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Skoda Fabia S1600 Rallycross in the track test: Volland's unbearable lightness

Skoda Fabia S1600 Rallycross in the track test
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A ls Yvan Muller - called Yvan the Terrible - the In the 11th year of winning the ice racing series Trophée Andros for the tenth time in the winter of 2006, the organizer politely but firmly asked him to please find another playground to beat up small children there. Germany, on the other hand, doesn't have an ice racing series, but Germany has the rallycross championship - and Rolf Volland. It has just come from the DMSB championship award. It was his 13th title.

Killer on the track, victim in the box

There is none Championship in the Federal Republic of Germany that a single person would have dominated as much as Volland did the local rallycross scene. Anyone who meets the friendly mid-forties with the thinning hair and the wiry figure does not exactly think that they have a killer in front of them. But Volland is not a gambler either: The last failure was three years ago because of a defective sensor. The loss balance for the 2011 season is two rear aprons - destroyed when unloading from the trailer.

The trained concrete worker has been unbeaten in his division for 17 races - this is not due to his aggressiveness, but to the meticulousness. Nobody prepares himself or his car with such perfection. If you place the Volland Skoda on the wheel load scale, you will find that it is balanced to the right and left to within one kilogram. After a few years with the 500 hp four-wheel drive supercars, he switched to the small division. His Skoda Fabia has no turbo and only a small 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine, only front-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive. But in Division 1A there is significantly more competition and tighter competition - at least behind Volland. He got a 238 hp engine from tuner Hohenester and a series body.

Detail-optimized Volland Skoda Fabia S1600 Rallyecross

A Super 2000 would be too difficult. Rolf Volland had 80 kilos of sheet metal cut from the Fabia, from the seat consoles to the holder for the airbag control unit. The wheel arches for the 17-inch model were designed by the cage builder; only the chassis geometry comes from the Super 2000 car. For reasons of balance, the servo pump for the steering works electrically and is located at the rear right in the trunk. A light motorcycle battery, engine control unit, extinguishing system, washing water pump and container sit on top of the with a ballast weighing ten kilogramsPassenger side. Of course, the fan and exhaust also moved to the right. He even got a windshield wiper motor from England because it can be mounted on the right.

The engine is inclined 30 degrees backwards, the bulkhead had to be cut open to accommodate the intake tract. The tank crouches flat in front of the rear axle on the underbody. When Volland ordered it, the supplier asked if he had a drinking problem. The container only holds nine liters. The Fabia S1600 stands on Russian rims with an Opel bolt circle. Rolf Volland made the wheel hubs himself. VSMPO's bikes weigh just under seven kilos, otherwise it would be over ten. Brakes from a scooter manufacturer slow down the rear axle. The rear part is so light anyway that an adult can lift it up.

Weight poker in the Volland Skoda Fabia S1600

The minimum weight - including the driver - is 1,000 kilos, the Volland Fabia with its handlebars weighs 1,005 kilos. And what about the five kilos overweight? “All you have to do is spray the windscreen washer container empty,” says race engineer Wolfgang Schuster dryly. However, such subtleties are not important today. Exactly designed for a 75-kilo man like Volland, there is now a tester in the car who would have to box in the Klitschko class. So the car is completely out of balance. That is a welcome excuse for moderate lap times.

The test track in Schlüchtern is an asphalt roller coaster glued tightly into the forest with confusing peaks and valleys. Opposite the only straight a long left throws itself downhill over a steep knoll and suddenly changes behind a rough asphalt edge into a radically fast right. Volland usually keeps his car going well, so it only needs five instead of the usual six gears and loves long gear ratios. The top speed is 155 km /h. “I drive all that here,” says Volland, who brakes the left, when inspecting the treacherous passage, casually adding that if the line on the left is too wide, one likes to get onto the dirty edge of the road and then roll sideways over the guardrail to the right Cut trees.

Front-wheel drive dwarf convinces in track test

The intimidated guest driver gets by with three gears with the Sadev transmission. The Fabia rotates up to a maximum of 9,800 revolutions, but on the cold winter asphalt and behind the hilltops, early shifting is advisable, otherwise only the front wheels spin. Because the four-cylinder is not lacking in power despite its measly cubic capacity. The low weight makes amazing braking points possible. The light rear axle over-brakes easily despite the puny discs and steers well, which means that there is hardly any annoying understeer. The steering of the rear end is easy to control, the agility of the lightweightThat's fun.

In favor of a low center of gravity, the chassis is as low as possible, the damping is rather hard despite the rough terrain. And so the ride resembles a rodeo ride, in which the inexperienced after a dozen laps gets hot flashes despite the cold. A little break is due anyway, the tank is almost empty. In the second run the auxiliary drifter has just come in quite usefully under the benevolent gaze of the master, the speeds increase, but the propulsion decreases. The light carbon clutch is contaminated with abrasion. It is usually cleaned and readjusted after every race. It is one of the key elements in the car.

Rallycross is merciless

Before every run, Volland also sits over his data records and appreciates the grip , measures the asphalt temperature and thinks about which start program to choose. He has saved 24 different variants for speed and gas usage in the chip. In rallycross sprint races, the start is crucial. Rallycross is not a sport for the squeamish. Whoever passes the first corner first has half the battle. Because the others know that, the four-lap races are jostled and pushed, and sometimes you go crazy. In this sport there is no time to prepare your opponent.

There may be two or three corners that there is a small chance of getting past. “You have to stick to that,” says Volland. “It is important that the others know that you are merciless.” Once a Swiss man came to him before the race and prophesied: “One of us won't make it through the first corner.” Volland drove him 200 meters after the start Rear axle gone. It is not the first time that Rolf Volland has taken an entire championship hostage. After five years of kart training, he won three national titles in the autocross scene in the mid-1990s. At the European championship debut he was already on the podium, at the end of the year he also had this title. In the past decade he lost a single title in the DRX.

Because his car rolled slightly backwards on an uphill start, a race steward decided on a false start. And because his son was going to communion, he skipped a race. In 2009 he started at the European Championship run at Estering. He had a tire damage shortly after the start and had to survive five laps with the flat tire. Volland was the first German to win a European Championship run in 20 years. There is not enough money for a lasting career in the European Championship. If you want to be at the forefront, you need at least one million euros. His Skoda Fabia is almost a bargain for the DRX at 150,000 euros.

Victory is set, record in sight

In the rallycross championship, Volland recently only managed to do this that motivates him toaimed at the lap record on every route. When the entourage arrives in the paddock, they only discuss second place. Volland doesn't want to wait until one day someone explains to him that he is undesirable. He thinks about a change. He just doesn't know where to go yet. Should he turn his back on the rallycross championship after 16 years, some will regret the loss of a figure of light. Most participants, however, will breathe a sigh of relief.


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