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MAY 2017 >> ISSUE 21

Visiting Marco Wittmann

The day of my dreams? Only in the car! Creating the perfect sound & Volkswagen Golf R

EXHAUST AS AN INSTRUMENT The battle of generations

Vinales vs. Rossi Ducati MotoGP/WorldSBK

ON TWO FRONTS

?

A column by Toby Moody


04

C ont e nt s

06 Akrapovič News

12 Evolution

18 History

24 On-Track

30 On-Track

32 On-Track

40 Interview

05

Letter

photography Bor Dobrin

05 Letter

Contents

Second decade

46 Drive With Us

62 Crazy Stuff

50 Production

64 Drive With Us

54 Lifestyle

68 Drive With Us

I was standing next to a blaring yellow Volkswagen Golf R at this year’s Geneva car show. At its back were four round tailpipes with a very low-key Akrapovič logo. As I finished my examination and was deciding where to go next, two French speaking journalists approached the car. “This is the best in the world,” one of them pointed towards the Golf’s rear end as if he suspected where I was from. But I only understood what he meant after he went on: “The best design, the best sound ... Akrapovič exhausts are unique in the world.”

58 Visit With Us

I think that Igor Akrapovič lives his life as discreetly as the exhausts on that Golf. He would rather that his ideas and products speak for him. So how does one convince such a person to start publishing his own periodical? Not on technology or engineering, mind you, but rather a lifestyle magazine. Something not directly linked to his products, but rather something that needs to puff out its chest and appear side-by-side with the best in various areas – in short, stand out in a way that Igor would rather avoid. “It’s not going to be easy,” were the words I received over 10 years ago from someone close to the company. After some probing with the lower ranks of the company, we got a chance to present our idea to Igor. Very quickly, after only ten minutes or so, he concluded our conversation by saying: “Go on and do it then...” The magazine, that is.

72 Original

78 High Gear

You are now looking at the 21st issue of our magazine as it enters its 11th year of publication, so we must have fulfilled at least some of Igor’s expectations. Attentive readers and magazine lovers will notice that we touched up its design for the

// Si

anniversary. The risks inherent in updating and developing a magazine while retaining all of its basic elements, which many of you have accepted as its trademark, warn us of this demanding task. But we will be pleased even if you did not notice the changes, because a design rule is that changes are successful if accepted by the intended audience without it even noticing that anything at all has changed.

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Well, if I look at one of the magazine’s first issues, I must admit that we grew and changed significantly. This process took place hand in hand with the growth of Akrapovič, and all who have in any way worked on the magazine during the past decade, be it at Akrapovič or as part of our team, have left an important mark in this process. I would here like to specifically point to Igor’s wife Slavojka Akrapovič and her co-workers from Akrapovič Kreativa, who were successful in keeping us from veering too far from the ideal line on this twisty track. Racing drivers know very well that every turn hides a new danger, a new challenge, a new and unpredictable situation … The refreshed magazine is looking forward to its second decade of publication, but we will only be truly successful if a future Geneva car show will witness another chance French journalist, this time showering our magazine with similar praise as that heaped on the new Golf R’s exhaust this year.

Miran Ališič Editor in chief

NOTE All the longer articles in the Akrapovič magazine include a text that will be marked with the // Si sign and placed in a special frame. The Akrapovič company is based in Slovenia and this is why we decided to keep this part of the text in Slovenian as well.

AK RAP OVIČ Akrapovič Lifestyle Magazine Issue 21, May 2017 Akrapovič d.d. Malo Hudo 8a SI-1295 Ivančna Gorica Slovenia www.akrapovic.com -

Editor in Chief: Miran Ališič Publisher: Korpmedia d.o.o. Tomšičeva 1, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia www.korpmedia.si Managing Director: Mateja Kos ID No.: 2272237000 VAT No.: SI14601737 -

Client Coordinator: Primož Jurman Photo Editor: Bor Dobrin Art Directors: Slavojka Akrapovič, Neja Engelsberger, Saša Kerkoš Cover design: Zdenko Bračevac Content Editor: Jasna Milinković -

Contributors: Alenka Birk, Volker Hirth, Matevž Hribar, Primož Jurman, Gaber Keržišnik, Toby Moody, Imre Paulovits, Mitja Reven, Karin Sturm Contributing Photographers: Aleš Rosa, Alex Štokelj, Bor Dobrin, Saša Kapetanovič, Jenny Leyman, Marc Robinot, Uroš Podlogar -

Translation: Matjaž Horvat, Werner Schneider Proofreading: Katarina Mahnič Ad space marketing: www.yvision.ch Y.Vision GmbH, Poststrasse 9, 6300 Zug, Switzerland -

On the cover – Exhaust system for Koenigsegg Regera Printing: Mabo Grafika, d. o. o. Cesta v Mestni log 88/1 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Copyright notice This magazine and its entire textual and pictorial content are subject to copyright. Any reproduction thereof without prior written consent of the copyright holder is prohibited. The articles contained herein do not necesseraly correspond with the opinions of Akrapovič d.d. the publishers of the editors. Not for sale. Printed in Slovenia in April 2017 in 5.000 copies.

Warning Because of the world-wide distribution of Akrapovič d.d. products, neither Akrapovič d.d. nor any of its subsidiaries make any representation that the products comply with the air and/or noise emissions laws, or labeling laws, of any jurisdiction. The purchasers are entirely responsible for informing themselves of the applicable laws where the products are to be used and to comply with those laws. Warning / USA Various U.S. states and the U.S. federal government have individual laws regulating the use of aftermarket exhaust parts and systems, especially as those parts and systems modify, remove, or replace original equipment catalysts. Please consult the appropriate laws in your area before installing any aftermarket part or system on your vehicle to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. Neither Akrapovič d.d. nor any of their subsidiaries or the sellers of the parts or systems make any representation that any of their parts or systems comply with any such laws. Warning / California California laws prohibit the use of any aftermarket exhaust part or system that modifies, removes or replaces original equipment catalysts unless the California Air Resources Board has issued an Executive Order regarding such part or system or unless the part or system is exempted by being used only on racing vehicles on closed courses. Neither Akrapovič d.d. nor any of their subsidiaries make any representation that any of their parts or systems has received such an Executive Order or that any of their parts or systems conform with the racing vehicles exemption. The purchasers are entirely responsible for informing themselves of applicable California laws and to comply with those laws.


06 / 11

A krapov ič Ne w s

Akrapovič News

06

In all three categories This year’s MotoGP season is groundbreaking for KTM, as the Austrian bike maker appears in all three classes of grand prix road racing. It is the defending champion in Moto3 and is making its first appearance in Moto2 and MotoGP with its own bikes, also equipped with Akrapovič titanium exhaust systems. The historical debut in MotoGP saw Miguel Oliveira finishing fourth in Qatar on a brand new Moto2 racing bike, proving that the Red Bull KTM Ajo team’s race bike is very fast and that KTM will be a serious contender in this class.

Maverick Viñales stops by AkrapoviČ Maverick Viñales, whose first appearance for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP in Qatar also resulted in his first victory of the season, visited Akrapovič a few months before the start of this year’s competition, also meeting company founder and owner Igor Akrapovič. Maverick checked in on the development of Akrapovič’s ultra-light exhaust systems, including those that embellish racing bikes, as well as met the employees, signed autographs

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and told numerous stories about his rich racing career and experiences with Akrapovič exhaust systems, which he already got to know while racing in Moto3 and Moto2. The former Moto3 world champion summed up his visit to the exhaust maker, including the in-house foundry, which produces complex titanium exhaust-system components, in this way: “To be honest, I was really surprised. I didn’t expect so much hard work would go into an exhaust. It’s important to have support from a brand like Akrapovič.”

Celebration culmination Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017

Akrapovič again unveiled its latest collection of state-of-the-art high-performance exhausts at the EICMA show in Milan. First seen by the public at the 74th edition of the show were Akrapovič exhaust systems for the new Yamaha MT-09, Kawasaki Z900, BMW S 1000 RR, Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, BMW R 1200 GS, Kawasaki Ninja 650, BMW G 310 R, Yamaha YZ250F and Honda CRF450R. The numerous new products, banded together under the slogan “The Future Is Ultra-Light”, were augmented by visits at the show floor by numerous racing riders from various series, including MotoGP, WorldSBK and MXGP. Last year’s show in northern Italy was also special because it was the climax of the 25th anniversary of Akrapovič and was furthermore perfectly augmented by the contemporary Deus Ex Machina exhibition of inventions, the most important products of the company and its achievements in sport.

The March message from the Red Dot jury again brought smiles to many faces at Akrapovič, as its contents showed that the Akrapovič Racing Line exhaust system for Foto: RedDot

the Yamaha TMAX received the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017. This is the sixth Red Dot award for Akrapovič exhausts in the last five years and yet another proof of the excellence of Akrapovič products, both from the design and technological viewpoints. The Akrapovič exhaust system for TMAX has a completely new shape, originating from the concept unveiled at the EICMA 2015 show in Milan. The awarded exhaust system will be showcased in the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen.

Defending the titles Photo: Parts World / Lorenzrichard.com

Aston Martin Racing will be defending last year’s FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers and FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Pro Teams Winners titles with three racing cars, equipped with unique Akrapovič exhaust systems.

Blue Shark

Two V8 Vantage GTEs will be employed by the British

What would be the result of envisaging, on a hot June day, a Retro Café

team in the GTE Pro category and one will race in GTE

Racer on the basis of a Ducati Panigale R? The answer is called Blue

Am. The Danish duo of Nicki Thiim & Marco Sørensen will

Shark and you are looking at it. The mastermind behind this stunner is

defend last year’s title in car #95, while the British team of

Andy Matter from Parts World, who joined hands with the best and bro-

Darren Turner and Jonny Adam will race in #97. The GTE

kered no compromise when making his vision come true. This is why he

Am Aston Martin Racing car will meanwhile take to the cir-

also opted for an Akrapovič exhaust system, similar to the one used by

cuits with the regular trio of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy

Ducati at WorldSBK races, which is attached to a 1198 cc two-cylinder

and Mathias Lauda. For selected rounds, Richie Stanaway

engine with over 205 hp.

and Daniel Serra will join the #95 and #97 entries.


06 / 11

Exhaust system for Red Bull Honda World Superbike team Akrapovič and Honda Motor Europe extended its technical partnership which now, apart from Endurance, Road Racing and British Superbikes, also includes the WorldSBK championship. Honda and Akrapovič have already joined hands in WorldSBK in the past, with the pinnacle coming in 2000, when Honda’s Colin Edwards won the WorldSBK crown, which was also the first world champion title for Akrapovič. “With this renewed partnership, both parties are again committed to working together to achieve the same goal of winning the world title. In terms of delivering the very highest levels of performance, innovation and quality for our Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 race machines, there is no better choice than Akrapovič,” Robert Watherston, Head of Motorsport at Honda Motor Europe described the partnership. Akrapovič Racing R&D engineers were kept very

08

Akrapovič News

AkrapoviČ on top We are once again pleased to announce that Akrapovič was voted as the best exhaust system maker in “Automobile Racing Sports Category – Sports Exhaust Systems” and “Motorcycle Racing Category – Exhaust Systems” by the readers of Motorsport aktuell magazine. The company took 59.5% in the first and 69.9% of the vote in the second category. Thank you, Motorsport aktuell readers!

busy throughout the winter with the development of a tailor-made exhaust system for the all-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 of the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team. This unique exhaust system is constructed from lightweight titanium alloys, precisely configured to improve the performance of the bike and give it a competitive edge. The all-new exhaust system uses special Akrapovič know-how and expertise to provide exhaust system solutions for Honda that will be the start of an ongoing and prolific technical partnership. The aim is to see the Japanese company benefit from the development and production abilities at Akrapovič’s in-house, state-of-the-art facilities in Slovenia.

New Audi RS 5 DTM One week after its world premiere at the Geneva car show, Audi racing drivers already tested the new Audi RS 5 DTM in Vallelunga. “It was important for us to drive the final car in this last pre-season development test and to make optimum use of the few test days available to us in the DTM,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass, while also happily announcing that no issues worth mentioning were detected during the test run. The Audi DTM race car, model year 2017, has an output of over 500 hp and is the third version of the RS 5 DTM. Audi drivers completed a whopping 2,121 kilometres during the three-day test, stressing that the 2017 cars are more demanding to drive. Audi’s line-up in the DTM this year includes Mattias Ekström, Jamie Green, Mike Rockenfeller, Nico Müller, Loïc Duval and René Rast.

399 races This is the total number of races that BMW Motorsport drivers have behind them before the start of the 2017 season. BMW bets on an experienced team in the DTM, which will have at its disposal six brand new BMW M4 DTM race cars and will, apart from Akrapovič ambassador and reigning champion Marco Wittmann, include Tom Blomqvist, Augusto Farfus, Timo Glock, Maxime Martin and Bruno Spengler. The BMW M4 DTMs of Wittmann, Glock and Farfus will be managed by BMW Team RMG, while the cars of Blomqvist, Martin and Spengler will be cared for by BMW Team RBM. Akrapovič will meanwhile again be in charge of performance exhaust systems for the fast BMW M4 DTM.

Successful debut of MINI John Cooper Works Rally The X-raid team came to this year’s Dakar with a brand new race car, which completed the two weeks of demanding stormy, muddy and blisteringly hot conditions at high altitude without any major technical difficulties, which is a very respectable achievement for a new car, especially since Dakar is one of the most difficult tests for both man and machine. The best among the X-raid teams at the main rally of the season was the pairing of Orlando

New AkrapoviČ ambassadors

Terranova and Andreas Schulz, who finished the arduous task in sixth place overall. The performance of the new MINI John Cooper Works Rally race car, which is, like its predecessor, the MINI ALL4 Racing, equipped with a unique Akrapovič exhaust system, was also praised by Team Manager Sven Quandt, who pointed to the demanding conditions at the 2017 Dakar. “This year, the conditions were extremely difficult for everybody. The heat in the early stages with temperatures of more than 40 °C, the Bolivian heights with an altitude of up to 4000 metres above sea level – and the additional rain and the cold. This was physically and mentally extremely demanding. Nonetheless, our mechanics did a fantastic job and displayed a lot of staying power. If you are lying below a car in the rain, with mud everywhere and the water running down your collar… that’s anything but funny. Our MINI racers once again demonstrated their reliability, this year.”

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Over 160 partners took part at two Akrapovič Dealer Seminars in October. The two-day events allowed participants to uncover the secrets of the best exhaust systems in the world through lectures by representatives of key company departments. The participants were given a peek behind the scenes of R&D, the racing department, the metallurgical laboratory, the foundry and the composites works. After lectures in Ljubljana on day one, the participants used the day two to visit company headquarters and development centre in Ivančna Gorica as well as the Akrapovič production facility in Črnomelj. They were moreover surprised by mystery guests Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who successfully returned to the tracks of the WorldSBK championship after a short hiatus.


06 / 11

KTM continues to reign supreme

Rookies no more

KTM maintained its winning streak at Dakar for the 16th

“The 2017 season will be important for us because

year in a row. The top spot at the podium was this year taken

it is already our third consecutive season since

by Sam Sunderland, at what was the first-ever Dakar rally

returning to MotoGP. We are no longer rookies

he finished. He replaced last year’s winner and teammate

so we must try to get closer to the other rivals,”

Toby Price. KTM’s 450 Rally motorbike with an Akrapovič

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Team Manager Davide

exhaust also came in at number two with Sunderland’s Red

Brivio said as he unveiled this year’s line-up before

Bull KTM Rally Factory Racing teammate Matthias Walkner

the start of the season. Suzuki recorded its most

finishing in second. Sam Sunderland took the chequered flag

successful season in 2016 since returning to

after completing nearly 9,000 gruelling kilometres through

MotoGP in 2015, and the team is determined to

Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.

build up on that. They replaced both riders, bringing

Akrapovič News

in Andrea Iannone and MotoGP rookie Alex Rins. Iannone’s fast track times at the first race of the season in Qatar have proved the potential of Suzuki’s GSX-RR equipped with an Akrapovič titanium exhaust system, while Rins’s final ninth place at his inaugural MotoGP race proved that the Photo: KTM Images / Marcin Kin

team’s trust in him was well deserved.

Twelfth time in a row

Speed is in his genes

We are proud to announce that Motorrad magazine readers chose Akrapovič as the best exhaust system brand for the twelfth year in a row. The newest vote in 2017 saw 74,2% of readers vote for the Slovenian company. Akrapovič would like to thank Motorrad readers for their support.

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MotoGP racing bikes that have shown a lot of progress during the winter must surely include Aprilia RS-GP with an Akrapovič bespoke titanium exhaust system. Aleix Espargaró finished his first race for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini in an excellent sixth spot. He crossed the finish line at the March race in Qatar a mere 7.6 seconds behind the winner, proving the competitiveness of the new Aprilia race bike. Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager agrees: “Evidently the RS-GP works well in all areas, confirming that it is a very good bike in the race with the capacity to perform very consistently and with an excellent pace, especially in the second half of the race.”

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Fast? Fast! Among BMW race cars with Akrapovič exhausts in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC), the one that stands out has

All new RM-Z450WS

“FAST” written on the driver’s door. The BMW M6 GTLM of the BMW Team RLL, which belongs to the BMW Art Car Collection series, was painted by John Baldessari, the American master of conceptual art. So why write “FAST” on the door of a car with 585 hp? With “FAST” as a central typographic element, the artist boldly transports the power of the BMW Art Car to its outside and makes it visually accessible for the viewers both at the race track and the museum.

The Suzuki World MXGP Team unveiled at an event in Lommel the all new Suzuki RM-Z450WS, the bike used by MXGP racing riders Kevin Strijbos and Arminas Jasikonis. “I am so happy and honoured to be able to present this new RM-Z450WS. It is a great bike, it looks fantastic and it is new motivation for everybody involved to take the brand back to the top step of motocross. Of course there is still a lot of work to do in the future for myself and the team, but having this backup from Japan and this new bike is something great for everyone,” team General Manager Stefan Everts gushed over the new motorbike with a 449 cc engine and a light-weight as well as durable Akrapovič titanium exhaust system.


