176 TREASURY 201912

Some basics have been presented inter alia in former blogposts on the crucial subject treasure chest on the occasion of the past year ends. Today, we face a „Notschlachtung“ (emergency slaughter).

The German word „Notschlachtung“ (emergency slaughter) is used allegorically in motor sport. To handle a specific critical situation, a „Notschlachtung“ is a must – as an immediate action. 

This situation: your car begins to spin, you are more passenger than pilot; are you, really? As it is occuring, you have to hit the brake pedal as soon as possible – quick as a lightning and with all the power. There are quite good prospects if done correctly.

The result of the „Notschlachtung“, car without ABS (not unusual in motor sport): your car continues to slide in the very last direction the vehicle was driving before all the 4 wheels blocked. Speed diminishes, probably you are able to handle the car correctly at a lower speed, probably you have to wait until the vehicle stands still or the unavoidable crash is not too heavy due to the drastically reduced speed.

A car equipped with ABS: it is not possible to lock the wheels. In this case, the situation is hard to assess, quite unpredictable – because of the still turning wheels, which influence the vehicle’s movement, too. Genuinely realistic: diminishing speed, and looking forward to the same outcoming as described above.

In any case: for the real „Notschlachtung“ a car without ABS is required. Either way, this is not an easy subject, and you have split seconds for your decision and the implementation – both have to be completely accurate!

This ride’s ending is next ride starting. Again, fasten your seat belt firmly, start the engine – you are ready to go. Have a safe drive!

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

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

175 CHRISTMAS 201912

The Castiron shares some of the content of the song Silent Night with you. Here, two verses of this song, performed for the first time in Oberndorf / Salzburg by Franz Xaver Gruber (melody) and Joseph Mohr (text) in 1818.

Silent night, holy night. Son of God, love’ pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face. With the dawn of redeeming grace. Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth. Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night, holy night. Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar. Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia. Christ, the Saviour is born. Christ, the Saviour is born.

For those, who want to know more: The Castiron invites you to read the Holy Bible, Luke 2 (see recommendation).

Christ, the Saviour is born. Merry Christmas!

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

Many thanks to all who made the video possible!

Recommendation:       http://www.bibleserver.com/text/NIV/Luke2


This is the strange and almost unbelievable story of Jean Behra and the Grand Prix Suisse 1952. Jean Behra was a French racing driver, also participating in the Formula 1 (F1) World Championship.

The week before the Grand Prix Suisse 1952: Jean Behra’s team was short of money and for this reason, he had to waive the free practices on Thursday and Friday. An unconventional approach to the solution was adopted: helpful and with a quite successful outcome.

Jean Behra drives with his Gordini T16 race car (today’s video shows these vehicles) from Paris in France to Switzerland (more than 350 miles), a day before the Grand Prix. Hereby he kept on making the final adjustment for the best possible preparation of his car – all this on public roads.

During the race Behra’s Gordini loses its exhaust. The only spare part is disassembled from another participant’s Gordini and fixed to Behra’s car. The crazy weekend in May 1952 has a happy ending; ranking podium finishers: 1st Piero Taruffi, Italy, Ferrari   / 2nd Rudolf Fischer, Switzerland, Ferrari /   3rd Jean Behra, France, Gordini – not bad under these circumstances!

And, at the very end: two years later, in 1954, Jean Behra did not finish this Grand Prix; nonetheless he and the other drivers received a quite special price – a quarter of a Swiss Emmental cheese, a delicious and heavy gift! At that time nobody expected, nobody knew, that this was the last Grand Prix Suisse on the Circuit Bremgarten.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference: Grand Prix Suisse 1934-54 Bern im Rennfieber von Marc Höchner, Nora Mathys, Severin Rüegg, Lisa Schlittler, Oliver Schneider


No, it was not Dallas, as in today’s video; it was the Swiss Canton of Graubünden with its mountains, pass roads and tunnels – but it was the same klaxon of the German limousine belonging to John, a friend of The Castiron. The two spent holidays in this beautiful region and enjoyed the sound and melody of La Cucaracha, too. Yes, the child in the man.

It has been some time since this experience. Cars were not as reliable and safe as today. The limousine packed up before the journey home – defective differential, no longer mobile. John decided to leave the car to a garage on-site. Now remaining: two persons and their luggage, some hours away from home;

The Castiron calls his brother, asking him for help. He arrives the same evening, together with his girlfriend, with an Italian compact car. The situation now: the small hatchback car, four persons and luggage. Finally, everybody and everything in the car, the journey home begins.

Some hours later, still The Castiron’s brother behind the steering wheel, passing through a town. Around 40 miles per hour, deep darkness and almost no traffic. Suddenly John shouts: „watch it“ – a parked road trailer in the car’s light beam! The Castiron’s brother can avoid the crash in a split second. Nothing happens; on the other hand, a crash with this obstacle would have resulted with a very bad ending.

Call it guardian angel or whatever. Former blogposts and especially life experience show: some situations, some things we do not have in our own hands. And: often, there is a thin line between fortune and misfortune.

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

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


This show’s preview day is at the same time as today’s blogpost – everything at the proper time. Here, it is just a short announcement; in Essen (please see recommendation) you can dwell a long time, from tomorrow to Sunday the 8th December.

This year, the first time SRSMotorsport is taking part at this event. Representing these sportspeople’s activities you will find a broad variety of vehicles, from high speed to low speed, from lightweight to heavyweight.

Especially noteworthy: the Tractor Pulling champions from Team Kaiser (please see blogposts 38 and 83) – much more than just sport enthusiasts with a very impressive and special competition vehicle!  

The Castiron recommends: come along, come and see! In hall 5, booth 5F12, the guys from SRSMotorsport (please see blogpost 106) are gladly looking forward to meeting you. Ask them for personal stories, too; additionally, they are ready to share the certain something about their lives. Enjoy yourself!

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

Recommendation:       https://www.essen-motorshow.de/car-exhibition/


Last week’s blogpost focused on a racing driver and gentleman who reached quite an old age – more than 90 years. We all know: there is another side of the coin. Sometimes success and dark shadows are very close together.

The year 2015. For years, two friends had the same dream, the same goal: to become a Formula 1 driver. One of them, Jules Bianchi (3rd August 1989 – 17th July 2015) achieved this in 2013 and paid with his life; after his accident in the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Japan on October 2014, finally he did not awaken from the coma. The other one, Charles Leclerc, followed the course – also as a tribute to his friend and mentor Jules and in accordance with his attitude.

The year 2017. Another key person and supporter, Hervé Leclerc (7th March 1963 – 20th June 2017), was only 54 years old when he died; the decease of his father overshadowed again the life of the young Charles Leclerc. A few days after this sad incident, Charles reacted in his own way: he won the Formula 2 race in Azerbaijan. This would have complied his father’s will – and was also a tribute to him.

