Car: Mercedes 300 GE
Friday 17 Aug – Saturady 18 Aug
Friday practice at 14-16 hours. Lap is 17 km, bumpy and VERY dusty. Our lap time approx 25 minutes.
First Mathias drive one lap with me as co-pilot so I could see his driving and learn the technics of the car. Then I drove two laps with my co-driver Krit. Then I also did the time qualification – we made 7th place!! Lap time 23 minutes, and I was not pushing it because the suspension was too soft. For the race the mechanics put more gas pressure in rhe rear shocks. And also we had to pace down a bit to make car last all 24 hours – team orders.
Mathias took the start and driving in a pace of 24-26 minutes. Still we dropped back, rear shock absorbers running hot – so mathias unloaded 2spare tyres etc in the pits to make the car lighter.
Mathias just smiled when I came in and said no worries!! Then he took off and made 6 laps keeping lap times around 30 minutes.
My next stint at 04.00 in the morning was a struggle as I speeded up, driving in 4WD made the car handle better but still hard to drive because rear shocks were gone, no gas or oil in them = neck and back aching badly. But i managed to do my 6 laps within 26-30 min so pace ok.
Mathias took the next stint and kept his 6 laps around 25-30 minutes.
I was waiting for my next stint around 10 am and suited up as Mathias was approaching in 10 minutes. But then he didn’t show up! Just before coming into pits the driveshaft broke and the car was towed in. Mechanics started working on it but after one hour they also realized the gearbox was damaged. We had no spares for this so sadly we could not continue.
Instead we spent the day cheering on our fellow team #100 with one driver from pure-racing, Ingo Kaldarasch. They were second and chasing first. Also I had another favourite, #133 Fiat Panda 4×4. I had seen the black and yellow striped fiat slowly struggling its way out there as I passed – and they were still in the race.
At the finish on saturday evening our team mate #100 was leading by two laps and could secure the victory. The fiat also made it in place 24 – incredible.
Also we got a medal!! Because they count all the laps we made and this put us in 23rd general, 8th in class, so we were not out!
The team will now repare the car rebuild the suspension for next race!
THANKS to my team mate Mathias for having me!! And to my co-pilot Krit and the rest ot the team and their nice families, very nice team spirit. Also thanks to Pure-Racing Ingo for organising this drive, and lending me your parents Gisela and Erwin to take care of me here in Schwerin. I had a fantastic stay!
THANKS to the GORM organisers for arranging a great event. It was hard and demanding for drivers and cars, a very good experience for those dreaming of the Dakar rally!!
I hope to be back next year!