2020

207 YODEL

Tomorrow, on August 1, The Castiron’s homeland will celebrate again the Swiss National Day. Today’s subject deals with another Swiss folkloristic custom and we look back at some previous related blogposts, too.

Blogposts 50 PHOTOSTORY BLÜEMLISALP SWITZERLAND and 129 PHOTO STORY – THE MONCH gave a small impression of this country’s outstanding beauty. Additionally, blogpost 40 THE THREE, mentioned the legend of the founders of the Swiss Confederation, amongst others.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, yodel is a type of singing in which high falsetto and low chest notes are rapidly alternated. Yodelling occurs in passages called  Jodlers  which occur at the beginning, middle, or end of a song. Yodelling is also used as a means of communicating over moderate distances by the inhabitants of mountainous regions. It is associated with the Alpine peoples of Switzerland.

And: the yodel may not be just unique as a Swiss speciality. Anyway! Enjoy watching and listening today’s video.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference: https://www.britannica.com/art/yodel

PPS   As an encore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Q1AfSUH4Y

206 A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT

This is not about a motor racer, but about a man of deliberation on just two wheels, a very courageous and sporty one. Now it is the moment to have a look at today’s video – it says a lot, but to that, there are also some essential aspects to point out.

Two wheels, no engine – one man, the Austrian Fabio Wibmer. But it did not work completely without engine either: the foundations were laid in motocross; he started riding motocross at the age of six and even took part in 2011 in the Motocross World Championship in Italy. 

But after watching a video of stunt rider Danny MacAskill, Fabio Wibmer became hooked on biking, fell in love with this sport. He was subsequently one of 15 young bikers selected by MacAskill to attend his „License to Trial“ workshop. Some time soon, the Austrian had become one of the best-known faces in the biking scene.

Behind his brilliant performances is a lot of hard work. Preparation begins in the head (often around a thousand times for just one new trick), takes years and requires training over and over again. Nevertheless the risk is always present, falls are unavoidable.

With or without engine, two or four wheels – there are some things in common: the driver’s talent and dedication, skills and abilities – indispensable and fundamental, crucial for the show and the success. As a driver, enjoy your ride – as a spectator, enjoy the drivers’ spectacular performances!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference: touring April 2020 and https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/07/sport/fabio-wibmer-bike-spt-intl/index.html

PPS   As an encore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0OoUqKkwwM

205 THE BIG FAMILY 202007

And again, this is about the big family of the Ford automobiles all over the world. For today, let us have a look at a further used car – an early nineties European Ford Sierra. In this context the sporty aspect is worth to be mentioned: in motorsports events, different types of this vehicle model have been very successful – many of them powered by quite extreme powerful engines.

This car belonged to The Castiron’s household, an everyday car. In a few words: a mid-size 3-door liftback limousine, sufficiently motorized, with a sporty chassis setup without being uncomfortable. Soon turned the question arose: probably a little bit more than just an everyday car, perhaps an all-in-one machine suitable for every purpose?

A rear-wheel driven limousine with a naturally aspired 4-cylinder-in-line engine (this time not the V6 motorization), a manual gearbox and a limited slip differential – and a plus point not to be underestimated: a curb weight of significantly less than 3000 lb, tank filled to the rim, driver inside the car!

Some improvements to the car, primarily to brakes and suspension – still street legal, but now ready for greater deeds: this was back then the basis for taking part in diverse sporty events, too. Races on airfields, some drift contests and trackdays (latter mainly on the Nordschleife) provided for fun and valuable experiences; in addition there was a participation at the Gurnigel Hill Climb, The Castiron’s home race.

This was only a very short insight into the long liaison with this Ford Sierra. There would be so much more to tell about common adventures in daily life and on specific occasions; one of them, you can find in blogpost 60 – an experience at the Nordschleife.