The year 2019. It was the weekend of the F1 Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, including the Formula 2 race. Charles Leclerc has reached his goal as Formula 1 driver, a friend and sports companion of him started in the Formula 2 race on Saturday; Anthoine Hubert (22nd September 1996 – 31st August 2019) was killed in an accident. The next day, Sunday, Charles Leclerc won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix; he reacted in his own way – and it was also a tribute to Anthoine.

Charles was the victor of the next Grand Prix (in Italy), too. On his helmet and steering wheel: RIP Tonio. All of this a week after Spa-Francorchamps, when he said, on this extreme weekend he lost a friend on Saturday and on Sunday a boyhood dream came true.

A young man’s career and his major successes, again and again dramatically overshadowed. Charles Leclerc, mentally consolidated, extremely focused, got stronger through all of this, was changed for his whole life.

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

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

PS   Source reference: MOTORSPORT aktuell Nr. 38 and 39 / 2019; www.motorsport-aktuell.de and https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/19/charles-leclerc-ferrari-lost-father-early-changes-forever

PPS   Requiescat in pace – RIP (may he rest in peace), usually used on tombstones; https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/requiescat%20in%20pace


It is now 70 years that Emmanuel de Graffenried, known as Toulo de Graffenried (18th May 1914 – 22nd January 2007), won the 1949 British Grand Prix in Silverstone, driving a Maserati. The year after, 1950, was the beginning of the Formula 1 (F1) World Championship; for several years, de Graffenried took part in these races, too. One note to the British Grand Prix: usually it was held on Saturday, to avoid disturbing the Sunday rest. 

Maybe, today’s video and a touch of nostalgia embossing this blogpost. The Castiron, the Swiss racing drivers and a personal opinion: last century’s big three are Toulo de Graffenried, Jo Siffert and Clay Regazzoni (please see blogposts 141 and 156, too). Or in other words: de Graffenried – Baron de Graffenried, a gentleman of the racetrack, Siffert – the man with the tragically ending story of the cheque book and Regazzoni – the indestructible. All of them successful, not only in Formula 1 racecars.

Toulo de Graffenried, another compatriot of The Castiron, remains generally a special chapter in the long history of motorsport. Many races, dangerous tracks, extremely challenging cars combined with a long life – all of this together: rather the exception than the rule in these times, a real hero of the past. And: he was the first Swiss racing driver who won in 1949 a really significant Grand Prix. 

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   According to www.autobild-klassik.de, Nr. 4/2019, „Hollywood in der Grünen Hölle“, Toulo de Graffenried was involved in the 20th Century Fox movie „TheRacers“ in the early 1950s, too.


Clockwise or counter clockwise? Does this matter when you are driving on a circuit? You are looking from the inner side of a round course to determine whether it is clockwise or the opposite. There are both, clockwise predominates. So what?

In this context, it is worth to look at some items. Clockwise stands for a higher number of right-hand turns, too – with an impact on your car: mainly chassis, suspension, brakes, tyres. Unequal wear and tear is not unusual, most tortured is often the car’s front left part. Keep this in mind for your visual checks, if necessary when driving!

It has not to be just the car’s front left part. Also the nature of the curve has a tremendous impact: for instance Nürburgring Nordschleife’s „Fuchsröhre“ or the two „Karussell“ are left-hand turns with an immense stress for the vehicle. You know: Nordschleife is special – it is clockwise, too, but due to its length almost equal in curves to the right and to the left. Again: keep it in mind, be alert!

Overtaking opportunities have to be mentioned, too. Usually, clockwise means, most ways to pass another car are on the right – determined by the track’s layout. Overtaking on the left can stand for passing at the outside of a turn, seldom the best solution.

In a broader sense: no rule without exception – noteworthy Nordschleife, hill climbs and suchlike. On the other hand: oval circuits, either completely clockwise or counter clockwise.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


It was on the journey home, the day after a nice trackday on the Circuit Zandvoort. When braking with almost half pedal force or more, The Castiron noticed some strange response: was the pony ill? The Ford Mustang, Eleanor V, made a scraping and humming noise – the steering wheel just very little vibrating, but deceleration as usual.

Something wrong with the brakes, a bumpy brake disc? Leaving the Netherlands, the pony was in best mood. The new combination of brake discs and pads (different brands, both from reputable manufacturers) operated very well, especially on the race track: it tears the wheels from the car – the description of the braking performance feeling, thereby a constantly stable pedal feel, not the slightest fading, moderate wear. And now this strange response!  

The Castiron tried to analyse the cause of this sickness. Low speed, prudently braking with the handbrake (just operating on the rear axle): calm, all as usual. Because the deceleration and the pedal feel were trustworthy, it looked like a minor problem, such as a foreign object between front brake pad and disc or a temporary brake pad roughness, due to a burr. The Castiron’s decision: keep it in mind and drive on cautiously and exceedingly forward-looking.

Safely arrived at home, the strange response had not vanished. Once again, an appointment with the doctor seemed to be mandatory. His diagnosis: cracks in the front brake discs. And the probable cause? Could be a massive external force weakening the brake disc, with the late effect of a crack under high stress; may be last year’s incident, when the pony wished for grazing and crashed unintentionally (please have a look back at blogpost 121). Long-term effects are often difficult cases and hardly to diagnose – be always alert. 

Material failure, mostly due to inferior material, can be another reason in such cases. Explicitly, again: keep your hands off from dubious products; finally and over all, top quality is always better. And last, but not least: you live and learn!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


Lido Anthony Iacocca, known as Lee Iacocca (15th October 1924 – 2nd July 2019), was also named the father of the Ford Mustang. A brief review on his life is a must.

The son of Italian immigrants graduated with a degree in industrial engineering in Bethlehem, PA and afterwards went to Princeton University. He then began a career at the Ford Motor Company as an engineer. His career flourished and he was called to the Dearborn, MI headquarters. Finally, Lee Iacocca was named president of the Ford Division in Detroit, MI.

Dreams come true – one of them is the Ford Mustang. Not least because of Lee Iacocca this dream came true – even affordable (do you see the four letters f o r d  in this word ...) for numerous people. Iacocca was significantly involved in the development of this icon in the world of automotive.  

The Castiron and Eleanor V, his Ford Mustang – just one of many, many examples: Ford Mustang is probably the ultimate synonym for individualism; one vehicle the same as the other? Please have a look at blogpost 62 and its video and pictures and you will have the answer.

This month, Lee Iacocca would have turned 95, but he passed away in July; one of the most outstanding personalities in the history of automobiles is no longer with us.

