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2. Schloss Bensberg Classics: Bergisch shine

Achim Hartmann
2. Schloss Bensberg Classics
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W Well-known classics sometimes develop a strange life of their own. For example, the red Beetle convertible by TV chef Sarah Wiener. 'When I turn up somewhere,' the always cheerful kitchen woman complains between dessert and espresso, 'the first thing I am often asked is what my classic car is doing. Sometimes I think people are more interested in my car than in me or my recipes. '

Celebrities at the Schloss Bensberg Classics

The TV star was spared a deeper identity crisis at the 2nd Schloss Bensberg Classics. Her husband, the 'Miracle of Bern' leading actor Peter Lohmeyer, drove through the Bergisches Land at the Rallye Historique together with Karmann designer Jörg Steuerungagel in a VW bus of the T2 generation with Schalke 04 paintwork, and hardly any television Fan was able to resist the question: 'Oh, isn't your wife there?'

That couples can actively grow apart in a rally could not be proven at the 2nd Bensberger Rallye Historique. Audi boss Rupert Stadler, for example, started in the Wanderer 25 K with his wife Angelika, VW development director Ulrich Hackenberg was guided by his wife Thresiama, and Ferrari expert Klaus Werner chauffeured his Monika through the Bergisches Land in the extremely valuable 250 California Spider . When the penalty points were counted at the end of the rally day, they were not given the usual meaning. It seemed more important to have arrived together and to be able to leave yourself to the sumptuous care of hotel manager Thomas Althoff.

Rallye Historique with little meanness

But let's talk about driving. Motor Klassik crossed the Bergisches Land this year in a '57 Bentley S1 Flying Spur. The noble four-door comes from the factory museum in Crewe, and of course we stretched our arms, did squats and cracked our finger joints so that we could master the smooth process of driving a Bentley without any problems. Alone, we were driven.

'He's not giving it up,' said Volkswagen Classic boss Eberhard Kittler, and shrugged his shoulders regretfully. 'He' was Vito Bilotta, a test driver at Bentley with the additional qualification oldtimer-proof, so suitable for driving the company's classics. “Okay,” we say, “if you've got the British Regularity Champion sitting there, thenWe'll be happy to do the fringing. 'Start. Immediately afterwards Vito reveals that this is the first classic car rally of his life. Then he adds the question of what this is all about? There are more favorable conditions for winning a rally.

The route wasn't the problem. We drove the rally on the most beautiful paved side roads that the Bergisches Land has to offer, simply fantastic. The problem was the nine special stages and the two Gymkhana exercises. But One after the other. The first nasty thing awaits us immediately after the start. When leaving the hotel there is a left bend, and here 80 meters are required in exactly 15 seconds. Vito irons the Bentley through the light barriers, and I still think not bad . It should remain our best exam of the day.

Missed light barrier looks absolutely harmless in the rear-view mirror

The Bergisches Land offers a multitude of possibilities for the Zi swallowing a special stage without a trace. Where sign, where hose, where direction? The missed light barrier looks absolutely harmless in the rearview mirror; but in the overall result it is hell. Then this skill-driving. The instruction in the road book reads like a declaration of war: 'Drive the rear tire on the passenger side onto the rubber mat. You only have one attempt, help from the passenger or third parties is not permitted. Any exterior mirrors are covered.'

Vito drives gently, with feeling, even when lying next to it. A rubber mat is waiting somewhere, but the Bentley's rear wheel is as close to the elastic rectangle as Africa is to South America. The number with the block, the angle and the carriage distance should not be written here; also not about the Z to be driven forwards-backwards-forwards or the fundamental difference between start and finish. The pain is still too fresh.

But even the toughest rally will find its finish line at some point. The evaluation put us in 41st place with 63 evaluated participants. Next time Vito will drive for victory. After all, a single test rally is enough for a real Bentley boy.


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