitzel and German beer helps too.
So how did I get here? Enter my good friend Robb Holland of Rotek Racing. We were having a beer after the PRI show a few months back and Robb was telling about his last win in the VLN race at the Nurburgring. And I was like "Man Robb, you are living the dream…racing at the Nurburgring!"
And that moment Robb said something and my life changed once again. "Why don't you come over and race with me this summer"
I didn't know what to say. I've known Robb Holland for years. He's one of my racing heroes. One of the guys that I look up to and ask for help and advice. And most racers don't really help other racers. Robb is different. He's helped me more than I could ever really share with you guys and now he's helping me realize my dream of racing at the Nurburgring.
But this is what Robb Holland does when he's not racing himself in the British Touring Car Championship. (That's right, Robb is the first American EVER to race a full season in the BTCC!). He helps drivers get up to speed at the Ring and Rotek Racing has racecars for rent. Seriously, check out their website. It turns out that racing at the Nurburgring is more accessible then ever for an American wanting to live the dream.
So my first question is how much does this cost? And it turns out its WAY more affordable than I realized. And I'm not driving some beat up BMW like I normally do. I'm racing a ridiculously sweet Audi RS4 that should run 8:30 around the ring. And it comes with a brand new house trackside which is next to the workshop with the racecars. Its perfect.
Keep in mind how fast this all came together. The race series just added a special 6 hour race to the schedule that allows a driver to qualify for the 24hr with just one race if you finish. So Robb gave me a call about two weeks ago. I immediately started the licensing paperwork and now I have my FIA license for racing in Europe. So on Saturday I booked a flight for the next day and landed in Germany 4 days ago on Monday.
I really want to document this trip but in my own style. Like we brought the video camera into Pistenklaus and crushed beers the first night with other drives. It was awesome.
And the track footage so far has been awesome. Check out Robb and I chasing down a 911 GT3 that crashes right in front of us!
We've also been running around the area covering cool things to do when you come visit the Nurburgring. So to help cover cost I also put up a quick Indie Gogo crowd funding campaign and by Saturday night I had enough money to buy Wyatt Knox a plane ticket so he could help me film.
You guys know Wyatt as 2wd Rally America Champion or Team Oneil Rally School instructor but he's also my favorite person to travel with and when I look back on this week I want to remember living my dream with my friends, not trying to make a video with a pro film crew of strangers. It's really more of a donation to help me realize my dream. I've been doing this for 5 years now and the cash is getting tighter. But Im so close I had to ask for help.
So here's how the rest of the week works. Today and tomorrow is full day practice in the RS4. Then we qualify on Saturday and I practice at night on Saturday! I'm going hot on the Nurburgring AT NIGHT! It's almost hard to believe. Mostly because Rotek makes it so easy. I woke up and the team manager had a briefing sheet waiting for me at breakfast with the days schedule and rules while the crew loaded the RS4 to take over to the track. This must be what it feels like to be a professional race car driver.