Evolut ion

Creating the perfect sound & Volkswagen Golf R

EXHAUST AS AN INSTRUMENT

12 / 17

Evolution

12

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It started as business matters usually do. Volkswagen was looking for a more powerful exhaust system for its new Golf R, unveiled

by Mitja Reven

towards the close of last year, and so it invited

photography Uroš Podlogar

and the rest is history, I would be disregarding

Akrapovič to discuss options. Were I to write the hours, days, weeks and months of work both by Wolfsburg and Ivančna Gorica engineers. All that for an exhaust system that would inject an

We use musical instruments to create sounds which fill us with energy and

additional dose of sporting DNA into the Golf R

make us even more alive. This is the reason why Volkswagen R sent a Golf

cravings for more. More sound, more design,

R to Ivančna Gorica. The hot hatch icon was treated to a dose of sound engineering resulting in a unique character – a sportier one, of course.

and allow the hot hatch’s buyers to satisfy their more precious metals and less weight. All for more personification. Volkswagen was looking for a performance exhaust system with added technical value. Their requirements? It must be light, and stand out both with its design and sound. Akrapovič happily accepted the challenge, because meeting such demands is what they do – but believe me, it was neither boring nor simple. Not only does every car have its own set of peculiarities, starting with the engine, there was an additional challenge in the form of new EU noise regulations, which entered into force on 1 July 2016, a long time after development began in 2015. The new requirements increased the scope of the work, caused additional testing and adjustments to the freshly disclosed legislative information. But what Akrapovič had going for it was the wealth of knowledge of its employees and even more so their determination to provide the Golf R with the noblest of characters. A character that will turn heads and leave them gaping in its wake; that will make their owners add an extra track day to their calendars; that will cause them to spend the summer vacation at the Nordschleife; and not necessarily opt for the shortest route to work anymore. The first prototype was sent back to Wolfsburg after completing numerous kilometres on the Akrapovič dynamometer, covering quite a distance in its natural habitat and spending many hours in Akrapovič’s R&D department. The ears at the Volkswagen R were thrilled – the first prototype met expectations of a unique character and easily discernible sound. This was followed by months of perfecting the design, the configuration as well as the sound of the turbo four-cylinder engine.


12 / 17

Evolution

14

managed to utilise the full potential of the

15 SOUND ENGINEERING AND ASYMMETRY

Volkswagen engine. Sound engineering was the underlying thread in the development of this exhaust. The Akrapovič team perfected it through numerous objective and subjective tests, taking

This sound diversity, which must be flawless at all moments, must also take into account the difference between the sound inside the car and outside as experienced by the onlookers beside the Nordschleife when such a four-wheel drive Golf R with 228 kW (310 hp) and 400 Nm (version with DSG dual clutch gearbox) drives by.

Akrapovič uses special equipment next to and

place on the roads and the dynamometer.

inside the car to measure sound and analyse its

The sound of the titanium Akrapovič

frequencies inside the cabin as well as outside,

R- Performance exhaust system for the Golf R is

close to the tailpipes. The process analyses

also controlled through two valves which open

the sound signal very quickly and presents the

and close asymmetrically, providing the perfect

results in a matrix called the sound colour map.

sound throughout the rev range. They open in

The map represents the exhaust system’s sound

accordance with the selected mode and with the

signature on a 3D graph, where the sound levels

revs of the Golf’s 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder. The

and frequencies are aligned with various engine

engineers paid special attention to the sound

revs. This highlights the harmonics linked to the

quality in all driving modes, knowing full well that

engine’s character and its combustion sequence

a Golf R equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust

in various colours, from green to yellow and red.

system must offer the best of both worlds:

To put it simply, the colour scheme tells us where

pleasing burbles when cruising on the autobahns

the sound is the richest.

or driving through a city with its occupants

Results acquired through sound engineering

perhaps chatting about the last Vienna

guide engineers in their search for technical

Philharmonics concert, and adrenalin-pumping

solutions aimed at reaching the perfect sound.

sound pulses with accentuated popping to spur

The sound itself is ultimately still in the domain

the driver towards ever faster times on track days

of the engineers’ subjective judgement, but is

and draw a smile that would not be out of place

supported by objective sound engineering data.

in a toothpaste commercial. This sound diversity,

Every step in the creation of an exhaust system,

which must be flawless at all moments, must also

from development to production, is carefully

take into account the difference between the

planned. To the last detail and the last millimetre.

sound inside the car and outside as experienced

“The result of sound engineering is a perfect,

by the onlookers beside the Nordschleife when

sporty sound,” Akrapovič R&D director Jaka

such a four-wheel drive Golf R with 228 kW

Klemenc describes the sound of Golf R with the

(310 hp) and 400 Nm (version with DSG dual

Akrapovič exhaust, adding that the engineers

clutch gearbox) drives by.


12 / 17

Evolution

Akrapovič’s attention to detail can be seen on

The process analyses the sound signal

every millimetre of this exhaust system for the

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY

very quickly and presents the results in a

Golf R, offered by Volkswagen as a performance

matrix called the sound colour map. The

option. “Cutting edge design is a signature of

map represents the exhaust system’s sound

Akrapovič exhaust for the Golf R,” Jaka Klemenc

signature on a 3D graph, where the sound

briefly touched on the looks that were brought to Making all the engineers’ ideas, especially

life in close cooperation between Wolfsburg and

those regarding sound, come true would be

Ivančna Gorica.

mission impossible without suitable materials

The development also included numerous

and technology. The Akrapovič lightweight

endurance tests and simulations. These ranged

exhaust system for the Golf R is made from

from testing and optimising various component

carefully selected titanium alloys, that are heat

parts to thermal shock tests, where the Akrapovič

and corrosion resistant, and, together with the

exhaust system had to pass through 1,500

unique design, bring 7 kg in weight savings

heating and cooling cycles.

compared to the serially-fitted exhaust. Its

The Volkswagen Golf R with the Akrapovič

manufacture utilises advanced technologies,

exhaust system undoubtedly pushes the

ranging from hydroforming for the link pipe,

boundaries of the hot hatch segment and

deep drawing and 3D laser cutting, which were

embodies a Volkswagen R motto: “When

used in crafting various component parts, all the

engineering doesn’t simply advance but races

way to Akrapovič’s own titanium foundry, which

forward.” The exhaust system is made from

produces the cast housings for the exhaust valves

top quality materials, employs state-of-the-art

of the system. Technology enabled the team

technology and 26 years of Akrapovič experience

to use up the space available for the exhaust

in producing the best exhaust systems. All this for

to the fullest. Furthermore, all of the exhaust’s

drivers who will take this package to savour the

four tailpipes employ a special coating, which

kilometres while in charge of a 228 kW orchestra

protects them from dirt and scratches, while the

sounding through Akrapovič’s masterfully crafted

unique “megaphone” design allows them to be

pipes. Best with racing gloves and launch control

recognised at first glance.

from the starting line. For the soul.

levels and frequencies are aligned with various engine revs.

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// Si Izpušni sistem kot glasbilo Z glasbili ustvarjamo zvoke, ki nas polnijo z energijo in smo zato še bolj živi. S tem razlogom so v Ivančno Gorico iz Volkswagen R poslali Golfa R. Po “dozi” inženiringa zvoka je hothatch ikona dobila edinstveni značaj. Še bolj športen, kakopak.


18 / 21 History

H istory 18

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DR. WOLFGANG ULLRICH SUMMARIZES LMP RACE CAR PROGRAM OF AUDI

A GREAT ERA FOR AUDI by Alexander von Wegner photography Audi

For 18 years Audi made history with its LMP race car program. The 24 Hours of Le Mans – a legend. The American Le Mans Series – still in the hearts of many fans, not only in America. The FIA World Endurance Championship – one of the technically most challenging and exciting motorsports categories around. Great drivers and the most magnificent race classics on the most beautiful tracks, from Le Mans, Sebring, Petit Le Mans, Silverstone and Interlagos to Laguna Seca or Monza.

I still remember the beginnings very well. At the

concept, the aerodynamics, the engine, even the

reduction of CO2 emissions millionfold.

with the R18 e-tron quattro.

end of 1993 I took over as the Head of Audi

bodywork design. Do you remember that in our

When we raced with TDI-drive for the first time in

Again and again it was proven; those who want

Motorsport, in 1999 we entered Le Mans for the

first outing in Le Mans we raced two open cars

2006 and won immediately, it was a milestone:

to succeed on the highest technical level need

very first time. The sports prototype program was

and two with a roof?

Audi was the first manufacturer to win Le Mans

a lot of know-how – and strong partners like

a radical change for our marque. Audi Sport had

Soon our program developed not only into a

using diesel technology. At first we profited

Akrapovič. In 2010 we started using exhaust

won the World Rally Championship, overcome

competition with our opponents, but also a

from the company’s immense experience with

systems from Akrapovič in our sports car

the Pikes Peak, won Trans Am and IMSA races

competition for the best ideas with relevance

this technology which was established in 1989.

program. The technical cooperation quickly

in the USA, had become DTM champion and

for our customers. Le Mans developed into an

Every single racing season then enabled us to

developed into a successful partnership in all

prevailed worldwide with its Super Touring

exhibit A for successful technology transfer.

provide new knowledge back to our colleagues in

areas. Together we participated in the FIA World

cars. But an LMP race car was a very different

2001 for example we raced with the direct fuel

technical development.

Endurance Championship, won two drivers’ and

challenge. All earlier race cars originated from

injection TFSI at the Sarthe. Our drivers were

The next giant step was the hybrid development

two manufacturers’ world championships as well

road-legal cars, their structure was always steel.

over the moon about the handling of the Audi

for the 2012 season. Never before had a race

as triumphed five times in Le Mans. Many, many

But with the sports-prototypes we suddenly

R8 during this legendary wet race. Soon after,

car been so complex and so demanding for our

other wins came, too. I felt that the cooperation

had a free hand. A structure made of carbon

Audi’s customers could enjoy this fuel-efficient

drivers, too. Once again Audi was the pioneer

with Igor Akrapovič and his team was technically

fibre, very open rules concerning the principal

technology as well. Since then it supports the

and won Le Mans three times one after the other

excellent and very pleasant from the human side.

“With the sports-prototypes we suddenly had a free hand. A structure made of carbon fibre, very open rules concerning the principal concept, the aerodynamics, the engine, even the bodywork design. Do you remember that in our first outing in Le Mans we raced two open cars and two with a roof?”


18 / 21 History

Audi’s customers profit directly from the know-

from him and Tom Kristensen others like Michele

how of this advanced Slovenian company.

Alboreto, Stefan Johansson, Laurent Aiello and

Titanium, of which the exhaust systems of our

Stéphane Ortelli brought Le Mans winning

sports prototypes were made, are also used

experience into the team at the beginning of the

for the Akrapovič systems, which are officially

project. Same with the crew of Reinhold Joest

available at Audi-dealership for the Audi RS 6

which was part of every success from the first to

Avant and the Audi RS 7 Sportback.

the very last day. In later years Mike Rockenfeller,

After 18 years Audi’s Le Mans-program has

Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas fixed a

come to an end. At the same time I handed the

distance-record for us, which remained unbroken

operative racing business over to Dieter Gass,

until today. And, last but not least, we had a very

but will continue as a consultant during 2017.

harmonious driver trio with Marcel Fässler, André

The sports car years will always remain the most

Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer under contract for

memorable time of my business life. Many of

seven years, who won three times at Le Mans,

the trophy remained in our possession s for the

the greatest drivers of this era were driving for

once the drivers world championship and many

first time. The first TDI success in 2006 was a

Audi. There was nothing that could compare to

more races. Not to forget many more drivers,

new chapter as well as the first hybrid win in

working with these personalities, who still have

among them those who will stay with us in the

2012. We managed a sporty tour de force when

many fans worldwide today. Tom Kristensen has

future – just like Le Mans winner Loïc Duval, who

we won against Peugeot in the rain in 2008,

won seven times with the four rings in Le Mans

moved into the DTM, or Lucas di Grassi who

when our challenger could run much faster lap

and set a record for eternity with his nine wins,

concentrates on Formula E now.

times, but we won due to a strong team effort.

most in the 90 years history of Le Mans. Dindo

Our first Le Mans success in 2000 remains

The record distance in 2010 was especially

Capello, Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela were

unforgotten for me, same as the wet race

emotional after a tough fight with Peugeot.

already touring car champions with us before

2001, when our drivers couldn’t give full throttle

And in 2011 we lived through a roller coaster

being successful several times at the Sarthe.

even on the straights due to aquaplaning. And

of feelings when we lost two cars in accidents

Allan McNish has always been a perfect Audi

when Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Tom

early on, but our only remaining R18 succeeded

representative due to this unique fighting driving

Kristensen won one year later for the third time in

by only 13.854 seconds. Legendary is the

style, his successes and his personality. Apart

succession together with Audi Sport Team Joest,

success at the Petit Le Mans race in 2008, when we had to repair the car after an accident of Allan McNish in the warm up lap and started two laps down, but won nevertheless at the end. These are stories which happen just in longdistance races. I am happy to have lived through and shaped these impressive and successful years with so many great people and strong partners. My feeling is that Audi’s sports car era has fascinated a huge number of spectators and united them under the sign of the four rings, just like the fanatic quattro fan community in rallying more than 30 years ago. Everyone who

“The sports prototype program was a radical change for our marque. Audi Sport had won the World Rally Championship, overcome the Pikes Peak, won Trans Am and IMSA races in the USA, had become DTM champion and prevailed worldwide with its Super Touring cars. But an LMP race car was a very different challenge.”

participated in this program should be proud of what they created – our partner Akrapovič too, of course. It was a great era for Audi. A huge thank you for it to all!

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// SI Veličastno obdobje za Audi Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich povzema Audijev program LMP, s katerim je nemški gigant 18 let pisal zgodovino. Dirka 24 ur Le Mansa je legendarna. Svetovno vztrajnostno prvenstvo WEC pod okriljem FIA je ena najbolj tehnično zahtevnih in zanimivih preizkušenj motošporta. Odlični dirkači so tekmovali na najbolj imenitnih klasičnih dirkah na najlepših dirkališčih, kot so Le Mans, Sebring, Petit Le Mans, Silverstone, Interlagos, Laguna Seca in Monza.


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Bike Stuff

Bike Stuff Akrapovič exhaust systems are designed for riders who demand maximum performance from their motorcycles. They feature exceptional production quality, hi-tech materials, increased engine performance and of course amazing sound and appearance. The change is also visual, as our mufflers perfectly fit the exterior line of modern motorcycles and add a clean racing image.

23

Car Stuff 22

Yamaha MT-09/FZ-09 + 6.7 HP/10,050 rpm - 2 kg (-23.8%)

Kawasaki Z900 + 3.4 HP/10,200 rpm - 2.9 kg (-65.1%)

Car Stuff

Welcome to our range of aftermarket exhaust systems for cars. We offer complete, partial, open or EC/ECE-type approved products that significantly improve performance. We use only the best materials and exclusive titanium alloys. We combine these materials with high technologies and craftsmanship of our welders that divide this exhausts systems from anything else on the market.

Porsche 911 Carrera/S/4/4S/GTS (991.2) More power, Less weight, Titanium, Link pipe set, Carbon fiber diffusers

McLaren 570S / 570GT + 4.6 HP/4,500 rpm, + 8.7 Nm/3,950 rpm, - 7.3 kg (-44.5%), Titanium

BMW G 310 R + 1.7 HP/4,900 rpm - 3.3 kg (-45.2%)

Yamaha TMAX + 2.7 HP/7,800 rpm - 3.4 kg (-42.1%) Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé (C205) + 8 HP/2,000 rpm, + 27.9 Nm/1,850 rpm, - 13 kg (-45.1%), Titanium, Akrapovič Sound Kit

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Honda CRF450R More power Less weight Kawasaki Versys-X 300 + 1.1 HP/11,050 rpm - 2.2 kg (-53.3%)

BMW M140i (F20, F21) + 17.9 HP/5,900 rpm, + 17.2 Nm/4,000 rpm, Less Weight, Stainless Steel, Downpipe


24 / 29

On-Track

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On-Track

25

by Imre Paulovits photography Marc Robinot, Yamaha

Fight of the generations: Viñales vs. Rossi

Generation gap One is 38, the other just 22. This season the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is benefitting from the services of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, two riders from totally different generations, in its fight for the MotoGP title. But neither of the two wants to be subordinate to the other. He arrived like a jet fighter pilot and came as

2015 MotoGP Rookie of the Year didn’t only feel

found at the top of the table. A champion’s

a real bombshell: Maverick Viñales, hired by

honoured, but went straight to work and after

way to say thank you for the trust shown.

the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team to replace

only a few laps his team, around Lorenzo’s former

This was also noticed on the other side

Jorge Lorenzo who moved to Ducati Team, got

crew chief Ramon Forcada, was left with their

of the Yamaha pit. But Valentino Rossi is

a bike for his first test in Valencia. It’s design

mouths open and shaking their heads in the pits.

used to standing up to younger super-fast

was in the style of flying ace Maverick Mitchell

After only a few laps Viñales was already quicker

opponents. He has been in the motorcycle

in the cult film Top Gun, which once inspired his

than with his usual Suzuki on the previous race

world championship since 1996 and even

parents to award Maverick this first name. The

weekend. At the end of the test his name was

in his 22 Grand Prix season he has not nd

“ lost any of his determination and desire to win.

himself as a Rossi fan, too. But could this

No one else is able to fight as emotionally as

stand when he openly declared his intention

the nine-time world champion, no one else

to win the title just like Rossi? Especially

knows so well how to wear down or surprise

when one remembers the animosities which

an opponent. That’s why his fans love him more

appeared in earlier years between Rossi and

than anyone else in motorsports. The hype

his challengers? The 22 years old Viñales and

around the man from the small Italian village

the veteran still look very comfortable with each

of Tavullia is incomparable with anything that

other. Even before Viñales started working

happened in motorsports before.

for Yamaha, both were seen in relaxed talks with each other after the races, and nothing has changed after their first race on the same

Working together Rossi is not only the idol of the fans, but also of many riders of the younger generation. Marc Márquez was an admitted Rossi fan when he entered MotoGP and Maverick Viñales outed

team. Maverick Viñales clarifies: ‘’When I was a child Valentino was my hero and he still is.’’ And therefore anything other than a respectful get-together with Valentino Rossi would be a trauma for him. ‘’If there weren’t respect anymore, a world would break down in my mind,’’ he realizes.

