While chefmonteur Smoke, the involuntary team manager of the equipe37 (q. v. our Oschersleben report), travels on a first class coach in keeping with his station, spoiled by a grid-girl-worthy train guard with coffee and the Financial Times, Axel and his better half agonize through the motorways in Reunification country. With a trailer and an average speed of 40 mph they are on their way to Frohburg, a classic, as famous as the races in Schleiz or on the Sachsenring. There (in Frohburg) the equipe37 will take part in two races for the Open-1000 class as well as in two heats for the 3 nations cup. The weather is horrible; not just the rain, but the cold causes problems, too.
This time our accommodation is unfortunately not the Hotel Primula in Oostende, but on the camp site Pahna; an unique GDR cottage with fifties-style tiles and an ugly styrofoam roof. But anyway: better than a tent in the paddock, where the storm changed all meadows to mud.
While the team manageer / chefmonteur watches the friday night thriller „Tatort“, Tati and Axel arrive around about midnight. Short coordination of the time table for the next day, followed by bed rest.
Next morning we enter the paddock, where Bernd Scheeder’s team is already working hard. It rains, the wind blows, it feels like 5º Celsius. The organisers postpone the commence of the practice from 8 to 9 o’clock; there is a storm warning. You can’t believe, that the storm shall increase! We hide in the team bus and have a cultivated breakfast.
Then the action starts – heaven is getting brighter. Today we have 4 practice sessions and one race. Axel starts with wet tyres. Difficult conditions, when you have to get to know the track at first. But he practice sessions went on almost unproblematically. With the sun shining and the track drying more and more we changed to dry tyres. Axel has some concerns with the transmission ratio. But in the end we can adhere: the R 1 fits almost perfectly to Frohburg.
So Axel goes for the first heat of the Open-1000-cc. The organisers regained lost time; the races follow one by the other. The practice sessions have been reduced a few minutes, but Axel has enough opportunities to ride. The stop watch proves, that our driver gets more and more common with the circuit.
The race itself - last item of the agenda on Saturday - causes no troubles; we have a relaxed evening.
A Sponsor of Bernd invited for a barbecue. So we could unroll the day with a delicious meal and twaddled with Andy und Manu of Moto B. K. before we headed back to our residence.
Sunday: Check-out at the camp master’s office. Then again on a secret path into the paddock. The sun is shining bright and scores of fans appear. Today there are the two heats for the 3 landen cup and another Open run in between.
The circuit is fast and the R 1 thirsty. Team manager and chefmonteur Smoke has to get gasoline by foot at the only petrol station in Frohburg, using a hand cart. There he meets lots of like-minded people. Or better: fellow sufferers!
The 3 nations cup is much more keenly than the Open races! Denny Lannoo, leading the cup with no loss, should go for the rostrum only one time. But his overall win couldn’t be taken away from him. The fight for the victory was as hard as the battle between the followers. Axel gets (as a rookie!) two brilliant 16th places. Therefore he even did send the TT veteran Dirk Kaletsch to the fields. The latter took it easy and was happy to have some evidence on his on-board video!
Again we had to find out, that a real „stock“ bike is outgunned in the final velocity. But chefmonteur Smoke had a calm job: A worn out sprocket had to be changed, the brake pads and the tyres.
At the end of the day we may stick to the conclusion: The season 2007 was the best so far for the equipe37; we discovered a new fascinating championship - the 3 Landen Cup, which is as good as the road races in Northern Ireland (alright: there are a few more visitors in Port Stewart) and already now the involved people think about possible improvements. A private secretary for the team manager wouldn’t be bad. So he wouldn’t loose Matthijs’ shipping documents like he did in Oschersleben!
In the evening chefmonteur Smoke has to go back to Berlin (from the ONLY track at Frohburg main station!) Tati and Axel rest some more days in a luxury resort, Sanssouci or something like this, to spend the last bucks left in the team cash box. Therefore the team members have to provide their own food for the season party next weekend! Something else we can optimize in 2008.
I am really curious about the next year. For the moment I say good bye until 2008 and want to thank all team mates and the people around the equipe37 for this class-A-experience you made come true. To tread on nobody’s toes, I don’t quote names - but nations: Northern Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany: That’s the way multi-culti works.