Dix Mille Tours of Le Castellet.

If there was ever a perfect way of ending a season..
-then it was ours last weekend!
As most historic racing drew to an end everywhere in dreary cold weather, announcing autumn and automotive fasting, the Peter Auto Organisation left no space for regret or sorrow.
For me, who hasn’t had the best of all seasons with the Kobold broken in April, the Oldtimer Grand Prix soaked, Scuderia Hanseat cancelled, Gstaad Classic undermined by the local authorities, last weekend was one of the best racing weekends I’ve experienced.
I love the circuit of Le Castellet.
Space, left and right.
At this time of year the region is bathed in the most clear and golden light, due to strong Mistral winds clearing the air of any particles.
Wife, not mechanic, checking the tyres. Cool.
The most famous Toblerone.
The field of sixties endurance with ca. 60 cars, was perfect, not too big to overcrowd the circuit and not so small that you feel you´re not really competing with anyone.
There were nine short wheel base 911s, all of which were checked for weight, right carburettors, ignition, etc. meaning a good equal field to measure up against.
The other races too were filled with beautiful cars and charming people. The atmosphere was relaxed and faces happy.
And the food french. What can I say…
As usual I was sharing the car with Marc de Siebenthal who, in the qualifying achieved a magical time, seven seconds ahead of everybody else. (Ever911body that is)
When I took over after his quick laps I had a fit of anger (not saying why) which in return made me quicker and quicker each lap, so I ended up with the second best time!
As it was agreed upon by everybody, but me, that I should take the start the next day
I went into another fury feeling that a starting place in front of everybody else would lead to me be fair game to all the cruel, merciless men-eating fighters behind.
Until I realised that our starting position would have been mine rightfully, as my qualifying time would have put us in the same place! (much ado about nothing..)
“Evacuation”, why on earth can they not use a word which sounds a little bit less SCARY???
So I took the start and within meters after the startline the the next 911 was behind me to attack and overtake.Yet that was exactly what I had been expecting and whilst wedeling my way through the following turns I just wondered how long it would take till he got his chance at overtaking me.
He NEVER got it as my Kobold is so wonderfully torquey out of the turns and I didn´t feel nervous at being hunted for the first time in my life. I just concentrated on driving, feeling the car as the turns sucked us in and gently let us out, in this intoxicating rythm, this magical dance, you find only on a racetrack.
After two laps I had lost him out of sight. As we danced along on a dry track, Kobold and I were in perfect harmony. We were driving on Avon tyres so I had to be very gentle and careful, avoiding going over curbs, sliding to much, or blocking the wheel during breaking.
I absolutely love driving that way as it feels like schmusing with the car, rather than fighting with it. (it´s love, remember?)
When I came in after one hour we lay in eleventh place, best 911, EASY.(Yeah, yeah, yeah).
Marc took the wheel and when he finished after another hour we were still eleventh. The distance to the next 911 almost two minutes. On average, each lap he was two seconds quicker than me, which is not much considering that I was driving with a full 100l tank.
Ours had been the last race of that dayand as it drew to a golden sunlit close, a joyious Kobold Team packed up and went home.
Me because I had raced. Properly.
Marc because four of our competitors appraoched him to have their car done by him this winter.
They didn´t believe a lady can drive fast. They think it´s the car…
But we will see about that next season….
How this car finished the race is a mystery to me.
Winner of Index of performance. Don´t ask. I will never understand what that is. But the trophy really suits the little TR.
I´m always impressed by the army of trucks. Makes me feel real racer.
Well almost. Because Kobold got carried only halfway, the other half he had to drive on the highway. What a great car!
Racing.
What a great thing.

5 Comments

  1. Arneyb says:

    Oh wow !
    Comparing Your laptimes with Mark’s You shouldnt stay that meek about Your skills. You are hellfast, experienced and cool.
    If I were You I would always start a trackday behaving like a housewife in “ponyhof mode”, let the Machos give You arrogant advises…and on track You beat the bastards showing them the finger.
    Harhar !

  2. Daer Arneyb:my feeling is that next season hell will be loose! Jusz wait and see. Times at Ponyhof are over!And I´ll drag you along with it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    hallo gabi,
    welch wundervollen fotos! tolle stimmung, neid, gier, hechel, stöhn!
    Aber morgen geht´s ab nach MX…..

    lg lutz

  4. Lutz:Das ist soo spannend! Ich hoffe Du bringst viele Photos und noch mehr Lust zum Historic Racing mit! Viel Erfolg und viel Spaß!

  5. Detlef says:

    Dem schließ ich mich an. Ehrlich, ganz ganz tolle Fotos. Um diese tollen Aussichten “mittendrin” empfinde ich fast so was wie Neid. Weiter so.

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