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>> ISSUE 22

Akrapovič exhaust systems in racing

A HOT AND EXCITING LIFESPAN Ryan Dungey

RETIREMENT?

IT ,S FROM 100 MPH TO ZERO! With Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in Andorra

WINGMAN FOR A DAY Four women in motorsports

NO PLAYGROUND? FOR BOYS AFTER ALL Bentley Bentayga among truffles, prosecco and prosciutto

THE SECRET LIES IN TRADITION AND TechNOLOGY

A column by Toby Moody


Always Good Good Times Times Always

ELAN ELAN INNOVATIONS FOR FOR INNOVATIONS ALWAYS GOOD GOOD TIMES TIMES ALWAYS

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C ont e nt s

Contents

05

Letter

05

06 Akrapovič News

12 Visit With Us

14 Story

22 On-Track

26 Champion

28 Interview

36 Story

04 photography Mitja Ličar

05 Letter

Design as a sign of the times

44 History

40 On-Track

58 Visit With Us

50 On-Track

66 Travel With Us

70 Visit With Us

54 On-Track

76 Original

78 High Gear

// Si

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: Michael Baumann, Alenka Birk, Pat Borzi, Tony Dodgins, Matevž Hribar, Primož Jurman, Gaber Keržišnik, Andrej Krbavčič, Toby Moody, Imre Paulovits, Mitja Reven, Des Sellmeijer, Karin Sturm Contributing Photographers: Aleš Rosa, Alex Štokelj, Bor Dobrin, Gold and Goose Photography, Marc Robinot, Philipp Rupprecht, Ray Archer, Saša Kapetanovič, Yenny Huber

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

the more recognisable and unique the magazine is. The Akrapovič

print media, causing them to change and adapt considerably. Their

Lifestyle Magazine contains a wealth of design elements that express

content is becoming textually increasingly focused on the title which,

dynamism and reflect the sporting and racing character of its contents.

while often intriguing and alluring, resides over a small amount of –

Here “the less is more” philosophy is out and “the more is more” is in.

sometimes even superficial – reading content. Visual content meanwhile

A slanted line on a grid, colour strips, a wide selection of typographies,

wants to attract attention through large captivating photographs of all

different spreads that follow the content; all these express the spirit

genres. Magazine design is becoming more and more irrelevant, and

and character of the magazine and continuously breaks boundaries,

I feel that in this sense it is going back to the time before computers.

the same as the lifestyle of those featured in the magazine and of its

The cause for the reversal is to cut the costs of publishing magazines

readers. But, most importantly, we try to present our products, both for

that people read less and less. Design is progressively changing digital

motorcycles and cars. We want to create the best possible product.

content, too, which, we know, is made according to its own and even

Every issue contains what is new, and the most desirable exhausts

more uniformed rules.

often serve as inspirations for the cover page.

This is the topic of my writing because of my continuous involvement

Trimming down the design for such a magazine becomes a puzzle.

with ALM, almost from its inception. Its details as well as its structure

How to set anew the magazine in the period that favours abandoning

are well known to me and it occasionally even includes my articles.

unnecessary design elements and shortening the content – the very

It makes me happy when the magazine receives praise, especially from

things that communicate the uniqueness, the very items that the

racing circles, and the thanks for that goes to publisher Korpmedia,

reader is interested in and looks for? How to use fewer photographs

founder and editor-in-chief Miran Ališič. The team at Korpmedia

to showcase interesting events while not taking away the magazine's

created an inspired symbiosis of racing and background stories,

character. And how not to disappoint our faithful readers, those who

interesting to both – those involved in the sport and its fans. The

love it? This is the challenging task we are currently facing.

mixture of sports, adrenaline-raising and travel content, interspersed

We are celebrating 10 years of publication. A jubilee. When we were

with topical company news, be it exhaust system announcements or

creating the first issue, we probably did not count on it becoming a

company events, alongside presentations of the movers and shakers,

mainstay at the start and the end of the racing season. And we are

is the editor's formula for success that keeps the reader interested

happy to work with Korpmedia; that we are still the same – though

in the entire magazine. The editorial board continues to aim for an

slightly more branched-out – team. As we leaf through the first issues

optimum balance between corporate and lifestyle news, preventing the

and compare them with what followed all the way to the current issue

magazine from turning into a mere bulletin and making it interesting

#22, we not only see how dedicated we were in setting the magazine,

for everyone: the female and, mainly, the male audience, with at least

but also how subtly we have been changing it. After all, we had to alter

one article for anyone.

its name and header for the tenth issue.

The magazine’s cover page with its title or header and, of course,

But still… Times have changed and our magazine is gradually adjusting.

its design, is of supreme importance for the magazine, and we care

I hope that you, dear readers, still enjoy reading and looking at our

for it as much as for the contents. It was the design that brought

Akrapovič Lifestyle Magazine.

recognisability and exclusivity to the magazine. The cover page and

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 22, November 2017 Akrapovič d.d. Malo Hudo 8a SI-1295 Ivančna Gorica Slovenia www.akrapovic.com -

Our times are moving at an ever faster pace and are unfavourable to

On the cover – Exhaust system for Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) Printing: Gorenjski tisk, d. o. o. Ulica Mirka Vadnova 6 4000 Kranj, Slovenia

its photo present both a design and editorial challenge for every issue. Design elements act as the content’s visual language, they are indicative of the magazine's character and the more present they are,

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 November 2017 in 5.500 copies.

Slavojka Akrapovič Art Director Kreativa – Marketing

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

06

IAA 2017: EXPERIENCE A NEW DIMENSION

Record of all records By winning the wet Magny-Cours race, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) became this year’s WorldSBK world champion for the third year in a row, thus breaking the record of all records. “I have sacrificed so much in my life, as have my parents and everyone involved in helping me get to this level. To win the championship the first time, the second time and then go three times in a row – I cannot compute my feelings right now,” said the Brit after his astounding career highlight and (also) his 12th win in this year’s season and his 50th since moving to the WorldSBK. Rea and his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, equipped with an Akrapovič titanium and carbon fibre exhaust system, have remained unbeaten since the first race of the season.

The biennial IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt yet again featured numerous motoring premieres and innovations, including new exhaust systems that Akrapovič showcased at its unique exhibition area. Visitors to one of the world’s largest car shows were able to touch for the first time the Evolution Line (Titanium) exhaust systems for Mercedes-AMG G 63 and

vič 25 th anniversary logo // summary

Nissan GT-R as well as a Slip-On Line (Titanium) exhaust system for Porsche 911 Turbo/Turbo S (991.2). Also on display for the first time were new carbon fibre diffuser and mirror caps for the BMW M3 and M4. In order to allow the >> Logo inspired by the shape of a racetrack.

visitors to truly “Experience a New Dimension” of Akrapovič products, the

ALLENGES

SOLUTIONS

Akrapovič News

company set up its Experience Room, where visitors were able to experience the lightness, power, design and sound of exhaust systems in a new and

sign a logo to highlight the 25th anniversary company, exhibit our racing DNA and our ation to technology and innovation, and at the time convey emotional and symbolic value.

