From September 28 to October 2, the 21st edition of the German Creme21 Youngtimer Rallye was held. The event started in 2002 with 41 participating teams. Today there are waiting lists, and the chance that you will be drawn is greater than that you participate. The event is immensely popular in Germany, and this year the organizers set the maximum number of teams at 210. Sicco Dijkstra from Dijkstra Classic Cars and Youngtimers invited us to the German rally with a wink to drive. We debuted in the cream21. This one made a big impression. That is why we will report on the cult event in several companies in the near future. Today part 2: the welcome day and the Nürburgring.
At a quarter past three in the morning an alarm goes off somewhere in Leeuwarden. It is the ringtone of my telephone alarm clock that ushers in a pleasant period. All items for the stay in Germany are packed. I shower, run the coffee, grab some sandwiches and put the luggage in the Gulf. At half past five I pick up Bart, and before the sun rises we have passed Zwolle. The destination is Nurburg. The reason we left on time is that we are early in the crew numbers. We are Equipe 35. Nice detail: that is also the age of the Golf.
The Golf Cabriolet drives very easily. It fits well with the 75 DIN-hp 1.6 engine in the traffic, which is particularly nice in Germany. After crossing the Dutch-German border, we maintain a cruising speed of about 120 per hour, which is fine. The Golf is also a pleasant travel companion for other reasons. The furniture provides excellent support, the chassis holds its own and the power source picks up more and more smoothly. The Golf has been weighed up, although Volkswagen could have opted for slightly shorter transmission ratios for the five-speed gearbox at the time, in our opinion. But thanks to the maximum torque of 125 Nm at 2500 rpm, you can certainly live with that on the flatter parts.
The Golf will soon be a wonderful rally car, which continuously conveys that 'jump behind me' feeling to us. That is already certain in advance. It hardly gets any more all-round, certainly not within its historic class. And then we also have a roof that can be lowered. And how about the extra weight in the shell, which provides additional strength. That's also a plus. This Golf is a winner, and even before the rally has even started, I'm already attached to it.
The ride to the Eifel is going well. We arrive at the Ring well in time, and we immediately meet various participants. The atmosphere is relaxed and delighted. Beautiful. The Nürburgring is a warm bath, everyone finds each other and is interested in each other and in each other's cars. After registration we receive the goodie bag, the road book and the participation stickers for the car. We stick our proof of participation on the hood, not on the doors. The Golf also has to play a model for the magazine report in AMK. Then follows the technical inspection. We are in Germany, and you can bet that such an inspection is more than a show element. It proceeds in all conviviality, but the technical control is thorough in German.
We have time, lots of time. We use this by checking in at the hotel in peace, what to eat, and what to walk. We do a round of rRng, it's an immense plot. And it is almost entirely BMW what strikes the clock. Meanwhile, the Driving Experience drives brand-new M3 and M4 cars around the track at impressive speed. It impresses, whether you are a BMW fan or not. Today no one can ignore the Bavaria. And that also applies to the Ring Boulevard, which is home to an impressive set of BMWs from the Motorsport division.
And the shop, it's there too. The attraction is magnetic. When Bart and I walk in there, I already know: I won't come out empty-handed. I buy a Porsche 901 book, and leave a lot of other memorabilia, clothing and scale models for what they are, although the wallet plays a dangerous game with my self-control.
We return to the Creme21 paddock and talk to a lot of people, it's nice there. The field of participants is pretty complete. The variety of participating cars is great. Germany reigns supreme, but classics from another country of origin also catch the eye. There are beautiful cars in the participating collection. The welcome speech of the organization and the Ring Director is slowly approaching. It's full in the paddock, and after the warm welcome from the organization we grab an old-fashioned Bratwurst mit Pommes. Nice man. The restaurant on the paddock has been working overtime, the owners are very satisfied.
Then it's time: our Nürburgring debut awaits. We drive to one of the gates of the circuit. And suddenly - after a short merge - we are driving on the asphalt of the Ring. The circuit releases adrenaline for many participants. Regardless of the condition of many classic cars, the gas goes on the shelf. I mainly keep right on the Nordschleife. There I drive the Golf around the track at an acceptable but cautious speed. Safety first, no games, and don't be fooled. In the meantime, the realization is growing that the combination of the Eifel landscape and the illustrious asphalt has become one of the most beautiful circuits in the world. This Bucket List tick is gold-rimmed. The Green Hell is a paradise. And the fact that we drive there with a car from a model generation that always crosses my path reinforces the sentiment. Nostalgic feelings also reach full maturity here - during the Ring Debut. Goosebumps are on the arms at times.
The Ring is also a link miegel. There is a lot of venom in certain corners. And what comes your way after a climb is certainly to be seen during the debut round. We remain cautious and alert, others sometimes sweep past us at lightning speed. And not just with BMWs and Porsches. We are stunned when a Typ3 Pontoon passes us really quickly. And so are we when a Kadett B hits our heels at high speed. In this way we marvel and amaze ourselves for tens of kilometers. Later we speak to the Kadett owner. “Sie haben vermütlich ein 1.9 CIH unter der Haube”, I say with a laugh. However, the question is not rhetorical, the owner of the Kadett is surprised. “Nein, dieser Kadett leistet 50 PS”. For proof, he opens the hood and damn, it still fits.
Yes, the first day is nearing its end. We take another round of the area with the excellent driving Golf, and then it is time to move into the Motorsport Hotel, which breathes car in everything. You can even see texts from legendary drivers on the walls of the corridors and hotel rooms. Time to sleep, but not before I chat with some compatriots for a while. What it is about? About cars, of course. And the beautiful stories that go with it. And that makes sense. Because we are in a place where everything breathes cars.
The magic of the Nürburgring won't let go of me from now on. And that is a pleasant observation, accompanied by a jewel of a prospect. Because the 21st Creme has started. And will be continued in the Eifel, the Hunsrück, the Saarland, the Alsace and the Black Forest. The rally has begun, and how!
Next time part 3: the rally days. Wonderful enjoy
Many thanks to Sicco and Wilhelmina Dijkstra