Monday, June 17, 2013

Motorsports Club Stuttgart / ADAC Racing at Hockenheim

Saturday afternoon, I dropped by Hockenheim to catch some German grassroots motorsports. The MCS and ADAC (kind of like AAA in the US, but still sanctions motorsports) put on the event, their third at Hockenheim this year.  For 10 euros entry fee, one can wander the stands, pits, and paddock all day. Lots of pictures after the jump.
Over the afternoon, I spectated three race groups. The Touring Car Challenge features modern touring cars split into four classes ranging from FWD cars, to 911 cup cars, to all out GT3 cars. The speed, sounds and racing of this group was worth the price of entry alone. While not exactly club racing it was none the less exciting.
Length of races varies with the group but could be as long as 100 miles. The awards ceremony occurs just after the checker flag drops. Each driver parks infront of the stage just off pit lane and receives his prize. Once all the trophies are handed out, all the cars return to the paddock.
Next up was German Superkart. At least from the stands, Hockenheim appears to be a smooth, flat, fast race track that must be a blast in a kart. Racing was competitive for the first ten laps or so with a pack battling towards the front to stay in the top ten. Eventually, the field spread out and finishing order remained unchanged.
Hockenheim is a world class Grand Prix track that doesn't require miles of walking to enjoy. For this weekend, parking was available right next to the main entrance near the start-finish line. From their, the four turns before the front straight, garages, pit-lane, paddock, grand-stands and turn one are all a short walk from one another. Spectators were not allowed on the pit wall during the start of a race, but it was all access after the first lap.
The final race group I watched were formula and sports racers, most of which looked vintage and bad ass.
Organization of the races seems to be little different than conventional club racing the US where one group holds the event and controls licensing, rules, and everything else. Here, the MCS and ADAC hold the even but each race group is a series of it's own with an organization that set the specific rules and regulations.  These include the Spezial-Tourenwagen-TrophyTCCA (that runs a spec E30 325i class), TCC, AVDFHRHisto-Cup and others.  Entry fees vary but a single race can easily be around 1,000 euros.
How does a 440 Barricuda with a Torqueflite 727 wearing street tires fare as a road racer? The quiet German driver said it like "swimming". The matching Challenger is similarly equipped. This sounds like my kind of excitement and I shouldn't have to be in Germany to find it.
I never considered an Alfa 159 to be a race car, maybe I could race mine. Admittedly, all the time I've spent at race tracks lately makes me want to get back behind the wheel on track. I think my Alfa 159 diesel wagon will continue as a daily driver but I may need to find a track car. This race day gave me a lot to think about. Racing is what I really crave but I'm lacking a tow vehicle, tools, and all the other bits that make a race comfortable. Maybe a track day car is what I need....

This Audi may have the most complex fuel system I've seen in a race car.

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