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

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

204 HEAT AS ENEMY – ALMOST COOKED

Heat kills performance and damages equipment – it afflicts human beings, too! Vehicle and individuals must operate together. Blogpost 108 focused on the vehicle, today’s subject is about the human being.

You have to be aware of what is at stake. High temperature has an impact on individuals; for some a greater one, for some a little less. With warm weather temperature can increase to more than 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in a car. Additionally: in a dark car temperature can be up to 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) more than in a light coloured one.   

So what? High temperatures cause an increased stress level: the heart beats faster, sweating attacks, lack of concentration, more nervousness and aggressivity, growing tendency of driving errors. Sufficient? According to surveys, the number of accidents in urban areas went up by 6 percent at 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit).

More details, more figures? At 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) 13 percent more accidents, at 37 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) 33 percent more accidents – still valid for urban areas. It may be assumed that these data apply generally and base on a temperature of about 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit).  

Experts assume that the quality of driving under such circumstances is very close to that of a drunken driver. Air-condition or open windows help, but the fan’s or wind noises boost stress, too; it does not alter the fact that the body nevertheless is heated up.

Today’s picture: around 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) correspond to the cooking temperature of some piece of a meat. That is all there is to say – stay cool, have a safe and effective drive, on the road, on the track!  

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

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

PS   Source reference: AUTOMOBIL REVUE, Nr. 27, 4. Juli 2019, www.automobilrevue.ch

203 MORE ON ELEANOR V

The Castiron and his Ford Mustang, Eleanor V – this time primarily as facts and figures.

Ford Mustang GT (Option: Premium package)   model year 2005
Eleanor Body Kit   (CERVINIS)
Engine   V8   281 CID / 4.6 l   310 PS   452 Nm
5-speed manual transmission   (Hurst short-throw-shifter)   SPEC clutch Stage 1
Final-drive ratio  3,73 : 1  (41/11)   limited slip 

Wheel size / type   8.0 x 17 with offset of 35 mm   OZ Alleggerita
Brakes   EBC GD Sport Rotors vented discs
H&R coil springs   Eibach shock absorbers   ground clearance approx. 3.5 in / 9 cm
Curb weight (ready to start, without driver)   3395 lb / 1540 kg

For more pictures please see blogpost 200 and others more. Enjoy yourself!

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

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

PS   Websites on today’s topic:  
https://www.cervinis.com/  
https://www.holley.com/brands/hurst/  
https://www.specclutch.com/   
https://www.ozracing.com/  
https://ebcbrakes.com/   
https://www.h-r.com/en-index/  
https://www.eibach.de/en/   

202 LE MANS 1955

This is the excerpt of a report on a very sad incident in the history of motorsport, the unconceivable 1955 Le Mans disaster in June, 65 years ago – probably the greatest catastrophe of all, with many, many wounded and over 80 dead; may their soul rest in peace.

According to Wikipedia, a major crash caused large fragments of debris to fly into the crowd. At 125 miles per hour, Mike Hawthorn (Jaguar), Lance Macklin (Austin-Healey) and Pierre Levegh (Mercedes-Benz) were involved; for one of them, Pierre Levegh, that was the price of life, too.  

Hawthorn pulled to the right side of the track in front of Macklin and started decelerating for his pit stop. Macklin swerved out from behind the slowing Jaguar into the path of Levegh; his Mercedes-Benz touched Macklin’s Austin-Healey. Levegh’s car made at least two impacts within the spectator area, the last of which caused it to disintegrate, throwing him onto the track where he was instantly killed, sending large pieces of debris (including the engine, parts of the suspension / axles and the hood) into the packed spectator area. 

When the rest of the wreck finally landed, the rear-mounted fuel tank exploded. Meanwhile Macklin’s car, heavily damaged, rammed the left-side barrier, then veered to the right into the pit lance, hitting the unprotected pit-wall, ending up once again in the left-side fence; Macklin survived the incident without serious injury.