Valentino Rossi is very relaxed about the matter as well. ‘’Of course there is some rivalry between two strong riders in a team,’’ he doesn’t even try to divert from the topic. ‘’But that happens on the track and need not necessarily continue in the team. I think we’ll have a good relationship with Maverick. When I returned to Yamaha, my relation with Jorge Lorenzo was not so bad either, we only had a problem at the end of 2015.’’ And he adds with a postscript: ‘’It’s important to get along well. Only then we’re able to make even bigger steps in developing the bike.’’ Viñales goes even further: ‘’When we want to beat Marc Márquez, we need to work together, so we need to develop the best possible bike together.’’


24 / 29

On-Track

‘’When I was a child Valentino was my hero and he still is”.

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Maverick Viñales

Advantage Viñales But, so far, the development doesn’t seem to

Grand Prix, framed by the fights between

When the racing season started in Qatar, the

be going fully in this direction. Viñales wanted

almost identical bikes in the middle class.

relative strength of the tests was confirmed – at

a more aggressive bike in the corners: ‘’Many

Since, meanwhile, there is already such a high

first. Maverick Viñales was in a class of his own,

races are only decided in the final lap and this

performance benchmark in MotoGP, everyone

Valentino Rossi still had his challenges. But,

makes the difference then,’’ he reasons. And it

unable to cope will fall behind. Valentino Rossi

as we’ve seen so often in the recent past, he

seems he got what he wanted. His test re-

knows this very well. In the last couple of years

suddenly pulled something out of his hat and

cords could hardly have been more impressive:

he built training grounds on his purpose-built

surpassed himself once again. He quickly made

During all four winter tests the 22-year-old ruled

ranch, where he practices with younger riders

up his deficit from the starting line, and when

supreme on the results table. But it was his

almost every day, between races.

Viñales was hit in the first corner and lost some

consistency and his speed which was even more impressive. Depending on the track he could ride up to half a second faster per lap during his long runs than his opponents!

That Rossi doesn’t lack character is well known, but Maverick Viñales doesn’t either. The whole racing world held its breath in 2012, when the then 17-years-old abandoned the fight for the

The longer the tests lasted, the more problems

Moto3 title because he felt that his team manag-

appeared for Valentino Rossi. The new Michelin

er – who was also his personal manager at the

front tyre with a more flexible carcass and

time – wasn’t representing his interests. Today

offering more grip in the middle of a corner is

he views this action as a precipitated mistake,

making problems for the hard braking Rossi.

but also as a step in his maturing process, which

‘’I must continue to work on my sitting position

made him a complete rider. The 2013 Moto3

and riding style,’’ he already admitted after the

World Champion is one of the most analytic and

Valencia tests in November. The new generation,

intelligent riders in the Grand Prix paddock, and

having risen into MotoGP from Moto2, has

it is this, together with his feeling and his working

brought an aggressive riding style into the

standard, that makes him so strong.

ground, they were suddenly side by side. As a double pack they went back to the front. But despite the final part of the race being Rossi’s strength so far, he didn’t stand a chance against his teammate’s carefully worked out race tactics from the off-season. While Rossi, with his insecurity about the front wheel, didn’t have a chance in the fight for the top, Maverick Viñales attacked the leading Andrea Dovizioso like a lion attacks a zebra, and, with a perfect final lap, had enough lead for the power of Dovizioso’s Ducati not to help him on the final straight. He had to settle for second. Rossi finished third, close behind.

Clash of the titans So, has Valentino Rossi finally found his master

strength and fighting spirit to awaken his super-

But we can be sure about one thing: a Valentino

in his new teammate? During the 68-year history

human powers? When Marc Márquez and Jorge

Rossi doesn’t surrender so quickly. Sooner or

of the motorcycle world championship nobody

Lorenzo began to push him to the background, he

later the future should belong to Maverick Viñales.

was able to win races over such a long period,

totally changed his riding style in winter 2013/14

But not without a clash of the titans.

motivate, toil and moil himself over so many years,

and became faster than ever. If he intends to beat

keep the fire burning for as long as the 38 years

his team-mate and all the other young wild ones,

old Italian. But does he still have enough mental

he has to succeed at this again.


24 / 29

On-Track

Interview with Valentino Rossi

Interview with Maverick Viñales

It’s my aim to win the world championship again...

We feel a lot of respect for each other

How do you see MotoGP in 2017?

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after many years with Yamaha. Maverick Viñales has replaced

Your winter-season was impressive and the world championship opener gave you a win on the spot. How do you feel?

him at Yamaha and Andrea Iannone went from Ducati to Suzuki.

I feel really great. We feel really strong, have found a very good

The level is very high and it seems to be even higher than before.

setup and we had the feeling that we’ll be competitive on all

This year we have seven or eight riders to fight for victory in every

tracks. Now we have to transfer the pre-season to the whole

single race, or maybe even for the world championship title. Of

racing season just like we did at the first race. But the team does

course we want to be among them. My winter season was rather

a great job and I feel very good in the team. I really have to thank

difficult, the whole time I tried to get the right feeling. Now we

them for how much they improved the bike during the winter.

It will be a very interesting year. Jorge Lorenzo went to Ducati

have to continue to do so during the season. But the season will be a long one, and I hope to be strong and competitive.

How difficult was it to change from the Suzuki to the Yamaha?

What do you think about your new teammate?

I only had to change my riding style a little. But it was necessary

He’s really fast. Moreover, his winter season was totally the

to get used to the new team, to work with the new people, to fit

opposite of mine. He was strong from the first moment he climbed on the bike; and on every single track. Not only in his fastest lap, but from the race pace as well. He’ll be strong, one of

in the own working process. It was difficult, but we managed it well. I’m happy about it and it gives me a lot of confidence.

the toughest opponents this season.

What about the strengths and weaknesses of the Yamaha YZR-M1?

What does he do differently to you?

The major difference to the Suzuki I rode before is the accel-

It’s not only one thing; it’s very complex. Currently he’s going faster around the corner than me. This problem I have to solve. But at least I always kept him in sight during the first race.

Did you do anything different this winter? In principle I prepared myself the same way as all the years before. But one has to improve all the time, that’s why it’s the small details I’m working on during the preparation. Also on myself, so that I can still take another step forward.

How much does it help to practice with young riders?

eration. During the moments of acceleration my riding style is very efficient, therefore I profit from the Yamaha’s acceleration. Furthermore, the M1 from the very first day did what I expected. What I wanted from the technicians was a bike with improved agility when turning, and we’ve made great improvements with it.

Has your relationship with Valentino Rossi changed since you’ve been with Yamaha? Nothing has changed so far. We feel very much mutual respect and I hope it will always remain like that in future. That’s important for Yamaha too. Having such good relations, we can better improve the bike together when talking about the bike and exchanging our ideas. At Suzuki we improved so much so quickly

That’s the way to work on the riding style together, but the fights

because Aleix and I always discussed the bike. If we want to

we have help the most. We all fight for lap times, but we also

improve this year, we have to do the same with Valentino.

fight each other all the time on my practice tracks. That’s an important factor in trying to improve and understand the fight of man against man even better.

Valentino has many years experience with Yamaha. What can you offer him in exchange? I have the speed to improve the bike and Valentino has the expe-

Could you fight for your tenth world championship this year? Since I returned to Yamaha it’s my aim to win the world cham-

rience. When using this combination, I think that we can develop a very good bike.

strong and competitive, always fighting for the rostrum. None

After winning the first race, the world championship title must be your next aim.

of this has changed this year. No question that this will be very

Yes, this is my aim. I think in my development as a racing rider

difficult, but during the last couple of years it was difficult as well.

I’ve reached the level where I’m for it in MotoGP as well. But

I have to stay concentrated the whole season, be with the pace

only when we stay concentrated and improve all the time we can

on all tracks, and where I have an advantage play my best cards.

really fight for the title.

pionship again. I want to win races, but most of all I want to be


30 / 31 On-Track

On-Track

Ducati MotoGP/WorldSBK

ON TWO FRONTS

by Primož Jurman photography Ducati

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31

competing both in WorldSBK and MotoGP. It

exhaust for motorbikes so far. At the same

officially entered MotoGP in 2003 after a thirty-

time the exhaust also functions within the most

year break and won a total of 14 individual world

demanding parameters, such as high pressure

champion titles in WorldSBK, augmenting them

and temperatures of the two-cylinder engine.

with a 2007 MotoGP world champion title. The

Its geometry is extremely complex, demanded

2016 season was more than just successful

by the very limited space next to the engine.

with the Desmosedici GP winning twice in

We have used extremely large diameter pipes

MotoGP and the Panigale R taking a whopping

for the first time in a motorbike exhaust, which

11 chequered flags in WorldSBK. Ducati has

created an additional challenge in arriving at

stayed the course with its V-shaped engine and

the optimal geometry for achieving maximum

motorsports as thoroughly and directly as Italy’s Ducati (Ducati

a unique desmodromic valve system, which also

power. Even though both use active exhaust

Team in MotoGP and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati in WorldSBK)

brings with it a unique exhaust development

controlling technologies linked to the engine’s

process. Alojz “Slavko” Trstenjak, Head of

electronics to guarantee optimum performance

does in motorbike racing. “The Reds” from Bologna, as they

Racing R&D at Akrapovič says: “The current

in all engine modes, the WorldSBK and the

are known, immediately communicate their philosophy and what

version of the exhaust for the factory Panigale

MotoGP exhaust versions don’t have a lot in

R is a technological masterpiece. I could say

common apart from the materials and special

that it is our most complex and demanding

protective (anti-oxide) coatings.”

Precious few are the companies that embody competitive

they are about with their traditional red colour. Sport is what they are committed to. And sport means passion, continuous technological development and faithfulness to the team. Sport entails successes and also defeats. The partnership with Akrapovič is not entirely

implement new technical solutions and aim for

unjustified. The genes of the Akrapovič company

perfection. Therefore it was merely a question

are sporting in nature as well, since company

of time when they would join forces, allowing

founder and owner Igor Akrapovič used to be a

the Italians to outfit their racing motorbikes with

successful motorcycle racing rider before using

Slovenian exhausts. The ice was first broken

his technological know-how to bring his company

at the 2014 MotoGP World Championship,

to the top. Both companies are passionate

followed a year later by cooperation in the

about competition, continuously develop and

WorldSBK class. Ducati is one of the few brands

// Si Na dveh frontah Redka so podjetja, ki tekmovalni motošport udejanjajo tako dosledno in neposredno, kot to v motorizmu počne italijanski Ducati. »Rdeči« iz Bologne, kakor jih poznamo na sceni, že s svojo tradicionalno rdečo barvo okolici sporočajo, kaj sta njihov referenčni okvir in temeljna filozofija. Šport je tisto, čemur so zavezani. Šport pa pomeni strast, nenehen tehnološki razvoj, pripadnost ekipi. Šport je uspeh, a tudi poraz. In Ducati je pri svojih športnih aktivnostih nedvomno uspešen – pri tem mu kot uradni partner ob strani stoji tudi podjetje Akrapovič.


32 / 37 On-Track

On-Track

by Primož Jurman photography Gold and Goose Photography, Kawasaki Racing Team, Aruba.it Racing- Ducati, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team / GeeBee Images

WorldSBK

Green, red and blue If the past few seasons in WorldSBK were dominated by Kawasaki Racing Team, with both of its riders constantly battling it out for the title, this year’s struggle to be crowned world champion looks likely to be interesting again. But, regardless of which team will be vying for the cup, Akrapovič exhaust systems will play a visible role, with quite a few factory (and other) teams opting for the Slovenian product.

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The 2017 season brings some changes to

Saturday, who will be accompanied in the first

the rules in WorldSBK, reflecting the aim of

row by the fifth and sixth-placed riders. This

exhaust configurations relatively similar. Aprilia

are mainly linked to changes of component parts

is always too constrained. An important factor

the organizers to make the competition more

will require extra effort on the part of Saturday’s

V4 has a lot in common with some of the engines

(radiator, oil pan, linkage, swing-arm, etc.) on

that greatly impacts our work is the time we have

balanced thus more attractive. The grid position

winner to repeat his feat on Sunday, while the

from the MotoGP class, but adds specific

the bike that consequently require changes to

available for development – and it is usually quite

at Sunday’s race from now on depends on the

slightly less successful riders will get a starting

exhaust geometry. Ducati V2 is a unique product

the exhaust. But what all teams have in common

meagre. The evolution of an individual exhaust

finishing position on Saturday, with two races

grid boost. Some other technical changes

and has nothing in common with any other

is that they try to achieve maximum engine

can be seen on its version number, stamped on

over the weekend being the norm for WorldSBK.

have also been introduced. These intend to

WorldSBK or MotoGP engine, because it has a

power with a linear delivery within a set maximal

every altered exhaust version, with one team, for

Up to now, grid position for both races was

bring the series even closer to road bikes, from

very specific engine configuration and as such

loudness. Configurations change twice a year

example, racing with the label EVO 13 in 2017.

contested during qualifying (Superpole).

where these machines actually originate, while

in a way throws down the gauntlet. We have

on average. I can confirm that all of the 2017

Another factor that makes our lives harder is the

According to the new rules the winner, second-

making the race even more equal. Alojz “Slavko”

done the lion’s share of the development work

exhausts have been altered, even though the

frequent changes to the maximum noise level by

placed and third-placed at Saturday’s race will

Trstenjak, Head of Racing R&D at Akrapovič,

for all the companies during the autumn-winter

average observer might not see the differences

FIM. Thus we have three various noise levels for

start from row three, i.e. from starting positions

says: “We are cooperating with many teams in

period, before the start of the season. Requests

at first glance. The biggest challenge in creating

the same engine, meaning three different layout

nine, eight and seven, respectively. Pole position

WorldSBK this season. BMW, Honda, Kawasaki

for upgrades to the existing exhausts vary and

a quality exhaust is the available space, which

as regards individual market requirements.”

will meanwhile go to the fourth-placed rider on

and Yamaha utilise four-cylinder engines, making

-


32 / 37 On-Track

Pat a Yamaha Official Wor ldS B K Team – The t r aining wheels ar e off

R e d B u l l H o n d a Wo r l d S u p e r b i k e t e a m – A n e w c h a p t e r Honda holds a special place in the history

Despite our already great expectations, we were

of Akrapovič – it is the brand with which

still astounded by their cutting edge facilities and

the Slovenian company won its first world

R&D department. That said, we can state without

championship title 17 years ago. Honda and

a shadow of a doubt that Akrapovič is at the zenith

Apart from factory teams, several other

Akrapovič have teamed up again in 2017. Nicky

of state-of-the-art exhaust system design and

Akrapovič-equipped competitors will be in

Hayden and Stefan Bradl, both former MotoGP

manufacturing. We are just at the very beginning

the mix as well, including Barni Racing Team

riders, will test their mettle on the completely new

of this new partnership, so we think we will see the

(Ducati), Althea BMW Racing Team, Milwaukee

CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, and try to mingle

real potential later in the season, when, with more

Aprilia and Kawasaki Puccetti Racing. This

with the best with the aid of an Akrapovič exhaust

data available and an uprated engine specification,

nicely fills up the roster of the teams and brands

system. Honda’s team this year mainly aims to get

we will allow Akrapovič to push further with

who trust the Slovenian exhaust maker this

to know the bike and to continue developing its

development and precise development paths to

year, and is the result of an incredible amount

potential, as well as the potential of the exhaust.

follow. What we have achieved so far with the first

of work and continuing development of various

Pieter Breddels, the team’s Technical Manager,

Akrapovič prototype during testing was the lightest

exhaust system versions and configurations.

says: “When we visited Akrapovič’s headquarters

weight ever for an exhaust system as well as

The aim? The same as always – Victory!

in Slovenia at the end of last year, we were aware

amazing reliability. We are now excited to see how

of the outstanding potential of the company, which

far we can go by making the most of Akrapovič’s

has achieved an incredible amount of success

huge know-how in terms of pure performance and

over the years in both MotoGP and WorldSBK.

smooth power delivery.”

Yamaha will try to take a step forward this year after returning to the series in 2016. The first races have shown that the training wheels were removed and that the blues can be counted on to vie for the top spots. If last year was the year of getting accustomed to the track and getting the YZF-R1 ready for the cut-throat competition, this year brings an opportunity to aim a bit higher. While everything was new for the team last year, lessons have been learned: the tracks have been seen, races driven on them, the data is in the computers, the bike has been continuously improved and the Akrapovič exhaust system played an important part in that. Last year’s rider Alex Lowes has teamed up with the youthful and quick Michael van der Mark, who is said by those in the know to have a bright future in road racing as well.

