Paul Pietsch Classic 2015: Our Willi is the best

Hardy Mutschler
Paul Pietsch Classic 2015
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D he Willi has a hard time this Saturday. Fully occupied, the old boy puffs up the crisp Black Forest slopes. Even in second gear, the gasoline engine groans along the narrow streets at 40 km /h. In addition, there is the extreme heat that increases the engine temperature to 90 degrees. But Willi doesn't let himself get down so quickly.

The Mercedes-Benz O 319 bravely fights its way over the Black Forest stage. Dominic Müller is at the wheel. He knows his bus very well. Dominic knows when to whip him across the piste and when to persuade his Willi.

Inside the bus people laugh, shout and always wave friendly when photographers or spectators are on the route. In a bus filled with vintage car enthusiasts, a lively atmosphere is inevitable at the Paul Pietsch Classic. Dominic Müller increases the party mood with his easy-going, funny Rhinelander style.

Special stages with an hourglass

The co-pilot finds it visibly difficult to announce the course of the route. The note 'turn left in 2 kilometers' is lost in the background noise. Dominic turns the radio down. Now the jazz music stops, the passengers stop screaming and on the second attempt the bus driver understands the announcement.

The bus is only absolutely quiet during the special stages. Willi drives in the so-called hourglass class, with the time being stopped with mechanical clocks. The seconds count down. '5, 4, 3, 2, 1, zero' and the front wheels roll through the light barrier. If the vehicle reaches the barrier too early or too late, the team collects penalty points.

When the bus passes a petrol station, loud laughter breaks out in the bus. A Corvette is at the pump and is overtaken by Willi, who honks happily. In contrast to the sports car, the Mercedes-Benz O 319 built in 1963 is an economical old-timer. One tank of fuel is enough for him for the entire stage. And in the end for a 24th place overall. The Paul Pietsch Classic is about more than speed.

More information about the 'Willi' bus can be seen and read here: www.ritter-durbach.de/de/oldtimer/oldtimer-bus

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