Ringside Seat: playing with the big boys

It takes a lot to turn my head these days. Living and working at the Nurburgring can leave a man jaded to the sounds and sights of supercars. It's sad, but it's true. Porsche GT3s are more common than Boxsters and there are more BMW M cars than regular models.

You'll need more than that to stand out here
You'll need more than that to stand out here
But once a year an event so rich and ostentatious comes to town that it's impossible to ignore. So yesterday I made excuses to my boss, and went for a lunchbreak wander around the Nordschleife carpark like any other gobsmacked tourist would.

This is Gran Turismo Nurburgring; now officially the Premier League Nurburgring trackday. At a mere 3,500 Euros per car (plus tax), it's a three-day, five-star party with more tracktime than most cars can handle without a service of some kind. Ferarris and high-end Porsches abound. A nice 996 GT3 or E46 M3 looks like a poor-man's car in this company.

An event like this attracts the kind of customer who has a very special car, and who doesn't mind forking out a lot of money to enjoy it with some likeminded petrolheads. And one of those customers is Bard Eker - founder and MD of Eker Group. The company that also owns 49 per cent of Koenigsegg.

Two amazing cars, one incredible ride
Two amazing cars, one incredible ride
Half the carpark seem to be gathered around the Swedish hypercar manufacturer's latest offering. Bard's efforts to enjoy the trackday like any 'normal' millionaire are constantly thwarted by people like myself asking him questions.

But who can blame us for forming a crowd around his parking spot? He's driving a bright red Agera R. An 1,115hp hypercar that at just 1,295kg in weight makes a Veyron look heavy and a tad-underpowered.

Only one other car in the car park can hold a candle to the presence of the Swedish monster. It's got a 'for sale' sign in the window, and a read of the spec-sheet reveals it's not just a Pagani. It's a Zonda F Clubsport. One of just 25 ever made.

Boys with (very expensive) toys...
Boys with (very expensive) toys...
And thanks to a swift conversation with the organisers and respective hypercar owners, we're about to put the two together for a very special photoshoot. Using every trick in the book, my 'instructor' tags and a whole lot of smiling maniacally, I'm soon sitting in the passenger seat of the Pagani while the event photographer outlines what he wants from the two drivers. Basically, he wants them to drive slowly, so he can manoeuvre his Jaguar XFR camera car around for the best shots.

After only a few corners it's obvious that both drivers are not too happy with this. Not only is it like trying to keep an amphetamine-addled tiger on a short leash, but the photographer keeps motioning for about two million Euros of cars to come closer together. Terrifying...

Just when my nerves can't take it anymore, the 1.5 mile Doettinger Hoehe straight appears in front of us. I look across and see the grin on Bard's face. Photographer be damned. My head isn't about to be turned by these cars, it's going to be thrown back into the blue leather headrest by 600 of AMG's finest V12 horses being trounced ... see the video below!

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (71) Join the discussion on the forum

  • PascalBuyens 06 Apr 2012


  • epom 06 Apr 2012

    nice work if you can get it biggrin

  • rhinochopig 06 Apr 2012

    Is it just me or does the AC display on the Pagani ruin what is a very - if possibly overly ornate - stunning interior. It looks like something out of a cheap Ford or VW.

    Stunning cars though, although for out of the two I prefer the Zonda.

  • Dale Lomas 06 Apr 2012

    You mean the Rover 45 climate control pictured here?

    Genuine Pagani unit on eBay for comparison at a 99% discount...


  • suffolk009 06 Apr 2012

    why do the cars have bogus rally stickers on the side?

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