We designed a logo as a fusion of the shape of a racetrack and the number 25. The number 25 was created without using any existing typography. The symbol has a strong, solid, and compact form along with its inventive design, and it exudes sportiness and dynamics while incorporating our corporate colours.

never before seen way. The cherry on the cake came in the form of the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM race car of Akrapovič ambassador and BMW works driver Marco Wittmann, who moreover visited the company’s booth in person and

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checked out its newest products.

hallenge was to design a 25th anniversary logo in rm of a racetrack and number 25 that functions

ng Akrapovič corporate logo.

hallenge was to create a multi-purpose logo ould be used in a wide range of applications many different techniques: digital, graphic, ssing, engraving, screen printing, animation, o on.

The 25th anniversary logo was designed to function as a whole, and it works very well with the corporate logo in two variations: as a subordinate and a dominant variant. In addition, the subordinate form was adapted so that it also blends

The logo was used on different racing exhaust systems in various world and national championships, special 25th anniversary limited-edition exhaust systems, various events, special-edition apparel, the dedicated 25th anniversary web page, social media channels, various print materials, the special-edition calendar, and unique partner gifts.

Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2017 After winning six Red Dot awards for product design in the last four

Pure love Akrapovič presents its Tribute to Superbikes video as a tribute to its racing roots and the motorcycle world. The video, found at www.youtube.com/ myakrapovic features supersport bikes Yamaha YZF-R1, BMW S 1000 RR, Suzuki GSX-R1000, Honda CBR1000RR, Ducati 1299 Panigale, Kawasaki ZX-10R and Aprilia RSV4, all equipped with Akrapovič exhaust systems. Enjoy the show.

years, including the Red Dot: Best of the Best award in Product Design for the Akrapovič Evolution Line (Titanium) exhaust system for the Ducati 1199 Panigale in 2014, Akrapovič this year received the Red Dot Award in Communication Design in the category Corporate Design and Identity for its “25 years” logo. The 25 th anniversary logo in the form of a racetrack and the number 25 emphasizes Akrapovič’s bond with racing and has an emotional and symbolic origin. The logo was specifically designed to mark the company’s 25 th anniversary in 2016.

Quest for Excellence in Garmisch-Partenkirchen July is reserved at Akrapovič for the BMW Motorrad Days, which stayed true to their classical venue – Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Akrapovič brought its newest products for BMW’s motorbikes and cars to Germany under the “Quest for Excellence” slogan, with which the exhaust maker expands the boundaries of exhaust system design and technical innovations. The company’s exhibition area boasted a BMW S 1000 RR – but not just any model. This one belonged to Ian Hutchinson, the Tyco BMW rider, who rode it at the 2017 Isle of Man TT. Apart from the racing thoroughbred, the visitors’ eyes were also attracted by the unique BMW C 650 Sport scooter, owned by Marco Wittmann. The two-time DTM champion entertained the audience with his experiences on two wheels, while his BMW family racing colleague Peter Hickman enthralled them with daredevil TT racing stories.

To Le Mans!

One of the stars at this year’s International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main was the all-new BMW M8 GTE, which will be used by BMW Motorsport next year in the FIA WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). The new BMW M8 GTE follows in the footsteps of the BMW M4 DTM and BMW M6 GT3 as the third BMW race car equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system since 2012, when BMW Motorsport and Akrapovič began their partnership. The new BMW M8 GTE also signals BMW Motorsport’s intent to return to the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new race car from the Bavarian stable will first see action at next year’s 24 Hours of Daytona.


06 / 11

9th time for Tony Cairoli

Akrapovič News

Eight in a row The legendary #222 of FIM World Motocross Championship reigns once again. He won his ninth world motocross champion title in Assen, Holland, his seventh in the premier class of the FIM Motocross World Championship and his first on a KTM 450 SX-F. The last weekend of a long racing season saw Tony sport a very special Akrapovič exhaust system, dedicated to this year’s title.

Akrapovič received delightful news from the sport auto magazine, whose readers voted the Slovenian company as best brand in the exhausts category for the eighth year running. We would like to thank the sport auto readers for their trust.

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08

MX queen reigns again

Jonass the champion

Grand Prix of Pays de Montbèliard went down as one of the most nail-biting events in the in history of Women’s Motocross World Championship, with the title finally going to the absolute queen of motocross, Kiara Fontanesi. Kiara best managed the soggy and demanding track to set the absolute record by becoming the winner of the Women’s Motocross World Championship for the fifth time. “I am extremely happy to have won the title this year, it has been the toughest in my career,” said Kiara, who races for the FontaMX Yamaha Official WMX team.

The identity of this year’s MX2 champion was only decided at the very last racing weekend of the season, when Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass, who finished fifth, managed to grab enough points to change his red bib number into gold. The 20-yearold Latvian and his KTM 250 SX-F, equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system, stood on the podium an amazing 15 times this year.

GMT94 EWC champions There is no greater test for man or machine than the World Endurance Championships. And the machine part also includes the Akrapovič titanium exhaust system, which has once again become the choice of world endurance champions, thanks to the exceptional 2016-2017 season for the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team. Having found themselves 47 points adrift after finishing 9th at Bol d’Or, the team went on to win the next three races, including the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and thus turned the season in their favour. “This world title is the consecration of the energy, determination and commitment of a whole team, mechanics, riders, partners, who have not given up after an exhausting Bol d’Or, so meagre in terms of points brought back home,” team boss Christophe Guyot poetically summed up the year. The team meanwhile opened the 20172018 season at Bol d’Or – with a win!

Ten times and counting Readers of PS magazine voted Akrapovič as best motorcycle exhaust brand for the 10th year in a row. The Best Brand 2017 restates the quality of Akrapovič products, and Akrapovič would like to thank PS readers for their support.


06 / 11

6to6 Motor pays a visit

Akrapovič News

The year of Audi The Akrapovič company courtyard in Ivančna Gorica hosted a few thousand horsepower as the company was visited by the 6to6 Motor caravan. Approximately 80 members of the Spanish club of sports car owners, who travelled to Slovenia in almost 50 performance cars of prestigious brands, peeked behind the scenes of Akrapovič exhaust system development, opened the curtains of the racing department and eagerly checked the company’s titanium foundry. After a short stop, their BMWs, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens, Mercedes-AMGs, Nissans, Porsches and other machines sped off towards Monaco.

This year’s DTM championship will go down in history as one of the most successful seasons for Audi, who took home all three titles after the final racing weekend in Hockenheim. While Audi won the Manufacturers Championship and Audi Sport Team Rosberg became the DTM Team Champion for the first time already at the penultimate race; the decision on the best driver had to wait until the very last chequered flag. The surprising title winner was rookie of the year René Rast, whose superb driving performance throughout the season was capped by

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the second place at the final race. The last DTM driver to have been crowned champion in his first full DTM season was Italian Nicola Larini 24 years ago.

Le Mans to Aston Martin Racing Pablo does it again!

That the race is not finished until the cars pass the chequered flag was proven yet again at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jonny Adam in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE caught up with the leading Corvette and overtook it in the final lap, thus winning one of the tightest duels at this legendary race in the GTE Pro class. Apart from the Scot, the steering wheel of the race car, equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system, was also operated by team members Darren Turner and Daniel Serra. The trio were joined at the podium by David Richards, whose story is featured in this number of Akrapovič Lifestyle Magazine.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Pablo Quintanilla has won the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship at the final round of the series in Morocco. The reigning champion tackled the final round on a Husqvarna FR 450 Rally, equipped with a new-generation Akrapovič exhaust system. The new titanium exhaust is even more compact and lighter than its predecessor.

