Oldtimer Grand Prix 2011: to race or not to race

Oldtimer grand Prix on Nuerburgring is the biggest Classic car event here in Germany.
A weekend filled with fantastic races, cars,sausages, beer, people, drama, tension and above all: rain.
Capital letter RAIN.

The 4 hours Marathon race taking place on Nordschleife Friday afternoon is one of the definite highlights of the weekend.
Meaning high expectations and pressure.
Meaning famously eternally bad weather, deep hanging dark clouds.
Meaning prepare yourself and set up the car perfectly.
YOU know all that, don´t you?

I got it wrong.

What on earth made me expect good weather against all odds I know not.
Kobold all brand new, was still rolling like an Ocean steamer till the end, since we had not found the same beautiful set up as with the old Kobold racer.

How do YOU like the new Kobold Racer?

Which proves yet again,that cars are not simple machines but have souls which must be lured into performing. Just like us women. (Just in case you didn’t know that.)
Claudia took the start and was striking after Walter Röhrl like Hawk in the midst of rain, cars, noise, terror, it was incredible. It was just SOO scary.

Practise time: Claudia is indicating she coming in.

At this point in every race I consider giving up racing.

When I took the wheel after two hours she had moved us to sixth or seventh place overall. Amazing, considering all the bigger and quicker cars like E-types and corvettes we were competing against.

By then the rain had, if anything increased and during the first two laps I saw NOTHING. The wipers on the Porsche are very good, but the front screen was covered in water and spray from other cars. Have you ever flown over Schwedenkreuz seeing nothing? It definitely made me like Racing LESS.

Looks like snow and feels like snow..

During the rest of the race with cars crashed left and right in the barriers, it became somewhat drier yet with less grip in some unpredictable places rendering it impossible to ever to fall into the unique beautiful dancing rhythm everybody loves so much about Nordschleife. Stop and go, poking the asphalt for grip, I felt like foolishly crawling on all fours.
Three cars overtook me, two of which during my LAST lap,throwing us back to place nine. (This last lap manoeuvre made me feel like novel Housewife letting the cake burn.)
I don´t know how many cars didn’t finish the race or crashed. Twenty? Thirty?
Are YOU scared finally?
Impressed?

As some consolation to me the race felt as horrible for most other people as it did for me. Eberhard Baunach, owner of Kremer Racing and very experienced Nordschleife Racer said he had never driven in a race like that.Even Walter Röhrl uttered something similar, but then HE was on the wrong tires..

Wait!
I haven’t finished.

Have you noticed how beautiful all the pictures in this post are?

They are all by my friend Alexander Herold (http://www.einherold.de).
Thank you Alex!

Here he is

Making fun of me is my team’s idea of coaching! Strange team.

Looking at the Qualifying results, Claudia is putting things in perspective, cheering me up.

Driving pleasure? Who are they kidding?

Photographic perfection, Alex. Since Years I try to take a picture of this scene…

Looking worried: Max Werner, Marc de Siebenthal and headless chicken.

Looking happy

Pro talk: Frank Stippler, Claudia Hürtgen and Poseress.

There was a strange lady from cologne
she smiled when a race was on
she came back from the race
with the car at ninth place…
because the she hadn’t done it alone!

Thank you Claudia, thank you Marc and thank you Alex!

It was horrible.
Would I do it again?
Tomorrow.
No.
Now!

Have YOU had driving experiences where you felt a bit akward because your performance was not as you expected?
Come on!
Givittome!

24 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Saw you there craving for grip in these horrible weather conditions – water, oil, rubber on the road – amazing performance and a wonderful car!

  2. Michael W says:

    Was für Trophäen hast du gewonnen?
    Gruß Michael

  3. Alex:tahnk you, thank you, thank you!
    Michael: Plexiglass Dinger mit einer E-type skultur darauf. Ziemlich schön und vor allen nicht so riesig…Meintest Du das mit Deiner Frage?

  4. Michael W says:

    ja, die meinte ich. und wofür hast du sie bekommen?

  5. Neunter Platz Marathon Freitag Nachmittag. Also für die Hölle….

  6. Michael W says:

    so etwas muss man hinterm lenkrad erlebt haben um es schätzen zu können. irgendwann mal werde ich auch mal meine runden dort drehen. warst du eigentlich schon mal auf der südschleife?

  7. Arneyb says:

    I am sure Walter Gott Röhrl was afraid of being overtaken by You.
    This reminds me of my first wet race on the bike. I had to start from the pits and didnt have anybody directly in front of me for orientation. By coincidence I was much faster than the rest of the field not knowing how close I was to screw it up.
    You must admit: In some moments You felt like a rain goddess, didnt You ?

  8. Michael:hoffentlich ist irgendwann sehr bald! Ja Suedschleife ist aber leider keine Rennstrecke mehr.
    Arneyb:unfortunetaly I feel very much like rain mediocress!!!

  9. Deddi says:

    Ich kenne Keinen und vor allem Keine, die dieses schöne Hobby so intensiv ausleben kann, wie Du. Das Besondere bei Dir ist, Du lässt einem die ganze Atmosphäre in Deinem wunderbaren Blog auf eine einmalige Art miterleben und Deine Lebensfreude daran spüren.

    Wahnsinns Fotos, Chapeau. Und ein riesen Dankeschön auch noch mal für die Fahrt am Sonntag in der Fiat – Arche Noah.

  10. Ach Deddi, das ist sooo nett!Mein Hobby ist aber nur so schön wegen der Autos und VOR ALLEM wegen der Leute die das Hobby teilen!

  11. Michael W says:

    Die ehemalige Rennstrecke ist zum Teil noch erhalten, mittlerweile stark verwuchert, aber noch befahrbar. Man sollte sich diese Streckenabschnitte für einen Sommerabend aufbewahren.

  12. Leider sind uns aber hierzulande die Sommer abhanden gekommen…Was machen wir dann?

  13. Alfred says:

    Hallo Gabriele, hast du schon mal Rain-x probiert? Macht sich gut bei so einem Sch…wetter!

    Grüsse von der sonnigen Alb

    Alfred

  14. Michael W says:

    Einfach abwarten und einen spontanen Abstecher machen, wenn du ohnehin dort bist und das Wetter gerade mitspielt. Davor aber die Einfahrt zur Rennstrecke merken – die ist versteckt…

  15. Hallo Alfred: Was ist das? Werde es gerne probieren…
    Michael, ich kenne die Einfahrt der Südschleife, der Rest ist aber doch normale Strasse oder inexistent?

  16. Michael:1A Racing Käfer!

  17. Alfred says:

    Hallo Gabriele,

    das ist die moderne Version von Apfel aufschneiden und damit die Scheibe einschmieren. (rainx.com).

    Grüße von der sonnigen Alb Alfred

  18. Alfred, ich dachte Kartoffel?

  19. Alfred says:

    Gabriele, Kartoffel bei quietschen – Apfel zum “imprägnieren”! Apropos Kartoffel, da kann ich auch die Rösti im Gasthaus Rofflaschlucht an der alten Passstraße des San Bernardino empfehlen. Hilft aber nicht bei Quietschen – nur bei Appetit

    Sonnige Grüße aus dem Süden

  20. Rösti?! Helfen bei mir immer! Bei allem!

  21. This shows that just because a car is old, doesn’t mean it can’t accelerate with the best of them. It makes me proud I kept and maintained the old box type at home.

  22. It may be a classic, but a porsche is still a porsche. I hope I can cut loose on the road in one of those someday.

  23. This is a perfect example why all of Porsche’s cars all seem to have the same basic design. As they say, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.”

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