Even today, 65 years later, all this leaves one consternated. And, one has to accept the fact: it is not all in our hands. Tragedies are not only in motorsports.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Le Mans 1955 caused a lot, also the end of the Grand Prix Suisse, the prohibition of circuit races in Switzerland, The Castiron’s home country – still valid today, strange and incomprehensible. At this point, no further comment from The Castiron to this.

201 REVIEW ON 152 TO 200

It is a good time for a short review, an overview emphasizing some points: memorable personalities, around the big family, contributions from third parties, practical helps for drivers (be it road or track) and last, but not least some pastor’s perspectives.

Memorable personalities. Gerhard Mitter (blogpost 155), Clay Regazzoni (156), George Whitefield (164), Toulo de Graffenried (170), Jean Behra (174), Ott Tänak (179), Herbert Müller (195). It is just a limited choice, based on The Castiron’s very personal dismay and point of view.

Around the big family and relatives (in the broadest sense of the terms) of Eleanor V, The Castiron’s Ford Mustang. Some facts and figures on a remarkable brand, as well as related persons, are presented in blogposts 167 and 186.

Contributions from third parties. Blogposts 152 and 200 help to give a broader view, this time both about   IMPRESSIONS FROM THE PASSENGER SEAT:    thanks a lot, your contributions are a great benefit!

Practical help for drivers. Blogposts 161, 162, 163, 166, 169, 176, 178, 188, 189, 198 are mainly basic topics for road and track, such as   FEAR IS A POOR ADVISER   /   CLOCKWISE   /   MORE THAN 100 PERCENT IS LESS THAN 100 PERCENT   -   they mostly base on experiences of and insights from The Castiron himself.

Finally, some pastor’s perspectives. Blogposts 173, 194 and 199 dealt with subjects as   GUARDIAN ANGEL JOHN   /   TRANSIENT   /   PREACH AND DRIFT.   Further noteworthy, the blogposts 175 and 191 focus on   CHRISTMAS   and   EASTER   -   two of the principal Christian festivals!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

200 IMPRESSIONS FROM THE PASSENGER SEAT 202006

Finally it was time – we have been looking forward joyfully to this day for quite a long time: the opportunity for a ride with The Castiron and Eleanor V, his Ford Mustang. Arriving at Hockenheimring: increasing anticipation, the familiar scent of gasoline and brakes in heavy use, dry and cool conditions – what is in store for us?

First of all following a guide vehicle, then really getting started: tremendous, impressive and truly breath-taking – I got very quiet, or in other words, the female passenger is silent and enjoys! But The Castiron seemed concerned and asked: “everything ok with you?” – “Yes, definitely, it is great” was my answer.

These first few laps followed many more, we were three co-drivers, who took turns. Anyone came into the enjoyment to get many impressions from the passenger seat and to see The Castiron in action! It was an awesome day and a great pleasure, to share and experience the fascination of motorsport and car control.

He let the car fly over the track and appeared all the times sovereign and serene. He was the calm itself, readily explained, patiently answered questions – no matter how busy it was all around. For us it was terrific to see how late one can brake and still made it around the bend correctly. If necessary, The Castiron also handled upcoming drifts skilfully. 

We were astonished about the precise and dynamic manner of this car’s handling – also about the fact, that two to three gears suffice to bang with a V8 through the track! This vehicle convinces already by the outward appearance, but the experience inside the car tops everything!

Some quotations from this day: “How late you can brake and still turn the corner in the right way! Respect. Circuit is not that boring, as I always thought.“ “This Ford Mustang’s handling dynamics! The subtle feeling when the car changes from understeering to oversteering will remain with me. A great joy to live to see the harmonious interaction from The Castiron and the vehicle!“ And The Castiron himself: „He who is familiar with his horse (Mustang), to whom it obeys.“

We would like to thank The Castiron again for this memorable adventure; we will not forget this anytime soon!

Many thanks from The Castiron to The Triple S!

