184 LOST HELMET

Not an eyewitness, but at the same time at the same place: this is the basis of today’s story. The Castiron and a friend of him, Herbert, visited the old long Hockenheimring (please have a look at the video), both taking part in a course to obtain a racing driver’s licence.

Different groups of participants driving in different sections of the track, classified according to the types of cars: the initial situation. Due to their nonidentical series touring cars, Herbert and The Castiron are grouped differently; in this context, at that time, Herbert in the „Ostkurve“, The Castiron in another section.

Suddenly a whisper among the participant during a short break in The Castiron’s group: accident in the „Ostkurve“, multiple rollover, the driver lost his helmet. First thoughts: Herbert’s group, is it perhaps him? Probably not. This bend is one of the fastest of all European racetracks, this could be a quite serious accident.

It is Herbert. His car: completely damaged. Herbert’s helmet: lying somewhere in the footwell, chinstrap still fastened. Herbert himself: miraculously uninjured. Not to forget: the speed was more than 100 miles per hour, usually flat out or almost flat out, depending on the outer conditions and the type of vehicle.

Once again: helmet with the right size on and chinstrap correctly and firmly fastened, between strap and chin maximal space to put one finger between them! And: have a safe and effective drive, on the track and on the road.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/comments.html

183 SACHSENRING PART II

Today we complete the overview on Germany’s classical motorsport tracks – the big three: Nürburgring (again and again, constantly and regularly accompanying the blogposts), Hockenheimring, Sachsenring – all with a long and illustrious history.

Sachsenring is located in Hohenstein-Ernstthal and, inter alia, host of the German Motorcycle Grand Prix, as part of the FIM World Championship. This year it will take place on 19 to 21 June 2020; come along and see, you will enjoy the thrilling races with the all the fearless riders!

According to Wikipedia, the first race was held in 1927 on public roads. From 1961 to 1972 the East German Motorcycle Grand Prix was held there. The fastest lap was achieved by 15 times World Champion Giacomo Agostini on a MV Agusta with a 110 miles per hour average.

To accelerate redevelopment of eastern Germany in the new unified Germany a shorter track was built in the 1990s, to bring national and international motorsport (motorcycle and automobile racing) to this part of Germany. The Motorcycle Grand Prix is a guarantor for a very impressive number: a crowd of up to more than 200'000 spectators is not uncommon.

The Sachsenring track is as follows: the length is approximately 2,25 miles. With a maximum incline of 12.8 percent and a maximum rise of 10 percent it is a challenging task for the racer. There are 10 left-hand and 4 right-hand turns (please see recommendation), it goes around counter clockwise.

Last but not least: it is a beautiful and interesting region, which invites you to stay for a few days.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       https://www.sachsenring-circuit.com/en/

182 SACHSENRING PART I

It is far away from home – considerably more than half a day to travel by car and it is quite steeped in history. This is what The Castiron knew, before he visited this racetrack, some time ago.

The Castiron was in charge as an instructor, still as part of his basic training, together with another trainee, Frank. The vehicles: in every sense sufficient, for the instructors, trainees and participants – sporty German two-door coupes with 6-cylinder-in-line engines, manual transmissions, rear-wheel driven.

The powerful cars were a good match with the circuit. Two person per car, this time Frank behind the steering wheel, The Castiron on the hot seat beside him. A situation occurring time and time again, on racetracks, too: a bend combination downwards, concretely the demanding passage „Omega“ and in this case probably a little bit too optimistic speed level.

Taking back the accelerator pedal, the car gets a light rear part and begins to oversteer, Frank still outwardly easy and relaxed – a little bit too much? Yes, but too much oversteer! The Castiron says: brake! Frank begins to countersteer, still easy and relaxed. The chances for a happy end are decreasing rapidly; The Castiron shouts: brake! And Frank brakes, does the maximum – and the car grinds to a halt with the front little before the crash barriers. Looking at each other, breathing deeply, driving on.

For both, Frank and The Castiron, the experiences of this day on the Sachsenring were a further step on their way as trainees to achieve their common goal to complete the training as instructors successfully.

Part II will bring you closer to the Sachsenring.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/instructor.html

181 HOCKENHEIMRING PART II

Hockenheimring: one of the motorsport tracks with a long illustrious history. From The Castiron’s perspective, one highlight among many is the possibility for Swiss petrolheads to attend licence courses to obtain a racing driver’s licence and to have a circuit with many, many options in proximity to Switzerland.

