44 PREVIEW 24H LE MANS 2017

The 85th edition of the 24 Hours Le Mans, June 17 - 18, 2017, FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). It should be up to Sébastien Buemi this time, who was so close to the victory last year; or will we get a surprise, such as a victorious newcomer José-María López? Compensatory justice, big surprise or simply one of the favourites, for instance last year’s winner Neel Jani? 

Looking back at the last three blogposts, one big question remains: who will eventually finish and finish first? Today, let us have a look at the above mentioned drivers, their team mates and racecars. Three competitors and three possible terms: hope, surprise, reality.

Hope: Sébastien Buemi, with Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson, Toyota TS050 Hybrid. The winners of the first two races in Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. Will they celebrate the third victory this year in Le Mans? After last year’s dramatic experience, this team will have many, many sympathizers just with the one and only hope for the very end of these 1440 minutes. 

Surprise: José-María López, Toyota TS050 Hybrid. After the crash in Silverstone, López did not participate in Spa-Francorchamps. That leaves some question marks, probably for Le Mans, too. Will he really drive this race or will another racer supplement Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway? The smallest uncertainty can be decisive, especially in a race as the 24 Hours Le Mans. 

Reality: Neel Jani, with André Lotterer and Nick Tandy, Porsche 919 Hybrid. Triumphators in 2016 and also perhaps in 2017 - even without a top result after this year’s first two competitions. Or the other Porsche with Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber? Even Porsche did not win one of the first races, this brand should never be underestimated!

Additionally to all of that: you never can exclude a very big surprise! Upcoming Sunday, we all will know more, after the waving of the chequered flag – and not one moment before that.

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

Recommendation:       http://www.lemans.org/en

43 TO FINISH FIRST FIRST YOU MUST FINISH PART III

Part I and II have been about experiences on the track. There are some similarities to drift contests but also important differences; probably the decisive one is, that you can finish without really being considered to the classification. For example, one criteria is to have a drift without a spin that discontinues the drift. If you spin around you failed; sometimes you get still a few points and you can find your name at the lower end of the rankings. 

The Castiron took part in the sport auto DriftChallenge 2001 in Hockenheim. It was wet, really wet – and it was very, very slippery at irregular intervals (see the video). Everyone had 3 heats – 3 times a spin and The Castiron’s recognition „a fourth heat would have been sucessful“ finished his competition. The Castiron was not the only one with these problems, but that is no comfort. That is racing, that is life. 

To finish first first you must finish; in other words take the right route, take the right way. The Castiron hopes, that this awareness will also help you, on the road, on the track, as a convinced Christian in the spiritual life, everyday and anywhere. 

Next week it is a good time to look forward to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 17 - 18, 2017, FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). 

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

42 TO FINISH FIRST FIRST YOU MUST FINISH PART II

Part I was about the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016, especially the last 10 of these 1440 minutes; a story of joy and pain – and sympathy. Let us hear the voices from some drivers (quoted from the Swiss periodical „Automobil Revue“ June 22, 2016). 

The beaten Sébastien Buemi, Toyota TS050 Hybrid: „It is hard to find words for what has happened to us. We came so close to reach our goal. The aim for next year is clear ...“ 

The victorious Neel Jani, Porsche 919 Hybrid: „Of course, it is my greatest victory. Despite all joy it is heartbreaking, when you imagine, what happened to Toyota. Such a thing you wish to no one.“ 

And the fourth placed Marcel Fässler, Audi R18 e-tron quattro: „I am extremely sorry for Sébastien for the outcome of the race. I encountered the people from Toyota after the race and a look into their eyes hurt me enormously.“ 

According to www.motorsport-total.com (June 23, 2016) a spokesperson of TMG (Toyota Motorsport GmbH) notified: „The car suffered from a defect of a plug connection between turbocharger and intercooler. That led to the fact that the turbocharger control was no more working.“ 

Just the bright side of this race experienced Ford. After the great triumph 50 years ago they achieved again a historical win, this time in the LMGTE-Pro class. It was a Ford GT, driven by J. Hand / D. Müller / S. Bourdais (position 18 overall); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQPohKkgAzE - to finish first first you must finish. 