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

Recommendation:       www.goaia.org

199 PREACH AND DRIFT

Some time ago, The Castiron was asked to preach on a special occasion: a service at a hill climb, halfway along the track – on a truck semitrailer. Yes! The Castiron, the pastor – and what about The Castiron, the racing driver? A question, quite easy to answer: demo rides at race’s breaks, preach and drift.

Demo rides not for the fastest time, but just for the spectators’ fun (same for The Castiron) and entertainment. That sounds good – as good as the church’s intention, to approach the spectators during the Sunday morning race break for the weekly service.

The race day, summer, great weather, time for the service, the truck semitrailer arrived at its place. The Castiron, not yet tired from some demo rides with drifts and burnouts at certain spectator’s areas, arrives just in time and climbs in his race suit on the loading platform – ready for the service, ready to preach.

In front of thousands of spectators, one major subject of The Castiron’s sermon: run in such a way as to get the prize; I do not run like someone running aimlessly – relevant for racers and  human beings’ lives.

For those, who want to know more: The Castiron invites you to read in the Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians 9, verses 24-26 (please see recommendation).

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

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/NIV/1%20Corinthians9%3A24-26

PS   Websites on today’s topic:   https://kirchereitnau.ch/gottesdienste/bergrennen/   and    https://bergrennen-reitnau.ch/

198 NORDSCHLEIFE 202005

Things go in cycles: spring, summer, autumn, winter – a fact on one hand, on the other hand the Nordschleife, always good for a surprise. Today, spring’s perspective, based on an overview on the last decades and related gained experiences.

The Castiron attended the Nordschleife with a number of different cars, with quite different tyres, too. During spring, sometimes you are confronted with additional challenges, often not quite unexpectedly.

Heavy, normal or light rain (in combination with low temperature close to snowfall) with a wet or just humid track surface, as a variation dry, humid and wet in combination; to that, spring offers also the experience of pollen grain and moisture (please see blogpost 137) and the low sun in the morning and late afternoon as an extra. 

Especially in April weather can be very unpredictable. Conditions change dramatically, up from one moment to the next. Surprises for every driver, sometimes leading suddenly to emergency situations.

The Castiron likes to drive in difficult, even harsh conditions; but when Nordschleife is in combination with a quite powerful vehicle, such as his Ford Mustang, Eleanor V, and the track conditions are wet and inconsistent, he does not feel very comfortable. Then, one fact dominates: it is unpredictable and can go almost up to the ride feeling on a snow covered surface.   

Nordschleife is and will remain Nordschleife! Keep in mind: do not underestimate the manifold challenges of this track and be aware, that weather in this region and all its related factors do not make things easier. Be alert – have a safe and effective drive, being it on the track or on the road.

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

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

197 MILLE MIGLIA PART II

A quarter of a century ago, The Castiron got the unique chance to participate in the Mille Miglia 1995 – as co-driver of a German aristocrat. The car originated from the late thirties – a collector’s piece belonging to a prestigious German vehicle manufacturer. 

Those days in Italy are simply indescribable. Anyway a few headings: support by the manufacturer, a good team spirit in general, especially between the aristocrat and The Castiron and many, many unforgettable impressions – men and machines, the route and the scenery, above all the enthusiastic crowd from the very young to the really old.

Just a few facts: though the two were novices in this multi-day regularity race, they achieved to win one stage, overall they finished into the first third of the classified cars. They brought the car back to Brescia as they received it a few days before – no accident, no damages, no technical defects, everything very well. For The Castiron, all this was a gift from the Lord the heavenly Father, too.

Less words, more pictures – please have a look at them. Again: a picture is worth a thousand words. Not even in thousands of words this adventure, this experience can be adequately described.

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

Recommendation:       www.1000miglia.it/?lang=en

196 MILLE MIGLIA PART I

According to Wikipedia, the Mille Miglia was an open road motorsport endurance race, which took place in Italy from 1927 to 1957 – from 1953 until 1957 as part of the World Sportscar Championship. Mille Miglia means thousand miles – the synonym for the distance, meaning at least a good ten hours in the car, or much longer.