Photo: M. Kin, Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH Media

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From Sunday to Sunday 48 hours of successes

Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims won two back-to-back GTLM victories in a week this July. The first win came at Watkins Glen, where their BMW M6 GTLM Audi R8 LMS proved itself unbeatable this year, winning both the 24 Hours Nürburgring as well as the 24 Hours of Spa. The legendary German racetrack bore witness to a real thriller, with the Audi Sport Team Land making the perfect call by being among the first teams to equip their car with full wets during the last few laps of the race, which allowed Kelvin van der Linde, Christopher Mies, Connor De Phillippi, and Markus Winkelhock to sprinkle champagne from the top of the podium. Another tense race took place in the nearby SpaFrancorchamps, where the largest GT3 endurance race in the world was won by Audi Sport Team Saintéloc after covering a gruelling 3,824 km. Audi R8 LMS drivers Jules Gounon, Christopher Haase, and, once again, Markus Winkelhock managed to cross the finish line 11 seconds ahead of their closest competitor after a full day of racing.

with its Akrapovič exhaust system not only bested everybody else but also earned its first victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC). The duo then followed it up by defeating the competition in Canada’s Bowmanville.


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Visit With Us

Kawasaki Racing Team workshop visit in Barcelona

Green nest

Visit With Us

KRT Workshop 30 – number of people working there 2,500 – size in sq. meters 5,950 – litres of racing fuel consumed by racing bikes last season 480 – tyres used by racing bikes last season 2 technical trucks, 1 hospitality unit and 2 technical vans – team fleet 45,000 – kilometres travelled by trucks last season (Europe only) 43,000 – litres of gasoline consumed by trucks and vans last season

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by Primož Jurman photography Kawasaki Racing Team

How do the best teams operate? Why and what separates them from the rest? The location of their headquarters is important. When discussing motorcycle road racing, be it MotoGP or Superbike, Spain is certainly a place that provides a major boost to their success. The Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT), the dominant force in WorldSBK in recent years, is home in Barcelona. While the majority of motorcycle development still gets done in Japan, successes at races would be unimaginable without the team’s “green nest”. We paid them a visit early this summer.

The KRT is known simply as “Team Green” in

located for the last three and a half years, and it

the paddock. It employs two world-class riders,

runs under the sharp eye of technical manager

Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes. It uses the best

Alvar Garriga.” They are always on the lookout for

materials and equipment, which also includes

new recruits, and told us that they were looking for

Akrapovič exhaust systems, recruits those who

an important addition to the team at the time of our

are experts in their fields and approaches its

visit: “This might be a good opportunity to mention

tasks with overwhelming dedication. We visited

that we are looking for a maintenance manager

KRT in Barcelona, a tad over 25 km east of the

right now,” said Biel Roda.

Catalan capital to be exact, and found them in an

Here they assemble bikes in winter and off-

industrial suburb near the town of Montmeló, a

season, and they also park the trucks when they

stone’s throw away from the Circuit de Catalunya

are not at the races. During the racing season, all

racetrack. We were met by Biel Roda, the team’s

management, administration, team coordination,

marketing and PR manager, who took us straight

marketing and design departments are located

to the workshop. He began by detailing the layout

here as well. Biel continued: “Normally trucks,

of the plant: “Our workshop consists of four

two technical and one hospitality unit, travel from

units, plus an outside garden. We have enough

race to race. For example, from the race in the UK

indoor space to park our three trailers and vans,

the trucks went to Misano, where we had already

we have a workshop made from glass, where we

been testing in the week before and we left them

work with the bikes, three meeting rooms, three

parked in Italy. After the Misano race, Dorna

different working areas with desks, a tooling room,

brought empty crates that were collected in the

kitchen and a welcome area. We also have a

workshop the week before, stuffed them with the

couple of lofts to store parts.” So, basically, things

necessary material (about five tonnes) and flew

here are not that much different from any other

them to Laguna Seca in California for the next

large motorcycle racing workshop. KRT feels

race.” This is how it goes during the racing season

quite at home in the suburbs of Barcelona, even

of a WorldSBK championship; from one race to

though this has not been their home address for

another, from continent to continent, interspersed

long. “This is the place where the team has been

with testing and various PR events. Meticulous

The KRT uses the best materials and equipment, which also includes Akrapovič exhaust systems, recruits those who are experts in their fields and approaches its tasks with overwhelming dedication.

organisation is extremely important, a fact we were able to observe during our visit to Barcelona. But even more important for guaranteeing race success is technological progress. We were told that this is not in the domain of the Catalan part of the team, but is rather done at Kawasaki headquarters in Japan. That is where most of development and improvements for the motorcycles are made, and that is where strategic decisions are taken. Biel: “The main R&D is done in Japan, they are focused on developing the bikes, they deal with evolving the new ZX-10RR, and we, here in Europe, afterwards help them in coordinating with multiple suppliers. All together it is a quite complex operation.” The team has a clear hierarchy in place for all who take part in the creation and development of motorcycles: “Our team technicians help them out, but at the end, the final decision is made by Japan KHI engineers.”


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Story

Story

Golden sunlight was streaming over the tops of the Pyrenees, surrounding the hotel and the street. The blue morning sky promised a wonderful day, a stark contrast to the thunderstorm that soaked Andorra the previous evening. The photographer and I were mainly silent during our drive from Barcelona the day before. The downpour promised an unpleasant background to the day we planned to spend with Maverick Viñales. But Maverick brought good luck – Pyrenean sun and clear blue skies. Alongside a long and busy day.

The day began early, by Andorran standards. At 8 AM, to be precise. First we drove a few kilometres back to Spain, where a small border town houses a convenient photo studio. That is where Maverick Viñales, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider, was scheduled to do a photo shoot for the world’s largest fast food chain early in the morning. The most interesting bit was that the photographer and I had not made any plans for the day. We managed to secure a day with Maverick for our magazine and we didn’t really care what we would do. Simply record a day of a rider’s life that we otherwise do not see. Something completely different from the routine of a race weekend. We were scheduled to start at 9 AM. Paco Sánchez, Maverick’s manager and friend, notified us the evening before that we would have to wait for a bit longer, as a new obligation had sneaked its way into his schedule.

A photo shoot that cannot be put off “Maverick has a very important photo shoot in the morning. It won’t take long. Perhaps a couple of hours. Sorry about that.” I wasn’t put off, because the plan

With Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in Andorra

was to spend a day with the rider anyways. I messaged back that it would be

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great if the photographer and I could hover somewhere in the background. A quick check by Paco, and a yes. We can join Maverick early in the morning.

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WINGMAN FOR A DAY

As we arrive at the set, the shoot is already in full swing. Maverick Viñales is standing in the spotlight wearing a cool leather jacket and motorcycle gloves. He is holding a characteristic paper bag with food and clutching an open motorcycle helmet under his arm, as if he’d just ordered a hamburger and French fries. The photographer is glancing through the viewfinder and

by Gaber Keržišnik photography Bor Dobrin

shouting: “Yes, yes, yes… Like that, like that, like that... Excellent, excellent!” The shots chase each other in a blur, the flashes flare psychedelically. The studio is hot and I imagine that the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider must not feel too comfortable under his leather jacket and jeans. Maverick then changes into various outfits and has to pose for shots from the front, the back, the side, holding the helmet in his hands and the food bag under his arm, and swap


14 / 19

Story

them around, all the time accompanied by the photographer’s calls: “Yes, yes, yes… That’s it, that’s it, turn a bit, like that, yes, yessss…!” Click, click, click. This will be a very interesting day for us, but a very busy one for

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Maverick. The shoot, as we knew it would, takes longer than planned. They always do. However, after three hours, Paco says: “Boys, these are the final minutes. We must finish by 11. Maverick has a tough practice session ahead.”

