Sachsen Classic 2015: 40 years of VW Polo

Arturo Rivas
Sachsen Classic 2015
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D he small round stickers to the left of the sports steering wheel with its flattened bottom Twelve o'clock marking for precise counter-steering works wonders in a standard VW Polo. He warns: no faster than 240 km /h, winter tires! At first glance, the small two-door car looks sporty, but still subdued. No crazy downforce spoiler bulges over the asphalt at a millimeter distance, no flared fenders inflate the cheeks, and the war paint remains subtle. WRC is written in the blue decorative stripe, that's enough.

WRC? World Rally Championship, the world championship for those steering wheel artists who are often faster on the road in swamp, on black ice and through undergrowth than most of us on the motorway. Polo drivers Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala became world champion and runner-up in 2014.

For the 40th birthday of the Golf's little brother, Volkswagen came up with the sporty idea of ​​producing the Polo in a small series of only 2,500 R WRC to be used as the advance car at this year's Sachsen Classic. In order to properly prepare the country and its people for the 220-hp dwarf and its top speed of 243 km /h, the plant has already provided the number 0006: This preview is lubricated by the oil pressure of a world-class Volkswagen, and we have each other faster than this time never thrown from point to point, over 628 rally kilometers. Full pipe, of course, only on the Sachsenring.

Queckenberg and Omega

For the rally participants on the 3,671 meter long route, it is important in laps two and three to drive exactly the same time as possible that was set in the starting lap itself. It is often found annoying that there are ten left and four right turns with strange names like Queckenberg and Omega, two stream crossings, a good twelve percent incline and later also a ten percent incline.

Whoever is there with his Oldie hits the target time exactly twice to the hundredth of a second, the then penalty point-free rating has really earned. However, nobody can remember that this feat was already successful.

What lap times are people talking about? Audi has just set a new diesel record with an RS 5 TDI with a time of 1.35.35 minutes, and with a Porsche 911 GT2 two more timesSeconds faster. Pre-war oldies take five minutes. Our polo time is somewhere in between, soaked by the irrigation of the track that sprayed from all the nozzles during a drift course.

The rest of the first day of the rally around the ring is dedicated to the remarkable Saxon culture. This of course includes a topographical exclamation mark such as the Steep Wall of Meerane, which is part of the backdrop of the Sachsen Classic like the TV sketch “Dinner for One” on New Year's Eve.

In Meerane, automotive progress becomes clear and clear: The The 220 hp Polo soaks up the 12.4 percent incline like a tourist who has just arrived the first caipirinha on Copacabana. This performance is in stark contrast to that of a 125cc small-cut machine with 6 hp, the driver of which once had to skip the Steilwand special stage with tears in his eyes to get his clutch through the day.

When the rallye Route also specifies the main route through Saxony, history lures you to nearby side routes. If you drive past Wolkenburg Castle, you will not only miss an extensive, magnificent library in the Venetian-neo-Gothic style, but also the sophistication of a technology that made the automobile possible.

Detlev Carl Graf von Einsiedel and his son invented it At the end of the 18th century, together with the foundry in Lauchhammer, a process to cast even large sculptures from iron in a very fine way. This gave classicism a decorative, stable material, and when the market for patriotic fences, Bismarck busts, garden sheds and gable reliefs approached its saturation in the following epoch, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz were able to use an ingenious cast iron technique for engine housings, cylinders and their heads fall back.

Ore, wood and clocks

The second day of the rally leads from Zwickau to the heights of the Ore Mountains, along the Czech border, sometimes parallel to the Kammweg, through the clock town of Glashütte until finally Dresden. But first things first.

Among the neat castles and palaces that line the path of the old-timer caravan, the Scharfenstein Castle near Selva Gardena, for example, invites you to stop. It houses a rich museum that colorfully illustrates the recent history of the Ore Mountains. Built around 1250, when silver mining began, the castle is still inhabited today - for more than 750 years, which is a fine example of sustainable building with thick walls.

In the first mining crisis around 1650, from Sideline and working from home, the carving culture with its today typical Erzgebirge angels, pixies, smokers and nutcrackers. Then the watch industry settled in the small town of Glashütte. In 1893, the businessman Johannes Dürrstein founded the Union watch factory, which based its first prototypes on Swiss models.With a view to the often still narrow wallet of the customers: 'Watches that have everything that makes them precise and beautiful, but nothing that makes them expensive.'

Dürrstein's business idea has proven itself, and so does Master Julius Bergter created a top model on Dürrstein's order, a universal watch with 18 complications, which for a long time was considered the most complicated pocket watch in the world: with moon phase, leap year display, double chronograph, alarm clock and a minute repeater including Grande Sonnerie. The history of Union Glashütte and its local competitors is ticking and ticking in the local watch museum, which is open every day. Adults pay six euros admission, children up to six years are free.

The weavers' half-timbered houses

Since we have it with the craft: The rally loop on the third day from Dresden to Dresden leads a bit through the Czech Republic and then, again in Saxony, through the weaving village of Obercunnersdorf. The small community is known for the large number of so-called half-timbered houses still preserved there. Its construction of block, half-timbered and brick walls decoupled the weaving room with the shaking and vibrating chair from the rest of the house in terms of vibration.

Radebeul is not far from Dresden. Karl May lived and wrote his Winnetou novels here, which the Karl May Museum at Karl-May-Straße 5 is a very authentic reminder of this. While the books only die in literary terms, things were more drastic at Rammenau Castle near Bischofswerda in 1818: Christiane Fichtin and Gottlieb Kunze were beheaded because the rabid lady had separated from her husband the year before with an arsenic and buttermilk soup. The soup is still one of the castle specialties, but now without arsenic.

Beauty on the Elbe

While Karl May's cultural heritage is undoubtedly also internationally recognized, Dresden and the Elbe Valley lost its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 after only five years. The reason: A new bridge over the Elbe would ruin the entire urban and natural ensemble.

Fortunately, the Elbe buildings remain at least partially untouched and the Baroque architecture of the Saxon capital completely untouched. After the almost extensive destruction of the city center at the end of the Second World War, Dresden presents itself again today as an architectural total work of art with countless stone jewels such as the Zwinger, Residenzschloss, Hofkirche, Semperoper, Taschenberg-Palais, Augustusbrücke and, at the end, the golden rider.

Dresden, at least that much is certain, is a fascinating, worthy destination, with or without world cultural status. On Friday the rally arrives at the Augustus Bridge, from where it will start again on Saturday morning. In the afternoon, the target arch greets you in front of the Transparent Factory, the birthplace of the VW Phaeton.

But there is now someone whoAlso deserves respect and likes to mess with the luxury four-door: the Polo R WRC. It almost manages a speed of 250, and a Phaeton has never been world rally champion.


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