In 1955, Sterling Moss and Denis Jenkinson, were setting the record at an average of 97,96 miles per hour. Jenkinson gave directions to Moss during the race by a coded system of hand signals; although this undoubtedly helped them, the driver’s innate ability was the predominant factor.

The race was banned after crashes; in 1957, a team waited too long to make a tyre change and continued driving instead. Too long was too late, too: a worn tyre caused a very tragic crash, the driver and the navigator in the car and nine spectators died.

Since 1977, the Mille Miglia has been reborn as a regularity race; participation is limited to car models, which had attended the original race. The route is similar to that of the original race, maintaining the point of departure and arrival in the city of Brescia.

Less words, more pictures (from recent times) – please have a look at them; a picture is worth a thousand words.

Part II will be about an adventure of two sportsmen, an aristocrat and The Castiron as co-driver, participating in the Mille Miglia 1995 – a quarter of a century ago.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

195 CIGAR HERBIE

Today’s focus is on another hero of the past, Herbert Müller, also known as Cigar Herbie (11th May 1940 – 24th May 1981). This blogpost is dedicated to this Swiss –  smoking cigars as an evident mark. He would have turned 80 this month.

As relaxed and funny his nickname sounds (Cigar Herbie / Swiss German „Stumpe Herbie“) as awful were the circumstances of his death. This is the extremely sad and harrowing story of motorsport, Nürburgring, fire accidents and the racing driver Herbert Müller – just as much as necessary, not as much as possible. It is hard to find the right words.

A brief comment on today’s video: the final accident was not his first fire incident. In 1972, Herbert Müller could free himself (shown at the end of the video) and ran as a living torch to the stewards, who extinguished the fire  – the same driver and the same racetrack.

Years after the unconceivable tragedy in 1981, The Castiron met a man, who had been an eyewitness as a spectator. The deep involvement was still perceptible and one point really harrowing: he said, the specators heard Herbert Müller squall in pain until the loss of consciousness.  

This time, Herbert Müller could not free himself. All this causes tremendous anguish and makes us tragically aware, how transient our being in this world is.

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

Recommendation:       http://www.herbertmueller.ch/

194 TRANSIENT

Now, between Easter and Pentecost, it is a good opportunity for some thoughts from the pastor’s view, once again. Transient: a term valid for anything we possess, for our whole live. The Holy Bible presents in the Book of Ecclesiastes (Ecc) much to that.

Ecclesiastes 1, verse 14: „I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them meaningless, a chasing after the wind.“   From this initial position, some other points are worth mentioning, all well known and inevitable for all of us.

Ecc 1, 17: „... understanding of wisdom and also of madness and folly ...“   /   Ecc 2, 17: „... the work that is done ...“   /   Ecc 2, 26: „the task of gathering and storing up wealth ...“   /   Ecc 4, 4: „... all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another ...“   /   Ecc 6, 9: „Better what the eyes see than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.“   In sum, ultimately: all transient.

This awareness should be a constant companion for The Castiron and actually for you, too – easier said than implemented. It is a fact, sometimes a real drastic one: transient can also mean the facing of definitive and extremely hurtful incidents in our lives.

Next week you will be confronted with the shocking significance of this, taken from the real life of motorsport.

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

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/NIV/Luke12%3A16-21

PS   Basic thoughts source reference:   Lebendig! VOM GEHEIMNIS MÜNDIGEN CHRISTSEINS    von Michael Herbst   SCM Hänssler

193 PREVIEW 24H-RENNEN NÜRBURGRING 2020

In one month, a week before Pentecost, one of the really great motorsport highlights will take place: the traditional 24-h-Rennen Nürburgring (official „ADAC TOTAL 24H-RACE“), on May 21 - 24, 2020. When the subjet is Nürburgring, preview must be combined with review – in order to know what has to be expected. 