According to Wikipedia, the track was built in 1932; already 1938 the circuit was shortened from 7,5 miles to a little more than 4,5 miles. In 1965 a new version was built, with the „Motodrom“ stadium section. After Jim Clark suffered a fatal accident in 1968, two fast chicanes were added, followed by the chicane at the „Ostkurve“ in 1982, after Patrick Depailler lost his life there. Ten years later, this chicane changed yet again.

After the turn of the millenium a new era called for a redesign. Today, Hockenheim offers a multifunctional motor facility: the maximum length is 2,85 miles and also as basis for many variants for quite a lot of different events. The circuit’s basic version is one of the most demanding tasks for your car’s brakes. There are 11 right-hand and 6 left-hand turns (please see recommendation), it goes around clockwise.

Important to mention, too: one of Hockenheimring’s special annual highlights is the NitrOlympic Drag Racing (28 to 30 August 2020), among many others, such as the American Fan Fest - NASCAR WES (16 to 18 October 2020); enjoy yourself!

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       https://www.hockenheimring.de/en/

180 HOCKENHEIMRING PART I

It is the cradle of a an entire generation of Swiss racing drivers; one of them: The Castiron, who attended in Hockenheim the licence courses to obtain his racing driver’s licences, first that one for debutants and then the International FIA-Racing Driver Licence. Notable aspect: it was the old long race track, with the two chicanes in the very fast sections leading through the forest.

Hockenheimring, the place where it all began, the place of highs and lows, the place of many competitions and experiences. Due to the ban of circuit races in Switzerland, Hockenheim is the second home for many Swiss race-car drivers.

Several track variations, different vehicles and quite a broad variety of competitions and The Castiron: the old long circuit, the new circuit, the old and the new short circuit and the „Sachskurve“ – licence courses, circuit races, trackdays and drift contests, in general on the sunny side, in particular with shadow.

Collisions with the crash barriers and an opponent, a rollover, a blown tyre rear left in a right bend are noteworthy as some lowlights and more or less necessary experiences – that’s a racing driver’s life, too. Go on, keep on track!

Part II will bring you closer to the Hockenheimring.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/racingdriver.html

179 DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2019

First of all, please have a look at the video. Ott Tänak – a well-known driver! An overview on the past year caused The Castiron to award such a title to this driver; it is just a personal and unofficial choice.

It is the really special story: the last 15 years always a Frenchman (9 times Sébastien Loeb and 6 times Sébastien Ogier) became the Rallye World Champion. And now, for the very first time, it is a man from Estonia – the first driver from the Baltic area, from the whole of Eastern Europe.

He secured this historical title, together with his co-driver Martin Järveoja, on the second last competition of the season in Spain. It was very impressive: by winning the last special stage and classified 2nd overall (less than a second before the third one), the two got the necessary points for the uncatchable lead before the final event in Australia.

To sum it up: driving ability and ride feeling, car control, speed and constancy, courage and cleverness, alertness and much more – very, very brilliant and impressive! Deserved world champions!

The Castiron has always held the rallye drivers in high esteem; he takes a bow and takes his hat off to Ott Tänak and his co-driver Martin Järveoja – the latter rarely in the focus as the man on the hot seat, but eminently important!

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/links-en.html

PS   Source reference: MOTORSPORT aktuell Nr. 46 / 2019; www.motorsport-aktuell.de

PPS   As an encore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPnjMhXNQ3Y

178 MORE THAN 100 PERCENT IS LESS THAN 100 PERCENT

Also a racing driver wishes to reach 100 percent whenever possible. Life itself teaches us: sometimes it is less, sometimes you think over 100 percent is more – is it, really? Is more than 100 percent really of use or does it eventually lead to faults?

Today’s topic and motorsport correlate closely. Always 100 percent is the racing driver’s aim – is it possible? Some examples speak for themselves. Hill climb: already the start is crucial; too much wheel spin, too little engine speed and 1 second or more is gone – you will never get it back, it cannot be compensated. Circuit races: the start is crucial, too; practice session, fastest lap and reaching 100 percent in every sector – hardly ever one single driver attains all fastest sector times.

Missed fastest sector times are often the outcome of more than 100 percent. The driver pushes too much (not too little) and drops below 100 percent. The loss of time is the least of the evils; sometimes, the car control becomes far less than 100 percent, in the worse case combined with the loss of the car. Generally possible basic influences: accelerating, braking, cornering.

Today’s video presents some more examples; please, no malicious joy – a haughty spirit goes before a fall (The Holy Bible, Proverbs 16, verse 18). Or a bit different, according to Lewis Hamilton: racing drivers are also human beings who make mistakes and want to give 100 percent, neither 101 nor 99; with that, the point has been made.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/text/NIV/Proverbs16