Arub a . it R a cing – Duca t i – I n it t o w in it Dual muffler configuration with a unique layout, shook up the scene in 2016. It was something new and it brought excellent results, including victories. Welsh rider Chaz Davies is bound to be amongst the quickest on the track this year as well and a serious title contender. At the close of last season, he won seven of the final eight races. He refocused after the six month break, completely gelled with the Panigale R, and, should he carry over the form, success cannot be in doubt. His teammate Marco Melandri is meanwhile returning to WorldSBK with high hopes after competing in MotoGP last year. Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director at Ducati Corse, says: “Our working partnership with Akrapovič has been very productive. Together we have developed three different major layouts of the exhaust system for the Ducati Panigale R in Superbike. All three were very challenging in terms of the complexity of the projects but the experience that Akrapovič has regarding the materials, tools and casting has proved essential in order to reach the target within the available time.”

34

35

// SI Zelena, rdeča in modra Če je preteklih nekaj sezon razreda WorldSBK minilo v znamenju premoči ekipe Kawasakija, saj sta se oba njihova dirkača vseskozi borila za naslov, bo boj za letošnjo krono svetovnega prvaka, kot kaže, bolj izenačen. Ne glede na to kdo bo v igri za naslov, bodo imeli pri tem Akrapovičevi izpušni sistemi vidno vlogo, saj je kar nekaj tovarniških (in ostalih) ekip opremljenih s slovenskimi izpuhi.


32 / 37 On-Track

37

WorldSBK – Kawasaki

Title No. 3? by Primož Jurman photography Gold and Goose Photography, Kawasaki Racing Team

The Kawasaki Racing Team and rider Jonathan Rea won back-to-back world championship titles in 2015 and 2016. Can the KRT team and Jonathan make it three in a row? If they do, Jonathan would be the first in WorldSBK history to win three consecutive titles. It started like a dream. This year’s inaugural racing weekend at Australia’s Phillip Island saw Jonathan win both races, notching his tally of career wins to 40.

36

There are very few who made it this far.

as all this contributes to improvement: “Our

Biel is eager for a repeat of last season with

current goal is to work hard to win!” This year’s

the new bike, claiming that the 2017 package

Fogarty, Troy Bayliss and Noriyuki Haga. His team

technical challenge for the team comes in the

is better and the team even stronger than in

is entering the 2017 season with the same pair that

shape of evolving the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR

2016: “The package is stronger. I think – and

fought for Kawasaki’s colours in 2016, meaning

and adjusting to new rules. The team bolstered its

remember that I’m not a technical person –

that Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes continue riding

personnel and now includes a “structure keeper”

there are many things involved. Many people

for the green team. Tom won the championship

who manages the organisational part at European

work on the project. The standard bike is great

title in 2013 and was a serious contender in all the

races. Biel is a realist when the topic turns to the

already and having KHI engineers involved is

following seasons. 2017 promises to be a long

riders: “Tom and Johnny have a lot of respect for

extraordinary, but our suppliers also make the

year and the competition is bound to be ruthless.

each other. Sure, they’re rivals, they’ve known

difference. We have superb mechanics focused

There will be no room for errors. Like last year,

each other for many years, ever since the BSB

on zero mistake goals, and having Tom and

Jonathan will face a dangerous rival in his own

Championship. Both of them being British also

Jonathan I believe we have the best riders

teammate, but other teams and riders will be in the

helps, since Latin riders are more passionate. We

on the grid and in the end they can make

mix as well. Will Kawasaki survive the pressure,

give maximum respect and same tools to both.

the difference.”

how will the two riders with similar goals treat each

Both are mature guys in their early 30s, they know

other, what will the team spirit be like?

what they can and cannot do. When we travel to a

As words turn to Akrapovič, the KRT team’s

place or event, we share flights, taxis, restaurants

exhaust systems supplier, Biel is clear: “Our

“To manage a team where both riders are title

and it’s all good; but this is motorsport and an

suppliers are key to our success and Akrapovič

contenders is hard work,” says Biel Roda,

unfortunate accident on the track could always

is a key partner for KRT and the whole

PR & Marketing manager at KRT. “Apart from

blow everything up. They have clear orders: try to

Kawasaki Company. We both share a passion

the complex relationship, there are the high

win the race! The only scenario where additional

for excellence in management and products.

expectations from everyone in the team, and

team orders might be necessary would be at the

Since exhaust systems play a major role in bike

maintaining motivation is also key, especially

final race of the season and if one of them could

performance, Akrapovič is even more important.

if we fail to reach a goal,” he adds. Biel Roda

win the title. But even in that scenario the two

The best quality of materials, best welding, know

believes it is extremely important for the team to

guys out there on the track would have the final

how, constant R&D, no product failure – this is

discover its weaknesses and to be self-critical,

say. Jonathan and Tom are both great guys.”

what Akrapovič brings to KRT.”

Jonathan is in the company of legends like Carl


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F A N T A S T I C by Alenka Birk photography PR

Fantastic

AIRBUS’ LAND-TO-AIR VEHICLE A car and an airplane all in one? Aviation specialist Airbus and Italian

38

automotive design, styling and prototyping firm Italdesign’s new Pop.Up concept isn’t just a land to air vehicle – it’s an entire transportation system reimagined. At its core is a dynamic capsule that can be affixed to a drone propeller or fitted onto wheels, but what’s really going on here is a traffic-fighting reimagining of how travellers make their way. Inspired by

C A L M - M E- D O W N P U Z Z L E

the fact that in 2030 two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities,

For 90 Euros you can have a nice desk sculpture, paperweight and your stress

would be accessible by way of an app. Airbus claims that something like

the organisations took it upon themselves to develop a solution. All of it

release partner all in one. Or just a toy that drives you crazy. Why? This puzzle is

this system could become a reality in seven to 10 years.

comprised of six different notched brass bars that interlock in one specific way to create a unified “jack” shape. It’s exactingly milled by a skilled machinist in

www.airbusgroup.com

Massachusetts (USA) and it weighs 0.45 kg. But… be forewarned, if you take it apart, you might not be able to figure out how to put it back together again. If you have patience, enough time and you want to brag in front of your colleagues with a nice sculpture and how you can put it together in 2 minutes, then this lovely toy is

39

for you. Just a hint… hand drawn assembly instructions are included in the package.

www.artofplay.com

THE MACALLAN’S TREASURE The Macallan has been whisky collectors’ brand of choice for decades; the distillery has released so many rare and limited edition bottlings that it’s hard to believe any treasures still remain. But their latest, The Macallan 65 years old in Lalique (32,600 €), is an astounding time machine in a glass, the culmination of a decade-long project to release some of the rarest Macallans in the brand’s possession. The Macallan 65, the final release in the series and also the oldest, was laid down on November 10, 1950 – at which time Harry Truman was president and Mick Jagger was 7 years old. Only two casks of Macallan 65 survived the decades and, after the angels took their share, a mere 450 bottles’ worth remained.

www.themacallan.com

PLAN BEE – ARTIFICIAL BEE DRONE Industrial designer Anna Haldewag has created a bee-like drone that could replace real bees in pollinating flowers. The prototype is a self-sustaining device that works peacefully alongside nature in order to continue to growth of plants by cross-pollination. The drone is created to mirror the image of a flower while it interacts with the plant, and the essence of the bee is reproduced through the drone’s black and yellow stripes. Upon approaching a flower, ‘plan bee’ sucks up pollen through holes, working like a vacuum cleaner. As it moves on to the next flower, plan bee’s top vents push air through, causing the pollen to fall out and reproducing the natural cross-pollination pattern of a bee. The project is designed to raise awareness about the declining bee population, caused by the use of pesticides and chemicals.

www.planetcustodian.com/tag/plan-bee

1 1 7. 0 0 0 € P O R S C H E 9 1 7 T O Y How many people will fall in love with this beauty? Fans of Steve McQueen, wooden slot racing tracks or just cool cars in general will go head over heels for the Porsche 917 Le Mans Raceway. This is a full-sized Porsche 917 replica, complete with genuine race-worn GT prototype tires on aluminium three-piece rims and working headlights and taillights. Just as exciting is the fact that once you press a button, the molded replica cowling opens up like a clamshell to reveal a 1:32-scale, working, wooden slot car track that’s faithful to the iconic Le Mans race track. With the analogue racing controller you take control of one of the twelve limited-edition slot cars. The Porsche 917 is an exact replica of the one driven by McQueen in the 1971 movie, Le Mans, which just adds the cherry on top of this geektastic treat.

www.hammacher.com/Product/12005

L E A R N A F R I C A’ S M O S T W I D E LY SPOKEN LANGUAGE ON AN APP Everyone’s favourite language app is now teaching Swahili, said Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn. Spoken in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Comoros Islands and in parts in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, it’s the lingua franca of some of the world’s fastest developing economic regions along the eastern African coast. But more than that, the language crosses borders and cultures. The free mobile and computer app asks users to spend just five minutes a day learning a language using a simple game like interface that grades personal progress of each student. Duolingo has helped refugees navigate their host countries and helped migrants find work, said von Ahn. In Africa, it could build commercial and cultural bridges.

en.duolingo.com


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Inte r v iew

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41

INTERVIEW WITH JON OLSSON

DOUCHEBAG(S) by Gaber Keržišnik photography Bor Dobrin, Red Bull, Head

We were persistent and determined to do the

videos that he records, edits and publishes daily on

interview in our usual manner for this magazine.

YouTube. This is how he keeps his fans and followers

Live. In Monte Carlo, where Jon Olsson lives.

up to date with his life. Even when he’s not skiing or

Lives? Well, sometimes stays the night might be

chasing snowstorms in supercars.

more accurate. We were treated to some more

It required a lot of time to set up the interview. Quite a few emails and a lot of coordination was needed. Olsson’s first reply went along the lines of: “Let’s do the interview over the phone or by email. It would be fastest that way. You see, I live life quite differently from others. I only sleep a few hours every night. My biggest regret is that a day only has 24 hours. Though it is true that even if it had 48, I’d manage to fill it up. I work, ski or travel to a new skiing destination. I really don’t know where life or travels will take me tomorrow. I just got back from Los Angeles. We bought our tickets just a few hours before departure. We usually try to catch the most recent snowfall or monitor snowstorms and then decide at the last moment to go where we think the snowfall will be the heaviest. We look for places where skiing conditions are at their wildest.”

juicy travel stories before managing to start with

Jon Olsson is a ski legend, a skiing innovator, author

the interview proper. “We were recently deciding

of numerous freestyle flips and spins, adrenaline

between a snowstorm in Japan and heavy snow

junky, extreme skier, nine-time medallist at the X

in Canada. We didn’t know where to fly to, even

Games, aficionado and collector of fast cars, blogger,

a few hours before departure. But then a friend

vlogger, internet star, playboy and teen idol. And all

from Japan informed me that snow forecasts

that at 34! Olsson is very well read and is an excellent

were exaggerated and that snowfall would not be

interlocutor and not in any way a “Douchebag”, as

as heavy as promised. So we changed our mind

we jokingly labelled him in the title of this interview.

at the last minute and opted for Canada instead.

The term was rather taken after the increasingly

On my return, I also stopped in Los Angeles to

popular brand of travelling bags, manufactured in

say hello to a few friends, but now I’m here and

Scandinavia. Olsson is a co-owner in the company

ready for the interview.”

that he set up together with friends and the brand has already reached worldwide renown. Jon Olsson also

With the compulsory cap brandishing a famous

chose the company’s name: “Douchebags”.

sponsor’s logo that gives him “wings”, and with camera in hand, the blonde Swede arrived at

We ordered coffee and sat down on a sunny terrace

the agreed upon time. He recorded everything

at a Monaco seaside café, not too far from the tunnel

with his beat-up camera, whose broken-off

and directly below the building where he stays. “It

microphone was attached with rubber bands and

was difficult to get you in front of a microphone,” I

sticky tape. Before we started talking for real,

said, while he apologised and explained: “This must

he also placed a GoPro camera on the table.

be my first face-to-face interview in at least a year.

He wanted to film our meeting from at least two

And it mainly happened because of your persis-

vantage points, so that he could later publish

tence.” Straightforward. There is no time to waste.

the footage on his video blog amongst other

Interview


40 / 45

Interview

42

43

“My biggest regret is that a day only has 24 hours.”

is freestyle skiing. Jumps, flips, spins and the like.

right now. I want to be scared every time I drop

peting there have bodies made of rubber. It’s too

But this is not a hugely popular sport. In order to

off a cliff. That’s when I feel alive. When I sit still

demanding. I kept at it for 15 years, but I have

attract any sponsors at all, we needed to show

and watch the sea, the birds and drink coffee is

no desire to do so now. I’m happy to look at the

ourselves to the public and be seen. The internet

when nuclear explosions reverberate inside my

map of the world and see where snow is falling

is the perfect tool for that. We were looking for

head. I want to live dangerously even though I’m

at the moment. I go there immediately. I have the

media attention, so we kept filming our stunts

extremely calculating and careful. I didn’t suffer

complete freedom of designing my own schedule

throughout the winter. We spend one winter in

a single injury in my 15 years freestyle skiing

even though I have no freedom, because I create

Norway, where it rained for three weeks. Finally,

career. But it is true that I used to be a bit crazier.

my roles every day.

a sunny day! A perfect day for skiing. We used

If I spotted a photographer by the piste, I wanted

it to the full, because it turned out to be one of

to do something really extreme to make the photo

a kind. It was followed by three more weeks of

as good as possible. But I don’t care about pho-

bad weather. So we said to ourselves, why not

tographers lining the slopes any more, I do my

Yes. Again. I calmed down a lot some years ago.

publish that as well. Let the people see how

stunts because I enjoy them and because it’s fun

I realised that I wasn’t that young any more, and I

much effort is required in order to get one day’s

to fly through the air feet up. I’m still good at that.

was getting increasingly apprehensive. This was

worth of material.

I have friends who compete in world cup skiing,

most prominent when I was 29, 30 and 31 years

but who don’t dare to go down the slopes I do.

old. But then it hit me about a year ago that life

When did you start skiing and where did the

Even though they are excellent skiers, they will

isn’t fun unless you live it to the fullest. And now

idea of going extreme come from?

never jump over treetops. Basically, they don’t

I simply don’t care. I feel as if I were 16 again. I

know how to ski off-piste. That’s the difference.

only do crazy things and perform the most daring stunts. I was in Canada with a really crazy friend

When you are young you want to be the best and it doesn’t really matter what in. Things begin to

But you aren’t interested in skiing

a few days ago. He’s one of the maddest people

change over time. Once you get older you don’t

competitions any more?

I know. Travis Pastrana and he are two of my craziest friends. So we were in Canada and we

want to mess up what you have built up. You

Do you really think you must record every day

lic and enjoy it. I see no issues here. Especially

flat. Every day, even if I’m at home, I tape at least

of your life and share it on YouTube?

because this is what I do for a living. I am some-

6 hours of material. It is suicidal to task yourself

times a bit bothered by negative comments, but

with publishing a daily vlog. I had that idea about

This is our goal. Daily vlogs. Every day. I record

I learned to live with that. I simply ignore them.

10 years ago, but then it was perhaps a bit too

everything, edit it in the evening and publish

Most web commenters don’t have a clue what

early for the world of social networks. Now I think

it. People like it. The number of followers is

they’re talking about anyways. And some people

the moment is ripe, and things have been going

growing. I made 313 vlogs so far. I get up at 5

are just plain mean and seek attention in that way.

well. I recorded a vlog some time ago and said to myself the following day: “Hmm… Why don’t I

am and rarely go to sleep before midnight. I don’t even have enough time to call my parents back

How much time do you then have left for skiing?

make one today as well?” And so it began exactly 320 days ago. Less than a year ago.

in Sweden. This is the way I live. Not just me. My girlfriend as well. In all honesty, I’m the B star in

There actually is some left. When we go skiing,

our relationship. She’s a bigger star. As a fashion

I bring editorial backup. Someone who keeps

You are a blog and vlog pioneer. You are one

blogger she has a million followers and I only

recording and then edits the material in the

of the first extreme athletes who began re-

have 600,000.

evening to create a vlog. We publish them when

cording and publishing his activities, projects

skiing as well. Especially when skiing. We have

and achievements online. Today, millions of

How far do you go in your blog? You probably

14 cameras which are on all the time and we

young people are doing it. Where did the idea

don’t publish everything, right? What’s your

usually record up to half a terabyte of data a day.

to record your daring skiing stunts and share

private life like?

This amount is somewhat smaller at home. When

them with the world come from?

I’m home, I edit everything by myself and looking I don’t really have a private life. I decided to live

over all the material really takes up a lot of time.

I still remain mainly an athlete. A skier who goes

the life that I live. I share everything with the pub-

I take the camera with me whenever I leave the

to the extreme. An adrenaline junkie. And my field

So you are only skiing for fun, for the extremes?

can’t let somebody show you that you are not the

That’s right. I used to compete in the world cup

did really incredible stuff. We just kept skiing

best anymore. I still want people to think of me

before taking to freestyle skiing. For quite a few

– everywhere. Regardless of the piste or the

as the best. I want to live exactly the life I’m living

years in fact. But that’s really tough. Guys com-

incline. Past rocks and trees. A few years ago I’d

“This must be my first face-to-face interview in at least a year. And it mainly happened because of your persistence.”


