165 MORE ON THE GRAND PRIX SUISSE

Blogpost 153 dealt with the history of one of the great motorsport classics, the Grand Prix Suisse – and a related exhibition. Today, let us have a look at some side stories.

Technology and racing circuits speak their own language, at all times: in the early days, there were racing cars with hand cranks to start the engine and track surfaces partly made of cobblestone. And the driver, with the always valid aim: finishing first. Additionally a quite high risk of accidents; safety was not the main topic, rather heroes behind the steering wheels.

The Castiron’s father was associated with these events as part of the paramedic teams. Sometimes he told stories of racing drivers hanging in or falling from trees after accidents – often quite serious, sometimes fatal ones. He did not say a lot more.

Father knew of the bright and dark side of this fascinating sport. When one day his son, The Castiron, let him know his intentions to obtain a racing driver’s licence, the father was not amused – quite the contrary. It was a touchstone for both, the father and The Castiron – finally mastered mutually.

Less words, more pictures: the picture gallery will give you a short overview. Enjoy yourself – and you are invited to reflect, too. Not to forget: heroic stories are often inseparably linked with tragedy and death.

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

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

PS   The main picture from 1939 shows the crashed car of the German Rudolf Caracciola, who finished his career after this accident. It was also him, who established in the year 1938 a speed record for automobiles of 270 miles per hour.

164 ONE SINGLE HORSEPOWER

Last week’s blogpost dealt mainly with many horsepowers, 1 hp and a wedding, the church and its minister. Today, in this broader context, we are looking back to the 18th century.

One example, one shaping character was George Whitefield (16th December 1714 - 30th September 1770) – an itinerant preacher, serving in Great Britain und the United States of America. He had a dramatic impact on the enormous change in those dark times, spiritually and socially – and it was urgently needed! His major means of transport onshore: 1 hp, a horse.

During his travels in America, he was on the horseback for several thousand miles, with the intention to become more familiar with this state. Moreover, he held more than thousand sermons – in front of myriads of people. Often, he spoke to more than twenty thousand people on one single event.

In Great Britain it was the same. There, furthermore, he made a special journey from Scotland to Wales: George Whitefield rode 300 miles in order to marry – on an excellent horse, having received it as a gift.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference: Benedikt Peters, CLV, George Whitefield; www.clv.de

PPS   George Whitefield: „Come poor, lost, undone sinner, come just as you are to Christ.“   Reported in Ernest Bormann, Force of Fantasy: Restoring the American Dream (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985), p. 73.

163 MORE TAMER THAN DRIVER

What has the driving of a car and The Castiron’s ministry as a pastor on the occasion of a marriage in common? It was the wedding of a couple where both had a close relationship to horses – one horsepower, four legs, not for wheels.

Everything was ready, The Castiron prepared for the marriage service, waiting by the church. A man arrived, leading a horse on a long rein. The animal was intended to bring the bride to the church – and it was nervous and shied; a churchyard with strangers is not a horse’s natural territory. The man kept calm, allowing the horse a certain radius – and did not lose the control; he managed the situation perfectly, was always in charge of the situation.

The story had a happy end, the bride was brought to the wedding on the horseback, The Castiron held the service and the bride and the groom got married. One picture remained: the man who hold the nervous horse on the long rein, keeping the control. A sermon for itself.

This man was also a little bit a tamer. And as a driver of motorcars, mostly on racetracks, sometimes you are challenged to be more than just driver: when the car gets nervous, developing the own will, the driver has to be tamer, too.

It was a good and lasting lesson. The Castiron and Eleanor V, his Ford Mustang, work quite well together: on one hand the American muscle car, V8 engine, quite powerful, far from optimal traction (not very well-balanced, „light“ rear axle); on the other hand the man behind the steering wheel, a mixture of driver and tamer, holding the pony on the long rein, not losing control, hopefully.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

162 NO FEAR DOES NOT MEAN NO BRAIN

Daily traffic, motorsports and human being – not always free of conflicts. Today, let us have a look at motorsports and the competitors, some brainless or with temporary blackouts, some forcing the issue under any circumstances (a borderline case, close to brainless).

No brain, brainless. Often, you find typical situations in the very first part of a race, immediately after the start; sometimes with the effect of a chain reaction, up to mass collisions. Please have a look at the video: it speaks explicitly for itself.

Temporary no brain. Blackouts are seldom helpful. It is a difference between permanent and temporary states – but both can have serious consequences. In any case, either way: additional difficult external conditions make things worse, usually.

