Posts in category Wheels

Tour Auto 2012

Did you read my posts on the Tour Auto last year and the year before? No????!!! No? Good. Because I can only repeat myself. I can only myself until the last of my readers has understood. (Or I have no more readers.) Tour Auto is JUST the BEST. So wild. HEAVEN for those who love old cars. And HELL for those who don't. Hell because participating at the Tour is no joke. The hours are tremendous. The pressure is tremendous. The level of concentration is tremendous. The fatigue is tremendous. The wear on the cars is tremendous. The intensity is tremendous. I personally have the added grave problem of not being able to go to sleep at night because I don‘t know how to divert my thoughts. Wise people say: "at night think of the things you‘re really love, to divert from the stress of the day." There you go, there‘s my problem. Usually I think of the Tour Auto to divert my thoughts, so when I‘m at the Tour I find nothing to think of. I think of the day driving and get exited and than I can‘t go to sleep and than I tell myself: "think of something nice so you can fall asleep" and than I find nothing nicer than the day driving and so on and so on.. Tragic. And than I have to get up after what feels like just an hour's sleep, feeling totally shattered, till I take a shower and my hair smells of hot engine and the world is all wonderful again. Silly? Monday at the Grand Palais is a first timer for me. If this is not "grand", tell me what is! Ok ok ok. This is. Ferrari GTO. But I like these cars too! Dead man walking? He's dreaming of racing! Porsche is just SEXY! Dastun 240z with a fantastic sound. First mornig: we arrive at the setting of the actual start. Here.... we started. (We usually leave Paris with crossed out numbers) No, they don't belong to each other. Coincidential Orange. Quite a lot of it. On the road to Dijon: hands up if you have ever ridden on a normal road behind a GT 40. Wonderful. Quick fill at Dijon, our first track. I raced, but unfortunately the red flag came on four laps into the race and they actually screwed up my laptimes. It took us two days of motzing (schimpfing in german) to adjust our position in the field. Thankfully Marc had timed my laps so we could prove that I had not spend twice as long on the track as everybody else! Yes, this car needs beer to run better. Thousands of excellent meals every night, for us on wheels. The food was better than ever! Our companions: they make us feel soooo VIP when they wave us through heavy traffic. Everybody adores them for it! At the Bresse circuit it's Marcs turn to race. Note the amount of people watching! Marc Newman concentrating before the start. First Cobra out of the Tour, the Drivers continue however and seem to always amuse themselves! Great sport! The first of our field... And the rest, led by my Kobold, Lunchtime parking. Fueling in race gear at normal petrol stations feels a bit carnevalistic.. As in weirdly overdressed.. Worried about the Quality of the petrol, Marc adjusted the ignition, I'm always so glad that he shares the car with me, making sure Kobold is Ok. Spectators at the stamping points in small towns. Waiting before a Special.. Cool 911 of our supernice competitors. A special which takes us up into snow! Tristan looks happy. That evenings Park Fermée is at the waterfront of Lake Annecy, a beautiful setting. If only I could make you hear all the hammering, banging, clonking, roaring and laughing in the evening! Here more than anywhere: thousands of spectators greeting us at the finishing post of the day. Next day at Charade, the french Nordschleife. Marshalls directing the line up, Marc races here too (we split the races). Which is lucky, because Patricia Bussolini smuggles us girls up to the control tower, where I can take these pictures!  Here's Grid 4, in total lineup. Safety car lap. The race. Another turn of this beautiful circuit and it's specators. A very very long wait for the first special of day 4. Which was in fact explained by: Four cars which had come off. Before our start it started raining as well, the Marshalls warned everyone it was "enormement" slippery and dangerous. How encouraging. Before the second stage that day we were warned again of bumps on the road, so I was glad that Marc  gently carried the car across these two treacherous specials. Yet when I wanted to take the wheel in the afternoon this: No more clutch. So Marc took the wheel again and drove through 2 specials, one stamping stop and two towns without clutch. (I was sweating blood and water through that afternoon, with an early finish of the tour in front before me). In the park fermeé in the evening I ran around like a headless chicken searching for the fork of a clutch, till Pierre and Marc found one in their bus. I think I was more stressed then they were. Still, it was at least 22.00 when the car was finished and Team Kobold was exhausted. The fith morning was glorious: regularity being the group to get up early competition people could actually sleep a little longer, hurray! The last stage on day five was beautiful and I raced at Le Castellet, a track which I love, not only because the curbs are a girls colour: shocking pink! I love the track, I loved this race, a wonderful way to finish the Tour Auto! Happy me, happy posing! The finish at Nice. No more picture taking after this, only Champagner! We are gloriously happy: having finished the five days with the car intact having enjoyed every single moment, coming 9th overall in the end. This was the best Tour so far. I hope there are so many more to come! I hope they come soon. Like now. Or tommorrow by the latest! Have I managed to transport some of this amazing week into your heads and hearts? Just a little bit?

I’m on my way to

(Oh YEAH!)
The start of the Tour Auto.
Till I report from there look at this:
And join us there.
Keep your fingers crossed for our safe and happy return.
Just two requests today.

Anybody out there….

needing proof the racing a car is the sole functioning remedy against feeling like a Grottenolm?
(Don't ask: it's a foul creature, worm like, living underground in wet grottos,  blind, ugly, ungracious, slimy, and very probably pretty depressed..) One day on track with Kobold and I'm back to blogging. Uuuuaaaah! Proof enough? Continue reading →