Alex Salas and Paco Sánchez A few minutes later Maverick takes a last quick look at the photos. He seems pleased. He shakes hands with us and thanks us for being able to come to the shoot. It’s time for a break at a nearby café, breakfast, coffee, and to plan for the rest of the day, which is scheduled for the Akrapovič Lifestyle Magazine. We are joined by an interesting bunch. Maverick Viñales, MotoGP rider with 20 victories in world championships under his belt, flanked by his two closest associates and friends. Alex Salas is Maverick’s childhood friend, who stands by his side during the races, and who actually moved with his family to Andorra just so that he can help, coach and be there for his friend. Paco Sánchez, whom we introduced before, is another interesting character, a lawyer living in Andorra. During his career spanning 30 years, Sánchez worked with numerous riders, many of whom won quite a few world champion titles. Spain is a world motorbike powerhouse after all. “Many people in Spain are active in racing. This is a very popular sport here. We have lots of tracks and a pretty competitive national championship.” Well, football is very popular as well. So he started by kicking the ball around. “Nobody in my family was pushing me to race motorbikes, so I played football. The club I played for was doing pretty well. But I preferred riding bikes. I convinced my dad and granddad to take me to a local race. I won at my third competitive event. I still enjoyed playing football back then.” Maverick is hungry and orders a small cured ham sandwich, but eats only half of the already meagre piece of bread. He gives the other half to his friends. He is on a strict diet and eats according to a stringent schedule.

Smart marketing move We discuss the morning’s shoot as we drink coffee. We all feel that it was a good marketing move and a good idea for the fast food chain to hire a MotoGP rider for its new commercial campaign which advertises food delivery. Who could deliver your chicken nuggets and cheeseburger faster than a MotoGP rider? Cool. Maverick Viñales will, in the following months, be plastered on billboards in all Spanish cities. “This is not just good promotion for the client, but for the rider as well. It is a way to bring the star closer to the young,” says Paco, who seems to be covering all angles. Maverick is meanwhile more keen on this year’s season… “It’s an interesting year. Nobody thought before the season began that we would be so tied after the first half. Five riders were in the mix for the title in September. I think that the recent years in MotoGP are some of the most interesting in its entire history.”

Bicycle it is Photographer Bor and I are beginning to glance at the watch. So what’s the plan for the day? “I have a bike in the van. A smaller version of a racing bike. A minibike of sorts. I use it to practice at the nearby quarry. The bike is very slow, which is good to practice speed through turns. Very useful for me. If you’re interested, you can come with us. But since it’s a really beautiful day today, it might be better to go cycling,” is our rider’s new plan. We agree that cycling might indeed be better, if for no other reason, because we are quite familiar with the sight of Maverick on a motorbike. We drive back towards Andorra, stopping in the town’s centre on the way. As we walk along the path by the river, with Maverick

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We managed to secure a day with Maverick Viñales for our magazine and we didn’t really care what we would do. Simply record a day of a rider’s life that we otherwise do not see.


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Story

showing us the town’s sights, we are joined by Cristina Llovera, the first woman in our company on the day. The athlete is Maverick’s girlfriend. She competes in women’s 100 meters and was one of Andorra’s representatives at the 2012 London Olympics. The two lovebirds invite us for coffee again. They chat, flirt, laugh and, just like the rest of their generation, keep checking various messages and emails on their large mobile phones. But the relaxed atmosphere is only a mirage, with training never far away.

Maverick was named after a character in a famous Hollywood movie about Navy pilots, starring Tom Cruise.

Lunch at 1 PM sharp The rider’s schedule is relentless. Rossi’s teammate at Movistar Yamaha MotoGP lives on a tight schedule and has to be home for lunch at exactly 1 PM. “I almost never eat out. I take great care of my diet. We cook at home according to pre-made menus, recipes and using only the known ingredients. Food is extremely important for practice,” added “Top Gun” Maverick, named after a character in a famous Hollywood movie about Navy pilots, starring Tom Cruise.

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“My father really loved the film.” So we say goodbye to each other, with his Cristina going her way in the company of a few shopping bags – Andorra is a duty-free shopping Eldorado after all – while we depart for La Massana, one of the country’s seven parishes. La Massana numbers less than 10,000 souls and is the most mountainous settlement in Andorra.

Excellent possibilities for outdoor practice “Living here really suits me. Nature is beautiful and everything is green. The air is perfect and it never gets too hot, even in the summer. I think Andorra offers excellent possibilities for outdoor training to athletes. I like cycling. It really helps my stamina, plus I get to exercise in the open,” explained Maverick as he was playing on the street with his dog Minnie, who excitedly and playfully received him on the doorstep of his house, which offers magnificent

views of the hills that surround La Massana as well as the town and houses lying below. Maverick keeps returning to the tales from the season and, naturally, his adversaries. It is not easy to compete against your own teammate, especially if he is the legendary Valentino Rossi: “Of course not. Valentino Rossi is simply Valentino Rossi. He was my racing idol when I was much younger and he continued to be one as I competed in world championships at lower levels. I still admire him, but on the other hand he is just another competitor that I want to beat every time I get on the bike. Valentino is undoubtedly one of the most hard-working riders and this is also an area where

Maverick Viñales is standing in the spotlight, with a cool leather jacket and motorcycle gloves. He is holding a characteristic paper bag with food and clutching an open motorcycle helmet under his arm, as if he’d just ordered a hamburger and French fries.

he continues to be my idol. A rider like him can teach me a lot during my career.”

A large pink 25 on the back The inseparable trio, which we were accompanying for the whole day, has meanwhile geared up. Black cycling suits with large pink 25’s on the back, cycling shoes and glasses. And the obligatory helmet. They hop on their state-of-the-art racing bicycles and take off in line down the road. The road drops a bit past Maverick’s house, then levels up through an idyllic village of stone houses, skirts a meadow, crosses a river and continues to a valley where

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the forests begin and the tall mountains move slightly aside. The boys get their teeth into an incline, while we follow them in our car for a few late afternoon shots. As Bor hangs out of the vehicle, trying to catch the best possible photos, I get to thinking. I reminisce how I wanted to fly at Maverick’s side and slightly to the back. Like his wingman. The memory of the hit movie of my youth, Top Gun, is still very much alive. I wanted to, for at least a day, become lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazanski, skilfully portrayed by Val Kilmer. And today I made it. The last flyover above Andorra, with Alex, Paco and Maverick ahead taking steady bites out of the incline, while we turn our F-14 Tomcat into the final goodbye loop and fly back home.

// SI Dan z Maverickom Viñalesom v Andori Gaber Keržišnik in Bor Dobrin sta preživela dan z dirkačem Maverickom Viñalesom (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) v Andori. Dan iz dirkačevega življenja, kot ga sicer ne poznamo. Nekaj, kar je povsem drugačno od rutine dirkaškega vikenda. Seveda je beseda med drugim tekla tudi o dirkanju. “Zanimivo dirkaško leto je. Pred začetkom sezone si nihče izmed nas ni mislil, da bomo na polovici dirkaške sezone tako izenačeni. Pet dirkačev se je še septembra borilo za naslov prvaka. Mislim, da so zadnja leta dirkanja v razredu MotoGP med najbolj zanimivimi v vsej zgodovini tega športa,” je povedal Viñales.