Review. Besides all unpredictable factors relating to the teams, the drivers and the cars, Nürburgring offers a wide variety of surprises, mainly based on the weather in this region. In 24 hours you can be faced with the weather conditions of the four seasons – quite a broad range! Usually, racing driver’s nightmare – there are just a few geniuses behind the steering wheel, who are able to handle it really well. And, never forget: it is Nürburgring with the legendary Nordschleife!

Preview. According to the official website (please see recommendation), the pilots are racing around the 25-kilometre (more than 15 miles) long combination of Nordschleife and Grand Prix Circuit. This race promises to be a race of superlatives as always and pushes men and machines to the limit. It is a unique opportunity to experience a field of entrants with way about 160 vehicles, driving at full speed for one whole day and night around the longest racetrack of the world. In brief: a real thriller.

Especially applicable for this historical and gorgeous motorsport event: you never ever can exclude big surprises! Not until after the waving of the chequered flag we will know the outcome – and not one moment before.

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

Recommendation:       https://www.nuerburgring.de/en/events-tickets/automobile/adac-total-24-hour-race.html

PS   Important, new date   -   important, new date   -   important, new date:
due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 24H-RENNEN NÜRBURGRING 2020 is postponed to September 24 – 27, 2020 !

192 BOOKS 202004

Jesus our destiny, by Wilhelm Busch; this book is based on a compilation of his radio speeches and has been translated into the most important languages and attained a worldwide distribution. The main focus today is on one hand on the author, on the other hand mainly on some readers’ views.

Some information about the author: according to Wikipedia, Wilhelm Busch (27th March 1897 – 20th June 1966) was a German pastor, youth evangelist and activist in the Confessing Church during the Nazi period in Germany. He had to serve in World War I, where on the battlefield he came to personal faith in Christ when a comrade was hit by a grenade. When this war was over he decided to study protestant theology.

And now, excerpts from reader’s reviews on www.goodreads.com (please see recommendation):   „... the author goes beyond an apologetic for the Christian faith and into practical aspects of it, including love, forgiveness and grace ...“   /   „... it is a great read ... it has helped me change opinions I had before and moved me into the right path to find God.“   /   „A collection of interesting and great speeches about the importance of Christ in our lives.“

Since its first edition, this book is a bestseller and of great worth. The content is timeless and as the title says, it is also a question of destiny – in the end of major relevance for everyone, not only for the grandfather, the racing driver, the instructor and the pastor.

Especially now, several days after Good Friday and Easter, it is an appropriate point for all this. Furthermore, the book is also perfectly suited as a gift, for many occasions. Please have a look at today’s recommendation – thank you!

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

Recommendation:       https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2794676-jesus

191 EASTER 202004

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? The Castiron likes to share the main content of this impressive hymn with you. According to the English Wikipedia, this American spiritual was composed by African-American slaves and firstly published in William Eleazar Barton’s 1899 Old Plantation Hymns. It is the story of Good Friday and Easter, of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they nailed Him to the cross? Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble!

Were you there when the stone was rolled away? Were you there when He rose up from the dead? Oh! Sometimes I feel like shouting Glory! Glory! Glory!

Essential questions. What are the answers, your answers?

For those, who want to know more: The Castiron invites you to read in the Holy Bible, Luke 24, verses 45-48 (see recommendation).

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

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/text/NIV/Luke24

190 TARMAC PAINTING 202004

Today’s blogpost picture: the art of tarmac painting, the hallmark of Eleanor V, the story of accelaration from zero to 60 mph – call it as you like! Let us go into the subject, do not take it too seriously. 

A slight incline and the Ford Mustang Eleanor V, somewhere in the countryside. You remember: V8 engine, 5 speed manual gear box, rear-wheel driven, limited slip differential – action and satisfaction guaranteed!