You will read more on this topic next week. 

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

41 TO FINISH FIRST FIRST YOU MUST FINISH PART I

After last week’s blogpost, which emphasized the achievements of several men, let us also have a look at the other side of the coin. Best – or worst – example are the happenings on the occasion of the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016. It is a story of joy and pain. 

Last week’s blogpost presented some WEC World Champions: the three Swiss Marcel Fässler, Sébastien Buemi, Neel Jani. Just one of them won the race in Le Mans: Marcel Fässler. The other two aimed at this prestigious victory. Neel Jani brought it to the point; he said: „these colleagues make life always a little bit difficult“ - in other words, on one hand compatriots, on the other hand tough opponents on the track. 

The aim was clear: Neel Jani (together with Marc Lieb und Romain Dumas), Porsche 919 Hybrid and Sébastien Buemi (together with Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima), Toyota TS050 Hybrid wanted the first victory in Le Mans. But there can only be one winner. 

One victor possible and two answers: less than 10 minutes before the end of this 24 hours Sébastien Buemi’s Toyota is on the lead, at this time Kazuki Nakajima behind the steering wheel. First victory for Sébastien Buemi, first victory for Toyota in Le Mans ... here comes the very sad end of this story: a technical defect stopped this car, just a very few minutes before the end of the race. The second and final answer: Neel Jani finished in lead after the 24 hours. And says: „unbelievable, there are no words.“ 

Especially to everybody who loves sports: it hurts to watch the video. But it is sports, it is life. To finish first first you must finish. 

The story will continue next week with Part II. 

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

40 THE THREE

The Three and the Swiss Confederation, The Castiron’s home country. A long time ago, in 1291, the Swiss Confederation was founded, by three brave men – as the legend says. Walter Fürst of the canton of Uri, Werner Stauffacher of the canton of Schwyz and Arnold Melchtal of the canton of Unterwalden came together in a time of great oppression. Their aim was to lay the cornerstone for a land of freedom; the Federal Charter of 1291 began with the words: In the name of God, Amen – today: In the name of God Almighty. 

This country, today known as Switzerland (geographical in the heart of Europe) still exists. In the hundreds of years since 1291 have been times of freedom and times of oppressions and prohibitions and certainly many three brave men. One great story is about the Three in the 21st century and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) - circuit races forbidden in Switzerland since 1955. Nevertheless, they reached great things, worth for a single short paragraph for each of them. 

WEC World Champion 2012: Marcel Fässler, Switzerland (together with André Lotterer und Benoît Tréluyer), Audi R18 e-tron quattro. 

WEC World Champion 2014: Sébastien Buemi, Switzerland (together with Anthony Davidson), Toyota TS040 Hybrid. 

WEC World Champion 2016: Neel Jani, Switzerland (together with Marc Lieb und Romain Dumas), Porsche 919 Hybrid. 

Do you understand, why The Castiron is a little bit proud to be a compatriot of Walter Fürst, Werner Stauffacher, Arnold Melchtal and Marcel Fässler, Sébastien Buemi, Neel Jani? 

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

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

39 NORDSCHLEIFE 1705

Nürburgring Nordschleife. Just Nordschleife, just Nürburgring? Let us have a look back to 1927, the year of birth. According to Wikipedia, the track was completed in spring of 1927 and the first races took place on 18 and 19 June 1927. Rudolf Caracciola was the winner in a Mercedes Compressor. 

The whole track extended over 17,5 miles, consisted of 174 bends and the fastest time ever around the full „Gesamtstrecke“ was 1929 by Louis Chiron, at an average speed of 70 mph in his Bugatti. And: it was Nürburgring „Gesamtstrecke“ with a long North Loop Nordschleife and a shorter South Loop Südschleife. The really legendary and fascinating part was and remains the Nordschleife, Nürburgring Nordschleife. 