We leave the team to their practice. I, however, am still thinking of what Maverick told us during our time together: “When I made it to MotoGP from Moto2, I thought, OK, so now I’m in the top flight and I will be at the front of it. But it wasn’t that simple. The level of racing in MotoGP is not just one, but many levels higher. It’s not just about faster motorbikes, which require more strength, one must also think a lot more when on the bike.”

Maverick lives according to a strict schedule and must be home for lunch at exactly 1 PM: “I almost never eat out. I take great care of my diet. We cook at home according to pre-made menus, recipes and using only the known ingredients. Food is very important for practice.”


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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.

Car Stuff 20

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 Turbo / Turbo S (991.2) More power, Less weight, Titanium, Link pipe set, Carbon fiber diffusers Yamaha YZ450F + 1.1 HP/9,900 rpm - 0.7 kg (-17.6%)

Honda CBR1000RR + 6.7 HP/7,550 rpm - 3.0 kg (-40.5%)

Mercedes-AMG G 63 (W463) More power, Less weight, Titanium, Downpipes, Akrapovič Sound Kit

Suzuki GSX-R1000 + 10.6 HP/9,000 rpm - 6.0 kg (-57.7%)

Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro + 3.7 HP/3,250 rpm - 1.0 kg (-42.7%) Nissan GT-R More power, Less weight, Titanium

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BMW S 1000 RR + 12.2 HP/8,000 rpm - 9.8 kg (-73.5%) Vespa GTS 125 i.e Super More power Less weight

Mercedes-AMG GT (C190) / GT Roadster (R190) / GT S (C120) / GT C Roadster (R120) + 13.2 HP/2,550 rpm, + 36.2 Nm/2,300 rpm, -12.2 kg (-46.1%), Titanium, Akrapovič Sound Kit


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On-Track

On-Track

Akrapovič exhaust systems in racing

A HOT AND EXCITING LIFESPAN

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by Imre Paulovits photography Marc Robinot

In MotoGP everything is very fast, extremely light, and under a lot of stress. A cutting-edge Akrapovič exhaust system, exposed to extreme conditions there, is no exception. The parts of a MotoGP bike are something like a butterfly. It’s not only their delicate beauty, but also that after a long and daunting period of development they shine for only a limited time and then vanish. In this relentless competition among the very best, every single part of the bike has to provide at minimum weight the best performance currently technically possible. Once this happens the danger is that full performance can’t be achieved any longer, and even worse, that it may force the racer to retire. “We stay absolutely on the safe side and change each part of the bike at the half-time of its theoretical expirydate already,” Davide Manfredi, chief mechanic of Team Suzuki Ecstar works rider Alex Rins, says.

Racing creates progress Over the years Akrapovič exhaust systems were honed to perfection on this battlefield, giving them the edge over their serially produced competitors today. Here they continue to be pushed to the limits. The Aprilia, Ducati, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha MotoGP works teams all trust the know-how of the Slovenian specialists. Through joint development Akrapovič is permanently extending the limits of what is possible, in pursuit of ever more performance with better drivability at the same time. In short, Akrapovič is the driving force of development in motorcycle construction. Following extended testing on dynamometers, a fitting exhaust system, which has to fit into the overall design of the motorcycle, is made for each step of an engine’s development. The regulations do not allow manufacturers that have won or finished in the top three to develop their engines during the season. This is ensured by sealing all seven engines each rider is permitted to use during the season ahead of the first race in Qatar. Development continues during the season though. The engine’s periphery can be optimized and the exhaust system is a part of it, too. The Suzuki works team, for example, received a new version with a flap system from Akrapovič mid-season.

The parts of a MotoGP bike are something like a butterfly. It’s not only their delicate beauty, but also that after a long and daunting period of development they shine for only a limited time and then vanish.

Meticulous control Each system is meticulously assembled in the factory out of its component parts. They are marked at the connecting points. Ahead of a race weekend they are assembled and checked. The carefully connected titanium pipes shine in a silky, light metal shade, an imperfection in the flatness or a burr nowhere to be found. Once the system has cooled down it is cleaned and thoroughly checked each time. “We are checking if the oxygen sensor sits tight and if it is in order,” Jacques Roca, Andrea Iannone’s chief mechanic, explains. “Then we are checking all weld seams, if they are not torn somewhere. Where pipes are running close to each other, vibrations could cause


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On-Track

The lifespan of an Akrapovič racing exhaust system is only a small brick in this pyramid but hot and exciting.

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chafe marks. We also look at each spring and its position. Since using the

Parts manager Russell Jordan has them listed in his inventory. Once

are manufactured with the well-known, perfect and typical Akrapovič-style

system with flaps they are under pressure, causing additional strains to the

released, they enter the mileage program. “Sometimes we use certain

weld seams. Many new ideas and technologies are first realised on these

springs and joinings. Of course we have a look at the flaps themselves,

exhaust systems for races only, others for practice only. Systems closing in

systems, before they can eventually be introduced into serial production. But

too, and their surroundings, that they have the right closing.” If there is a

on the maximum mileage are often still used for testing; in part also to gain

crash, an examination for secondary damage must follow. “The end piece is

experience from beyond the fixed maximum mileage.”

destroyed at almost every crash when the bike has fallen on the right side,” David Manfredi knows. “It will be replaced then, we always have around 20 of them in stock. The parts further in front are rarely hit, but every part has

Costly development What is shrugged off here as if it were similar to changing printer cartridges

to be meticulously looked at to find out if there really is no damage.”

in an office is the million dollar game in this highest class of the motorcycle

But even when all is well, due to the thermal stress and the vibrations all

world championship. But everyone who has ever been seriously involved in

systems are subjected to, they are all replaced after a certain mileage for

motorsports knows that over time only 100% scrutiny of even the smallest

safety reasons. “After each practice our parts manager Russell Jordan

possible source of a defect, and routine changing of all parts, can keep the

downloads the data from each bike, so recording the running time of each

retirement rate at a minimum and guarantee success. After all, in the highest

part on his computer,” Roca reveals. “He has a program which automatically

league this basic understanding has different and much costlier dimensions.

shows when a part is close to its fixed expiry date and has to be changed.

And all this despite each and every square millimetre of all exhausts

And there are no exceptions. That’s the best way to avoid retirements for

delivered to the MotoGP teams by Akrapovič having been optimized during

technical reasons.”

their long development, with many different cross-sections and bends

Therefore the Team Suzuki Ecstar does not only have four Akrapovič

to ensure ideal gas flow. Their construction is as light as possible and

systems mounted on their bikes, but five additional ones in their trucks.

nevertheless has to last the required mileage. As a matter of course they

Over the years Akrapovič exhaust systems were honed to perfection on this battlefield, giving them the edge over their competitors in serial production today. Here they continue to be pushed to the limits.

the hardware is not even the most expensive part of being involved in racing. The many man-hours by the specialists, the many parts used up on the dynamometers, the many fully developed parts which don’t pass trial tests and are left in the scrap metal yard of development; they make up a much bigger part of the budget. But this is the dynamics our world has reached after all of mankind’s development since it came into existence. It took millions of working hours and billions of euros to transform the crackling, bicycle-style motorbikes into that what we use on the roads today. And the same amount once more for what we will use in future. The lifespan of an Akrapovič racing exhaust system is only a small brick in this pyramid - but hot and exciting.