First gear, second gear, 60 miles per hour – wonderful tarmac painting! In other words: acceleration time of secondary importance, but perfect fun factor - a really wide smile on the driver’s face! As well some facts are noteworthy herewith, the tarmac painting mainly in numbers.

Appropriate engine revolutions, 1st gear 50 feet, gear shift 20 feet, 2nd gear 115 feet – total 185 feet (shifting less than half a second traction interruption). Zero to 60 mph, achieved result? No idea, this was really not the primary aim in this case. Not the fastest, but probably the funniest version for this task.

This was one kind of tarmac painting. Burnouts and doughnuts, for instance, are some others – also very funny. Possibly more on those at a later time. And, once more: have a nice ride, with a wide smile on your face!

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

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

PS   Ford Mustang GT V8 (2005), C/D TEST RESULTS, ACCELERATION Zero to 60 mph 5.2 seconds

189 FEEL AT HOME PART II

Feel at home: who, where, with what ?  Now: you and the ambition and necessity to be familiar with the racetrack – easier said than done. Circuit races, hill climbs: without track knowledge you are lost, you are far away from success.

Hill climbs and circuits, especially long ones as Nürburgring Nordschleife, have many challenges and hold many surprises, due to their layouts. When you do not feel at home over there: not the slightest chance for a really effective ride. The least hesitation due to the lack of line knowledge can decide over victory or defeat; in this respect, especially hill climbs are ruthless.

Line knowledge is a must! Blogpost 29 gives concrete hints how to obtain the necessary familiarity in these cases. As mentioned earlier: proper preparation prevents poor performance. Once confidence and automatism dominate, lap times will decrease (often almost inexplicably, automatically), and the true good feelings are coming up.

Thus, to feel at home is crucial and essential – valid for the familiarity with your vehicle  and  the track.  It is of utmost importance for your safety and your performance, especially in motorsports! Have a safe and pleasant ride, anytime and anywhere.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Today’s video shows a test drive for a leading auto magazine’s report; the driver does these rides over and over again with different vehicles, without the possibility to become completely familiar with each of these. In such cases, it is doubly important to feel at home optimally with the track.   

188 FEEL AT HOME PART I

Feel at home: who, where, with what ?  Today’s topic focuses on you and the ambition to be familiar with your vehicle – easier said than done; daily traffic presents the sad reality, in motorsport it looks much better, thankfully.

Be it road or track, it is essential. Feel at home – what does that mean ?  At home, really at home: it is normal to find one’s way – even in the darkness. Is it the same, when you go by car ?

Today’s video focuses on one of The Castiron’s favourites: rallye drivers. Their job behind the steering wheel is depending mainly on two main points: the co-driver and to be familiar with the car in a really perfect manner – in other words, to feel at home.

Greatest confidence is involved here, also automatism. This video is worth a thousand words. Ask yourself: to feel at home in my car, is it also the same with me ?  A strong dose of self-confidence – yes! Pride, arrogance – no!

Thus, to feel at home in the best sense of the word and be familiar with your vehicle. It is of utmost importance for your safety and your success in motorsports. The other side of the medal with the focus on the racetrack: see part II next week.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

187 THE CASTIRON’S FAVOURITES 202003

Fast – at least this is what The Castiron and Ladyva have in common. In 2017 in London, she received at the Boisdale Music Awards hosted by Jools Holland the award as Best Boogie Woogie Pianist. Fast and best – that fits well!

But, from the outset: Ladyva started playing the piano when she was 14, inspired by the great masters of Boogie Woogie. Only two years later she began performing in Switzerland including various TV appearances, later on in further countries. Today’s video gives an impression – enjoy yourself!

In 2009 she released her first album, in 2011 she signed with Universal Music Group. Ladyva has also been invited in 2015 by Jerry Lee Lewis to perform at his 80th Birthday Farewell Tour in the London Palladium and the Glasgow Clyde Auditorium.

