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14162Re: [TrackChasers] Trackchaser update

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  • RPMGORDY@aol.com
    Aug 3, 2009
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      Roland,

      I'm reminded of those nice, German breakfasts. The memories remain as
      strong as ever. I watched the Formula 1 race from the Nurburgring with a
      much different perspective. The one camera must have been stationed near
      where we stood. The sights on tv had a much better meaning, even that hotel
      along the track itself. It looked as if they had completed the construction
      we saw in progress. Thanks again for an unforgettable weekend.

      Gordy


      In a message dated 8/3/2009 9:55:12 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      roland.vandeneynde@... writes:

      Hello colleagues,

      One of the many differences between trackchasing American and European
      style is that while in the USA and Canada the months of July and August
      are the most appropriate for seeing races every day of the week, these
      two months are lean ones in Europe when it comes to trackchasing. The
      last weekend of July, I found no new track racing within 550 miles from
      home. And anyway, going south was out of the question, due to enormous
      traffic jams as a result of holiday traffic. Last Saturday, France broke
      its traffic jam record on motorways, establishing a new mark of 866 km
      (or 542 miles) of tailbacks.

      This weekend seemed hardly any better, for my prime objective, a Belgian
      autocross at Deerlijk, was cancelled 10 days ago. This left me with only
      one 'nearby' choice, a Dutch autocross on the island of Texel. I was all
      set for a Sunday in the Netherlands, when I woke up to a heavy shower at
      3.30AM. Lucky I did, because the drain evacuating the water from the
      canopy was blocked by debris. I had to go outside and free it. As I was
      wide awake from venturing out into the pouring rain, I took a look at
      the Viamichelin printout for my backup race. It was a German race on the
      Sollingring at the hamlet of Heinade. It was a less than 5 hour's drive
      and the meeting started at 10.00AM. Moreover, it was in a direction (to
      Berlin) not much affected by holiday traffic and where the weather would
      be less humid than in the Netherlands. It was nice driving on the almost
      deserted motorways and at 7.30AM, I took ample time to have a nice
      German breakfast at a motorway restaurant. The weather in Niedersachsen
      was dull but dry when I turned into the parking lot at 9.45AM.

      The Sollingring is a flat permanent dirt course in very rural
      surroundings. The paddock was large, and so was the track. However, the
      track lay-out was a little basic, with a long straight and a few slow
      corners. They had three races for each of the six car classes and three
      heats for quads, which had their premiere on this track. I've been used
      to seeing huge car counts on German autocross tracks, but this time they
      were somewhat small: 7 and 8 in the two modified saloon classes, 10 in
      the youth class, 11 in the buggy class, 16 in the small saloon class and
      22 in the large saloon class. In those last two classes, cars raced in
      two heats. Points were awarded based upon race placings (10-8-6-4-2-1
      for the first 6) and race time (5 points for the winner and .1 point
      less for every second a car was behind the winner). It's a little
      complicated and results in some event wins with scores between 33.2 and
      23.5. The racing was more than decent and there were a lot more position
      changes than in Belgian autocrosses. Germany also has a fair number of
      women drivers and there are more to come, for the youth class had 4
      girls among the 10 starters and was convincingly won by Anna-Lena
      Kietzmann, who had also won 3 out of 4 previous rounds of her
      championship.

      By mid afternoon, the Belgian rain had reached Heinade, which I took as
      a sign to start the journey home. Next week, I intend to have a Dutch
      programme and in two weeks time Aline has persuaded me to go back to
      England for some plants and a bit of shopping in London. Being a good
      sport, she agreed to me booking an early ferry on the Sunday morning, to
      get in a Belgian autocross on the way home.

      Last but not least, I've noticed a lot of you have been extremely busy
      during the last 10 weeks. Will can add another name to the 2009
      trackchaser list, non other than the most eastern based of all listed
      trackchasers: Hans Joachim Stuck. On July 5, 2009 he and his oldest son
      Johannes flew in by helicopter to see his other son Ferdinand race in
      the ADAC Formel Masters on the road course of the Euroring Lausitz. Some
      do it more in style than others.


      Roland

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