February 2020

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

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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


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/


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