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Mazda MX5 Open Race 2010 - Eleventh place in the race

Jürgen Mainx
Mazda MX5 Open Race 2010
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race day. It is getting serious. The start of the Mazda M X-5 Open Race 2010 is imminent.
There is a mixture of anticipation and tension in the auto motor und sport team - it's called racing fever. One last driver briefing, while the weather at the Adria Raceway still has no sympathy with the 146 drivers. Still rain, five degrees Celsius - not really ideal conditions for a race without a roof. But that doesn't spoil the mood in the team with starting number 23. It tingles suspiciously in the hands, itches penetratingly in the foot. Just one last vehicle check during the morning warm-up. 30 minutes to put on new brake pads and new tires. Then it should finally start.

Starting position seven at the Mazda MX5 Open Race 2010

At 12:40 p.m., the pit lights turned green. The starting line-up is formed. Number 23 is lurking in row four. Until the mixed field starts moving at 1:00 p.m. For safety reasons, initially with four introductory laps behind the safety car. Then 28 angry four-cylinder units scream hoarsely to attack. Like a string of pearls, the Mazda Armada rushes into the first corner, wrapped in a thick rain spray. On the slippery track, the first Unionjack to drive has been shelved in turn three. Sweden is pushing from behind. Norway is slowly getting smaller in the rearview mirror. Portugal stubbornly defends itself against the first overtaking attacks, wing mirror to wing mirror, leaving slight traces of rubber on the black, red, gold driver's door.

And despite the adverse conditions and the blazing national pride, the entire field shows a reasonably neat interaction with one another. Switzerland is stranded in gravel. The German sister car struggles with latent oversteer. Result of a rudely ending slip in the morning warm-up.

Driver change and refueling are part of the Mazda MX5 Open Race 2010

Number 23 continues to do well in seventh place from a total of 28. Until the pit board asks for the first mandatory stop. Refuel, change drivers, and get back into battle. Winner Michael Knobel gets to work. Routine, safe, flawless. The native of Bremen unwinds his stint with Bavarian beer calm, as if the task given him were his daily bread. No capersno ill-considered actions, number 23 turns one fast lap after the other with the precision of a Swiss clockwork. Until England 2 is targeted as the conditions improve, a tough and fair fight is started. 'I kept falling out with the British. Sometimes he was in front, then I was able to slow him down again. That was sensational,' Michael Knobel recorded as he peeled himself out of the racing seat again. 'Really great, that makes a good mood. I would have found another second, but that way I was on the safe side. The two weeks of heartbeat beforehand were absolutely worth it,' says Knobel with a smile.

Then there Rainer Kühlwein spurs the Mazda. He feels his way to the limit just as routinely as his colleague shortly before. Hardly avoids wild duels, finds his optimal rhythm after two or three laps. Number 23 with the auto motor und sport delegation on board is on the rise again after the approximately four-minute mandatory stop. Clarified, without taking a risk, Rainer cools wine to hunt down the European competition. At the end of the third stint, Team Germany 1 entered the fuel zone in fifth place. Relieved, with a big grin on his face, with himself, the team and the racing MX-5, Rainer Kühlwein takes a look at the time monitor and makes a statement: 'Not an easy task, the optimal line under these conditions to find. But I am satisfied with myself. If you are too, then I am happy. ' Are we! A team performance par excellence. You can work with auto motor und sport readers - even on the racetrack.

Best German team at the Mazda MX5 Open Race

However, there is one hour before the end of the race just wait. On the achievements of the last two in the league: Bernhard Santer and final driver Ralf Bauer. While the competition, some of whom are professionals, is making the final attack, Santer defends eighth place in his first race. When the floodlights bathed the Adria Raceway in an eerie mood, Team Germany 1 crossed the finish line in eleventh place. Without damage, without rides, with a clear team performance and the best placement of the three teams from Germany. With two beaming winners, with whom the perfectly completed Mazda MX-5 Open Race also arouses the desire for more or even leverages one's own emotional life a little. Rainer Kühlwein is busy 'When are we going again?' And Michael Knobel frankly admits: 'I think I fell a little in love with the racing MX-5.'

Rightly so. Because our Mazda MX-5 was the only one that entered Parc Fermé without a single scratch. The only thing that testified to the tough 4-hour fight were delicate rubber tracks from Portugal. Wash and blow dry once was the watchword after a 4-hour fight that was perfectorganized an award ceremony, which was the crowning glory of an event in which Team Germany 1 delivered a racing machine that was returned after 120 laps exactly as it was taken over for the first free practice.


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