Back to the rally legend. The day belongs to the WRX STI. It's his party, and each participant is looking forward to the moment when he is allowed on the track with the legend. As it happens, I want to land in the instructor's vehicle for the formation lap. Actually, that was not planned, and how it came about, I do not want to do. But some coincidences are worth gold.
Werner Gusenbauer is Driftprofi, has a drift school at the Nürburgring with his son, and also raced with the BRZ the 24 race on the ring. It goes on the track. A quiet introductory round. Gusenbauer with the 200 PS BRZ with sequential gear ahead, one hand at the wheel, the other on the radio. A hungry pack charged W afterwards, it goes to the west loop with its extreme gradients and gradients. Demanding, and already the two bumps in front of the legendary mousetrap warn for respect. Then it descends with an 26% gradient down the hill, then up.
The rounds are faster, Gusenbauer remains relaxed, moderated - as if we were both just a bag of bread at the bakery would get. While behind the participants sweat, fight, optimize and fight for traction, we chat about the 24 hour race on the ring. Impressive!
How impressive that is, I realize, when I'm allowed to drive WRX STI myself. The instructions in the ear chase after the BRZ. Keep the ideal line as good as possible, overcome my inner bastard and stay on the gas, where reason reminds to brake.
The limit of the WRX is far higher than my personal - I have no chance to even come within striking distance of the 100 PS weaker GT. And the WRX fascinates. The turbo gets down to business, the handling is first-class, the feedback is precise. Forget all the test reports and cliques that have ever been about the car. Ride yourself, make your own opinion. He is, to put it in a nutshell, an impressive overall work of art of a driving machine.
The training on the Westschleife is over too fast. It continues with a handling course, race talk with Tim Schrick. I learn a lot that day. For example, how to properly sit in the car to stay in control. Or how to steer and drive optimally curves.
The limits of physics
From 18: 00 clock, it's time for the BBQ. I am exhausted, hungry, thirsty. The break is good. Later it will be on the track again. In the WRX STI, the complete course is open. The legend flies, the turbo boxer delivers sound and power of all-wheel traction. Andreas, with whom I share the cockpit, is much more ambitious than me. After he takes the wheel, we hang behind the lead car, the rest of the field follows at a distance. In the mousetrap, we then feel how the WRX negotiates with the limits of physics.
The day was demanding, especially for me as an inexperienced "normal driver". And he was great because Subaru Germany delivered the perfect big party for a motorsport legend. My first real contact with a brand that has something special to offer. I enjoyed every minute. A relaxed, nice crowd, a great Subaru club on site, a friendly crew from Friedberg and a sophisticated, modern track made the event something special.
A quick thought on the edge.
Once again a brief thought away from Subaru, to Saab. The most modern and exciting racing resort in Germany was opened 2013. In the year 2011, still during the construction phase, Saab Germany had the idea to organize a big Saab festival there in the future. The brand has not made it so far. But it would have been a great place.
Home is in the 9-3 Aero. The Viggensitze are almost as good as the Recaros of the WRX STI. And yes, my Aero is similarly uncomfortable suspension as the driving machine from Subaru. You can feel it on the country roads around the Bilster mountain, to the highway there are about 50 kilometers. Shortly before I take fuel. I'm in the pole position, the Subarus are jammed behind me. A WRX STI flies in with a dark boxer rumble. Proud of Boxer. Yes, that has something!
On the highway the Saab has free rein. There are 250 kilometers of track, and where there is no limit, the turbo is allowed to run. He does that well, really sovereign. The Kassel mountains. I notice how I start to question every highway turn. OMG! Yes, I should improve. My steering behavior in fast corners, it is not sovereign. I've learned something, and maybe a motorsport virus eats in me. Or I have caught such a WRX Subaru BRZ thing. but who knows that?