Before this fine Winter is over there is still one racing event I want to share with you. The most relaxed, authentic, charming way to race cars.
“Wintercup“ on Sachsenring.
Sachsenring is a famous race track in the eastern part of Germany, a beautiful track, almost a miniature Nordschleife.Wintercup is an endurance series taking part five Saturdays during winter.
It's tons of fun because the cars must be at least 10 years old, yet have all safety features such a roll bars, the drivers must wear full race gear but they need NO license. And the BEST: a great part of the track is watered during the entire race and very slippery. Very very slippery. (Makes me smile just remembering it).
Peter Pangert, an Instructor from Schuderia Hanseat (http://www.mealsandwheels.com/2010/09/scuderia-hanseat-ii-madhouse-revisited.html) had asked me to come and share the wheel of his E30 BMW the first saturday in march to check the series out. That's like placing a bucket of milk next to ahungered cat! How could I say no?
When our third driver had to cancel due to back problems I jumped at the chance of converting another poor innocent to “motorsporting“. Ali, my dear friend Esther‘s husband was simply ordered to come along and race. And he did. Amazing. (Would YOU do that? I would never!!!)
His first race, ever. Brave man!
We arrived Friday night in a small german town with the beautiful name „Hohenstein Ernsthal“ where every street was either a construction site or a one way road. With my tragic sense of orientation and darkness falling like a dark curtain (hu) I only just managed to find the hotel because some people on the road jumped at my car to rescue me from entering a one way road, the wrong way..
Saturday we had to be at the box at 7:30 for all the technical stuff. I think were there at six. Too exited...
|And this is what it looked like at six in the morning.|
Peter and a friend of his took us around the track to show us the line, and there was still ice on the track! Those were Ali‘s first moments on a race track ever. He now thinks that‘s normal.
|Ali (on the right) before his first race. I have never ever seen his face so grim!|
We had about four laps of training and five laps of qualifying and ended up almost at the last place for start. THE last, actually. But I swear a big smile started to spread on my face very soon during the race as Peters BMW is just so sweet to drive. No ear deafening engine noise, no hard pulling pushing on the steering wheel, no extra care when changing gears, everything gentle in this car. In the wet corners it was so well balanced, such comforting pleasure to drive sideways. So easy and so much fun that I constantly told myself that sideways is not the fastest, but oohhh it was just toooooo tempting. Too much fun.
|Frau Spangenberg before the start. Before the fun!|
The turns were 25 Minutes and I think that is just perfect, especially for someone doing his first race! We also had a minute and a half for the driver‘s change which meant that during many drivers changes we never lost time and where never rushed back onto the track.
|Doesn't look like a driver's change, but is a driver´s change. Relaxed and easy.|
|Neighbouring Thuringia is famous for it's Bartwurst.But this is Saxony, no Thüringer Bratwurst hier. These were delicious too.|
|Me making good use of my phone, at last|
And there were women racing. Mothers even! In GREAT numbers. I think we were five or six altogether. How do I know? By chance we ALL met first thing in the morning- at the Toilets.
|Here is one of them. Petra and her car, beautiful.|
Ali was fantastic, went and drove. He took the last turn and the flag was his.
|Can you see him? In third position...|
|Look at his face now and tell me that racing is not therapeutic!|
|Pricegiving. More mother-racers. Great species.|
|Peter and Ali.|
|Peter is happy we left his car intact.|
Thank you Peter for bringing us here: the most charming, familial, affordable and fun race event. Thank you for sharing your car, your friends. Äh: thank you for sacrifying your driver's reputation. Everyone will think what a lousy driver you are looking at our result. But you have converted yet another person to racing. Actually racing AND drifting. Double addiction. That´s worth it.
Can't wait for winter.Can you?
One last call to all my facebook friends. Come and join “drive´n donate". Please. If you can.