summer is over and as well the time where we had to wait more then 5 weeks for the next race.
The last months past by so quick, My sister got married in Belgrade ( My got what a party. Never tried homemade Slivovitza before but I have to say not too bad, no headaches. We were celebrating for 3 days in a row and it was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been 😉 . If you are single, think about spending a weekend there. You wont regret it. The Parties you can have there are amazing.
Although I was quiet busy, I really missed the Nürburgring/ Nordschleife.
On friday I did some taxi drives and my Osteopath from Hamburg was able to get a lap with me. He is working as well for the Wolfsburg and Schalke 04 footballteam. He couldn’t get the smiling out of his face even hours later ;-). Amazing talent this guy and if you need a serious Osteopath or Physio, drop me a line!
…this race I was lucky to drive on two cars. The Wochenspiegel #116 and my regular one #117
I qualified the #116 with 8:13min on Pole. The Lap was great, I had only one yellow where I had to lift but otherwise hardly no traffic or at least no traffic that slows you down on some parts of the track.
To be able to drive on both cars I needed to start on the #116 and than finish with my #117
Start was good and I was able to lead by nearly 20 sec. after 8 Laps. I was also able to set the fastest Laptime in the race with 8:17min.
For me, the raceday started nearly perfect.
Unfortunately the #116 retired a bit later and again the Wochenspiegel car didn’t finish. These guys are not very lucky this year and its a shame because the car is so nice to drive even with less downforce then the #117. ( but faster on the straight, thats why I could drive the fastest Laptime)
I didn’t have a lot time to relax. Only a view laps later Romain Dumas came in and I had to jump in for the last 9+3 laps.
We were on 4th position when I took over and my job from Olaf Manthey was to attack and try to gain as much as positions as possible.
So I did.
I closed the gap of approx. 15sec to the Audi with Marc Basseng on the wheel. I told Olaf that I am now behind the Audi but its not easy to pass because they are faster on the straights. We had 5 more laps to go and we needed to come in anyhow for fuel for 3 more Laps. So Olaf told me to come in at the end of this lap, if Basseng stays out. He did so I pushed coming in the Pitlane, late braking for the 60km/h pitspeed and hoped for a quick splash and dash! It was perfect and our strategy worked out. Now back on the track I pushed like crazy with no Audi in front of me. We knew he has to come in as well for the 3 Laps of fuel, so now was our chance to take the 2nd position from the Audi.
When I was driving down the Döttinger Höhe Olaf told me Basseng comes for his Pit Stop. Now I was nervous if my laptimes where fast enough to pass him before he comes again out on the track…………Done!, I was in front with a lead of a view seconds and 3 Laps to go.
He could gain back some time but was never close enough to pass me.
Now in the last lap , there was one more yellow and I guess he could close the gap a bit more but still nothing to worry about.
When I came out of Galgenkopf I could see that my advantage is enough to keep the 2nd place.
He never had a chance to attack me but I saw he is coming closer because of the higher topspeed of the Audi. Once you are passing the Tiergarten there is no way to overtake anymore, except he would have been already next to me. But that was not the case.
WHAT HAPPENED THAN:
While I was already driving the downhill left, this lunatic tried to overtake me on the inside. There was never ever a chance to pass me but I guess he has an ego problem, tried to proof everybody what kind of good driver he is and massed it up completely.
There was NO ROOM for him next to me, he touched me at the back left at approx. 275 km/h!!!
My car was immediately oversteering, I drove into the left grass before the compression still struggling to catch the car. My first thought was, if I loose the car or start to roll at that speed, I am dead….. Next thing was that I jumped over the track onto the right grass still not sure if I am able to control the car. By luck, I came back to the track before Hohenrain, the last left, right, left before the start and finish line.
Even after I came back on the track in one piece, he still pushed and tried to pass me!!! He didn’t understand what just happened or how this could have ended…..
In 17 years of racing all kinds of cars and tracks, I was never that scared….
Maybe now some will understand why I was out of control in the Parc ferme and behaved the way I did. Other racing people told me, they would not have been as controlled as I was with Basseng than!
Even if there was a chance, what wasn’t the case, you never try to overtake there. Thats the same for the Fuchsröhre or Schwedenkreuz and other spots on the Nordschleife. You have to be side by side BEFORE the Tiergarten Brücke, otherwise you lost the battle and have to stick back or try later.
These places are too dangerous for passing and it could end up in massive shunts, injuries or even worth.Most of you maybe remember the deadly accidents in Schwedenkreuz and Tiergarten (Ulli Richter) a view year ago.
What Marc Basseng has done there is unacceptable, irresponsible and he was risking his and my life.
I haven’t talked to anyone who is not agreeing…
This, I never want to experience again and I don’t wish that somebody will be in such a situation ever…..
Now I am looking forward to the next VLN race on the 17th.
The Nordschleife is magic and has always been good to me.. 😉
see you guys,