TÜV Rheinland: expert panel discussion
TÜV Rheinland traditionally hosts an expert panel discussion at the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix. This year, Norbert Schroeder, Head of the Competence Center Classic Cars at TÜV Rheinland, is meeting in public sessions with the two racing drivers and technology experts Frank Stippler and Volker Strycek (Saturday, at 12.00 and Sunday at 1 AM at the TÜV Hospitality in the Grand Prix Paddock). “We are continuing last year’s line of topics, focusing on authenticity this year,” says Schroeder. The discussions examine the origin of classic and vintage automobiles and their historic authenticity. Schroeder: “We continue to experience the classics scene as a very honest business, but there is a clear trend we have been observing: due to the fact that some models have become exorbitantly expensive, the potential of creating value also attracts unfair competitors. Turning a normal road car into a racing model that can be sold at a much higher price is an enticing proposition for some people. Fortunately, though, we are talking about a minority here.” Interesting in this context as well is the differentiation between such practices and the creation of replicas. “Some cars are replicated for totally legitimate reasons, for instance when historic originals have reached a limit. Aluminium and magnesium materials from the pre-war era or the 50s that would no longer withstand the stress of driving operations are a case in point. In that case, it makes sense to preserve the substance of the original and to create a replica for driving purposes. This is totally legitimate as long it is not concealed.” However, whenever the true history of a (replicated) vehicle is deliberately obscured, a line between honest and criminal practices has been crossed.
Ex-racing driver and power woman: Lili Reisenbichler on tour for a charitable cause
Lili Reisenbichler is a special guest at Skoda this weekend. The personable power woman started her career in hill-climb events in 1974 and subsequently went on to circuit racing. Having been active for 18 years, she looks back on a wealth of experience in the cockpits of racing cars. “As the only woman, I drove a BMW M1 in the 1980/81 Procar series, competed in a Zakspeed Turbo Capri and even raced the Porsche 962,” she relates. Although she never clinched a championship title, there is one success the native of Slovenia will always remember, “class victory in the Racing Trophy here at the Nürburgring.” Today, she drives classic-car rallies, promoting a charitable cause in the process and providing her with a good reason to travel to the Nürburgring: “As a former racing driver I obviously feel a great fascination and passion for cars, but in recent years, I’ve also acquired a taste for classics – that’s why I was pleased to accept Skoda’s invitation to the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix.” As an ambassador of the ‘Kinderherz’ (Children’s Heart) Foundation she found a supporter for her charity in the Skoda car brand. The foundation supports institutions, facilities and research projects dedicated to children suffering from heart disease.
Alfisti bring 350 Alfa Romeo cars to the ‘Ring’
The Mercedes-Arena turns into a hub of illustrious one-make clubs at the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix. Obviously, Alfa Romeo is a cult brand to be met here as well. That the line-up of the Italian cars with the sporty heart is even more conspicuous than usual this year is not least due to the event truck sporting the new Alfa Romeo design. Here the brand’s current models are showcased that visitors can also test drive at the venue. However, the activities are again centred on the Alfa Club Deutschland that welcomes numerous enthusiastic guests to its hospitality lounge. “For the German ‘alfisti’ with long-standing ties to the brand, the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix is presumably the most important event of the year,” says Alfa Romeo Deutschland’s press spokesman Sascha Wolfinger. “It’s like an annual reunion of classic and modern models.” Some 350 Alfa Romeo vehicles – more than anywhere else in Germany – are meeting at the Nürburgring. Also present in the area is the Scuderia del Portello. The team supported by Alfa Romeo Italy is practically the company’s works team in historic racing and flew the brand’s flag with a number of fantastic vehicles particularly in the AvD Touring Car and GT Trophy.