& # 34; Do not fall into deep sleep & # 34;

Kai Klauder
Eifel Classic 2010
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'Have you already zeroed? - Good tips from the World Rally Champion

' Have you already zeroed? - This is one of the most important questions the driver should ask his co-pilot after each time check. The reason is simple, explains Harald Koepke: 'The mileage always starts when the time control is passed'. So the stopwatch has to be reset again and again. This is the responsibility of the co-driver, who has the more demanding job in a regularity rally like the Eifel Classic. This will quickly become clear to the participants in the approximately 80-minute course - and Harald Koepke sums it up: 'The brain is on the right - at least in left-hand drive cars.'

The oxygen is running out

The second important message of the day is 'Communication is the be-all and end-all in a rally'. Christian Geistdörfer, world-class co-driver and rally world champion with Walter Röhrl, specifies: 'The driver can only do what the passenger tells him to do.' The announcements and advance warnings should therefore be given to the driver early and frequently. 'Don't fall asleep', Geistdörfer urges the rally novices.

In the Driving Safety Center II at the Nürburgring, some participants are slowly running out of oxygen in view of the accumulated information. It is quickly aired and the various special stages (SS) continue: SS short, SS secret, SS long with yellow target sign, SS double (short - short), SS double with two starts (short - short), WP three times in a row, SS double with two goals (long - long), SS double (long - long), and SS double with two goals (short - short) - the participants learn a lot about the possible combinations that the Eifel Classic organizers have come up with. Incidentally, according to Christian Geistdörfer, the last-mentioned special stage is the easiest one, which 'only becomes really interesting when there is still a secret special stage in it. That is usually something really nasty,' he says happily. A lot sounds complicated at first, but Harald Koepke and Christian Geistdörfer manage to convey the complex topic in a 'super understandable' way, as Lena Schmidt, co-driver in a 1988 Audi 90 quattro sums up.

The goal: 'Harmony of hearts'

After the exciting theory, the participants are eager to apply and try out what they have just learned. Divided into three groups, they go to the driving safety center.Each team can get in the right mood for 45 minutes with hose and light barrier measurements. Christian Geistdörfer calls this 'the harmony of hearts'. 'Do yourself with the equipment, feel the pressure point of the stopwatch', he urges the rally newbies. If the cooperation between driver and front passenger and the dial gauges work, almost nothing can go wrong.

So go ahead, boarded the cockpits, started the engine - and hit the gas. The typical scent of vintage cars in sporting use slowly spreads across the square, a mélange of unburned gasoline with a hint of burnt oil.

The participants do their laps on the sunny afternoon and drive through the two different courses. Two possible evaluation tests were set up, the hose and the light barrier measurement. When checking the hose, care should be taken to roll both wheels over the hose as parallel as possible. Some participants help themselves with adhesive strips that they place on the fender. Geistdörfer also has a tip here: 'Do not glue at the height of the wheel hub, but something in front of it, because the tire contact area starts a few centimeters in front of it.'

Due to the feedback when driving over, the hose measurement is seen by many as easier than the light barrier measurement, where it is important to be able to estimate the distance to the front of the car. And to drive quickly through the measurement. Because the participants still have Harald Koepke's words on physics in their ears: 'The height of the light barrier is different. So the best thing is to drive through the measuring points as quickly as possible, because the faster you are, the smaller the deviation'>
Through the numerous runs with both measurement methods, the participants quickly get routine and the results get better and better. If the deviations are several tenths to more than a second in the first attempts, they quickly reduce to a few hundredths. For example with Peer Beck and Karl-Friedrich Michel, who take part in the Eifel Classic with a Mercedes 280 SL from 1968: 'We are playing well together - it works almost perfectly.' The two of them set off for the final test lap before things get serious tomorrow: the 2nd Eifel Classic will start at 11.01 a.m.


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