26 / 27 Champion

Cham pion

During the years when the popular Marco, who has

The Marco Melandri story

recently found a new way of spending his free time – aviation –, competed in MotoGP, he changed quite a few racing teams. He competed for Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, Hayate (Kawasaki) and Aprilia, and finished

by Primož Jurman

his best season on a Honda in second place overall in 2005. In 2011 he raced his Yamaha at WorldSBK

Photography Aruba.it Racing Ducati, archive Marco Melandri

races, finishing the season as runner-up, then moved on to BMW in the following year to finish third. He began the season 2015 with Aprilia in MotoGP.

/// Return He took a breather, dedicated himself to his family and hobbies, flying and cycling. “My sister and I also run a blog where I give advice to street bikers,” Marco says. But that was not enough, he wanted to return to the world of racing. “I received a great offer from Team Aruba.it Racing - Ducati that I couldn’t refuse, because I do have racing genes. I’ve always felt like

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a racing rider, the passion for racing kept burning inside me.” So he accepted the offer. Not that he was idle during his time off the track. He trained and waited for an opportunity: “I cycled, the same as I still do, I raced a motocross bike, though I sadly don’t do that any more. Instead I swim and go to fitness, even though I don’t like closed spaces while the sun is shining outside.” Instead of motocross bike, he hops on his Ducati Panigale to fine-tune his skills on smaller tracks, much like those used for go-karts.

/// Fast thinker, now also fast rider After mounting a real racing machine after his break, he realised that while he remained a fast thinker, he was not quite as quick through the turns. He had to rediscover his slightly rusty racing instincts. Panigale is a machine that suits his racing style well and is at the same time an immensely complicated bike to set up, especially at its highest optimum racing settings, where the true masters rise above the rest. The optimal window up there is very small and only a very experienced rider can find it and set the bike up. Marco Melandri won the jackpot this year as he already scored a victory at his second race at Misano, and then went on to chalk up seven more podium finishes by the end of August.

/// Airplane and motorbike

CONFIDENCE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

When questions turn to comparisons between planes and bikes and potential common ground, he says: “Sometimes flying is much more scary than riding a sport bike. On a bike you mostly crash because you’ve made a mistake. Usually you are aware of the problem and you can explain it. But when you fly, there is a lot of turbulence, and at some point I’m feeling like I don’t have control of the situation.” And when touching on his prolific racing career, one which saw him compete in all top flights, he adds: “There are no more or less difficult championships. It only depends on what kind of package you have – bike, tires, team. If all the elements give you confidence, you are on the top. For me, being confident on the bike makes the difference. You can only be fast then.”


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Inte r v iew

Interview

Ryan Dungey

RETIREMENT?

, IT S FROM "100 MPH TO ZERO! 29

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by Pat Borzi photography Carlos Gonzales

Ten years ago, Ryan Dungey, then a teenager, told a newspaper columnist he wanted to be “the next big thing” in motocross. The odds were stacked against him. Dungey grew up in Minnesota, a state with no motocross tradition or high-end facilities. But by the time he retired last May, Dungey, 27, had won everything there is to win in American motocross and Supercross. The great Roger De Coster discovered Dungey as a 16-year-old and signed him to the Suzuki team. The 2007 Supercross rookie of the year, Dungey went on to win four Supercross and three AMA Motocross championships, plus three Motocross of Nations titles. He’s set a record with 31 consecutive Supercross podium finishes from 2015-16, and his 80 career wins combined AMA Motocross and Supercross rank him fourth all-time.

CCCC Photo: Simon Cudby / Red Bull Content Pool


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“I loved winning. I loved doing my job. I loved… I say love, but I really enjoyed all those things. And winning a championship, it’s like…”

We met Dungey at a coffee shop not far from his hometown of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, USA. Dungey and his wife, Lindsay, are buying a house in a Minneapolis suburb not far away. In jeans, a flannel shirt, black sneakers and a camo ballcap, Dungey could pass for a random construction worker, like his father Troy. And that’s fine with him.

You announced your retirement last May. How’s retirement treating you? It’s been interesting and has its challenges, too. No one really tells you how to prepare for it. I really didn’t have a lot going on during

Interview

“Roger De Coster was my team manager for every year but one. He hired me. Nobody really knew who I was. He gave me a tryout, signed me, trusted and believed in me. I really owe him a lot because he really helped progress my career.”

you so far. Soon enough, you kind of start to feel that burnout phase. I met my wife at the time, and I started to feel there was more to life, more important things in life. My goals in racing — winning races and championships and working hard and getting there — were important to me and I wanted to accomplish those things. At the same time, it wasn’t everything. It was nice to know there were more important things in life.

my racing career other than racing, because I never wanted things to be a distraction. It kind of went from 100 mph to nothing. It slowed down quite a bit. But one thing I’m certain of, I don’t regret the decision I made. I’m happy. I enjoyed it. If I don’t go to

But isn’t it nice to win, win and win again?

another race again, I’ll be okay with that. But it was time. I don’t

I loved winning. I loved doing my job. I loved… I say love, but I

have second thoughts. I just have to adapt and go forward. We

really enjoyed all those things. And winning a championship, it’s

waited for this time. We waited to have kids. Now that we have

like… Somebody from outside thinks, he must sit on that high

that time, we’re working on that. We’re working on buying a place

forever. It must be an amazing feeling. But truth be told, Saturday

in Minnesota. We’re excited to be home and see what’s next.

you win, Sunday you enjoy it, and Monday you’re back to work. You maybe have an accomplishment behind your name, which sooner or later people will forget, and maybe you have a little bit

Even without racing you’ve been busy the last few months. Fill us in.

more money. But those don’t fill you. They don’t make you happy. There’s more to life. Does that make sense?

Lindsay and I are big supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We have a St. Jude Ride and 5K Run in Minnesota. It was our fifth year this year. Since retirement we’ve been able to

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get to St. Jude again, see the hospital in Memphis, have the ride again in July. We’re talking about expanding that into other areas. So that’s good, being able to do the things that are rewarding and more important. I did stop in the middle of my contract. I opted not to race outdoors, but I went to five of the 12 outdoor races. Even though I wasn’t racing, I wanted to see Marvin Musquin and the team do well. And we took a little vacation, a week down in Punta Cana. The big thing, which is a lot harder than I anticipated, is trying to find a place (to live). Not to lock us in for a long time, but something to be in for a couple of years.

You could live anywhere. Why Minnesota? The Midwest is just beautiful. I grew up here. As a kid, it’s what I’m used to. I’m definitely not coming back here for the comfort factor, though it’s nice. Our families are from here. If we’re going to have kids, we want our families to be close by. Family is important to me and my wife. I’ve been around the country, lived

When you announced your retirement, you said you were in the best shape of your life but things had gotten tough mentally. How? It simply got to a point where mentally it was unbearable. The whole season was just tough. I was coming to a point where it was getting hard to focus — not because I didn’t want it, not because I wasn’t in it. I did my best with everything. I don’t know what you want to call it. Like that fire just started to go out. When you’re five years old, winning a race seems like everything in life. Like my first year, it was all or nothing. It meant everything. It was everything. It had to be everything. And if it didn’t fly with that, I didn’t want to deal with it unless it had something to do with racing. Part of that was, I was so driven. I wanted to do so good. I was focused. I mean, I was living out in California at 17 years of age in a one-bedroom apartment, by myself. Eat, sleep, ride.

