13.10.16 Wolfgang Kaufmann wins at the RGB Season Finale
In changeable conditions, soloist Kaufmann prevails in the Youngtimer Trophy race.
Once again, Dieter Dörmann’s Ford Escort RS 1600 was ready for Wolfgang Kaufmann - at the 38th ADAC RGB Season Finale on the Grand Prix circuit of the Nürburgring with its 5.1 kilometers in length. The final round of the Youngtimer Trophy was on the agenda; with the perfectly prepared and extensively tested Escort Mk.I, Kaufmann/Dörmann went into the timed practice sessions. As the professional driver of the team, Kaufmann drove in Qualifying 1 and turned a best lap of 2:24.887 which was enough for provisional pole position. Following Dörmann’s Qualifying 2, the team took the start of the race from the front row.
“All change” on race day: car owner Dörmann had to bow out of the race for health reasons; this meant that Kaufmann would have to contest the 1 hour long race by himself. In spite of light precipitation at the start, the entire Youngtimer Trophy field set off on slick tyres. However, as the rain kept getting more intense, Kaufmann soon decided to avoid any additional risk, and finish the race on wet weather tyres. As the race had a wide pit stop “window”, it was possible to bring the Escort into the pits earlier than initially planned. “Such a car makes for proper, ‘old-school’ pit stops”, Kaufmann says with a grin, “no air jacks, no central wheel locks, just plenty of lug nuts and an old-fashioned jack!” And who says there is no camaraderie in motor racing these days: “When I stopped the car on our pit apron, all of a sudden some of the crew for Kurt Eckes RDM Racing stepped up and helped our boys with the tyre change. Absolutely crazy stuff! I would like to thank them again for their sportsmanship.”
In spite of this unplanned tyre change, the whole pit stop only took 25 seconds longer than the mandated minimum time; Kaufmann filed back into the field toward the end of the queue. And still, the weather conditions kept changing: with the rain intensifying at first, the AVON tyres came into their own; then the track periodically dried up again. “But even this abuse didn’t affect our AVON rain tyres.”
When the rain was finally here to stay, Kaufmann pulled all the stops. The man from Molsberg in Germany rung the little four-cylinder engine’s neck. At the finish line, his advantage over the nearest competition was a clear 54 seconds - a convincing victory for “Piranha”, that was made all the more convincing when the 2nd and 3rd placed competitors were later disqualified for technical infringements!
“The trophy presentation was a real boost for morale”, a happy Kaufmann said afterwards, “I want to congratulate the organisers, Renngemeinschaft Bergisch Gladbach, on a fine event, and also on keeping up a fine tradition - the top three finishers got proper laurel wreaths. Personally, I appreciated that very much.”