The Castiron takes the hat off to Ladyva and her performance. And, once again: will The Castiron’s wish, learning to play piano, be fulfilled ?  May be, maybe not. In any case, it had not to be fast and best – just for personal enjoyment.

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

Recommendation:       http://ladyva.com/index.htm

PS   From current cause:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJFFUT_WWpI

186 GASOLINE GUZZLER

According to Wikipedia, a gas-guzzler (informal term) is a vehicle that is perceived to burn a lot of fuel. The term originally came into use when the US Congress established Gas Guzzler Tax Provisions in 1978 – to discourage the production and purchase of fuel-inefficient automobiles. The tax was applied only to cars.

Discouraged? Fuel-inefficient? Please have a look at the video. Do you notice any discouragement? And who and what defines the term fuel-inefficiency? Is it really that easy, so simple?

The Ford Mustang in the video and the operation purpose is extreme; in some situations it is similar with The Castiron’s Ford Mustang, Eleanor V: when the two are going out for a drift, then also Eleanor V is mutating to a gas-guzzler; why? 

Why not? No, this is not the proper answer. But it is quite simple: nothing comes from nothing! A hard worker needs the necessary food – it is the same for men and machine! More work – more food; more food – hopefully more work.

Fuel-inefficient: is it miles per gallon? Or is it in relation to the horsepower, engine’s displacement, number of cylinders? Or is it miles related with the fun factor? Drifting a few miles or a longer journey on a country road, smooth and economical? What does really count – for you, in that specific case? Many questions, the answer is yours!

One thing must be said: preferably fuel-efficiency! The principal item is your right foot operating the accelerator pedal. Fuel-efficiency in a few words: low engine revolutions, in the case of manual transmission always choosing the appropriate gear. So far so good – do not forget the operation purpose. Have a nice ride, with a wide smile on your face!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Ford Mustang GT V8 (2005), C/D TEST RESULTS, FUEL ECONOMY EPA higway driving 25 mpg

185 LONG TIME AGO 202002

Do you remember the blogpost 65 – the story of The Castiron’s first rendez-vous with the Nürburgring Nordschleife? It was the beginning of a great and ongoing love. Additionally came the realization and personal experience: this track is one of the greatest challenges for driver and vehicle, probably really the greatest.

From harm you get wisdom: this is today’s subject – for everyone testing vehicles in that place and The Castiron and others, too. Some time ago, he participated in a trackday with the sporty German limousine, mentioned in blogpost 58, bought as a used car shortly before this event.

The evening before, track open for the tourist traffic, little traffic; a good opportunity for a few additional laps! Everything well, the car runs without any problems. Then the trackday, the outer conditions are still good. The day begins as the last one ended. But all of a sudden rumbling noises from the rear suspension: it does not sound good! To continue driving is not a good idea – it must be worn-out rubber bearings (it was precisely this defect). Time to cease before noon instead of evening. 

Racing tracks in general, Nordschleife in particular: even though your vehicle seems to be able to meet the daily demands, this track ruthlessly reveals weaknesses. Thus, do not forget: ignoring unusual responses from your vehicle is not recommendable; vigilant drivers are also needed here!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

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

177 LIKE A BOOK

The beginning of a new year provides a useful opportunity to look back and ahead – back on 176 blogposts, ahead to some or many more. The Castiron does not know what future brings along – do you? We will see, let us focus on today’s topic.

Like a book, written word, on one hand – on the other hand, something specific, something unique. According to Wikipedia, a blog is a discussion or information website consisting of informal text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that recent posts appear first, at the top of the webpage. The Castiron offers the possibiliy to search and reach out to the archives.

It is like a book, or even more. Any time you want, you can read whatever you like - always easy to find. Those who really want to know can read everything from the beginning to present: for instance, by starting to read daily one of the former posts – in less than one year you will get to the present and you go on weekly.

The Castiron appreciates all the current followers and is happy to welcome new ones. Once again it is time to say: thank you and enjoy yourself!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now