40 / 45

Interview

59

I find it rather interesting that you have never

Cup. I was racing in an Audi and I actually only

seem to be a fan of Lamborghini?

flirted with car racing. Or have I missed

lapped a bit over a second slower than the race

something?

winner, which I found quite inspiring as I was

58

racing against seasoned racing drivers. It was

True. I like Lamborghinis. The brand always comes

have never gone down such a slope, but now we just closed our eyes and let go. It was crazy. You only feel fear once you reach the bottom and look back up. Awesome! You wanted to make it to the Olympics some time ago?

up with interesting models and their cars always

Perhaps you have. I did dabble in car racing for

October, it was pretty cold, about 2 degrees

look extreme. Before deciding for a Rolls-Royce

a bit. But I don’t have the time to get seriously

Celsius at the time of the race. I am currently

Wraith, I almost bought a Ferrari FF. I liked it and it

involved. I took part in a 12-hour endurance

gearing up for an LMP race car test. But I am a

seemed fitting for a ski lover. It has a slightly larger

race some years ago and I was Audi’s guest at

safe driver. I can say that I was never involved in

boot and permanent four-wheel drive. But then I

Hockenheim the year before last, where I drove

a road accident. Despite living my life in the fast

realised that there are simply too many Ferraris here

their car at the final DTM race in the Audi TT

lane, every day.

in Monaco and that I would not be able to stand out enough. Because I come from Scandinavia

Yes, true. It was actually a bet with a friend. I

where people have been driving Volvos since

wanted to prove that I could. This was towards

forever, I said to myself that I will surely be able to

the end of my competitive skiing career and I

manage a rear-wheel drive car on the snow. I drive

tried to meet the qualifying standards to appear

on snow a lot. I made about 50,000 kilometres with

in giant slalom at the Olympics. I discovered

the Lamborghini in one winter. And about 40,000

that Sweden has four spots allocated for the

of them were skidded sideways.

giant slalom race and I told myself that I must be at least fourth, that I will surely succeed. Well,

You also took part in the famous Gumball

a year later I discovered that it wasn’t quite so

Rally?

simple and that while Sweden had four qualifying spots, one must have at least two finishes among

I did indeed. I believe we took part in it six times.

the best 13 skiers in the world cup. Ugh… This

In the past it was a lot smaller and it was really

is going to be tough, I told myself. Unfortunately

about driving. But it has grown in recent years.

I suffered a knee injury at the main qualifying

There are more applicants. Richer people are

event. That is how it all went down the drain. I didn’t spend too much time brooding about it, because it was far from sure that I would make it. After the knee surgery I realised I prefer freestyle skiing, because it gives me more freedom. So I went back to the flips and the moguls. Why did you, a skier through and through, decide to live in Monte Carlo? It doesn’t snow here. Wouldn’t Chamonix, for example, have been a better choice? Mainly due to taxes. They are much lower here. I travel at least 300 days a year and I really don’t know why I should pay the 60% Swedish tax. The weather is lovely here. And Monaco is a great place to get away from skiing when you’re not in the mood. If I lived in a ski resort, skiing would lose all of its charm. You would always be there and it would become boring. I like the palm trees and the sun in Monte Carlo. Did you become a fan of sports cars here in Monaco, where expensive vehicles abound? Where does the desire for supercars come from? No, it had nothing to do with Monte Carlo, even though there really are a lot of expensive cars here. I’ve loved fast cars since my youth.

44

What other cars are on your wish list? You

45

arriving, but mainly to be seen. I’m not interested Doesn’t every young boy dream about a sports

So the Lambo got a new owner and you are

in that. This race used to be hardcore and that’s

car? So when I made enough money by skiing,

currently without wheels?

what drew me to it.

I first wanted to save it, but then I told myself: Screw it, let’s live it to the fullest, you only live

Not anymore. Just yesterday my Rolls-Royce got

once after all. So I bought my first supercar.

delivered and I’m really excited about it.

I didn’t care about what others will say. But I soon realised, which was a bit of surprise, that it

Well, you won’t be modifying that, right?

raised the public’s interest in me and my skiing adventures. Freestyle skiing is not exactly visible

Of course I will. Even more so. I like crazy things.

and you must do something unusual to attract

I’ll change its colour, replace the exhaust and the

the attention of the public and thus the sponsors.

like. I’ll use a different chassis to raise the car,

Supercars thus became my business as well.

replace the wheels and put off-road tyres on it.

They are a part of my image. I became a skier

It will be a lot higher, of course, it will be taken

who also drives extremely fast vehicles.

off the road and on the snow. It will look like an American pickup. And it will, obviously, have a ski

You have a very distinct style. You always attach

box fitted on the roof.

a ski box to your supercar as well as graphically design it in your signature camouflage style.

And how come you chose the Slovenian exhaust manufacturer? Was it recommended

Yep, a car must be something special. It only

by a well-known Slovenian skier?

becomes truly yours after you modify it. After you change the colour or wheels, add this or

No, it wasn’t like that. But the brand did

that. Then it becomes truly yours. You give it a

come recommended by Stertman Motorsport,

personal note. When I sold my Lamborghini a

which helps me modify my rides. I wanted

few days ago, I managed to get almost 100,000

the best exhaust I could find. I always wanted

euros more than what I originally wanted to sell

the best possible engine sound. After fitting

it for. And that was because it was tricked out,

my Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 with an

because it was a different colour, was equipped

Akrapovič exhaust, I achieved just that – to have

with a ski box and an Akrapovič exhaust… And,

the best sound of all the cars I ever drove. When

of course, because it belonged to me. I design

I was driving slowly, it sounded nice and gentle,

the modifications by myself. I first edit a photo-

but when I stepped on the gas, the beast awoke

graph in Photoshop and make a rough sketch. I

and the sound became really wild.

often use sticky tape and place lines on the car in my garage, moving them millimetre by millimetre. I keep at it until I’m satisfied with the result. We then tape the whole car with film.

“After fitting my Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 with an Akrapovič exhaust, I achieved just that – to have the best sound of all the cars I ever drove. When I was driving slowly, it sounded nice and gentle, but when I stepped on the gas, the beast awoke and the sound became really wild.”


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Driv e With Us

Drive With Us

SEARCHING FOR THE SÜDSCHLEIFE IN A PORSCHE 911 GT3

THE OTHER SIDE OF GREEN HELL by Miran Ališič photography Bor Dobrin, Daimler AG, Werner Ulirich

47

46

minutes to complete the lap with an average speed of 98.7 kph. This circuit presented

There is not a fan of car racing and race cars

a milestone in race track construction, and

who does not know what the Nürburgring is. The

nothing similar has been built since. Suddenly

village of Nürburg, removed from the hustle and

every racing driver from all over the world

bustle of modern life, can be found in the Eifel

wanted to have a go at the Nürburgring. After WWII, however, only the northern part of the

hills at the far west of Germany. Medieval castle

circuit, the Nordschleife, was revived for major international races.

ruins lie above the village, whose surroundings have for nearly a century made their living from

So what happened to the Südschleife? This

motorsports. Nürburgring is the most famous

area of Germany then belonged to the French

race track in the world. In the last decades,

occupying zone and while renovation and restoration of the northern loop began in 1948,

after the construction of a modern racing

almost a decade after the last race, there was

circuit where the northern and southern parts

not a lot of interest in the southern part. There

of the track meet, two tracks exist there – the

were plans to transform the Südschleife into If you pore over the circuit’s blueprint, whose

an endurance test track for the car industry,

design and construction started in 1925 in

but the idea never really took off. While the

order to bring development, life and progress

Nordschleife was thus receiving its new look,

to the remote villages in the middle of the

the Südschleife remained forgotten and left

backwards Eifel hills, you see that it contains

out. Unfairly so, wrote Nürburgring expert

two parts of differing lengths. The first with

and journalist Ernst Leverkus in Das Motorrad

22.8 and the second with 7.7 kilometres. Two

magazine in 1956: “The Nordschleife, which

for the Südschleife with what we thought was a

long straights and a concrete hairpin join

is used for car races, is 22.8 km long. The 7.7

decently suitable pair of wheels, a Porsche 911

them into a fantastic whole. The first race took

kilometres of the Südschleife are especially

place on Saturday, 18 June 1927, and involved

interesting due to its exhilarating course, the

motorcycles, with the cars taking to this

undulating terrain and the long and pleasant

incredible track a day later in the Eifelrennen

climb from the Müllenbach towards the finish

race. The latter was won by Rudolf Caracciola

straight and should thus not be left out when

in a Mercedes-Benz, who needed just over 17

testing this circuit.”

state-of-the-art Grand Prix race track and the 22.8 km Nordschleife track. Nürburgring used to have only one race track, which was over 28 kilometres long, which begs the question where the missing kilometres went. So we went looking

GT3. Until we realised, that is, that we will not be able to race on it.


46 / 49

Drive With Us

49

We met the Porsche in the courtyard of the

complete racing experience, and that cannot

the fences by the track and watched Formula

wet, this part never dries out. “This used to

This southern loop of the Nürburgring reached

safety and Niki Lauda’s horrendous accident

RSR company. Ron Simons oversees tens of

be had without an Akrapovič,” he added as we

2 race cars whoosh past us. We saw the

be a very quick and dangerous part of the

its zenith in 1960, when it hosted the only

caused German Grand Prix to be held at the

race cars just a few kilometres from the track

said goodbye, raced down the narrow path

best world racing drivers from way up close,”

track, as it contained a few quick blind curves,”

Formula 2 race in Germany, the German GP.

Nordschleife for the last time, it became clear

itself, inside the Nordschleife. They range

to the main road, turned left, passed Nürburg

Mönig described the part of the track that we

Mönig described the part we travelled on and

Numerous famous Formula 1 drivers took part

that the southern part of the track would be

from a Renault Twingo to the aforementioned

and continued towards Nürburgring’s forgotten

just completed. “It looks like a piece of cake

pinpointed the place where the former track

in Formula 2 back then, including Wolfgang

sacrificed. The last race on the Südschleife

Porsche, with the likes of BMW M3, Ford

loop. Majestic hotels, restaurants and even

at the moment. But consider that the track

entered the treacherous mid-speed Scharfer

Graf Berghe von Trips, Jack Brabham,

took place on 1 September 1979 – “Um die

Fiesta ST, Lotus Exige, Alfa Romeo 4C, Nissan

an amusement park, which is however not

was half as wide before and that the cars

Kopf turn, which now serves as the entrance

Graham Hill, Innes Ireland, Dan Gurney, Bruce

Wuppertaler Schwebebahn”, with Karl-Heinz

GT-R, McLaren MP4-12C, Mercedes-AMG

functioning as investor’s ambitions a decade

raced through these quick turns with speeds

to the Grand Prix race track. We could finally

McLaren... The race, where the weather,

Schäfer and Karl-Heinz Gürthler taking the

GT-S and many similar vehicles in between.

ago were quashed by reality, stand where

exceeding 200 kph in the 1960s. Continuously!

unleash the noise and fury of the 475 hp

despite it being June, did not stray from the

chequered flag in their Opel Ascona 400.

“Most of our cars are equipped with extras

the finish straight used to be. This is where

This part was interesting and suitable for

Porsche and its sequential gearbox as we had

usual fog, cold and rain, was won by Joakim

Because the asphalt had deteriorated in

which bring more pleasure and improve the

the road drops in gentle – for the Porsche

motorcycles, but too narrow for cars.” After the

the rest of Rassrück ahead of us. Due to the

Bonnier in a Porsche; another reason for us

several sections, it was already impossible

experience on the race track,” Mr Simons,

911 – Bränkekopf curves to the first longer

road straightens out for a few hundred metres

short straights, we kept the engine near the

to take the GT3 down memory lane. English

to complete the loop in 1981. The concrete

who has been providing a very special racing

straight, where the automatic gearbox gurgles

upon leaving Bocksberg, we already hit the

red zone, incidentally causing a majestic roar

journalists were very critical of the track at the

hairpin was removed a year later and part

experience to racing enthusiasts from all over

to life for the first time, the speedometer could

edge of Müllenbach. “This part of the circuit

to flow from the Akrapovič exhaust. The woods

time, which they said was unsafe. Moreover

of the track was altered and changed into a

the world for over two decades, told us as

climb up to 150 kph for a second, but we are

does not exist anymore, an industrial zone was

amplified the sound, causing curious passersby

the poor state of the tarmac and the fact that

local road in 1983. All that remained of the

he handed over the keys. “Our big advantage

already braking for the Aschenschlag right

built here in the 1970s, so the track only exists

to come from a nearby parking lot to see what

only 25,000 spectators came to the event,

Südschleife were memories. The remaining

is being located in Nürburgring and we are

turn, followed by the Seifgen set of quick

in the memory of those who are still alive.”

kind of automotive beast was prowling through

contributed to the international racing moving

parts of the track hosted a vintage car

also opening an office at Spa Francorchamps.

turns. This is a normal county road nowadays,

The second part of the loop has remained

the woods.

back to the Nordschleife.

parade in 2005 for the first time, and RSR

This will allow our customers to try out the

widened, but otherwise almost unchanged

more bucolic. The road is located to the left

two best race tracks in the world.” Mr Simons

since its racing days. Charly Mönig, a local who

of the former track, which rises gently here,

The international and the major races thus

The two tracks are today separated by

the Südschleife. Because it requires one to

rents out cars to those who want an individual

has for many years helped organize races at

the turns in the Rassrück part of the former

remained on the Nordschleife in the 1950s,

the Grand Prix circuit. When the decision

drive slowly and obey the traffic rules, the

racing experience as well as offers a course

Nürburgring, comes from Müllenbach, a village

loop are even milder than the descent towards

while the Südschleife was mainly used by

to build a modern track that would meet

Südschleife can be a welcome respite after

on racing tricks. Our 911 GT3 was fitted with

where the Südschleife turns back towards

Müllenbach, but almost the entire stretch runs

motorbikes and motorcycles with sidecars as

the contemporary Formula 1 requirements

the adrenaline-packed Green Hell of the

an Akrapovič exhaust. “Our desire is to offer a

Nürburg. “When we were kids, we hid behind

through a dense forest. If the weather remains

well as for a few attention-grabbing car events.

was taken in 1982, six years after the poor

Nordschleife.

48

also sometimes takes its guests on a tour of


50 / 53

Production

Production

by Sara Assarsson

CHRISTIAN VON KOENIGSEGG COMPETES WITH LUXURY

photography Jenny Leyman

BRANDS LIKE LAMBORGHINI AND FERRARI

Our custOmers have tO wait fOur years fOr their car “I’m living proof that you can do the impossible

not only gives them a better overview of the

if you really believe in your idea and come

production, but it allows us to achieve a lot with

prepared to sacrifice everything to achieve your

very few people.”

goals,” says Christian von Koenigsegg

The Swedish supercar company plans to build

when we meet at the company headquarters on

80 Regera cars over the next five years. To ramp

the outskirts of Ängelholm.

up production, Koenigsegg has already doubled

It’s a busy time in the small factory, housed in a

its staff and plans to hire even more mechanics,

hangar on a former air base once used by the

engineers and refinishers. Building cars by hand

Swedish Air Force’s “Ghost Squadron”.

is a time-consuming process: “Last year we

Three Koenigsegg showpieces are being

delivered ten cars. Our customers have to wait

shipped to the Geneva Motor Show: a gleaming

four years for their car, which makes it difficult for

granite black Agera S, encrusted with flakes of

our sales agents,” says von Koenigsegg.

24 carat gold; and two of the latest 1,500 hp

With a price tag of 2.15 million €, the Regera is

hybrid Regera.

a toy for the superrich.

The three cars are still being carefully assembled,

“Three or four percent of our customers are

polished and wired. Everything is made by hand,

women,” Koenigsegg explains as we walk across

from the ultralight carbon fibre wheels to the

the factory floor.

shiny screws.

The two Regeras that were exhibited at the

And, of course, the roaring machinery that has

Geneva Motor Show have been fitted with

catapulted Koenigsegg into Guinness World

Akrapovič fishtail exhausts, heralding a new

Records In 2002, the 655 hp engine in the

partnership between Koenigsegg and Akrapovič.

Koenigsegg CC8S was certified as being the

“I knew about Akrapovič since we started

most powerful engine in a series produced car.

building the Agera, but at the time our production

Two years later, the CCR outdid that record. It

was too small. Slovenia may not be renowned

was equipped with an uprated engine that added

for its car industry, but Akrapovič has a very high

more than 150 hp for a total output of 806 hp.

production quality and offers state-of-the-art

The new Regera, which combines a twin turbo

technology,” says Koenigsegg.

V8 combustion engine with three electric motors,

All cars are made to order and most of the

it is nearly twice as powerful.

Regeras that will be built over the next few years

But for the founder and CEO, Koenigsegg is

have already been sold.

about more than raw power.

“Our main advantage over the bigger brands,

“We have a more holistic approach to car

McLaren, Ferrari and Lamborghini, is our limited

building. Design, engineering and construction

production. It’s a lot easier for us to customise a

run through every aspect of the car, right through

car as we build it than for them to take a car off

to the joy of driving,” he says.

the production line and then customise it. We

“For example, the person who has designed our

started a trend of customising cars and now the

unique carbon fibre wheel is a software engineer.

bigger brands have to follow suit as the clientele

Most car manufacturers don’t operate like this,

expects it.”

but in my world, the gearbox is only a short

Hand-building any car is time-consuming, but

distance from the wheels.

building a high-performing supercar for clients

People have enormous flexibility. Allowing staff to

who expect nothing but the very best is an

work with four or five completely different tasks

arduous task. Building one of the Koenigsegg

On paper, it was possibly the opposite of a brilliant business idea: to build the world’s fastest supercar and compete with luxury brands like Lamborghini and Ferrari. But 44-year-old Swedish entrepreneur Christian von Koenigsegg did just that. Despite having no experience manufacturing cars, young Koenigsegg set off to piece together a powerhouse of a carriage – and laid the foundation for what decades later would be the world’s fastest car , reaching nearly 388 km/h at the Nardo high speed test track in 2005.

50

51

power horses takes between six and seven

up the company in 1994, at just 22 years old.

“I remember coming out of the cinema after

months. The paint job alone requires between

Inspired by the Norwegian stop motion movie

watching the Flåklypa Grand Prix and saying

400 and 600 hours, and on top of that there is

The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix (or the Flåklypa Grand

to my dad: ‘This is what I want to do!’ I started

200-300 hours of polishing. One lightweight

Prix), in which a poor bicycle repairman decides

reading every car magazine I could get hold of,

carbon fibre wheel takes a week to make. An

to build a racing car, young Koenigsegg set

and later began fixing up mopeds, boat engines

Italian specialist is flown in to craft the flakes of

out to do the same. But while the Norwegian

and remote control cars. In some way or another,

24-carat gold into the design.

role model didn’t have a dime to his name,

I guess I have been studying car-building since I

Can hand-building supercars ever be profitable?