C

in Florida, lived in Texas, lived in California. I love it here.

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“There were some good guys I went up against, for sure - James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto. I wouldn’t say I was the best. I was one of the best riders, because the talent some of these other guys had was unbelievable.”

I hardly did anything outside of that. That willpower can only get

Photo: Simon Cudby / Red Bull Content Pool

Photo: Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool


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Yes. What you’re telling me isn’t unusual for a highly successful athlete, especially in a sport that’s so physically demanding. You raced without a major injury until last year when you fractured the C6 vertebra in your neck. Is that when you began thinking about retirement? For sure. I get that question a lot. You have to be so into it

Interview

“Family is important to me and my wife. I’ve been around the country, lived in Florida, lived in Texas, lived in California. I love it here.”

mentally. In that race when I broke my neck in Colorado, I was sitting on the gate, and I was so mentally fried. I’m thinking, man, this ain’t good. I’m trying to be into it, I’m trying to be in the groove. I’m tired physically. I couldn’t focus. I got a great start, was running up front, got kicked the wrong way, made a little mistake which led into a bigger mistake. That’s what made my decision.

32 Ten years ago, you wanted to be the next big thing in the sport. Were you?

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In my time, yeah. I wanted to be the best in my era. Obviously that doesn’t happen right off the bat. There were some good guys I went up against, for sure — James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto. I wouldn’t say I was the best. I was one of the best riders, because the talent some of these other guys had was unbelievable. I had some big get-offs, but I always tried to stay within my means. I wasn’t riding over my head. I’m fourth or sixth all-time racing a dirt bike? That’s pretty cool.

When you look back on your career, is there a particular race or championship you’re most proud of? Oh, man… I think it was the Supercross championship this year. It was one of the heaviest weeks for me. I’ve had a lot of mentally tough weeks going into the last week with championships on

“I always had to trust God has a plan for my life. I’m doing the most with the gifts and talents he’s given me. When I broke my neck, I went into the bank and turned my neck.”

the line, but this was the heaviest. Just being able to win and get the job done was just incredible. I remember watching Ricky Carmichael and Stewart and Chad Reed in 2006. I wasn’t pro

Photo: Frank Hoppen / Red Bull Content Pool

yet. I went to Vegas to watch these guys. It was the last race. They were all within five points. So basically, whoever wins the race takes the championship. And I thought to myself, man. The amount of pressure that is, but to downplay it and still get the job done… It’s a really heavy situation.

You were the first motocross rider on a Wheaties box. And you were the first motocross rider to pose for the ESPN Body Issue.

on the level of most of them, but it’s a growing sport. Just that exposure, the dream come true…

(Laughs) Not that it was bad, but I think I might have taken

Who do you think had the greatest influence on your career? A good amount, first being Roger De Coster. He was my team manager for every year but one. He hired me. Nobody really knew who I was. He gave me a tryout, signed me, trusted and believed in me. I really owe him a lot because he really helped progress my career. I could always go to him, which was incredible. And there were some other people, too. I worked with Ricky Carmichael a good bit there. I lived in Tallahassee, rode at his track. He and his family were incredibly generous with their time. I worked with

the Body Issue back. It was a cool opportunity, but that was a

Do you feel lucky you got out of your career in one piece?

little bit extreme. It’s great for the coverage, and I tried to see

Absolutely. That weighed on me a little bit. I always had to trust

it like it was artistic. The bodies you see in those issues are

God has a plan for my life. I’m doing the most with the gifts and

years and years in development of that specific sport. I was

talents he’s given me. When I broke my neck, I went in to the bank

like, OK, that’s cool. But in a sense, I’m naked. It’s just kind

and turned my neck. That’s what broke it. When I went in to the

of not my deal. Anyway, the coverage that Red Bull KTM got

doctor, he said, ‘I don’t know if you believe in a higher power, but

was great, and the exposure the sport got was awesome.

if it went a little bit more you would have been paralyzed.’ I cried.

And the Wheaties box was incredible. That was a dream of mine.

My wife cried. It scared us. I thought right then and there, I’m

You know how it is. Probably everybody and their siblings have

done. I’m glad I came back for one more (season), but there’s a

joked: that’s going to be me on that box one day. Our sport is not

risk involved. I don’t miss that risk. I’m glad to walk away.

Johnny O’Mara. He made me stronger mentally and physically. Aldon Baker was my trainer my last three years. That guy is rock solid, just a good, godly man. And probably my dad too, going through it all with him. I’d probably put my dad first ahead of all those guys because he loved it. He had more of a passion for racing than I did. When I retired, it was a sad day for him too. He was like, Are you sure you don’t want to race another year?’ Yeah, I’m sure, Dad. (laughs)

Photo: Simon Cudby / Red Bull Content Pool

// SI Ryan Dungey: “Upokojitev? Kot s 100 km/h na nič!” Pred desetimi leti je najstnik Ryan Dungey časopisnemu kolumnistu povedal, da bi želel postati “naslednja velika stvar” v motokrosu. A ni imel dobrih možnosti. Dungey je odraščal v Minnesoti, državi brez tradicije v motokrosu ali izjemnih priložnosti. Toda do letošnjega maja, ko se je upokojil, je 27-letni Dungey osvojil vse, kar je bilo v ameriškem motokrosu in superkrosu mogoče osvojiti. Veliki Roger De Coster je odkril Dungeyja kot 16-letnika in ga pripeljal v ekipo Suzukija. Najboljši novinec leta 2007 v superkrosu je štirikrat postal svetovni prvak v superkrosu in osvojil tri naslove državnega prvaka v motokrosu (AMA 450). Poleg tega je trikrat slavil v Pokalu narodov in osvojil sedem velikih lovorik AMA. V letih 2015 in 2016 je dosegel rekord z 31 zaporednimi uvrstitvami na zmagovalni oder v superkorsu, z 80 zmagami v motokrosu (AMA 250 in 450) in superkrosu pa je četrti na večni lestvici. “Nihče vam ne pove, kako se pripravite na obdobje po karieri. Pri meni je šlo s 100 km/h na nič. Moje življenje se je precej upočasnilo,” je v intervjuju povedal Ryan Dungey.


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

Fantastic

THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE The Proust Questionnaire is one of the best-known interview devices

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used in the media today. Fun, intelligent, and concise, it reveals much of the personality of those questioned. Assouline Publishing presents an entertaining facsimile edition of the original questionnaire with Marcel Proust’s handwritten replies. The book provides a historical account of the questionnaire and the significance of Proust today. In addition, the book

FEEL YOUR MUSIC

features questionnaires filled out by a variety of cultural figures.

