Motor sport as a leisure activity in slalom and through hell

Motor sport as a leisure activity in slalom and through hell

No tennis match without a racket, no bicycle race without a racing bike, and no motor sport without a racing car of one's own? Wrong, because even without your own racing equipment it is possible to push the limits of driving physics on the racetrack without having to spend a small fortune.

Because even, who has only his standard everyday car, can do motorsport. "Auto slalom is best suited for this," says Michael Kramp of the German Motor Sport Federation (DMSB). "There, the beginners already get a good feeling for the car."On closed large parking lots or airfields, the organizers mark out a course with pylons – orange and white plastic hats. The single starters circumnavigate it as quickly as possible several times. The track length is a maximum of 5000 meters. High speed the cars usually do not reach thereby, explains the expert. "But even a curve taken at about 70 km/h can bring driver and vehicle to the performance limit."

To participate, a national C license is required, which regularly costs 50 euros. It can also be solved directly on site. "In addition, there is only the entry fee of about 40 to 50 euros," says Kramp. Drivers would also have to wear a helmet approved for motor racing. But they are already available for under 100 euros.

There are absolute series classes with little horsepower up to those for powerful sports cars with treadless racing tires and sports chassis. You can also come with a Passat station wagon, explains Kramp, but you will then notice that a Mini with the same powerful engine is faster and more agile on the road.

Once you get past the first few slaloms, a driver's education course can increase your skill level. These are offered by car manufacturers or car clubs such as the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD). At the AvD Driving Academy in Boxberg, for example, day courses start at 399 euros. What you learn? "Getting to know and master your own limits and those of the vehicle," says Robert Sürth of the Academy. This starts with basic driving techniques. For example, the interaction of throttle, clutch and brake as well as the correct steering and eye technique. The goal: to be able to move the car at the limit in a controlled manner. The courses are intended for cars with 200 hp or more, "so that the exercises can be completed in such a way that a certain driving dynamic is created."

Another option, also for weaker series cars, are regularity tests (GLP) on race tracks. For example, on the 20-kilometer Nürburgring Nordschleife, the so-called Green Hell. It is not a question of who is the fastest. "A lap time that I have achieved on the first lap I have to hit as closely as possible on the following ones," says Kramp. In addition to a license and helmet, as in slalom, at least a 2-kg fire extinguisher is also required on board. "Fireproof coveralls are also strongly recommended – but are not mandatory."

If you are looking for a Formula 1 feeling, you can also find it at the Nürburgring – in the Monoposto. The has free-standing wheels, an open cockpit and front and rear spoilers. "These are virtually small Formula 1 cars," explains Uwe Baldes from the Nürburgring Driving Academy. You can drive yourself from the age of 18 with a Class B driver's license in a variety of courses, graded by intensity.

That starts with the half-day Monoposto taster course for 395 euros. The racers have extreme grip compared to road cars due to the treadless racing tires and the wings. This makes very high cornering speeds possible. "The steering and brakes are designed to be incredibly direct," says Baldes. And with 140 hp and a weight of only 465 kilograms, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes less than four seconds.

If you don't necessarily want to get behind the wheel yourself, but still want to experience that motorsport feeling, you can simply sit in a cab at the Nürburgring, the Ring Taxi. For 295 euros, an experienced instructor then chauffeurs the passive athletes through the Green Hell at the limit in a 575-horsepower sports car.

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