Heat. Timing. Exams. - Day 1 at the Sachsen Classic!
The big day has come, the first stage with several special stages is coming up. Before that, however, to the driver and co-driver briefing in order to be briefed on the rules of a classic car rally. Hermann Dreyer, Head of Entire Vehicle Development Volkswagen and I check everything again and when I have many question marks above my head when looking at the road book and the time measurements, we spontaneously change roles. It would be better if we swapped and I "just have to accelerate", I think at that moment.
Then punctually around 12.01, the train sets in motion. In the usual professional manner, Johannes Hübner presents the launch pad and introduces the 180 vehicles.
With our start number 45 we got the start time 12.27 clock. To 12.15 Hermann gives me a sign, "Let's go to your first exit, now it gets serious" he calls to me over the boiling hot tin roof of our VW Rallye Golf. Inside it is not better, the aluminum case of my notebook seems to be just before the melting point. Air conditioning? Absolutely nonsense, 1990 you mostly used the side windows for cooling. So grabbed the window crank, wondering when I last had a window crank in my hand and down with the disc.
"Against the heat in the car, the 35 degree of hot air from outside is almost like a cool wind."
The road holding of our Golf G60 is, modestly formulated, without damping. On the streets, partly covered with many holes, past the former VEB Sachsenring automobile plant, which today belongs to the Volkswagen Group, the first special stage is bumpy.
Hermann Dreyer is now a professional after a few classic car rally participations, at least in my eyes. In a flash, he calculates distance, target time and specifications, sticks a PostIT with times in seconds on the steering wheel and says "If you drive with exactly 37 km / h through the first light barrier, then that should work fine, I count the last seconds, then just go over the bar. "
Ok, the pulse beats, in front of me the green flag, first gear and descends. The heat, happy people on the side of the road wave, photograph, film, my eyes staring forward, the target photocell in the sights, Hermann counts, then we are over it, or by the measurement.
For the first time not so bad, I am praised. But I can not be happy, I'm just sweating. At the end I find out, 31 rank of 180 participants in this special stage. At the next one, the famous "Steep Wall", unfortunately I still have too much distance left, as Hermann is done counting the remaining seconds and patze. A place beyond the 120 is the result.
At the Sachsenring, where just a few days ago a run of the MotoGP series took place, we do almost everything right and get our 12 our best daily result. At the Sachsenring we are the best VW Classic Team.
Overall, it will be the 56. Place in the daily classification and although we do not seriously go to a front placement, you look in the evening but then in the timesheets and compares.
Tomorrow the stage will take us through the hopefully somewhat cooler Erzgebirge to Dresden. When the rolling automobile museum arrives on Augustusbrücke in the afternoon, the Dresden city festival 2015 is opened. If you want to be there, here are the stations for tomorrow:
Friday, 14.August 2015, stage "Erzgebirge" (273 kilometers)
o 08: 01 pm Start in Zwickau at the "Platz der Völkerfreundschaft" o 09: 45 o'clock Wolkenstein, Markt
o 10: 55 watch Saigerhütte Olbernhau
o 11: 00 Lunch at Schloss Purschenstein
o 14: 10 watch Altenberg
o 15: 15 Watch Glashütte Watch Museum
o 16: 15 pm Dresden Fair
o 16: 30 clock finish in Dresden on the Augustusbrücke
[= ””] Text: Bernd Schweickard © Photo: Uli Sonntag for VW, Bernd Schweickard