Koenigsegg’s entrepreneurial skills had already

was 6 or 7 years old,” he says.

Yes, says Koenigsegg and points out that the

earned him a handsome sum of cash. With the

After two years, the first Koenigsegg CC

company has been profitable for the past 11 or

money from his previous business, Koenigsegg

prototype rolled out of the 400 m² factory in

12 years. At the start of the Koenigsegg era, it

and a small team of car enthusiasts put together

Olofström.

was a different story. Armed with a passion for

a prototype and convinced the Swedish Agency

“My money ran out after a year and the loan from

motors and a childhood dream of building the

for Economic and Regional Growth (NUTEK) to

NUTEK lasted for another six months. By then

world’s fastest car, Christian von Koenigsegg set

lend them nearly 170 000 €.

we had a prototype and my father, who initially


50 / 53

“I was frustrated that we couldn’t get maximum power from the start in the type of combustion cars we were building.”

Production

52 65 53 64

had been very sceptical about my car-building

cars we were building,” he says.

But I’m not sure that I, as a 19-year-old, would

ideas, agreed to go into business with me and

Instead, he came up with a new technology

have seen the full value of the patent,” says

gave me a bridge loan,” Koenigsegg recalls.

which combines a powerful twin-turbo V8

Koenigsegg.

In 1999, after showing the Koenigsegg CC at

combustion engine with three electric motors.

Instead of cashing in on his early invention,

the Cannes Film Festival and building another

The technology, called Direct Drive, removes the

Koenigsegg has put Ängelholm on the map and

prototype, the company attracted its first

traditional gearbox.

earned a reputation for building some of the most

venture capital.

“It’s not specific for supercars, but can be used

powerful and desirable cars in the world. With

“It was the era of IT start-ups and there was a lot

to power buses, trucks and ordinary cars,” says

Agera and Regera – meaning “to act” and “to

of new money around. Investors were looking for

Koenigsegg.

rule” – Koenigsegg draws on his Scandinavian

something more tangible than internet ideas. By

He is still very actively involved in every step of

heritage. The move is a wink to another famous

that time, we had been up and running for five

the car-building process. An inventor at heart,

Swedish company, furniture giant IKEA, who has

years and were ready to start production,” says

the CEO spends a lot of time in the prototype

conquered the world with its Billy bookcases,

Koenigsegg.

room and on the factory floor. Koenigsegg’s

Koenigsegg admits.

With the help of the cash from wealthy IT

passion for design could have taken him in a

While IKEA is in every Swedish home, very few

investors, production finally started in 2002.

different direction. Before he built his first car,

of Koenigsegg’s cars are seen on Scandinavian

Since then, Koenigsegg has built around 130

Christian von Koenigsegg patented a solution for

roads.

cars – from the original CC8S to the hybrid

joining floor planks together without adhesive or

“No, I don’t have one for private use,” says

Regera. The idea of combing electrical power

nails. At the time, floor manufacturers rejected

Koenigsegg.

with a combustion engine – and getting rid of

the idea. Years later, a Belgian and a Swedish

“I have to make the most of taking one for a spin

the gearbox – came from von Koenigsegg’s

company patented the exact same solution.

when clients and journalists are here. As much

experience of driving a Tesla.

“Every floor manufacturer around the world uses

as I would love to own one, I would have to pay

“I was frustrated that we couldn’t get maximum

this technology. In 2001, the patent was sold to

full price and that’s a bit expensive,” he says with

power from the start in the type of combustion

an American corporation for 2,8 billion dollars.

a smile as he hurries off to his next appointment.

“No, I don’t have one for private use,” says Koenigsegg.

// Si Kupci na svoj avto čakajo štiri leta Na papirju je bilo morda pravo nasprotje briljantne poslovne ideje, vendar se 44-letni švedski podjetnik Christian von Koenigsegg na to ni oziral. Želel si je zgraditi najhitrejši športni avtomobil na svetu in tekmovati z luksuznimi znamkami, kot sta Lamborghini in Ferrari. Čeprav z izdelovanjem avtomobilov ni imel izkušenj, se je Koenigsegg odločil, da bo izdelal zmogljivo vozilo – s tem je postavil temelje za avtomobil, ki je desetletja pozneje postal najhitrejšil na svetu. Njegov avto je leta 2005 na stezi Nardo dosegel svetovni rekord – skoraj 388 km/h. “Jaz sem živ dokaz, da lahko dosežeš nemogoče, če verjameš v svojo idejo in si pripravljen narediti vse, da dosežeš svoj cilj,” pravi Christian von Koenigsegg.


54 / 57

Lif e style

DOING A WHEELIE AT THE RIGHT TIME

Lifestyle

ROK BAGOROŠ, THE LINK BETWEEN KTM AND YOUNG RIDERS

by Matevž Hribar

54

photography Saša Kapetanovič, Head Lens - Media, Janez Kocbek, archive Rok Bagoroš

55

I remember what a nuisance (but in a positive way) Rok Bagoroš was when I was a journalist for a Slovenian car and motorbike magazine and website. “Could you publish a video of me riding on ice? Wanna record a stunt with a scooter on a golf course? Let’s do it …” A very determined lad! It was quite clear to me at the time what Rok was aiming for, but neither he nor I had any idea that a few years later he would be doing stunts all over the world as a promoter for a brand he loves – KTM. Rok and I met in his garage in Murska Sobota, a town not too far from his birthplace of Radenci in the Prekmurje region.

But let’s start with the other side. KTM, known for

“We don’t have TV backing, Eurosport, Sport1

burning tyres at bike gatherings and recording

years and years for its off-road bikes, has opened

or the like. We have social media and if you are

amateur videos for fun. Rok Bagoroš is currently

up to the world, established links with India and

smart enough and build on that basis, you can

a brand with a team of five people, including

started attracting young street riders. But who

introduce yourself to the entire world.”

mechanics Denis and Nace, manager Marko,

will convince them to get a new naked bike,

So what is trending at the moment? “Facebook

video and photo expert Dominik and himself.

in the same manner as Tony Cairoli promotes

and Instagram are number one, Twitter is almost

There are some external partners as well, like the

motocross, Antoine Méo popularizes enduro

unknown in Europe, though it has a major

winter fitness coach and PR editor.

and last two Dakar winners Sam Sunderland

presence in the US. Blogs are trending right now

Did he think as an 18-year-old with a uniquely

& Toby Price stir up pride in the owners of

and we have just started one as well, thereby

coloured scooter that he would become a

orange adventure bikes? Sixteen-year-olds are

slightly changing the way we communicate. The

professional tyre burner for KTM? “That I would

not interested in the Dakar rally. But they have

rule in social media is that you can never know

ride for KTM, no, not in the slightest. But I had

on that … I believe that hard work always results

You could say that I was at the right place at the

world. But he added in the same breath that this

smartphones and profiles on all of the social

ten years in advance what will be popular, so you

a goal. I did everything for a reason. I didn’t do

in something positive. Exactly what the end

right time, but if I hadn’t made the move, nothing

is what he strived for.

networks of the moment. “This is the catch, this

must think ahead and adjust a lot. And that is

all those projects merely as a hobby. I wasn’t

result will be, well, that you cannot predict. I

would have happened.”

“I prefer the Duke 200 for more demanding

is why KTM needs a freestyle rider. There are

difficult to do in large companies. Just when they

looking for sponsors a month in advance just so

went to INTERMOT Cologne bike fair on that

no races to promote the Duke, like there are

finally agree how to showcase themselves on

that I could go for a spin on the ice. No, I had

fateful day for a meeting with Peugeot, but none

I like the fact that despite his high-flying plans,

and sound makes it better for drifting and

for motocross, enduro and the like. Races with

Instagram, the idea doesn’t work anymore. This is

a well-founded plan and a vision. Do you know

of the higher-ups were there. Now what? Peter

Rok Bagoroš tries to stay on the ground. He

specific tricks. A powerful one-cylinder bike is

strong media coverage are standard in those

a problem faced by the big and an advantage for

how much time it took me to find a golf course

Kavčič, who worked for Akrapovič, jumped in

openly admitted without false modesty that

too explosive for stunt riding. The majority of

categories, but for us the main stage is the social

us, the small.”

that gave me permission to ride on it? I knew that

and introduced me to people at KTM, allowing

he most certainly was not the best stunt rider,

competitors use Kawasaki Ninja 636’s and when

media,” Rok explains the role he plays at KTM.

Rok Bagoroš is obviously no longer a snotty teen

if I kept doing interesting projects and building

me to show what I had prepared for Peugeot.

despite being the only factory stunt rider in the

I do the same trick on a Duke 690, it comes out

and technical stunts, while the 690’s power


54 / 57

Lifestyle

But how long can a wave like that carry one?

that, to improve, I have to find a fork and go

in the near future. The aforementioned 790 cc

Was there anything he needed to change, does

in a completely new direction. What does

Duke and the European Stunt Championship,

riding still mean the same to him that it did when

that mean, I don’t know. I am lucky to have a

which will be organised for the first time under

he was 16 or 18? Has the essence of what he

sponsor who always comes up with something

the auspices of the FIM motorbike federation.

does, stunt riding, become less interesting? Is it

fresh and has so many different projects that I

There namely exists a small problem for the stunt

becoming all too repetitive?

am never bored. But I asked for a reduction in

riders: there are virtually no official competitions.

“A good question. I thought a lot about that

the number of shows when we extended our

According to Rok, this is also due to riders

about a week ago. You are most definitely

contract this year. At first they were alarmed,

performing on ten-year-old bikes, which makes

hungry for everything at the start, everything

but I soothed them by explaining that I didn’t

them unattractive for manufacturers that want to

is interesting, you look for something new,

want to become someone who rides just for

push new models. But won’t commercialisation

you have goals … To maintain that hunger,

money and whose shows were always the

kill the free hearts clutching the handlebars of

that desire for something new is the biggest

same.” So, what was the reduction then? “We

these uniquely transformed machines all over

problem. This is currently very difficult. I’m

reduced shows to 25 weekends a year, still

the world? “Money can definitely kill some of

juggling so many things at the moment that

over 100 shows in total, though.”

a sport’s soul, but after all, pros work from the

I feel as if in a tunnel and if I want to change

Two important decisions await Rok Bagoroš

heart as well.”

56 57

completely differently. And that is not a bad thing

the Middle East, Asia and South America. There

lack self-confidence. They feel trapped in their

at all. But in a competition one has to do about

are numerous reasons for that. For starters, large

country and then they say, easy for you, you

10 stunts, and if you can’t, you can forget about

touring bikes and supersport bikes are much

come from Europe. No, I’m not lucky at all, I

being at the top.” Has he tried the new two-

less popular there than cheaper models with

was born in a country of 2 million and you come

cylinder 790 yet? “No, I haven’t. The prototype

smaller displacement; stunt riding is something

from a country of 50. How come any of your

was unveiled last autumn in EICMA motorcycle

new and fresh and, last but not least, Rok

local singers can have two million followers on

show in Milan, but the bike itself will only be out

Bagoroš, a blond-haired blue-eyed biker from

Instagram and live like a king? My family couldn’t

next year. I expect a lot from it, it looks really sick,”

a country of two million, comes with a story to

buy a bike for me, I had to work for it myself.

Rok looks forward to the day when he will do a

which many of them can relate. “I know it sounds

Today you have the internet, you have Facebook,

wheelie on the new orange beast.

like a cliché, but I keep explaining, especially in

YouTube and, if you’ve got a bit of talent for what

While Europeans are not easy to please (even

the poorer countries, what is behind the slogan

you do, you can win big. If you’re a good stunt

though Rok says that a good show is possible

‘Dream big and never give up!’. I explain that my

rider, you add a bit of marketing. And the other

in Slovenia and Austria), the 28-year-old

success came about through hard work. You can

way around. Once you’ve built up both, you’ve hit

Slovenian is a superstar in many countries – in

really feel how boys in Myanmar and Cambodia

the jackpot!”

// SI Ob pravem času na enem kolesu Rok Bagoroš “stunta” po vsem svetu kot promotor proizvajalca motorjev KTM, obenem pa je vez med podjetjem in mladimi. KTM znan po klenih terenskih motociklih, se je odprl v svet, se povezal z Indijo in pomežiknil mladim cestnim motoristom. Ampak kdo bo mlade motoriste navdušil za nov motor? Šestnajstletniki ne spremljajo relija Dakar. Imajo pa pametne telefone in profile na vseh aktualnih družbenih omrežjih. KTM potrebuje Bagoroša za promocijo motorja Duka. Bagoroš ni več le najstnik, ki po moto zborih kuri gume in tako malo za šalo snema amaterske videoposnetke. Bagoroš je ta trenutek blagovna znamka z ekipo petih ljudi. Kljub precej visokoletečim načrtom se trudi stati na trdnih tleh. Med pogovorom je priznal, da čeprav je trenutno edini tovarniški stunt voznik, ni najboljši na svetu. Toda v isti sapi je dodal, da si to neizmerno želi doseči.


58 / 61

Visit With Us

by Volker Hirth

58

photography Bor Dobrin, BMW

Visit With Us

59

Visiting Marco Wittmann, BMW works driver and Akrapovič brand ambassador

The day of my dreams? Only in the car! Only the most important trophies have made it into his living room. The others are stored in the cellar – which is full. Marco Wittmann on photos, in pictures, on canvas, engraved in his trophies. Once you enter his empire there is no need to ask what he does for a living. In the corner of the bright living room the mighty, glassy, about a meter tall cups from his two overall DTM wins are enshrined like triumphal columns. Permanent eye contact from the couch. Steles of success. Everything is subordinated to this success.

Even holidays? Yes. “Last year in Australia. End

Sports the whole year. If not in the car then

perfection which makes up Wittmann, does this

of November because of testing. My girlfriend

in running shoes. “I’m more the running type,

make the difference? Everyone is talented in the

was with me. We also had a few days just

but have also started with mountain bikes;

DTM after all. “I’m somebody who really works a

for ourselves,” Wittmann says, shrugging his

for variety.” Wouldn’t triathlon be just the right

lot, and works analytical. On race weekends up

shoulders a little. A few days. There are no more

sport then? “No chance,” says Wittmann. “In

to 11 p.m., sometimes.”

during the year. The girlfriend has to accept

swimming I’m a wimp.” There is no time to

In the old times even playboys became Formula 1

it. She’s tall, slim and blond. “That’s how the

change it anyway. DTM champion is a full-time

world champions. “No chance today. Senna and

wife of my dreams must look like. And she fully

job. Radio and TV dates all over Germany, the

Schumacher changed that. Without total fitness

stands by my side.” Holidays of his dreams?

list of requests for interviews from print media

and devotion nobody can become a champion

“Maldives maybe, or Caribbean. But I didn’t

is long. And every time he manages a trip to

today.” Schumacher. Of course. His idol. Just

make it yet.”

relax in his BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition,

like for everyone his age.

he ends up on social media. “Each time when Instead already successful in the kart at fifteen.

I’m out somewhere with it, new pictures are

Michael Schumacher and Marco Wittmann,

Second in a race in Japan. A giant, silver,

uploaded on my Facebook fan page, because

there are important parallels and nevertheless

already slightly tarnished cup in another corner

somebody has made a shot of me.” He already

the biographies couldn’t be more different.

is silent proof of a career which started when

has a special relationship to his BMW. “It’s

Here the product of a karting track family with

he was six and sent him around the globe early

always reminding me of my first overall victory in

his mother behind the counter, earning a few

on. The grandfather did hill climbs, the father

the DTM. I’m already so much looking forward

additional Deutschmarks selling sausages

karting. “Racing is part of the Wittmann’s blood,”

to the current model. It’s coming soon,” he says

and beer. And there is Marco. The father a

he laughs. Marco didn’t have a chance, but

and beams all over.

successful businessman, the family fully intact. The parents are at every single race. “Our

didn’t want to do anything else either. Not even today. Only racing. And once the season is over,

When the victory party for the champion was

relation is great. I receive every support I need

preparation for the next one is just beginning.

already in full swing in October 2016, Marco

– also from my brother. We are more like good

Wittmann was still discussing some details

friends and occasionally paint the town red.”

“There is no real off-season once the season

of the final race with his engineers. This

Sounds like it rarely happens.

is over, actually,” Wittmann says without regret.

meticulousness, this unwavering desire for

In the old times even playboys became Formula 1 world champions. “No chance today. Senna and Schumacher changed that. Without total fitness and devotion nobody can become a champion today.”


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And if it does – one is led to believe – then

he counts his intellectual grasp, his ability to

‘painting the town red’ is more likely done with

adapt quickly. “When I join the colleagues on a

the handbrake on Marco’s side. The next outing,

new track they usually take a little longer to find

the next race is around the corner. And there’s

the right speed. I’m faster doing so and that’s an

the total parallel to Schumi. The craving for

advantage, of course.” And he is patient, not too

victories must be preceded by the craving for

hotheaded. “I take my chance when it’s right and

hundredths of seconds. “I really think I’m the nerd

not before.” What is a dream day for him? Marco

who tries to get everything out of it.”

Wittmann thinks a little longer. He is looking for an alternative and finally gives up after a few

When the 27-year-old is asked for his strengths

seconds. There is no such day off a race track.

and weaknesses he says it’s exactly this extreme

“For me, a perfect day can only happen in a car.

ambition which has brought him this far and

That’s my life, that’s my passion, that’s my hobby.”

occasionally also distracts him. “When there is

No chance of diverting his mind: the trophies are

a day when it doesn’t work out as planned it can

always in front of him. His gaze is always focused

be a hindrance.” As one of his secrets of success

on the essential: racing.

