The Bilster Mountain is calling (2 / 2)

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.

WRX STI. Ultimate driving machine and legend saying goodbye.
WRX STI. Ultimate driving machine and legend saying goodbye.

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?

17 thoughts too "The Bilster Mountain is calling (2 / 2)"

  • 30. May 2018 at 10: 48 AM

    I think the car is really mood, but the car also has a decisive disadvantage: The car does not have it with understatement. A Prollkiste par excellence with a frying counter on the tailgate which seems to have sprung directly from the 80ern. In Switzerland, I've seen the car almost every corner, mostly young people to whom an Audi S3 / S4 too inconspicuous or too expensive.
    Too bad, a little less conspicuous, but a nicer interior and it would really be a Saabalternative today

    • 30. May 2018 at 11: 25 AM

      As always a very discreet way of speaking, dear Daniel. For your reassurance: There is the WRX STI without frying counter, so he likes better. The interior is, after the current revision, really well done. On the issue, other brands can do something. I wanted my 9-3 II to be so solid inside.

      • 30. May 2018 at 11: 55 AM

        I love clear words ... As for the interior: The workmanship is really good as with many Japanese. In the extended family are a Legacy and Impreza on the road, there is really nothing to complain about. Nevertheless, I feel the appearance too gimmicky and thus something "cheap". Although the current version is indeed an improvement ...

  • 30. May 2018 at 11: 29 AM

    Oh man, that makes goose bumps! Must have been a great event, because you are a bit jealous. I wanted Orio to do something like that, but that's probably a dream.

  • 30. May 2018 at 11: 33 AM

    Somehow a pity that the WRX STI will not exist anymore. Found in always great. One of the last of its kind.

  • 30. May 2018 at 12: 04 PM

    Frittentheke ... Thanks for the laugh of the day
    You made my day.
    Thanks also to Tom for the emotional description of the Subaru.

  • 30. May 2018 at 2: 28 PM

    As always written very cool. Make Subaru interesting for me. What a coincidence, my SAAB friend also sells Subarus 😀

  • 30. May 2018 at 4: 09 PM

    An info, to which the team of Muckelbauer pointed out, brings Saab and Subaru together even closer. Because both brands have the same origin, both come from the aircraft industry.

    • 30. May 2018 at 4: 56 PM

      Right. And if you look more closely at Subaru, you will find even more. The penchant for understatement (apart from the WRX STI), the consistent pulling through of their own technical solutions, and Subaru delivers a lot of car for the money. And certainly you will find even more in common, even if a Subaru in the buzzer of all things is completely different than a Saab.

    • 31. May 2018 at 10: 57 AM

      Subaru comes from the aircraft industry?

      I did not know that. Since you have to rewrite the story well. The "Boxer Rebellion" is generally located in China. He actually comes from Japan ...

      In any case, I find it cool when smaller companies or brands in the automotive industry still do their own thing and in the form of everyday cars. Many such brands are not anymore. My eyes are always on Alfa. Too bad that they have no station wagon in the program. I have to look at the website of Subaru again ...

      • 31. May 2018 at 2: 16 PM

        Aircraft construction since 1917. Incidentally, Subaru is only a small brand for us. 1 million four-wheel-drive cars a year are already a number.

        • 31. May 2018 at 8: 39 PM

          Oh yes, that's a number ...

          ... especially since the model range is small and special. Who buys a million "niche products"? How is this paragraph distributed globally? Exciting questions, exciting brand. No doubt ...

          • 31. May 2018 at 9: 20 PM

            Half buy the Americans, the other the rest of the world. With Legacy and Ascent, there are big models in the US that we do not get. And in Japan there are sambar, slides, justy and chiffon. The latter is a kei-car, for which one does not have to prove parking. Subaru is traditionally successful in this business. So enough Subaru, tomorrow it will continue with Saab, before the readers freak out ... 😉

          • 31. May 2018 at 10: 39 PM

            What is a kei-car? Is this something like a Kaiten with wheels?


  • 30. May 2018 at 9: 27 PM

    Many thanks for this great report, I would have liked to have been there, Subaru are just as fascinating as Saab, a small brand that is just different. What I regret with the new Subarus is that there are no more frameless windows

  • 31. May 2018 at 8: 58 PM

    I even switched from an 9-3x to an outback, the 9-3X with the XWD and eLSD was very active, because the Outback does not come along, but 1,5 is also bigger with longer wheelbase and the basic design of the chassis is also different, where I also have to say that I rarely drove a car of this size (almost 5m) that is so neutral around the curve. Also, I'm a fan of your own quirky solutions (eg: Eyesight) the really low service costs 30% less than my 9-3 and this I come through everywhere and up attitude 🙂

    • 31. May 2018 at 9: 13 PM

      Thanks Alex. I have to admit that in the week before the Bilster Mountain I went outback for the first time. The suspension I found remarkable, it has true comfort qualities. I was convinced by the concept of the Outback (no, I did not order one), it is a good choice. Have fun with it!

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