BILSTEIN Experience Day 2022: Masters of the Ring
20.8 kilometers. 73 curves. The legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The longest and most challenging race track in the world. If you want to experience the BILSTEIN brand at its very essence, you have to come here. And that’s precisely why we invited to the BILSTEIN Experience Day 2022: Influencers, journalists, partners and friends of our brand all came to experience the world of BILSTEIN. And to conquer the Green Hell.
As the first participants roll into the parking lot at the entrance to the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the Eifel once again shows its less inviting side. Early in the morning, it is not only grimly cold at an outside temperature of 4°. The drizzle doesn’t really contribute to buoyant summer vibes either. But much worse: thick fog has settled over the asphalt of the Nordschleife. Driving is not an option under these conditions.
The alternative? A relaxed track walk led by racing drivers Nico Bastian and Daniel Schwerfeld. An exciting and extremely exclusive way to get to know the holy asphalt in the Eifel. Fuchsröhre, Adenauer Forst, Breidscheid or Caracciola carousel: the 55 participants of the BILSTEIN Experience Day 2022 will get up close and personal with the secrets of the ideal line on the Nordschleife.
Nordschleife driving like the pros
Nico Bastian explains the tricks of the motorsport pros: “We racing drivers work a lot with reference points. These are spots such as curbs, signs, and sometimes even trees next to the track that mark braking and turn-in points. “And these reference points are important for consistently setting good lap times, especially on the Nordschleife and “even more so at the 24-hour race at night,” as Nico knows from his own experience.
Just as the group is admiring the incredible climb in the direction of “Ex-Mühle”, the sun peeks through the cloud cover for the first time. At first very cautiously, only to displace the clouds more and more shortly afterwards. The news spreads like wildfire among the friends of the BILSTEIN brand: it’s time to ride!
With successful racers as instructors and newly gained impressions of the track, it’s time to get into the cars. When the introductory lap starts, the asphalt is still damp in the shady sections of the track, such as the legendary Fuchsröhre or Bergwerk. But as the track dries out, the instructors increase the pace lap by lap.
Like in Group 6, which is led by Mercedes-AMG works driver Nico Bastian. Today, the experienced racer is piloting a brand new Porsche 992 GT3 in BILSTEIN colors. Nico’s group brings together several decades of automotive engineering: from an iconic Mercedes 190 and an even more iconic VW Golf GTI to modern equipment such as the current Toyota GR Yaris or the hot hatch hero Honda Civic Type-R, there’s plenty of big names represented.
The declared goal is not to set new lap records. Rather, it is the limits of driving dynamics that are to be explored. Just like the right braking and turn-in points for the smoothest, most rhythmic and thus safest and sportiest driving on the most challenging race track in the world.
Non-stop action in the Green Hell!
After the first stints, the participants gather in the parking lot at the tourist entrance to the Nordschleife. Lunch break – the BILSTEIN way: After a bite or two for lunch, the action continues. Because we didn’t come here to take a break. Off we go into our racing suits and back onto the track! In the 510-hp Biturbo Mercedes-AMG GT4 or in the blazingly fast VW Golf TCR racing car, the BILSTEIN fans can experience how the pros tear up the asphalt of the Nordschleife with their BILSTEIN racing suspensions. At the wheel: Nordschleife icons like Maro Engel, Adam Christodoulou and Benny Leuchter. Great fun – and absolutely impressive!
This is also confirmed by Frank from “How deep”, our GTI driver from Group 6. Already the body language says it all. “I’ve got goose bumps, I’m shaking all over! I’ve just come out of GT4 – I’ve never experienced anything like it,” laughs the likeable content creator and boss of the streetwear brand for car freaks. “Those g-forces acting on you, it’s just insane. The pilot really let it burn. What was particularly impressive was this extreme control over the vehicle: very, very minimal steering movements, high-precision driving!”
With these impressions, we head into the afternoon session. The fun factor remains high, vehicle control is getting better and better, and lap times get faster. This is also the case for Jean-Pierre Zimmer, a Mercedes-Benz specialist who runs a workshop for engine construction at the very highest level. And quite by the way, Jean-Pierre reaches more than 300,000 followers as a content creator in social media.
The BILSTEIN Experience Day 2022: “A mega event”.
Jean-Pierre starts today with his Mercedes 190 Tracktool and was so quick on the track early on that he was assigned to the fast Group 6 with Nico Bastian as instructor. No surprise for him: “I have never driven with an instructor before. That was an unforgettable experience today, the instructor rides help you a lot: the learning curve was actually quite tremendous.”
Jean-Pierre’s conclusion is therefore pretty clear: “I really have to process what I just experienced! High praise: The BILSTEIN Experience Day was nothing less than a superbly organized mega-event.” And we’ll just leave it at that.
Aftermovie BILSTEIN Experience Day „Green Hell Edition” 2022