Forcing the issue under any circumstances. Sometimes, this comes very close to brainless. The Castiron and his Ford Mustang, Eleanor V, the Circuit Zandvoort, the straight before the „Tarzenbocht“ right turn. A hot hatchback on the left, side by side, close to 125 miles per hour. Late breaking point, Eleanor V on the inside begins to prance: reducing brake pressure, countersteer, enhancing brake pressures, countersteer and reducing brake power again, continuing braking and turn into the corner. Space requirement: on the outside room enough due to a fair opponent with good overview, on the inside a little bit of lawn area touched. Finally, both made it, „Tarzanbocht“ left behind, less than 60 miles per hour curve speed.

Fortunately, people are capable of learning. Experiences and time help, sometimes it takes longer, sometimes improvement comes quite fast – let us hope for the best.

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

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161 FEAR IS A POOR ADVISER

Fear makes you uncertain. Uncertainty, lack of self confidence and little trust in the car and circumstances entail mistakes. All of this matters: in a nutshell, the highest level of trust, without arrogance – instead of fear. The event, the car and demanding sections on the track are in today’s focus.

The event. For today, let us concentrate mainly on rallies, hill climbs and drift contests. The video says everything. Not the slightest room left for fear and faults. Rallye sport in this extreme action – a matter of life and death, especially for reckless spectators. Hill climbs are similar, but usually safer for the enthusiastic crowd. Drift contest equally are mentally challenging; when you are afraid, that your drift will fail, usually it will: understeer instead of oversteer, false line, disharmonious drift, and so on. The inevitable happens: it won’t come out the way ist was supposed to. It will come out the way it is feared.

The car. Walter Röhrl, the driver of the car in the video, once said: „A car is only then fast enough, when you are afraid to unlock the door in the morning.“ The car in video is such a beast. No fear, just respect! When your car is scaring you, too powerful, too bad chassis or whatever: do not forget, fear is not helpful.

The demanding sections on the track. Nürburgring Nordschleife, „Schwedenkreuz“, „Fuchsröhre“, to name just a few. Passages, where for split seconds this feeling can arise: I am passenger, not pilot! Without fear, mentally prepared, you know directly before such key sections: a good outcome can be estimated, usually.

And again, what matters: self-confidence, trust in the car and circumstances; in a nutshell, the highest level of trust, without arrogance – instead of fear. Have a safe drive!

Next week: NO FEAR DOES NOT MEAN NO BRAIN

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

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/all_blogs.html?year=2016

160 THE DAYS BEFORE ELEANOR V 201909

And again, this is about the days before Eleanor V, The Castiron’s Ford Mustang. For today, let us have a look at another used car – a Plymouth Barracuda S, first generation, built from 1964 until 1966. Please note: it was not exactly the specific car presented in today’s video.

A quick one on the automobile manufacturer. The company wanted to have an entry in the quickly growing sporty-compact car market segment. The Barracuda debuted in fastback form on April 1, 1964 – a few days before the Ford Mustang!

The Castiron’s aquarium. Due to the shape of the huge rear window, The Castiron’s friends named this used car Plymouth Barracuda S just „the aquarium“ – with a loving, silent mockery. This car with the „S“ package made a lasting impression: a V8 engine, a 4 speed manual gear box and a limited slip differential – just to name the essential. And: it was The Castiron’s first car with a V8 engine!

And the first opportunity to exceed 125 miles per hour? One day in Germany it was ready: the speedometer needle passed this magic limit – immediately followed by ugly noises from the engine compartment; catastrophic loss of performance, standstill, diagnosis bearing damage.

Back home, several long days later: engine replacement (a used one), the car ready again! A friend asked for the damaged engine and made a „V8 statue“ consisting of crankshaft, piston rods and pistons – shining with a new look, close to 100 lb, a nice ornament for every living room.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference: Wikipedia

159 CIRCUIT ZANDVOORT PART II

According to the English Wikipedia, the town of Zandvoort is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands and hosted the Dutch Grand Prix from 1952 to 1985, as part of the FIA Formula One World Championship. During its absence from the Grand Prix calendar, the circuit had been extensively modified.

The track of Zandvoort is as follows: the length is approximately 2,68 miles. It is really diverse – a challenging task for the racer. Some compare it with a roller coaster ride; nevertheless you are pilot, not just passenger.

The circuit is located in the dunes, very close to the sea. There are some key passages. One of them, the blind passage „Slotemakerbocht“ before „Scheivlak“ can be a dance on razor’s edge – the uneven surface does not help either.

Please have a look at the video. Impressive pictures from the good old days – not merely good, but also often quite dangerous.

Particularly noteworthy: it is a beautiful region, which invites you to stay for a few days and, Zandvoort will be again the host of the Dutch Formula 1 (F1) Grand Prix, next year in 2020 – a special highlight for this World Championship.

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

Recommendation:       https://www.circuitzandvoort.nl/en/