And now, 90 years later: on 16 to 18 June 2017 the Nürburgring Classic, the historical motorsports meeting, will take place. Part of this event is the „ADAC-Eifelrennen“, a 3-hours-race; the name „Eifelrennen“ was born in the opening race in 1927. 

Please note: each year many events and much more are taking place, not merely the one in June (see recommendation). Not only the 90th birthday is an invitation to visit this region; once you have been there, you will come again and again, as The Castiron does, too. It is always time for anticipation, be it as spectator or participant! 

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

Recommendation:       http://www.nuerburgring.de/en/events-tickets/oldtimer/nuerburgring-classic.html

38 TRACTOR PULLING

Tractor Pulling Team Kaiser – Family Affairs Pulling Team. This team is a family pulling team from south Germany. They compete with their Alky-Burner Super Stock tractor called Best Solution in the German championship series and took home the title in 2016. 

They started Tractor Pulling in the early nineties and grew up to a top team in the German series. Main thing about the Kaiser Pulling Team is, that it is a family project. They compete with a tractor, based on a 40series John Deere model (see at the end „men and machines“). 

They started as a „just for fun team“ in 1993 running regional pulling events. A few years later the claim for more power and professionalism raised and Thomas Kaiser, the team founder and captain, stepped up into German series with the team’s first Super Stock tractor, based on a Deutz 8006 (see at the end „men and machines“). 

One year later the team imported a John Deere tractor from the USA to keep up with the top. At this time, Margret Kaiser stepped into pulling driving duties (see at the end „men and machines“). 

From the beginning of 2003 the team started with two John Deere Alky-Burner tractors and stepped into European series (Euro Cup) until 2007 to battle with the top of Europe. After an absence of several years, Team Kaiser stepped back on the pulling tracks in 2015. The same time they got announced to be a part of a TV documentation called FULL PULL on DMAX. This season turned out with the third place in the German championship and a lot of nice demo runs in Austria, Switzerland and on German promotion events. 

In 2016 the DMAX broadcast went into a second session and Team Kaiser started in a perfect season, capturing the German title one event before the season finale. For 2017 the goal is focused on capturing the title again - and to get another tractor ready to rock and roll in 2018. 

Many thanks from The Castiron to Tractor Pulling Team Kaiser!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TractorPullingTeamKaiser

YouTube-Channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZ0xXzjSNosaOKoqtUjYPyNPCZA8Akt_l

Instagram: #tractor_pulling_team_kaiser 

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

Recommendation:       https://www.pullingteamkaiser.de/

  

Men and machines. 

Men.       Team Kaiser was Thomas and Margret Kaiser with their 3 boys Marcus, Stephan and Christoph. Today, the crew increased by the sons’ wives and girlfriends. Many people ask how can it work as a family. The answer is: „It works fine. Everyone got his job. Only together as a team, a family, we can handle it.“ The team’s credo is: „Who grows together, can be strong together.“        And: Margret Kaiser also stepped into pulling driving duties and powered the team’s tractor to a German title. She is the first female driver capturing a national title in Europe.        The faith in God is the family’s power to go on, even when things get tough – in sports, interpersonal, anywhere else in life. The team reflects their faith by presenting the conviction on the tractor, on the trailer, in the sports as a personal statement. Therefore, Team Kaiser is part of SRS motorsport since 2015, to connect people in sports and show, that it is not boring and compelled to be a Christian in racing. 

Machines.       Actually, the 40series John Deere model with stock motor block, 530 cubic inches, 3 turbo chargers in 2 steps, CNC made hemi cylinder head with overhead camshaft and belt drive, MSD ignition, CNC made pistons and rods uses methanol as fuel, creating about 3300 hp at 6500 rpm with 95 psi boost. This tractor is „selfmade“, every single part is manufactured in-house at the Kaiser Performance workshop.        A Deutz 8006 was the basic for the team’s first super stock tractor, with 3 turbo chargers, Diesel fuel and about 1100 hp.