// SI Sanjski dan le v avtu Marco Wittmann, tovarniški voznik BMW in ambasador blagovne znamke Akrapovič, ima v dnevni sobi razstavljene le najpomembnejše pokale, drugi so v kleti, ki je polna. Ko vstopite v njegovo kraljestvo, vam ni treba spraševati po njegovem poklicu. Mogočna, steklena, približno meter visoka pokala za skupni zmagi v prvenstvu DTM kraljujeta v kotu svetle dnevne sobe. Izjemna ambicioznost ga je pripeljala do velikih uspehov. Po drugi strani pa se zaveda, da je velika zagnanost lahko tudi moteča. Ko je bila oktobra 2016 zabava ob njegovi skupni zmagi v DTM že v polnem teku, je Marco Wittmann s svojimi inženirji še razpravljal o podrobnostih zadnje dirke. Nemški dirkač veliko dela, in to analitično. V času dirk tudi cel dan do poznih nočnih ur. Sanjski dan je zanj le tisti, ki ga preživi v avtu. Njegov pogled je vedno usmerjen v bistveno – dirkanje.

“For me, a perfect day can only happen in a car. That’s my life, that’s my passion, that’s my hobby.”

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Y Z A R F F U T S C

Crazy Stuff

by Alenka Birk photography PR

Amazing colours of rock formations in China -

The amazing colours of the rocks are the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down over a period of 24 million years. The Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park is located close to the city of Zhangye in northwestern Gansu province. The core area of the park, Linze Danxia Scenic Area, is located 30 kilometres west of downtown Zhangye. There are sightseeing cars available within the national park. The distance between the four viewing platforms is around eight kilometres, and it takes about 2 hours to finish the whole trip. The best time to visit is from June to September when the weather is comfortable and the combination of strong sun and a little rain brings out the vivid colours. It is best to visit in the morning and at sunset, when the colours change continuously, showing yellow and red layers covered by a light grey layer. www.chinahighlights.com

Oh, you’re not a pilot? Haven’t flown a plane before? But you’d like to be the captain of a Boeing? No worries. Come to British Airways Boeing flight simulator. It will be the thrill of a lifetime as you take control of a multi-million pound, full motion flight simulator. They’re offering you the opportunity to fly a Boeing flight simulator, normally reserved for the exclusive training of professional pilots. First they will give you a preflight briefing flight deck instruments, controls and systems. Once your training is complete, you will be at the con-

Welcome to the pilot’s seat -

trols from takeoff to touchdown, including startup and shutdown. All of this under the guidance of a flight instructor. Afraid of flying? Maybe now, as a pilot, you will enjoy the flight. www.britishairways.com

The swing of death -

62 Deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness is a seismic monitoring station in a tree house known as Casa del Arbol. Its purpose is observing Mt. Tungurahua, the nearby active volcano. The real attraction is Can you keep a secret? Then we can tell you

the crude swing hanging from one of the tree’s

about this secret pop-up bar, Mr. Simon, in

skinny branches. It is located in Baños, Ecuador.

Udine, Italy. Only invited guests are able to

The swing’s unique location 2,600 metres above

experience this 25 seat, 50 square metre home

sea level offers a beautiful and terrifying view

whose address we are not allowed to reveal.

of the Tungurahua Volcano. Although it might

The bar was designed as the eccentric ‘home’

look like it hangs over a cliff, the swing actually

of Mr. Simon, a botanical alchemist and collec-

just hangs over a steep slope. Either way, falling

tor of fine things from his travels. How can you

would probably mean death, but that doesn’t stop

get in? It is in a new restaurant in a well known

adventurous swingers from giving the swing a go.

shopping centre. First you call Mr. Simon to

And it’s probably worth it, because the rush of

make a reservation and receive an access code

adrenaline, the feeling of freedom and the amazing

that changes every day. Then you need to find

surrounding views must be one of a kind. Besides

the restaurant and the white vintage phone on

the swing, La Casa Del Arbol is a great place to

one of its walls. You dial and are connected to the bar. If your reservation is confirmed, you will go through the bathroom and broom closet, where you ring the bell on a hidden door in the cement wall. If you are lucky, the door opens. www.mrsimon.it

The secret home of Mr. Simon -

hike and enjoy the views even if you don’t feel like scaring yourself to death. www.ecuadorecovolunteer.com/banos-swing-casa-del-arbol

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A LAP IN MONTE CARLO WITH THE MERCEDES-AMG S 63 COUPÉ

“ LIKE FLYING A HELICOPTER IN YOUR LIVING ROOM”

Those were the words of Formula 1 champion Nelson Piquet, who never won an F1 race in Monte Carlo, and perhaps therein lies the reason for his dismissive attitude towards racing in this pocket Mediterranean state. Monte Carlo is the craziest Formula 1 race, because it takes place on the craziest race track – not actually a circuit at all. The Mercedes-Benz SSK was favourite already at the inaugural race, organised on the narrow streets in 1929 by lawyer, merchant and motorsports fan Antony Noghes. The situation was similar in 2016, with Mercedes again the favourite to win. This time with a different model though, the W07. We meanwhile took to the Monaco streets in a third Mercedes – the S 63 Coupé. Of course fitted with an Akrapovič Evolution Line (Titanium) exhaust.

by Miran Ališič photography Bor Dobrin, Daimler AG

It was on 14 April 1929 when 16 racing

with its 7-litre compressor engine made it

The Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupé is a modern

always treacherous, slippery and narrow. The

drivers made Formula 1 history without

past the Bugatti as well, and, it seemed, was

and powerful large sports coupe. The operative

passing place is now aiding the drivers whose

knowing it. Alfa Romeo and Maserati did not

poised for an easy win. But the much shorter

word here being large. It is just a bit shorter

unsuccessful braking carries them forward and

attend, but there were numerous Bugattis and

and smaller Bugatti 35 was a lot more nimble

than the limo. Seven-speed automatic gearbox,

many also scrape the aluminium fence, which

a powerful Mercedes with the outstanding

on the streets of Monaco and used a lot

5.5-litre biturbo V8, 585 hp, just under 4

was not present in 1929. The Mercedes-AMG

Rudolf Caracciola behind the wheel. In short,

seconds from 0 to 100 kph. It feels as if the

S 63 Coupé accelerated safely uphill, past

Caracciola was the clear favourite to win the

less petrol to boot. When the Bugatti driver retook the lead in the 42nd lap, he held on

Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupé is actually a

the former gold shops to the market in front of

race. However, races are always unpredictable.

to it until the end. All this despite racing in a

modern Mercedes-Benz SSK. We took it for

the casino. The car is bristling with torque and

The grid positions were still determined by

car with a mere 2.3-litre atmospheric engine.

a spin on the 3.3-kilometre lap at the Monaco

setting the suspension to “comfort” kept us on

lottery back then, sending Caracciola to the

Caracciola and Mercedes were defeated.

circuit, which has remained almost unchanged

the road before reaching the casino.

back of the pack and putting William Grover-

For a while. Mercedes paid its dues relatively

since the days when Caracciola raced on it.

The Monaco speciality during an F1 race is

Williams with his Bugatti into the second row.

quickly though, and while Bugatti has long

Boulevard Albert 1er, which now hosts the

a parade of a host of sports and luxury cars

The German quickly made it to the second

since retired from racing, Mercedes still keeps

start of the race, is too short for racing cars,

around the casino. Authoritative police officers

place, behind Williams. The powerful Mercedes

winning the laurels. Also in Monte Carlo.

and the corner at the St. Devote church is

dressed in white allow the privileged to enter

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the casino square and then continue on

rear wheel drive only since the start, unlike

competition and only comes into its own

through Mirabeau to the Loews hairpin and

most of the race cars and all F1 bolides. The

at full throttle. Well, the Akrapovič version

the tunnel. My fears were unwarranted. It was

four wheel drive probably helps many from

shines at all times. When the neat exhaust

enough to touch the accelerator pedal and

spinning on the slippery asphalt of Monte

remote control colours itself red, signalling

awake the resounding Akrapovič exhaust to

Carlo. This especially held true for the Tabac

that the system turned on, the people around

cause the police officer to wave his hand and

turn, where fishermen used to take the nets

you hear that. The driver and the passengers

send us on our way. If Monaco police officers

from their fishing boats, making it especially

moreover feel that. The price of this

let you through all the roadblocks during

slippery. Our Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupé

Mercedes certainly justifies this Akrapovič

an F1 event, then you must have come in a

would have been unfazed by that, even if the

accessory. Due to its design, power and,

very special vehicle. A few times the porters

fishermen and their boats had not already

mainly, sound. Perhaps what Nelson Piquet

parked it in the place in front of the casino

been replaced by different types of fish.

said was true and racing on Monaco streets

reserved for special exhibits. Right in front of the doors of the mid-19 th century palace.

The millionaires and their invitees, who sip

is like flying a helicopter in a living room.

champagne and enthuse over the backdrop

Furthermore, perhaps this is even more true

Once you run over the kerbs in two right

of Monaco buildings on their three, four

for Mercedes cars. Both, Caracciola’s 1929

turns after driving past the porters and enter

and five-storey yachts. The area around the

SSK and the 2016 Akrapovič S 63 Coupé.

the tunnel, you realise that the cockpit is full

pool requires precision. The sports coupé

Well, we can only guess that had Caracciola

of buttons, lights and commands. Perhaps

is equipped with extremely sensitive and

sported the same lightweight exhaust as

a few too many. A car like this could be a

precise power steering, so the precision

the one at the back of this Mercedes, he

bit more minimalist. Then again, maybe not,

required around the swimming pool does not

probably would have found a way around

what do I know. There is certainly a plethora

present problems, though it does not fancy

Grover in his small and nimble Bugatti. If not

of settings, much like in a modern F1 car,

the turns at the Rascasse too much. And we

otherwise, by scaring the Englishman with

where, incidentally, I feel that there is an

are back on the straight.

his sound. The same as we got the attention

overabundance of settings, switches, buttons

Time to test the exhaust. When this

and enthused almost everybody we passed

and lights as well. Shouldn’t we rather go

Mercedes was tested by the US-based Car

during our lap on this legendary circuit.

back to the steering wheel and the gearbox?

and Driver magazine, they wrote that the

We too felt as if we were flying in a loud

This Mercedes has not been available with

factory exhaust is quiet compared with the

helicopter in a living room.


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Over the water with 750 hp

B O E S C H

B O ATS

Lake Zürich is home to a small shipyard which still constructs speedboats made exclusively of wood. The exclusive boats by Boesch have been sophisticatedly handcrafted for almost 100 years and delivered all over the world.

by Michael Baumann Among many other celebrity customers of the small but mighty boat

photography Bor Dobrin, Boesch Boats

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manufacturer Boesch was singer Udo Jürgens. But the Shah of Persia, Romy Schneider, Freddy Quinn and Gunter Sachs also used the wooden boats from the shipyard at Lake Zürich in Switzerland. Schlager legend Peter Alexander was a proud owner too. But Boesch never made its celebrity customers its cult of personality, unlike Riva from Italy for example. As a result Boesch still has its independence and can react quickly and is quite flexible to market circumstances and customers’ requirements. Now the man at the company’s steering wheel is Markus Boesch, the fourth generation. The 46-year-old joined the company at age 30 and one year ago took over the chairmanship from his father Klaus and his uncle Urs. He welcomed us outside the wooden building at Lake Zürich, still Boesch’s headquarters. It is right here that they’ve cared about wooden boats for over 140 years. Lifestyle of the 1950s Boesch speedboats represent a very specific lifestyle which has its origins in the 1950s with the arrival of waterskiing. Everyone who thought of himself as the cat’s whiskers and could afford it, acquired a fine wooden boat to use on European inland waters and along the French Riviera, and indulge in the new sport. Sun could be enjoyed on the big mattresses too, and one could comfortably go into the water from the swim platform. Nothing has changed since then. Today boats by Boesch are found around the world. One is even operated on the Amazon River, as a photo from the company’s archive shows. But the Swiss have yet to really profit from the economic upswing in China. In the Middle Kingdom such boats have not yet reached the rank of a status symbol. There has been a shipyard at the place in Kilchberg where Boesch’s headquarters are situated since 1875. Jakob Boesch, Markus’ greatgrandfather, worked there and acquired the company in 1920 when the owner retired. He was able to do this with support from the Sprüngli family, which lived nearby and is still well known around the world for its chocolate. Many members of the Sprungli family liked to sail, so they had a keen interest in keeping the shipyard operating. Back then mainly sailing boats, but also rowing and speed boats, were manufactured on the shores of Lake Zürich. This didn’t change until the mid-1950s, when the last sailing boats for the Swiss delegation at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne were manufactured. Today, sailing boats that originate from the Kilchberg shipyard and were manufactured in 1908, 1913/14 and 1925 are still used on Lake Zürich.

The speedboats by Boesch represent a very specific lifestyle, which has its origins in the 1950s with the arrival of waterskiing.


68 / 71 Drive With Us

At the place of Boesch’s headquarters in Kilchberg a shipyard was situated as early as 1875. Jakob Boesch, Markus’ great-grandfather, worked there and acquired the company in 1920, when the owner retired.

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Finest mahogany wood Everyone who wants to acquire a new Boesch boat has to wait three to four months for the delivery. With everything handmade it takes that long from the day of order for the boat to be readied. The waiting period for the biggest model, which is almost ten meters (11 yards) long, could even be up to a year. In the shipyard, where humidity is always kept stable, a small stock of raw parts and, of course, unprocessed wood, is kept. Before the natural construction material is delivered to Boesch, it has already been stored for two to three years at the timber merchant’s. For the primary structures and those coming into contact with water only FSC certified mahogany wood is used, mainly originating from West Africa. “For the construction of boats mahogany wood is especially useful,” Boesch says, “because it’s light, stable and putrefactive resistant. As a tropical wood it’s used to humidity.” For the other parts Boesch is using Swiss wood like spruce or maple. The boat’s body consists of up to eleven layers of mahogany glued together. Then it is processed with six layers of epoxy resin and finally lacquered six times to give it a nice deep

Inspiration from the USA

in Slovenia. Modern technique has its price too. The most expensive wooden boats by Boesch

Lots of torque

are available for around 700.000 €.

Totally unhumble Markus Boesch calls it an icon of shipbuilding. To be compared with which car? Boesch thinks for a moment – a Porsche 911, maybe.

shine. Totally unhumble Markus Boesch calls it an icon of shipbuilding. To be compared with which car? Boesch thinks for a moment – a Porsche 911, maybe.

A specialty of Boesch boats is the so called A bandsaw from the time of the great-

Space in the niche

grandfather, from 1929, still stands in the shipyard at Lake Zürich – and is still in use. Jakob Boesch passed the company on to his son Walter in 1938, who shifted production entirely to speedboats in 1956. Inspiration for this move he brought with him from the USA, where he had witnessed so called “runabouts” with open boats powered by large car engines. In earlier times production followed customers’ wishes entirely, but now a fixed range of models was introduced, which made it possible to produce larger numbers of certain parts for the stockroom. In the past Boesch produced up to 150 boats annually. Step by step the number declined, but the boats became bigger, more rugged, more exclusive and more luxurious. Today 15 to 20 boats leave the shipyard, which has been situated near the city of Zug since 1973, annually. For reasons of space, boats are no longer manufactured in the parent house, which is reserved for servicing, repairs and restorations. All together Boesch employs 40 people, around half of them are involved in the manufacturing process proper. A contemporary boat by Boesch is available from 140.000 € up. One can chose from five different models, which carry names like Acapulco, Portofino, Costa Brava and Sunski, a sixth is currently under development. But time doesn’t stand still in Kilchberg. Customers could also order electric boats in the meantime, with the electric components coming from Maribor

“horizon gliding” developed as early as the 1940s. As the engine is situated in the middle of the boat it is very stable, smooth and

The boats’ overall length is between 6.20 and 9.70 meters (20’ 4” and 31’ 10”) with one or two engines. Depending on size and additional equipment the price can increase quickly. The engineers fulfil many unusual special requests – but not all of them; when Udo Jürgens once wanted a piano on his boat, Boesch had to decline. Due to the additional weight and balance, this proved impossible. They could have built in an electric piano, but this, on the other hand, was declined by Jürgens. Since the shipyard’s founding around 4.000 boats have been built, of which around 3.000 are still around on some waters. During the 1980s and 1990s, when boats from synthetic material appeared, wooden boats were sometimes painted white to give them an optical similarity to those from the trade rivals. But Boesch stuck with wood through all those years. “And this will never change”, Markus Boesch says. “This fine, several times processed mahogany is our distinctive signature feature, securing our space in the niche.” Except for Boesch, there are few shipyards remaining that concentrate on wood without compromise. Even Riva, now Chinese-owned, made the step to synthetic materials in 1995. But wooden boats are not only lighter, but also more fireproof than those made from synthetic materials.

relatively flat in the water. An additional feature is the direct propulsion with unyielding shaft situated between the rear and the engine. This combination is responsible for the quick acceleration of Boesch boats, which soon start gliding and produce little waves. It almost seems as if the boats are hovering over the water horizontally. This position is also the reason why they are still used as tug boats during

In the past Boesch produced up to 150 boats annually. Step by step the number declined, but the boats became bigger, more rugged, more exclusive and more luxurious. Today 15 to 20 boats leave the shipyard, which has been situated near the city of Zug since 1973, annually.

waterskiing championships. Downsizing is not considered in the construction of speed boats; water has a density a thousand times greater than air, so strong engines with a lot of torque from the stand are necessary. Boesch relies on V8 engines by Crusader, Mercruiser and Ilmor with 5.7, 6.0 or 8.2 litres cubic capacity and 324 or 385 hp. They are connected to a ZF gearbox with only one forward and one rear gear each. This is the only way to accelerate smoothly until the boat reaches the gliding position. Markus Boesch raves about the Ilmor engines, “because they have a lot of power, a nice, sonorous sound and comparably low fuel consumption”. “Low” means 15 to 16 litres (4 – 4.3 US gallons) per hour. Swiss Mario Illien, the owner of Ilmor, has lots of experience from Formula 1 and IndyCar, where he always provided the best engines.