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

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference: Wikipedia


Do you remember blogpost 22 and 88, about tyres and wheels and about the brakes? Today, the shock absorbers, the chassis springs and you – really best allies, once again! Especially the shock absorbers: drastically underestimated. Best tyres, best brakes are useless when your car’s wheels have poor ground contact, or even none.

This complex topic requires usually the advice of a specialist. Therefore, just a few hints, based on the personal experiences of The Castiron over the last decades. One main remark: the shock absorber is an oscillator damper, has to bring calm and stability into the vehicle as far as possible.

The shock absorbers and you – really the very best confederates! Therefore: check them (please have a look at the video) regularly. Leaking means unusable. Should you not be sure, if they are damaged or not, do not hesitate to go for a professional check. Dampers decrease in performance while in use, at first almost imperceptibly!

One day will be the day for new dampers! Contact your suspension specialist. Replacing them and saving money do not go together, definitely not – you get, what you are paying for! When you buy new parts, choose the correct ones for your car from a reputable manufacturer; there is a broad choice, meeting - or coming very close to - your demands.

In this context also a few words on the chassis springs, too. Believe it or not: this quite solid component can break! First of all, a visual check of damper and spring is helpful. A broken spring has to be replaced, ideally as a complete axle set. And here again: cheap does not really work!

Have a safe and effective drive, on the road, on the track - and never forget the shock absorbers, these often underestimated, but very important parts!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


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.


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.


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


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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


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!


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

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


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


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/


One of The Castiron’s basic information was the description of this legendary international motorsport track by the Dutch racing driver Robin Frijns: „a track of the old school, does not allow mistakes – otherwise you will end into the gravel bed or directly in a rampart. Upwards, downwards and often squally wind – sometimes blowing sand onto the track; the grip level can vary from lap to lap.“

These were some of The Castiron’s basics, when he attended a trackday some weeks ago in late spring, one cool and wet morning. The Castiron and Eleanor V, his Ford Mustang, enjoyed this day so much. Wet, and finally dry conditions – this broad range was the setting for a fantastic day!

Eleanor V and wet tracks is a delicate combination. After a few laps, it was just great fun. The road surface’s feedback was confidence building, predictable with a good response – a wet track like this, just a great pleasure! Later on, it was dry – the pleasure lasted for the whole day, the challenge was a bit easier.

The Castiron loves this varied track. One part must be mentioned extra, the blind passage from „Slotemakerbocht“ to „Scheivlak“. The Castiron and Eleanor V experienced this challenge as follows: you reach this passage, shifting from 3rd to 4th gear and you know, somewhere before the right-hand bend „Scheivlak“ is the braking point – behind the crest. Flat out or not? Flat out works, but the car becomes really unstable. Flat out or not: you have to find the point and the feeling of satisfaction answers the question, whether you reached the perfect fit – or not! Please note: it is a description, not a recommendation!

Part II will bring you closer to the Circuit Zandvoort.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference statement Robin Frijns: sportauto EXTRA  Alles über die DTM 2018


It has now been 3 years since The Castiron published his very first blogpost. Today’s subject is primarily on one’s own account. And again, it is a good time to say thanks to everybody!

There is the only one, the one and only: The Castiron (your-real life blogger), the man. As well: his Ford Mustang, Eleanor V, the machine.

Grandfather, racing driver, instructor, pastor – all in one, one in all. The focus: sharing many things from many years and actual ones, with you! As life is, with daily business in different realms and topics – based on The Castiron’s life and biography. Or, in other words: the real-life blogger; real life with ups and downs, with victories and defeats, not only highlights!

More about the man and the machine: The Castiron – please see recommendation; Eleanor V – please have a look at former blogposts (such as blogpost 6 and 8). Enjoy yourself!

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

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


It is now exactly 45 years that Gianclaudio Giuseppe Regazzoni, known as Clay Regazzoni (5th September 1939 – 15th December 2006), was in the lead of the current Formula 1 (F1) World Championship – a racing driver known as The Indestructible, with a great moustache, from the small country of Switzerland.

It was after the Nürburgring race in summer 1974 which Clay Regazzoni finished first – one of his greatest victories, after his first one in Monza in his Formula 1 debut season. After a dramatic slipstream battle, he won this race ahead of Jackie Stewart; it was this first weekend in September 1970, when Jochen Rindt died in an accident during the qualifying practice session. The race, Regazzoni’s victory, everything: overshadowed by this tragedy.  

Clay Regazzoni survived all racing accidents – most of them uninjured – and got soon his nickname, The Indestructible. Please have a look at today’s video: Regazzoni ducked in his racing car and passed through beneath the crash barrier – one of the most incredible accidents with an unhurt driver in the history of auto racing.

Sadly, in the Long Beach Grand Prix 1980, a broken brake pedal caused a heavy accident; this crash brought The Indestructible from the Formula 1 race car into the wheelchair.

This compatriot of The Castiron remains unforgotten. It is not surprising that the man with the moustache – intrepid, reckless and courageous – was one of The Castiron’s major heroes. The nimbus of The Indestructible persists.

This hero of the past missed his major success in 1974: he finally finished the Formula 1 (F1) World Championship as vice world champion – Emerson Fittipaldi 55 points, Clay Regazzoni 52 points.

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

Recommendation:       http://www.clayregazzoni.ch/


Today’s focus is on another hero of the past, Gerhard Karl Mitter, known as Gerhard Mitter (30th August 1935 – 1st August 1969). This blogpost is dedicated to this German, 50 years after his fatal accident at the Nürburgring. It is assumed, that a technical defect was the reason for this tragedy.

As a brilliant all-rounder, he was not only familiar with the Nürburgring, but also with extremely long and challenging road racing circuits, such as the famous Targa Florio: in 1969, the winning team was Gerhard Mitter / Udo Schütz – sadly one of the last highlights in the career of Mitter.

Also Gerhard Mitter was one of The Castiron’s heroes: successful in a broad sense, in varied race series on different tracks with really diverse vehicles – and last, but not least multiple winner of the European Hill Climb Championship.


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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


One day, The Castiron had been made aware of a bow in Mickey’s possession; grandfather’s thoughts on grandson’s arming: „likely usual for many young boys, does he know the dangers?“ The Castiron is not able to answer these questions; but bows are in tradition with grandfather’s and grandson’s home country.

From Mickey’s bow to Wilhelm Tell and the crossbow: this is a daring attempt to reconcile this subject. It is a tale, inextricably linked with the long, long history of the Swiss Confederation – Wilhelm Tell, the legend, Swiss National Hero of Liberty.

One main issue of this tale: Wilhelm Tell was forced from a bailiff to shoot at an apple with his crossbow; he had to place the apple on his son’s head. Only one good outcome: no missing of the apple. Wilhelm Tell made it – just the apple received a hit. This is really made a long story short – quite a long story very short!

