Sweat and tears, the Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik 2015

Admittedly, the idea was a little weird for me at first. Take part in the Hamburg-Berlin Classic in a real rally vehicle. Where else youngtimers and oldis, automotive treasures with more or less patina go on tour, should you just swim along in a car whose goal is to achieve the best times under the worst possible conditions? And then also a “classic vehicle”? The idea sounds like a petrolhead idea. A thing for auto fanatics with an increased ability to suffer. Just right for me!

And, it's not the first time. This is not the first time that Škoda Auto Deutschland has used the Rallye 1976 RS, which was built in 130. So it has to work - where should the problem be? And what should go wrong?

Sweat and tears - in the Škoda 130 RS from Berlin to Hamburg # HBK2015

Or: On tour with seven rally championship titles in your luggage!

The first hand-written entry in the road book came after 2.99 kilometers, behind the Chinese character with the traffic light and the intersection I left the note: "The ass hurts". We were on the road for less than 15 minutes and that day should be followed by a good 2.5 hours. I was aware of the problem the day before, long before I started for the first stage. Škoda had a Rally 130 RS brought the Porsche of the Eastern Bloc. As a rally vehicle. My driver and team colleague for this rally, the seven-time German champion Matthias Kahle, still drives “real” rallies with this device every now and then. So no shows and drives where you need the stop watch to measure an average of 16 km / h, but these things where man and machine have to form a unit. It is therefore tight. The seats are vices, if you don't come with the hip of a baby gazelle, you will have a problem. And now I had this problem. The day before I had filled the hollow of the bucket seat with styrofoam sheets from the hardware store. Nothing helped. I had to go through that.

HBK 2015 022 skoda matthias kahle classic rally

What should go wrong?

Seriously, this rally could only have one winner. Matthias Kahle. And whoever plays the ballast in the passenger seat can easily sail onto the podium in the slipstream of the professional. I thought so. But Matthias pulled this tooth out of me early on. He only “steers” the 136 hp Eastern Bloc Porsche, for the victory, the co-driver is primarily responsible for that. With that the burden of my own ambition was on my shoulder. But hey - in 2013 I already have the HBK with me Mastered woman and dog. Well, three digits in the overall result, but we did arrive.

On the sympathy tour with the Rallye Champ and the Škoda 130

733 kilometers from the capital, via Wolfsburg, the Harz Mountains to Hamburg. A route that you could easily drive more often. A route with a lot of landscape. Little traffic. But a lot of enthusiasm. The people were happy about the old tin. Especially in the east of the republic, the Rally 130 RS was able to revive the memories of the spectators. Cell phone cameras were pulled out, waved, greeted, cheered. Children celebrated the classic car. Motorsport fans wanted to see Matthias Kahle. If you haven't been sweating in a Rally 130 RS for these three days, you won't understand the enthusiasm an old car can arouse in total strangers.

Sweat and tears

The start at the Olympic Stadium led a lap around this monumental site. A first evaluation test included. And even before it was due to hit the track after this lap, the rally Škoda had proven its talent. The 1.3 liter four-cylinder in the rear can produce an incredible amount of heat. The rally vehicle, freed from any insulation, does not leave the occupants in the dark about the principle of “combustion”. 136 HP power and 100 kW of it arrive as heat for the pilot and co-pilot. Chill. 

Whenever traffic allowed, we opened the doors of the Eastern Bloc Porsche. That also happened at 100 km / h on the country road. Vise fit in the bucket seat and the roll cage, which narrowed the access with its wide tubes, provided the necessary feeling of security. The questions quickly came up when passing through town: "Well, no air conditioning?" No - the Rallye 130 RS doesn't even have a ventilation. Instead the radiator at the front, the engine at the back and hot water pipes in between. As a result, we ended up opening the door more often than going through the gears.

Hamburg Berlin Classic Rally Friday
Hamburg Berlin Classic Rally

A classic rally is not used to set V-Max records. The motto is travel instead of racing. And that's good. The Škoda Rallye 130 RS is already rioting at 106 km / h as if a Soyuz rocket were launching in the rear. Incomprehensible. 1.3 liter rabauke @work!

On the second day, the heat melted the concentration. A 28 became a 23 and a top special stage a total failure. As a passenger you are responsible for these breakdowns. The manual specifies the time and the route, sometimes directly, sometimes using a calculation trick. The driver drives - and when a seven-time rally master drives at the wheel, the racing Czech pushes his nose through the light barrier exactly after 23 seconds. Stupid, it should have been 28 seconds. The first mistake hurts a lot. How often do you drive a rally champ? How often the greatest chance of overall victory. After a great 15th place on the first day, the ambition had grown.

And then this blow to the pit of the stomach. No driving mistake. No orientation error. Simply do not put the glasses on and read out. Incomprehensible.

HBK 2015 Hamburg Berlin Classic Rally Friday
HBK 2015
Hamburg Berlin Classic Rally

The wonderful ride on emotions

Day 3 of the rally, Saturday morning. Driven up to 9th place despite mistakes the day before. Now it was important. Full concentration, No mistakes. A place on the podium had to be the goal in the end. Okay, at least top 5. The preparations for the rally Saturday in the morning were meticulous. And wrong. But we didn't know that when we started the first exam of the day. And right after the start, the first mistake on the VW factory premises. The iPad, with which we stopped the times, was set to silent from the breakfast test. Irritation in the middle of a 10-second test. But rally bald professional with the calm that only seven rally titles bring and hangover bjoern (ich) tore the thing down loosely. Test one on the last day went well despite this breakdown! I saw us at the handover of the trophy. So it went on. We routinely talked about our hobbies in the car. Audio books. World politics. Navigating is now a bit of an afterthought. You don't drive a bald man crazy with a classic rally. In the meantime, our Škoda 130 RS was incubating us, like a loving hen her chicks. The doors open whenever possible. Heat and noise, the rally Skoda can do both. We tackled the multiple test in Heidepark with great motivation. “A good feeling” with the rally crack. Confidence in the passenger. This time Autobild would present the trophy to a blogger. Clear!

Hamburg Berlin Classic Rally Friday
Hamburg Berlin Classic Rally

Let's go die ..

When we had the last test of the day behind us in the Hamburg container port, Vredestein site, it was time. A job message hit us back on the hard asphalt of rally life. Hangover-Habby and Slowhand-Kahle also made the same mistake on Saturday rally as the day before. But this time a deletion result was not enough, the mistake caused a double mistake. Maximum penalty points. I just wanted to get out of this rally bump 5 kilometers from the finish. Sit down at the harbor crying. Go looking for the sea. To die!

… another day!

Until we reached the goal. Fischtown-Hamburg showed its sunny side. The place in front of the fish auction hall full of people. Not even the chance to open the doors of the Rally 130 RS. Sweating, hiding the tears of disappointment underneath, we drove through the goal. We finished 700 km full of emotions. 700 km full of emotions, great conversations, fantastic experiences. From heaven to hell and back. Bathed in sweat from the rally Skoda. Drunk full of joy over the successful special stages. Tired of the noise of the rally Skoda. At the end there was a seat ... oh, who cares?

What are bad placements if you can look back on three days with a seven-time rally champion? If you have endured over 700 km in a classic rally? Place 27 is just a number ...

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