// SI S 552 kilovati po vodi Ob Züriškem jezeru v Švici je majhna ladjedelnica, ki gradi izključno lesene motorne čolne. Ekskluzivne čolne Boesch izdelujejo ročno že skoraj 100 let in jih dostavljajo po vsem svetu. Med lastniki švicarskih čolnov so (bili) številni slavni ljudje. Toda Boesch nikoli ni gojil kulta osebnosti iz svojih slavnih strank, zato je obdržal neodvisnost, tako da lahko fleksibilno in hitro reagira na tržne razmere in potrebe kupcev. Na čelu podjetja je 46-letni Markus Boesch, ki pripada četrti generaciji izdelovalcev čolnov. V podjetju je začel delati pri 30 letih, pred letom dni pa je prevzel vodenje od očeta Klausa in strica Ursa. Čolne, dolge od 6,20 do 9,70 metra, izdelujejo iz najfinejšega mahagonijevega lesa in jih opremijo z enim ali dvema motorjema. Naročniki morajo čakati na čoln tri do štiri mesece. Markus Boesch govori skromno o ikoni v gradnji člonov. Če bi čoln, ki jih izdelajo pri njih, primerjal z avtom, ki se morda odločil za Porscheja 911.


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Jean Tinguely – Motorsports inspired his art

MOTION WAS HIS MAIN THEME by Karin Sturm photography ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv, Comet Photo AG, Bor Dobrin, archive Progin

Motion – this was his main theme. It defined him and his art. When one talks about moving or – to use a technical term – kinetic art, the first person to think about is Jean Tinguely. The Swiss artist who often got his inspirations from motorsports, who was an absolute racing enthusiast and who attended Formula 1 races as often as he could.

Jean Tinguely in front of Dernière Collaboration avec Yves Klein, 1988 © 2017 ProLitteris Zurich; Photo: Museum Tinguely Basel, Vera Isler

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Jean Tinguely, born on 22 May 1925 in Fribourg,

And he helped – in his way: Tinguely painted

mechanical drawing machines were popular

raised bilingual in Basel, where he decorated

a picture for Progin which he was able to sell

with the public and helped to spread his name

shop windows for a while before breaking

for 12.000 Swiss Francs. “This was a lot of

as a great engineer and inventor of machine

out to Paris in 1953. “He was in Le Mans in

money back then. Let us compare: an engine

sculptures. In 1959 he threw 150.000 copies

1955, sitting on a track right in front of a giant

for a whole season cost around 15.000 Swiss

of the Manifesto for Statics from a plane over

advertising board – and below him parts of

Francs back then.”

Düsseldorf to clarify his understanding of

Levegh’s Mercedes were catapulted about

Original

art. The keynote of his work, the motion to

and people died,” René Progin, a good friend

Why was Tinguely so fond of Progin and his

experience, was part of his whole oeuvre and

and companion during his final years, and also

dedication? It all reminded him of his lost

often enough he made the observer a part of it.

from Fribourg, says. “The biggest conflict in

friend Jo Siffert. The successful Swiss Formula

At the 1960 happening Hommage à New York

my life – how can I still love motorsports?”

1 driver, from Fribourg just like Tinguely,

in the sculpture-garden of the Museum of

he wrote about the disaster on a newspaper

and just like him of simple upbringing, who

Modern Art in New York, Tinguely presented

clipping. “From this moment on he thought that

made it possible in the 1960s for racing fan

self-destructing machines. All his life he tried

motorsports are crazy, but races are still the

Tinguely to get direct access to the top of the

to work against all kinds of gridlock – gridlock

biggest get-together of man and machine, but

motorsports world and become a regular guest

of the arts as well as of society and of himself.

at the same time also of man and his stupidity.”

in the Formula 1 pits.

In the same year – 1960 – he founded the

Progin, an active racer himself, met Tinguely

He had already made his name as an artist

Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri, the French sculptor

in 1987, “when my sidecar was shown in the

by then. Through mobile stage decoration he

César Baldaccini, the artist Yves Klein and the

shop window of a driving school in Fribourg.

arrived at treadmill-like wire sculptures and

critic Pierre Restany. In 1961 Jean Tinguely

He passed by, saw it and paid a visit one

picture-reliefs, whose geometric shapes could

married the French painter and sculptor Niki

month later during the presentation of my

rotate. There was no more calm. In 1959 he

de Saint Phalle, who became a member of

team, when I was looking for sponsorship. He

constructed mechanical fantasy machines,

Nouveau Réalisme too – a partnership which

was excited about this small team and the fact

the Métamatics, which could draw. Visitors

for decades remained in the centre of attention

that someone did everything possible to race.”

at exhibitions could draw with them. His

of the art scene.

artists’ association Nouveau Réalisme with the

“From this moment he thought that motorsports is crazy, but races are still the biggest get-together of man and machine, but at the same time also of man and his stupidity.” René Progin

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But in Switzerland itself he had to fight long

mechanical scrap metals and even animal skulls

Jim Clark which always stood in his bedroom –

for acceptance: in 1964, when he presented

among other things. The objects’ mechanisms

occasionally he even started the engine. Even

his large scale Heureka at a local exhibition

make squeaky sounds and they are to be

the deadly fiery accident of his friend Jo Siffert

in Lausanne, politicians were annoyed by

understood as a critical contribution to a more

at Brands Hatch in 1971 couldn’t tear him away.

the symbol of loud idling. It took years until

and more engineered society. Their motions

The Swiss Formula 1 expert and TV commentator

the sculpture found a permanent home in a

are absolutely free of any purpose. “Tinguely

Jacques Deschenaux reports: “At first he didn’t

lonely place in Zürich. It was his home town of

was the first to show with his machines that

want to have anything to do with racing for a few

Fribourg especially which always remained rather

mankind is producing too much for no reason

years, but then the passion was bigger. At the

reluctant, Progin says. “At first they didn’t want

– that society is on the wrong path in terms

end of the 1970s he was back and made friends

a museum or to exhibit one of his works. Only

of consumption alone. This was already so 40

with Jacky Ickx…”

years later, after Tinguely’s death in 1991, when

or 50 years ago… Today this is much more

it was already too late, because everything from

relevant. That’s why all his art was made of

“In Monaco he had his regular seat,” tells the

the atelier went straight to Basel into the new

scrap, this was his statement,” says Progin. “He

Swiss Formula 1 journalist Roger Benoit.

museum, that the Fribourgians woke up. Now

wanted people to understand his art right; that it

“Almost always he stood out there in the

they only have one sculpture, the Fontaine Jo

doesn’t make sense.”

Casino corner” – one of the most spectacular spots in the principality. And one where hard

Siffert, a present to the city by Tinguely. The city didn’t want this scrap, it was only exhibited in a

Just as motorsports didn’t make sense for

contact with the rail guards was quite common,

park 15 years later.”

him, this “endless going round and round”

including flying parts. “Once a complete rear

represented pure senselessness to him. But the

wing had broken off. He wanted to get it no

Sense and senselessness, especially of

fascination remained. So much that he loved

matter what, to use it in one of his sculptures.

technique, was a permanent topic in his works.

to have these adored objects around. In the

But he was a little reluctant to go for it. So I told

Beginning in 1963 Tinguely constructed moving

1960s he already owned many Ferraris and

him: ‘When you really want it, you have to go for

machines as sculptures. To do so he used

other sports cars. He even bought a Lotus from

it at once.’

75


72 / 77

Original

76 Even then the teams were very worried that their parts could be

time of the everlasting presence of death on

retrieved by their opponents and collected them immediately after the

race tracks.

end of practice. So he got the part, put it under his arm and carried it

Both works are on display in the Museum

off.” The race on Sunday, Deschenaux remembers, he mostly watched

Tinguely in Basel, which was founded by Paul

back home in Fribourg on TV. “Once, in Belgium, in Spa, sometime in

Sacher, owner of the pharmaceutical giant

the 1980s, he even tried himself as my co-commentator in TV. But it

Roche and fifth richest man on earth. Sacher,

didn’t work out well, the spectators didn’t like it either and he said that

a friend and patron of Tinguely, originally only

this was not his business and he won’t do it again.”

planned to open a small museum in Basel.

77

Tinguely’s widow Niki de Saint Phalle agreed It didn’t have to be an original Formula 1 part that he would collect

and offered him everything left in the atelier and

from the side of the race track every so often. Occasionally a normal

his house – including the Clark’s Lotus. But

object did the job, too. “In Phoenix I once took him with me to the

the small museum was not to be – at the end it

track,” Benoit remembers. “From the parking area we had almost

became a huge, noble and magnificent building.

reached the pits after walking for 15 minutes, when he said that

Tinguely’s legacy. And an addition to another

he had to return to the car urgently. I was not really amused, it was

artwork which had already been beautifying Basel

burning hot and he also didn’t really want to say what it was all about.

for a bit longer: The Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival

But at the end we went back – and there was a giant screw, at least

Fountain) has stood on Basel’s Theaterplatz since

eight inches long. He’d suddenly remembered that it would fit perfectly

1977. Strangely worked iron tubes, wheels and

into one of his works.”

jewellery elements all welded together perform elegant gymnastics in the flat water basin – spraying around, splashing, spitting…

Sense and senselessness, especially of technique – a permanent topic in his works.

This is the legacy of a man and artist who may have originated from a modest background and therefore didn’t have a formal higher education, but became an intellectual nevertheless. “He read a lot, knew all about world history, philosophy,

But racing technology was not only interesting for him as scrap. As

art history, political history – but motorsports

early as 1954 Tinguely designed a Le Mans car for Renault. At that

history as well,” says Progin. “His memory was

time all cars there still had a tight cigar rear, but his Renault already

tremendous. Although he was not a believer, he

featured a cut-off rear. “Later on all cars looked like his draft from

often had long and interesting discussions with

1954,” says Progin. “He had a great feeling for aerodynamics. Once

the bishop of Fribourg about God’s existence and

he drew the lines with the best aerodynamic quality for my sidecar in

such. He was always respectful, but he wanted

advance. Later on we tested it with flow-viz-color and the best lines

to provoke people to think on their own. But it

exactly followed the Tinguely drawing.”

was of no importance to him what his opponents represented in society; he only felt disgusted

Tinguely never wanted to become a racer himself, “but he was always

by cocky people. He always saw people as

a mad driver”, Progin remembers. “In 1988 he received many penalties

people, not their status. Once, during an event in

and should have gone to jail for three months, because it was his

Zürich, such a guy came along, a millionaire and

third or fourth penalty within a short period. He said, ‘very well, no

businessman who wanted to buy such a machine

problem, but I won’t stop speeding’.” The whole matter then became a

regardless of the cost. Tinguely stood up in front

political one in Switzerland. “At that time he was world famous already,

of all the people and kicked him out.” This is,

politicians didn’t want to let it grow into an international scandal. So

perhaps, another thing which eventually made

his punishment ended up in the drawer and he was never jailed.”

him so popular with the “common people” – and so also brought modern art closer to all those

At the end of 1988 he asked Progin to give him his sidecar chassis,

who otherwise often have some problems with it.

so he could make a sculpture out of it. The work is named Shuttlecock and still stands in Progin’s house. Two more of his works have a direct connection to racing: Pit Stop, for which Renault gave him many parts as presents, and Lola, a work that falls in line with those altars by Jean Tinguely, which he started creating in the early 1980s. At the same time this giant sculpture is a memorial to Tinguely’s friend Joakim Bonnier. The Swedish Formula 1 and sports car driver was also among

Tinguely never wanted to become a racer himself, “but he was always a mad driver”, Progin remembers.

Tinguely’s friends. They first met in 1964, at the unveiling of Heureka. Bonnier, who lived by Lake Geneva until his fatal accident at Le Mans in 1972, was thrilled about the works and put him in touch with Siffert. The triptych is built on a base of two destroyed Lola racing car chassis. The motions of the wings and the wheels on the middle panel are slow, almost sluggish, and are accompanied by dull, greedy sounds. On the top the altar is crowned with skulls, bones and parts of tyres, while a heart turns round and round in front of a red background on the predella. The small sculptures on the side, the “ministrants”, mirror Tinguely’s Catholic upbringing. With these skull sculptures the artist intensifies the monumental impression of the three part altar. With Lola T. 180 Tinguely reminds the viewer of his late friend and at the same

// Si Tinguely je pogosto našel navdih v motošportu Gibanje je glavna tema Jean Tinguelyja, ki je dajala pečat njegovi umetnosti. Ko govorimo o gibljivi oziroma kinetični umetnosti, najprej pomislimo na švicarskega umetnika. Tinguely je pogosto našel navdih v motošportu; bil je oboževalec dirk in navzoč na dirkah Formule 1 tako pogosto, kot je le lahko. Motošport zanj ni imel pomena. Neskončna vožnja v krog se mu je zdela nesmiselna. Želel si je, da ljudje tudi v njegovi umetnosti vidijo, da nima pomena.


H ig h G e ar

78

High Gear

78

DTM and its future

Back to Nordschleife? The DTM shouldn’t really be a national championship; it should be an international championship. The technology, the input from manufacturers and the fan following means that these cars really are classics in the making, for today’s days of DTM are actually the good old days of the future. In fact, have there ever been any bad days? The strength of the DTM is and has always been in the German marques behind the series’ best cars. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Once you say these names, your mind immediately goes through a mental file of the stand out cars they’ve had. The huge success of Alfa Romeo when the DTM changed it’s name to ITC (International Touring Car Championship), where the cars were four-wheel drive V6 monsters that sang their tune across the tracks and paddocks of the world only to eat themselves with their sheer cost and force the series to fold nearly overnight, is still in the forefront of our minds. BMW won the very first DTM in 1984 with their 635 CSi before Volvo and Rover took home gold, but then the landscape was changed forever with the BMW M3 E30, a homologation special that was produced with an initial 5000 cars before extra cars in evolution specification (another 500) were made for 1989 and 1990. Unbeknown to us at the time, Munich had given birth to the most successful touring car ever to be built and put it in the hands of Eric van de Poele, Roberto Ravaglia and Johnny Cecotto. 2.5 litre fourcylinder cars were wheel to wheel with the 2 litre turbo Sierra Cosworths. Agility versus over 507 hp power was a stunning spectacle. In the middle of all this Mercedes arrived with their 190E Cosworth to do battle with Munich’s M3. A car again built to homologation spec, but soon refined through two Evolutions to the Evo

by Toby Moody illustration Natan Esku

II. It was a racing car with outrageous wings and aerodynamics, and… number plates. It was fantastically bonkers. Indeed, these Evo II road cars are as highly regarded now as they ever were, with one low mileage model fetching nearly 346,000 € in 2016.

But the costs were too high as the championship had turned into another Group B rallying. Seeing this hit the buffers overnight with costs unjustifiable for the boardrooms. By October 1996 it was dead with Opel and Alfa Romeo pulling out, leaving Mercedes with no one to dance with.

To see these cars race on the 23 km Nürburgring Nordschliefe was truly incredible. Massive revs, massive jumps and massive commitment from by now some of the world’s best drivers. Ludwig, Cecotto, Thiim, Soper, Ravaglia, Winkelhock, Asch, Biela, van Ommen, Pirro, Schneider – names to stir the soul of touring car fans. If you haven’t looked up ‘DTM History – The Golden Years’ on You Tube, then you need to. 1.3 million other people can’t be wrong.

The doldrums of the STW got Germany through the next three years, but 2 litre production cars were not the crowds’ favourites so the wait wasn’t long. In year 2000 the DTM Series returned with it’s full gusto.

But while this was going on, Audi decided they were missing out and arrived with the big Audi V8 quattro. Really? A four-wheel drive that wasn’t rallying? Surely the drag would be too great and the weight too heavy. How wrong we all were as Frank Biela and Hans-Joachim Stuck made history running away into the distance. The ITC cars appeared in 1993 with a set 2.5 litre formula, but once more it was MercedesBenz who remained loyal throughout as Opel came with F1 stars such as Keke Rosberg to once again raise the competition to an international level with races in Germany, UK, Portugal, Finland, Brazil, Italy, France and Japan. Heady days. I was lucky enough to go to the UK rounds for some years and I will never ever forget the stream of cars barrelling down the Craner Curves at Donington on the first lap, when people around me gasped as the train of power burst into view. “Oh my good god,” we all said in unison. It was one of those moments you never forget. This was raw motorsport.

The article here does not necessarily correspond with the opinions of Akrapovič d.d., the publishers or the editors.

Since then, Mercedes, Audi, Opel (until 2005) and the return of BMW in 2012 (winning on their return) have kept the series alive and kicking with 4 litre V8 engined, 500 hp, 1,120 kg cars wowing the crowds – cars that really should be going to Le Mans with their futuristic looks, but still with that throwback nod to the homologation specials from the early 90s. Engines could change over to 2 litre turbos in 2019 as the cost problem has reared it’s ugly head once more, but the level headed Gerhard Berger is now at the helm of the DTM to steer the sport into the future. One thing, Gerhard; could you go back and have a race on the Nordschliefe, please? Great cars and superb motorsport history is all around the DTM paddock.

“I will never ever forget the stream of cars barreling down the Craner Curves at Donington on the first lap, when people around me gasped as the train of power burst into view.” Toby Moody

2014 & 2016 DTM Champion / Marco Wittmann

THE QUEST FOR EXCELLENCE IS EVER PRESENT Whether it’s a casual Sunday drive in a BMW M4, or an exciting overtaking manoeuvre in a BMW M4 DTM racing car, the quest for excellence is always present. Akrapovič - #TrustedByChampions.

International motorsport TV broadcaster for both two wheels and four, having commentated on MotoGP for 19 years. Follow @tobymoody / Twitter and Instagram

www.akrapovic.com | Akrapovič d.d., Malo Hudo 8a, 1295 Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia


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Akrapovič Magazine vol. 21  
Akrapovič Magazine vol. 21