This brings us to the coming Thursday, August 1, the Swiss National Day and one of many folklore customs: crossbow shooting. The history of Switzerland might have been different without the brave men with their crossbows.

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

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


In 1954, both, The Castiron and his grandson Mickey, were not yet born. It is now 65 years since the engines finally falled silent on the road racing circuit in The Castiron’s hometown. When the Historical Museum in this city had the exhibition on the Grand Prix Suisse, grandfather and Mickey took the opportunity for a visit: history came alive.

Let us share a few impressions. Mighty racing cars, powerful and fast, on narrow wheels. With vehicles like this, the drivers raced on a road with different surfaces: mainly tarmac and cobblestone. Almost everywhere enthusiastic spectators, in possible and nearly impossible areas.

This circuit was known as one of the most beautiful, but also most challenging and most dangerous. This venue of different races was one of the most famous in international motorsports. By now, not too many words – have a look at the picture gallery. Enjoy yourself!

Last but not least some facts and figures: the capital of Switzerland, Berne and the Circuit Bremgarten, length of 4.52 miles, spectator record more than 120'000 fans; events from 1934 to 1954, as of 1950 one of the races of the new Formula 1 (F1) Championship and one of the great classics of motorsports, as well as Nürburgring and a few other.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


Some time ago I had the opportunity to be with The Castiron on a racetrack - the Bilster Berg Drive Resort, dry track - in the jumpseat (please see blogpost 28). A huge experience, unforgettable. Now again, this time in Hockenheim, however wet, very wet. So grip at zero. In the morning, The Castiron in pole position at the pit lane exit; should we start slowly?

This time a German car, 6 gear shifter, rear-wheel driven, differential locking; the vehicle fights, the back is always instable. Sometimes the car pushes over the front wheels. The ideal line is no longer the best one. Grip today with these conditions, not too much.

The first curves are handled, no off the track departure, however always balancing between power and steering, steering-countersteering. The electronic system seems to be supportive not to overpush the car. However a smooth driving is impossible. The electronic action is “feelable”, tough braking or no possible power application. Some laps this way, it always feels enforced.

Then the best idea of The Castiron: all electronic systems OFF. Only the mechanical system. Analogue as the good old times. The Quaife differential locking can prove that`s all in line. It can! Unbelievable how the compact hatchback can drift around corners. Always in the instable driving mode, only fun. Always at the limit, feels like a game! All feels much faster around the corners.

What comes in The Castiron’s and my mind? “Freude am Fahren” (“Sheer Driving Pleasure”) is still achievable, but only if analogue/mechanical systems are in place and can be used.

Many thanks from The Castiron to Martin!

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

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

151 REVIEW ON 102 TO 150

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. Jackie Stewart (blogpost 112), Billy Graham (117), Paul Walker (120), Sebastian Vettel (127), Stefan Bellof (139), Jo Siffert (141). It is just a limited choice, based on The Castiron’s very personal dismay and point of view.

Around the big familiy 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 113, 114, 146.

Contributions from third parties. Blogposts 129 and 132 help to give a broader view,   PHOTO STORY - THE MONCH and BOOKS 201902: thanks a lot, your contributions are a great benefit!

Practical help for drivers. Blogposts 104, 108, 110, 115, 118, 124, 126, 133, 137, 138, 149 are mainly basic topics for road and track, such as   NOT LOSING CAN MEAN WINNING   /   DAILY ROUTINE HILL CLIMB /   SLIPPERY WHEN WET -   they mostly base on experiences and insights of The Castiron himself.

Finally, some pastor’s perspectives. Blogposts 106, 107, 116, 134 and 143 dealt with subjects as   LIVE FAST DIE SAVED   /   A TENTH OF A SECOND OR A DECADE   /   THE GRAND PRIX OF LIFE.   Further noteworthy, the blogposts 123 and 140 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


According to the English Wikipedia, an underdog is a person, usually in sports, who is popularly expected to lose. In some cultures, underdogs are highly regarded; this harkens to core parables such as the story of David and Goliath (The Holy Bible, 1 Samuel 17). 

On racetracks, The Castiron made two essential experiences. On one hand: you drive fairly quickly on a circuit, and unexpectedly, all of a sudden a car passes by – an entire inconspicuous one; and this vehicle vanishes and you think: what was that? And: who is the underdog? 

On the other hand: Nürburgring Nordschleife, wet track, The Castiron with a German car, manual gearbox, rear-wheel driven, limited slip differential – though really moderate motorized (naturally aspired 4-cylinder-in-line) and not really a lightweight. One lap, 13 participants overtaken; never overtaken by another car. In dry conditions the opposite is the case, most of the time. Who is the underdog? 

Or: who is when the underdog? It is not only applicable for sports; it is valid for the entire life. The Castiron invites you to share your experiences (please see recommendation) on this subject. Thank you!

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

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


Wet – on one hand water; on the other hand different fluids, such as cooling liquid and oil. The latter two with big disadvantages: water on the road or the track is visible – the others meet you surprisingly and are extremly slippery, often unforeseeable incidents guaranteed!

Today, two experiences – the parties hereto: The Castiron, a light and quite easy to handle Suzuki Swift (from Rent4Ring, please see blogpost 24) and the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the historic site for races, trackdays and myriads of dramatic stories.

Scene left-hand „Kesselchen Mutkurve“ before „Klostertal“: close to 100 miles per hour, in the left-hand curve immediate oversteer (please see blogpost 95), a Lotus at the right crash barrier, the driver standing beside the car. Sudden inspirations: do not lighten the rear axle – meaning not taking back the accelerator pedal; otherwise you will fly off and hit both, the Lotus and the driver! Thankfully it works – leaving the bend, still full throttle and dosed counter-steering. The cause, later informed: cooling liquid on the ideal line.

Scene the crest „Pflanzgarten“: a little bit less than 100 miles per hour, on the top of the crest, all the wheels in midair, a steward waving the yellow flag – a good joke, no chance for any reaction! Landing, breaking, steering into the right-hand bend, no reaction; that’s why the yellow flag! Last and only chance: the gravel bed on the outside of the curve. Thoughts: let the car just roll, very little steering movements and everything smooth, smooth, smooth! After the bend, back on the track – everything went well. The cause, later informed: oil on the ideal line.

Personal conclusion: along with the Lotus several other cars significantly damaged, the drivers having an expensive experience more, but all of them uninjured – thank God. And: be vigilant, do not let take you by surprise, if possible!

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

Recommendation:       www.rent4ring.de/en


Fast – at least this is what The Castiron and Nico Brina have in common; Nico who ? Yes, Nico Brina, a veritable fast piano player: his left hand played 608 keystrokes per minute (1996, Guiness Book of Records), the world’s fastest Boogie Woogie!

