April 2018


This blogpost is based on a firsthand report by Alex Dias Ribeiro on the occasion of the SRS Motorsportwochenende in January 2018 in Germany. It is the story of one of the most thrilling races from this past epoch, the International ADAC-Eifelrennen, Formula 2 European Championship, 40 years ago, at the end of April 1978. Alex said: „The race of my life.“

Looking forward to a 9 lap race of more than one hour, in the morning Alex had the inner certainty, that he would win this race. So he asked a team member to put his cap with the label „Jesus Saves“ to the podium. He did so based on his Christian faith, not on an arrogant attitude.

It was a highly dramatic race from the beginning until the very end. Alex took the lead directly after the start, holding it for several laps. Despite the pressure of the opponents, he was always among the top three. In the last lap, Eddie Cheever and Alex competed for the victory; they arrived at the last corners, over 170 miles per hour, side by side, wheel to wheel.

Normally, this passage allows just one car at this speed, not two at the same time. Alex knew this and he prayed: „Lord, please receive my soul“ – knowing, that the next seconds could bring along a fatal accident. Both passed the last few corners side by side, somehow it went well. When they left the very last corner, Cheever’s car got a little bit unstable and Alex finished first, second Keke Rosberg, third Eddie Cheever.

Some facts are worth to be mentioned: the first three cars crossed the finishing line within less than a second, the average speed was more than 120 miles per hour, the average lap time significantly less than seven and a half minute.

A French magazine’s headline was „RIBEIRO EN ETAT DE GRACE“. Or, in other words, as Ribeiro said: „I drove as never before.“ His outstanding performance in this race was honoured with a special award and the record in the list of names of the Nürburgring’s most glorious racing drivers, at the historical wall.

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

Photo: Alex Dias Ribeiro. Thank you Alex, also for the precious sharing of the experiences!

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Do you remember blogpost 22 about tyres and wheels? Today, the brakes and you - really best allies! A motor vehicle without brakes - a nightmare.

This complex topic requires usually the advice of a specialist. Brakes and saving money do not go together, definitely not! Cheap stuff usually is really cheap stuff - many people experiences’ confirm this; cheap can become very expensive.

Therefore, just a few basic hints, based on the personal experiences of The Castiron over the last decades. Brake discs, brake pads, fading, brake fluid are a few keywords.

Brake discs and brake pads: hands off from dubious products. Even if they appear quite similar or almost identical, it is never the same as parts from reputable manufacturers. Please pay attention, for your own sake! All about, accurate directed incoming and outgoing air is of huge benefit for the brakes, especially for track use.

It is the same with the brake fluid, and: periodical changes are a must, because it loses its quality by aging. Old brake fluid’s final showdown is jamming the brake pedal into nothing, the worst case of fading. If it goes well, you can retrieve brake pressure by pumping the brake pedal - if it occurs to you spontaneously and you really do it consequently.

Have a safe and effective drive, on the road, on the track - and do not forget the brakes, your really best confederates! Use your brakes - it is the intended purpose. And: it only works best together with excellent tyres!

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

Photo: Tom van Egmond, Ersigen. Thank you Tom!

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PS. Have a look back at blogpost 72 TREASURY 201712, too.


The way human beings differ, so do driving-styles. Circumstances and situations are not always the same, too. There are various ways to keep on track - successfully, quickly and safely.

Today’s topic focuses primarily on driving pleasure on the road, be it a beautiful country road or a challenging mountain pass. In particular, it is a question of enjoyment and percipience of the surroundings. This time, the tiny fraction of a second or the really perfect cornering do not matter.  

One evening before dusk, The Castiron and Eleanor V, the Ford Mustang, were on their way home – seemingly nobody else. The sound of the V8 engine, accelerating, shifting, braking, cornering. A pass road, many curves, some of them hairpin bends: braking before such a bend, suddenly The Castiron had a rainbow in his view – repetitive every second hairpin bend.

It was not just a rainbow – it was the  rainbow, never seen before and never seen to this day. The attempt of a description: The Castiron and Eleanor V almost all alone, the pass road for oneself, the mighty mountains, the view to other mountain passes and this unique rainbow! It seemed to be fixed in the valley between two mountains in a supernatural sublime manner, unique and very, very impressive. Breathtaking, all in all: singing behind the steering wheel!

Naturally, similar experiences are also possible on the occasion of a trackday, for instance on the Nordschleife – beautiful weather, best conditions and one lap, where you have the fantastic track and the wonderful environment seemingly just for yourself. And: do not forget to sing behind the steering wheel, when you are in the mood for it!

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

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86 JIM CLARK 1968

James Clark, known as Jim Clark (4th March 1936 – 7th April 1968), was one of the most famous racing drivers. This blogpost be dedicated to this Scotsman, to the 50th anniversary of his death.

Some highlights of his career must be mentioned. Formula 1 (F1) World Champion 1963 and 1965; in this year, he also won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 race. Outstanding performances at the Nürburgring under a wide range of conditions are notable, too; for example the F1 race victory in 1965, excellent lap times, phenomenal performances also with inferior cars. He won his last F1 Grand Prix early in the year 1968 with a Lotus 49 Ford-Cosworth DFV (3 litre V8 engine).

Already 1961, in Monza, the death knocked on the door of Jim Clark. At the F1 Italian Grand Prix, Jim Clark had a collision with Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips, who was mortally wounded – as well as several spectators. On 7 April 1968, Jim Clark suffered a fatal accident in a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim, Germany. It is assumed, that a slow puncture was the reason for this tragedy.

The truth of the old statement, that motor sport activities are inherently dangerous activities with significant risk of injury, disability or death, belongs to this sport. In former times, this was a quite frequent tragic fact.

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

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