One day The Castiron went to a concert. The supporting act: Nico Brina – never heard before. Minutes later: fascinated, enthralled, enthusiastic, wowed. Make your own opinion; today’s video gives an impression – enjoy yourself.

This year, 2019, is an anniversary to celebrate: 35 years on stage! Still on stage, after thousands of gigs in nearly twenty countries (please see recommendation) – all the best to Nico Brina and his co-musicians!

It is one of The Castiron’s wishes for many years: learning to play piano – not as fast as his compatriot, just in its own right. Will this wish be fulfilled ?

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

Recommendation:       http://www.brina.ch/start_en/


Also this week’s blogpost is from the period of life when The Castiron was a student. But this time, it is not a matter of 4 wheels but just 2 wheels.

Studying is one side of the coin, the other one is earning money. Holidays gave The Castiron the opportunity to work as a taxi driver. A loaned motorcycle made the journey to work to town easy; the clothing was a compromise: light for the summer temperature and nevertheless safe enough for the ride. Helmet and gloves, but sneakers instead of motorcycle boots – really the right choice?

Then, the journey home, after a really hot day. Much time spent in the taxicab, having drunk too little water during the whole day. A few seconds mental blackout; after that, a hatchback car close by being at a standstill – The Castiron still in the move. Major thoughts: do not hit this car, no chance to avoid the accident!

The Castiron brakes as hard as possible, the front wheel blocks and skids – the motorcycle hits the car, the rider flies past alongside. The tarmac passes by the eyes, then knocks on the helmet and meets the legs. The ankle feels like banged with a hammer. Ambulance, hospital, emergency department, medical examinations: no broken bones – just soft tissue injuries. Thank God! Finally, using crutches for several weeks.

In situations like this, you realize: you are closer to death than you would like. The Holy Bible presents in Luke 12 (please see recommendation) an interesting example, worth to reconsider: from verse 16, the story of wealth – and death just around the corner. It applies not only to the wealthy people, but to everyone.

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

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/text/NIV/Luke12

146 THE BIG FAMILY 201905

And again, this is about the big family of the Ford automobiles all over the world. This time, it is from the period of life when The Castiron was a student. For today, let us have a look at another used car – a Ford Europe product, a Ford Taunus, built from 1970 until 1982. And: no, it was not exactly the specific car presented in today’s video; and again no: „Old Ford never die, they just run faster!“ did not match.

The Ford Taunus belonged to The Castiron’s household, an everyday car. In a few words: a two-door limousine, miserably motorized (4-cylinder-in-line engine, 55 horsepower), manual gear box, rear-wheel driven, weak and cheap – and grass-green! There is not much to tell about.

Something special has to be mentioned. Once on a cold winter morning, it was no longer possible to start this old, lazy vehicle – no, it was not an electrical problem. The starter was not willing to do the job in the cold, because of the inner mechanical resistances. A fellow student, who spent a part of his childhood in Africa, helped with advice and support: he overhauled this thing – and it worked perfectly from then on!

Next week, The Castiron will tell you quite a different story, from the same stage of life. Topic: HARD TARMAC

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

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

PS   As an encore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5shcLdKkFe4


According to the English Wikipedia, Red Bull Ring Spielberg was founded as Österreichring. It was later shortened and renamed the A1-Ring and hosted the Austrian Grand Prix initially from 1970 to 1987 and then from 1997 to 2003. After 2003 the circuit was unusable for several years and reopened 2011, renamed as Red Bull Ring. One highlight among many others is still the annual F1 Austrian Grand Prix, returned for the 2014 season.

The track of Red Bull Ring Spielberg is as follows: the length is approximately 2,68 miles. It can be split into two separate tracks, north and south. It is hilly and twisty - a challenging task for the racer.

The circuit is situated on a slope; thus, some key passages are particularly demanding. Bends followed by long straights are always very important. One really crucial passage on this track is the right-hand bend after the long start-finish straight: upwards, upwards, upwards – that means, if not correctly lined up, every driver loses speed and time.

Please have a look at the video, too. The new, present circuit is shown – with an on-board camera in a Formula 4 race car.

Last but not least: it is a beautiful 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.projekt-spielberg.com/en/the-spielberg/red-bull-ring


It is interesting, quite fast, located on a slope and because of that quite selective. These were The Castiron’s information, before he visited this racetrack.

Some time ago, The Castiron was in charge as instructor, still on the old circuit. The vehicles: in every sense sufficient, for the instructors and participants – sporty German four-door limousines with a V8 engine, rear-wheel driven.

This driver training was close to perfect, everything was right, starting with the weather, moving on through the general atmosphere and of course the driving activities. The powerful cars with the circuit and the facility were a good match. It was one of the driver training days, on which instructors and participants summed up: this day really included the certain something, that little inexpressible something extra!

Please have a look at the video, too. The Finnish professional racing driver Mika Häkkinen will present you an on-board lap, a very fast one with a Formula 1 race car.

Part II will bring you closer to the Red Bull Ring Spielberg.

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

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


By Alex Dias Ribeiro.   Life is a race. From the starting line, all of us are part of this race. It isn’t a circuit like Monza, Silverstone or Monaco, which characteristics we already know well. It’s a much more difficult circuit, as we never know whether the next curve will be to the left or right.

In The GP of Life, we are subject to the same alternatives offered in any race: Sensational overtakings, spins, accidents, joy, sorrow, great victories or tragedies.

„Races are races“. The only certain thing in motor racing is uncertainty. In the race of life, the only sure thing is the inevitable and sad fact that one day all of us will die. Death is the checkered flag of the race of life and we can only finish winners or losers. There are no intermediate positions. 

The reality of the matter is that each person carries inside himself the profound, sad emptiness of defeat. But you can win this race and gain perfect love and constant peace, like you’ve never known before. However, you’ll have to choose the right team and the right track.

You will never find the way that leads to victory by yourself. Without help, you’ll be racing in the dark, no headlights, no brakes and lost as a blind man in the middle of a shootout!

There is only one who will surely and safely take you to victory: Jesus Christ.

He grants: „I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.“ He is the only track that leads to peace, happiness and eternal life.

Come this way, without fear or resistance, and soon you will see the signs that will lead you to the checkered flag of victory. Win with Christ the GP of Life!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   Source reference: autograph card from Alex Dias Ribeiro, Former F1 Driver. Thank you Alex for these precious thoughts – worth to think about!


Once upon a time there was a family: mother, father, The Castiron and his brother. The three men – two of them quite young – made from time to time excursions and visited some unforgettable events.

You had a look at the picture, and you know: the spark leapt over – motorsports, speed, heroes behind the steering wheel! Probably, that was the moment of this particular seed in The Castiron’s life, on the occasion of this motor show.

Another excursion left a formative impression, too: spectator at the Swiss St. Ursanne – Les Rangiers race, part of the FIA European Hill Climb Championship. At the start, among the many intrepid racing drivers: The Castiron’s compatriot Jo Siffert with his Formula 1 Lotus Ford 49B! Also this experience was really a very special highlight, almost indescribable.

Jo Siffert was one of The Castiron’s heroes, as well as Jim Clark (please have a look back at blogposts 141 and 86); outstanding sportsmen, winning in Formula 1 and in many other races. Both lived fast and died young; both were great characters, formative and unforgettable – not only for The Castiron!

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

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


Today’s focus is on another hero of the past, Joseph Siffert, known as Jo Siffert (7th July 1936 – 24th October 1971). This blogpost is dedicated to this Swiss and the cheque book; it is said, that it was Jo Siffert, who interpreted the cheque book and accidents in motorsports concisely in a certain way.

A cheque book is a book with a determined number of pages – each standing for an equivalent value; any cheque can be pulled out separately. Usually, the value is an amount in a common currency; Jo Siffert’s version: the value is one accident in motorsports, one page removed for one accident. Every racing driver has such a personal cheque book – but he never knows, how many cheques are in there.

One day, just one last cheque is left – without the knowledge of the driver; for Jo Siffert was this the case, when he started in fall 1971 in Brands Hatch from the pole position. It was the day, when the last cheque became due – this unspeakable sad 24th October 1971 with that final accident.

Some days later: it was like a state funeral – tens of thousands of people paid their last respect to Jo Siffert. It was one of the grandest and most impressive funerals in the history of the whole country.

In the funeral service, the minister said: „Où il y a le risque, il y a la mort – où il n’y a pas de risque, il n’y a pas de vie“ (French; in English: Where there is a risk, there is the death – where there is no risk, there is no life).

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

Recommendation:       http://www.josiffert.com/en/about-jo-siffert/

140 EASTER 201904

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 Eleazor 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


Former blogposts dealt with the heroes of the past, such as Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart. Today, we have a look at another hero of the past, Stefan Bellof (20th November 1957 – 1st September 1985). This blogpost is dedicated to this German, 35 years after the season of his greatest sporting success.

In spring 1984, at the beginning of the racing season, Stefan Bellof did not know, what this World Sportscar Championship (today „WEC“) would hold. He participated with a Porsche 956 Group C and became world champion. A really historic moment for him and also in particular for the German motor-racing world.

One year after that, he was dead. It was again a Porsche (from the Swiss Brun Motorsport team), again the World Endurance Championship and the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, the curve combination Eau Rouge; Stefan Bellof was not yet thirty years old. The championship in which he reached the peak, was also the site of the end of his life.

Especially noteworthy, too, is his Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record from 1983. It endured for 35 years. Essentially, this outstanding performance is a record for „eternity“ (considering the development of the racing cars).  

You do not know, what the present racing season brings along. Now we have seen two sides of the coins, in extreme. The Castiron recommends next week’s blogpost EASTER – food for thought and reflection, hopefully and an ongoing support.

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

Recommendation:      https://www.stefan-bellof.de/en/


Well prepared and ready? If „no“, you would rather stay at home. If „yes“, let us go! First of all, former blogposts give a little help, especially 29 THE CASTIRON’S P P P P P (proper preparation prevents poor performance). 

This weekend’s racetrack scouted, arrived in time, usually on Friday, at the latest. A last opportunity to check the track, at that time still a public road. Everything deeply internalized? It is a basic precondition!

Then meeting with the scrutineer, Friday evening or Saturday morning: the driver and the racing driver licence, the car pass and the vehicle itself. When things are as they should be, you are ready to go. Then practice sessions and the race, usually in two runs. To that: again and again a glance at the time lists – your driving time and your opponents’, any need for improvement?

The ideal race weekend looks as follows, as one example. The Castiron attended an International Hill Climb in Germany. Good external conditions, little incidents overall and thus also little interruptions, ultimately the fastest time in both decisive racing heats – group winner series touring cars. Everything as it should be, but it is not always the case.

Today’s video: The Castiron’s home race, the International Gurnigel Hill Climb on the occasion of the Swiss Championship – additionally an insight into the show programme.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


Today’s video, first of all insignificant, unspectacular, even perhaps boring ? Really? It tells a story of pollen grains in a few simple impressions. When pollen grains and moisture meet up at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and you as a driver are involved, too – things are changing rapidly to significant, spectacular, far from boring !

It has not necessarily to be the Nordschleife; it might happen somewhere else, in daily traffic on our roads, too. In any case: it is insidious and difficult to assess. Now let us have a look back at a trackday in last spring, Nordschleife.

April, white road surface: snow? No, pollen grains. After a short time of driving, the dry racing line is clean – but then very slight rain, every now and then. The scenario changes dramatically: not snow, but almost like snow. The pollen grains and the moisture interfere, it is an incalculable soft soap grip level. Reducing speed, trying to remain on the right track – not the best feeling!

Real rain would help, but does not come. In this case: preferably really wet than just humid! The day is coming to an end: drying road surface, a quite acceptable ideal line, at its side still white covered by pollen grains. Car and driver well, another lesson learnt – after decades behind the steering wheel. You live and learn!

Think and look around before you drive; when your environment and parked cars are powdered with pollen grains, your attentiveness should be turned in while driving – be it on track or on road. Do not forget: once, springtime is just around the corner, year after year!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


Have you ever had the opportunity to have a Rallye World Champion as an instructor, when you participated at a driver training? Not some world champion, no, one of the greatest – and tallest: Walter Röhrl, for decades a living legend (please see blogposts 10 and 11, too). And not some racetrack, no, Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. One of the most exciting rendez-vous The Castiron ever had!

Nordschleife is always good for an explosive combination: unpredictable weather conditons, high speeds, sparse run-off areas. A small group of vehicles, headed by the instructor; a good opportunity to measure the own skills, to reflect and to improve.

You are just close to perfect, when you feel, everything takes place almost automatically. It allows for safety, sometimes gives a small reserve – but is not a full warranty. This day’s experiences confirmed all of this.

Today’s video is quite special and worth seeing: the Nordschleife, a beast of a car and Walter Röhrl, the great master. It is not the perfect lap (if possible at all on this track), but a great and impressive performance anyway!

A conclusion from another training on the Nordschleife, once again: an awesome day with great benefit! Not just thinking about - participation is a good idea! No success without continuous training, a truth for professional racing drivers and for people like you and me.

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

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


A friend of The Castiron said it this way: it is inside of you. This is probably a key message. Meeting the human being: body, soul and spirit. It is inside of you – is it really just this way?

Mainly yes, but not only. Contribution from third parties, such as those on tractor pulling, mountain tours and others more, are a great benefit – thanks a lot!

It is inside of you – this means decades of experiences and sharing some of the latter, being alert for current and historical issues and remarkable characters. In addition, The Castiron invites you to propose subjects (please see recommendation); considering these is a must and if possible, The Castiron can help, if he can – maybe soon, a blogpost based on your suggestion!

The topics should not run out. The Castiron (your real-life blogger) is looking forward optimistically; you, too – hopefully! And last, but not least: as mentioned in blogpost 53, do not forget to differentiate, to interpret, to examine.

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

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


One could also say: tenths of a second or decades – fractions of a second or long periods; today’s topic, seen from the racing driver’s view and the pastor’s view!

The racing driver’s view. Please see the picture, the two lowest lines: The Castiron 4:34.96 vs. his opponent 4:34.75; it is the total of a hill climb’s 2 heats. Finishing line, final result, difference per heat in the range of a tenth of a second. Note: The Castiron’s route knowledge was not absolutely perfect, he participated for the first time in this race; annoying, but fact. Fractions of a second decide on victory and defeat.

The pastor’s view. It is a matter of the entire life; seven or eight decades, as emphasized in the Holy Bible. Sometimes it is less, significantly less – just one of many: blogpost 120 was dedicated to Paul Walker, who lived only four decades. For those who want to know more: The Castiron invites you to read in the Holy Bible, Psalm 90, verses 10-12 (please see recommendation).

What does really count, fractions of a second or decades? It is quite difficult to answer conclusively. In either case, often it is a matter of significance, of relevance. Perhaps, this leads us to the question to all of us: what are you doing with your time?

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

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/text/NIV/Psalm90

133 LONG TIME AGO 201903

Do you remember the blogpost 65 – the story of The Castiron’s first rendez-vous with the Nordschleife? It was the beginning of a great and ongoing love, associated with the insight of an existing great potential for improvement.

Improvement was needed, imperatively! The Castiron booked a so called intensive driver’s training. Then, the big day: Nordschleife, a sporty German four-door limousine, the instructor and just one single participant – The Castiron! On one hand 4 laps on the passenger seat, on the other hand 8 laps as driver, without any noticeable incidents.

Some essential insights: being aware of the long track’s basics, tangible reference points, racing line. The Castiron’s hill climb experience was very helpful in learning the track layout quite roughly.

Many years and hundreds of laps later, The Castiron is still learning – but also able to share much specific knowledge. Not least because of his extensive field of activity as an instructor (please see recommendation), too, he can impart many valuable hints – your future instructor maybe, once or repeatedly?!  

Nordschleife: even you do right quite a lot and just very little wrong – often, latter suffices for an unhappy ending (please see the video), somewhere between unpleasant and fatal. One essential conclusion: participating in driver trainings are very helpful and of great benefit, never worthless and sometimes lifesaving! Latter is not guaranteed, but you never have full guarantee in this world in matters of life and death.

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

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

132 BOOKS 201902

The book – Tractor Pulling 25 Jahre Team Kaiser RÜCKBLICK - in German language (with its photographic material, it is also interesting for non-German speaking fans): written by Stephanie and Rainer Hartmann for the pulling-fans, with a preface from the legendary track-speaker Ulf "The Voice of Race" Schnackenberg. The authors are co-founder of SRSmotorsport and as part of SRSmotorsport they supported and accompanied the Team Kaiser in the last three years.

They published already their first book, a summary over the season 2017. As in the first book, the story ist mostly told by pictures and not by boring lyric. It is mainly about the stories between full pull, victory, disappointment and technical problems. It is a look behind the curtain where a regular spectator cannot get.

The Hartmanns have not been with the Team Kaiser in all the 25 years. Therefore they have been allowed to have a deep look into the Kaiser´s private picture collection. So, the most pictures from 1993 until 2015 are from the Kaisers themselves. Since 2016 Stephanie and Rainer got part of this sport and collected a lot of pictures, which they share to all interested people.

The book is a mix of information and entertainment; and sometimes something to chuckle about. A well-made balancing act between sports and family. A plus for the pulling community and a recommendation, not merely for the fans from Pulling-Team Kaiser.

For those who want to read more: you are invited to have a look at blogposts 38 TRACTOR PULLING and 83 FULL PULL – ON MISSION WITH TEAM KAISER and please see the recommendation, too. Enjoy yourself!

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

Many thanks to all who made this blogpost possible!

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


When I’m 64. The Castiron likes to share some focal points of this song’s content with you. According to Wikipedia, the Beatles recorded it in 1966 at the Abbey Road Studios; it was the year when the father of Paul McCartney grew 64 years old. When I’m 64 has been one of The Castiron’s favourite songs for quite a few decades.

When I get older losing my hair, will you still sending me birthday greetings?

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?

You’ll be older, too and if you say the word, I could stay with you.

Send me a postcard, drop me a line, stating point of view, indicate precisely what you mean to say.

Give me your answer „Mine for evermore“. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?

Happy birthday to all who celebrated or will celebrate the 64th birthday this year! And: already in 2006, Paul McCartney reached the age of 64, he, the former Beatles’ band member.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


Some months ago, once again a trackday on the Nordschleife, beautiful weather but not too hot, best conditions on one hand and on the other hand the fact, Nordschleife is and will remain Nordschleife – The Castiron and Eleanor V, the Ford Mustang, were ready to take the challenge; one experience seems especially noteworthy.

The left hand bend „Metzgesfeld“, close to 100 miles per hour. Shortly before, The Castiron has been overtaken by some faster cars. Arrived at this bend’s apex, the situation was as follows: two of these cars on the right-hand side in the meadow, one vehicle and Eleanor V still on the right track. No difficulties, so far. 

Then the car in front of Eleanor V caused a rather unforeseeable challenge for The Castiron: the driver slowed significantly down, probably to stare at the cars beside the track. On the other hand, The Castiron had decelerated his Ford Mustang – as usual in such a situation – just as little as necessary; immediately, it became quite unpleasant!

The sudden differential speed of the vehicles demanded a reaction!   Braking? No chance!   Passing the other vehicle on the outside of the bend? Space enough, but too long of a distance, not possible!   Passing the other vehicle on the inside of the bend? Too little space, but a short distance through the meadow on the left, possible, done – and thus, avoiding of a quite serious accident!   Conclusion: do not count on the other driver and be prepared for everything, as far as possible.

You must know what you are doing, when you are traversing a meadow by car. Do it as straight as possible and with as little steering movement as possible; and very, very important: smooth, smooth, smooth! In addition to all this, thank the Lord, the meadow was dry.

Last, but not least: keep in mind, do not underestimate the manifold challenges of such a day and remember, it is a trackday, not a race, with quite various participants – also including those who are staring at incidents while needlessly slowing down, instead of driving on normally. Regrettably, it is a common practice, especially in daily traffic, too; do not stare, focus on the point!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


Main picture.   The Monch, as we know it from the north side, already slightly white powdered, but yet very well accessible. Here, the view from the station Eigergletscher. Our ascent route leads from the Jungfraujoch along the mountain ridge (right side of the picture) to the peak, via the west ridge. 

Picture gallery photo 1.   The west ridge revealed in all its splendour, as you enter from the Spinx-Stollen into the glistening morning light. What a beautiful tour, very diversified, an alpine tour with a quite challenging level of difficulty, with third level climbing sections.

Picture gallery photo 2.   The route goes partially across the north side (approximately 2200 yards of difference in altitude down to Wengernalp), or on the south side on a dry and slightly warm rock. Very often we find ourselves right on the ridge, which is all the times broader than my shoe soles.

Picture gallery photo 3.   The mountain guide demonstrates it works; often almost vertical sections, rocks in beautiful colours, well stepped with pleasant grip. The altitude marks its presence, we are close to 4400 yards. As we started the tour without acclimatization, now I need various pauses for breath.

Picture gallery photo 4.   Then we change definitely to the north side; upwards along the steep firn flank, anchoring some ice screws as safety device. Under the climbing irons, we feel the blank ice below the thin snow crust, step by step.

Picture gallery photo 5.   On the top of the mountain! In each direction the terrain descents steeply. Wonderful mountain scenery – all are present, neatly lined up. No big bang theory – made by the Creator. In the foreground the sharp ridge for the way down, on the northern side blank ice, southerly little corn snow. Going along both sides of the ridge, just on the front points of our climbing irons, we are secured by a short rope.  

Picture gallery photo 6.   Descent along the east and southeast ridge, the view towards the Jungfraujoch, on the left before the Sphinx-Stollen the trace of our friends from Far East, behind the Jungfrau and the Rotalhorn. On the right side of the Jungfrau further high mountains: Balmhorn, Altels, Doldenhorn, Blüemlisalp, and ...

Picture gallery photo 7.   Back on the Jungfrau’s corn snow, south of the Monch. Our ascent’s ridge with its typical bevelled tower (to the left in the figure) – to the right of it the entry. Despite the beauty of the glaciers and the firn, you can recognize the significant decline of the ice.

Picture gallery photo 8.   Downwards to Grindelwald by train. In the evening sun, the Schreckhorn shows itself from its most beautiful side; another reason for continuing to mountaineer. This might be a further project.

Many thanks from The Castiron to Ueli!

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS   We were taken along to an alpine tour: traversing the Monch – one of the most well-known mountains of Switzerland (from the gigantic trio Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau).


Last week’s blogpost dealt with Sebastian Vettel; one of the ones who could not win his Formula One home race up to this day. Yet another made similar experiences: The Castiron at his home race, the International Gurnigel Hill Climb on the occasion of the Swiss Championship.

As an active racing driver, The Castiron was several times at the start of this competition. Different external circumstances, different opponents, different cars – one from Japan, one from France and finally one from America, all touring-cars.

The achievements were as follows:  technical defect during the practice session - did not start in the race,   going too fast into a bend - excursion in the meadow,   a brake mistake (like Sebastian Vettel) - sliding out to the edge of the forest (instead of a top ten place just 36th and thus last). That speaks for itself. Just one creditable point: a new course record in the vehicle class of these touring-cars.

The story of the home race is often a very special one. Is it really the curse of the home race? You might call it a curse – but probably, it is just the pressure and the great expectations on the occasion of the home race.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


First of all, please have a look at the video:

Sebastian Vettel - 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. And: this is really not ironically, no malicious joy!

Vettel started his home race, the F1 German Grand Prix, as the leader of the current Formula One World Championship. He was leading the race most of the time - a difficult one, dry and wet conditions. After the middle of the race, once more he faced the challenge of the „Sachskurve“, one of the slowest curves in Hockenheim. 

Up to that date, Vettel could not win this race, his home race. Though, before the curve is the braking phase, sometimes quite tricky and rather erratic in wet weather. And you know, what happened. Due to a braking mistake, Vettel slid out and damaged his Ferrari - did not finish his home race.

The human dimension is today’s focus – therefore, the topic driver of the year from a different point of view; human dimensions, such as the pressure of the leader of the current championship and the great expectations on the occasion of the home race.

As it has been said by Vettel’s major opponent, Lewis Hamilton, also racing drivers are human beings who make mistakes - at least one in every race - and want to give 100 percent, neither 101 nor 99; the media should deal with Sebastian Vettel more respectfully.

Next week: The curse of the home race.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


These two words sum up almost everything – for racing drivers, trackday participants, the daily traffic, for the whole of one’s life in general. But here too: easier said than done!

The Castiron knows too good, how difficult this can be. In hindsight, when one is always wiser, many things suddenly look very different. Stay calm – and usually, the hindsight is not so bad, not painful.

Do not allow yourself to be provoked! This is an important factor to master this not so simple subject. Stay calm – it is an ongoing process, sometimes more and sometimes less successful to handle. Stay tuned!

Or in other words, as it has been said by Thomas Jefferson (April 1743 – July 1826, principal author of the American Declaration of Independence), nothing gives more superiority than staying calm and unconcerned. There is nothing to add.

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

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now


Is it just an empty phrase? No, it is not. There are situations in motorsport which call for the real man - often decisive and close to riding on a cannonball. Let us have a look at two basic approaches: the so-called cautious approach and the spontaneous implementation during a competition, in both cases sometimes a nail-biting affair.

The so-called cautious approach. Step by step you are facing challenges on the track, often with the question in mind „flat out or not?“ - correct answer not guaranteed! When it works, you can experience great moments; if not, be prepared to face some problems.

The spontaneous implementation. If you like, call it the real racer’s natural instinct. This has to be an intrinsic value and usually it is all about nuances during a race - different situations and circumstances and you mastered them superiorly. Keywords: blind passages, varying cornering lines and speed, many cars at the same time at the same place, and so forth. You mastered the riding on the cannonball!

The hesitation and the dithering. Often, this is fatal. At best, it means losing some positions. Today’s video from the Nordschleife points out this other side of the coin: hesitation and dithering - sometimes followed by a wrong reaction - can lead to an immediate unhappy end, this time primarily blessing in disguise.

Last, but not least: do never force the issue under any circumstances, do not overrate yourself! In case of doubt, rather a living boy than a dead man - do you agree?

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

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/blogposts-en/id-99-call-it-keep-the-smile-on-your-face-driving-style.html