Beats by Dr. Dre proves its versatility once more by teaming up with fashion label Balmain. With 12 hours of playback in one pop, Bluetooth connectivity and adaptive noise-cancelling technology, these Beats Studio Wireless headphones are finished in safari colour with metallic gold accents. Their

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MIXOLOGIST BOX

D AV I D LY N C H ’ S S I G N AT U R E

Coctail fan? Ralph Lauren’s Kipton Mixologist Box is an essential for all

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, French stylist

cocktail lovers. The saddle leather case is lined with the iconic Ralph

agnès b. pays tribute to David Lynch, one of the most iconic contemporary

Lauren plaid pattern, and inside includes a hand-cut crystal decanter, four

filmmakers. Having dressed Lynch for many years, it was no surprise when

double-old-fashioned glasses, a silver-plated brass jigger, a bottle opener

agnès b. asked Lynch to propose designs for her Artists’ T-shirts series. He

and a nut bowl.

has created two exclusive designs, the “Wild at Heart” print for men, which is the title of his Sailor and Lula movie, and a sketch of a mouth whispering “Oh Donna,” referencing a Ritchie Valens song that Lynch admires.

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IS IT A PERFUME OR SOAP? Well, both! Darkly beautiful soaps Silhouette Collection in the shape of perfume bottles are created by Liza Witte, an Amsterdam based product designer and self-described alchemist. A collection of five iconic perfume bottles sculpted in black soap, each with its unique fragrance, can be used as a room fragrance, or, if you can bear to wash them away, simply as soap. What will you do?

a Real motif, black rubber dial with yellow GG pattern, Ronda quartz movement, and is water resistant to 5 ATM (160 feet/50 meters).

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Story

Story

“I learned to fly through a university scholarship with the RAF,” he smiles. “It was funny actually. Myself and a group of 16-year-old mates, four of us, read about this RAF taster weekend where they paid the costs and train fare. We thought we might even be able to

36

buy beer at the bar! “I was going to study engineering at university and they said they’d teach me to fly, give me a scholarship through university and then I could go on fast jets when I came out. But I was a free spirit and I wasn’t sure I wanted to sign up for that. They said it didn’t matter, they’d teach me to fly anyway, so I went to Carlisle for a month, flew Cessnas, and I had a licence a month later.” If the regimented RAF didn’t appeal, it was perhaps surprising that Richards ended up training as an accountant. “Yeah,” he laughs, “out of the frying pan and into the fire! But actually I’m a great believer that either a spell in the military or some other structured environment when you’re young is so good at keeping you orderly and organised later on.”

World rally champion with Ari Vatanen Although some would describe Richards as a risk-taker, he views himself as more of a pragmatist. He quickly realised that as a driver he was competent and no more, so took up rally co-driving, and ended up winning the World Rally Championship with Ari Vatanen in 1981. “People have different appetites for risk, be that financial or in their personal life,” he says, “and I suppose, by most people’s standards, yes, I do take the odd risk. I mean, who on earth would have sat next to Ari Vatanen! The other thing was, I’m also dyslexic. You won’t catch me reading a book or long documents, but I can look at a map and it just jumps out at me. I can interpret it really easily. I’d met Ari when we were in our early 20s and he stayed with us – his sponsor’s sticker (Rothmans) is still on the back of the guest room wardrobe! “We did have quite a few shunts and it got to the point where it was getting pretty hairy. But the only time I was actually injured, and only lightly, was sitting next to Tom Pryce (a Formula 1 driver killed at Kyalami in March ’77), who came from the same village and whose father was the local policeman. After Ari and I won the championship I decided

37

that was enough, and that’s when I started concentrating on Prodrive.”

“After Ari Vatanen and I won the championship I decided that was enough, and that’s when I started concentrating on Prodrive.”

David Richards

I do take the odd risk ” by Tony Dodgins photography Prodrive

David Richards was never one to waste time. Brought up on a small farm in North Wales, he learned to drive at 13 and passed his driving test on his 17th birthday. Like many young boys it was cars and planes for Dave Richards. He also had a private pilot’s licence within three months of his 17th birthday.


36 / 39

Story

38 39

Richards is now 65, the sort of age when most sensible folk are starting to slow down. But, it seems, nobody has told him.

Strong manufacturer relationships

We’ve had the F1, World Rally Championship,

much done without it. And, amazingly, he sees

In the hotel business

Richards’ association with Rothmans and the

Touring Cars and Sportscars. Next year we

flying as “relaxation”.

Well, not quite. With their three children now

BAT Group was to last 30 years, and strong

are in the World Rallycross Championship and

Racing aficionados, of course, hardly need

grown up (Lara is a kindergarten teacher, Jamie

manufacturer relationships were also built up

Paris-Dakar is on the bucket list. But, these days,

reminding that Colin McRae died, along with his

works in the champagne business and Harry is

with the likes of Porsche, BMW and, perhaps

I’d say that two-thirds of Prodrive’s business is

five-year-old son and two friends, when he crashed

hoping to make his fortune in app development),

most recognisably, Subaru, and the World Rally

mainstream engineering.”

his Eurocopter 10 years ago. And, on the very next

David and Karen Richards have recently moved

day, Richards and wife Karen had their own incident

into the hotel business, buying the Idle Rocks

Championship success with Colin McRae and Richard Burns.

Flying as “relaxation”

ending up with his helicopter on its side, on the way

Hotel at St Mawes, in Cornwall.

It also saw him as Formula 1 team principal of

“We’ve got the composites side at Milton Keynes,

back from the Belgian GP.

“It’s her project,” he smiles, “but it’s drawn me

BAR, in which role the team finished second to

doing work for the likes of Aston Martin, Bentley,

Richards is dismissive: “We had a technical issue

in quite heavily. I knew she would be great at

Ferrari in 2004. These days, he enjoys being able

Lotus and McLaren and the America’s Cup stuff

and had to make a forced landing,” he recalls. “We

designing, but could I create a team of people to

to turn up at the odd Grand Prix, have a coffee

with Ben Ainslie, which is fun. We make the

had to put it down in a ploughed field, which meant

deliver in a sustainable way? Because the hotel

with old friends and go home again. Although he

world’s lightest folding bicycle, at 6.9 kg (which

that it tipped onto its side. It wouldn’t even have

business is a bit like racing, very transient –

acknowledges that these are interesting times

retails at around €3,900!), and we’re doing a

been reported if it hadn’t been for that. Helicopters

people don’t stay around long. There’s not much

for the sport with new owners Liberty Media, he

new hybrid Transit van project. As well as the

are quite complicated, they fly in difficult places and

training below management level, so I’ve tried to

doesn’t see himself involved.

electric vehicles we are doing energy generation

sometimes in poor weather. But it’s pilot decision

instigate that and set goals, like we do in motor

“It’s run away with itself in the last few years,” he

in South Wales.

and 90% of accidents are pilot-related.”

sport – this is what we want to achieve next

says, “but with Ross Brawn in charge, there’s

“I think that racing and rallying is a good

As of 1 January next year Richards replaces

year. And its exciting to see people get into that

someone sensible who can deliver the right

training ground for people and I like to package

Alan Gow as chairman of Britain’s Motor Sports

and gel together.

technical solutions for the entertainment. I do

that up and apply it to other environments.

Association, responsible for 750 clubs, 30.000

“Racing people are always popping in. Ron

think that clever engineering has been replaced

You’d be amazed at some of the engineering

competitors and 10.000 volunteers. As part of

Dennis is down quite a lot, David Brabham was

more by attention to detail, and that’s a shame,

approaches we get, one recently being to work

that role, he will also have a vested interest in

there last week and Derek Warwick is there

but I’ve done my time!”

on a train braking system. And we’ve recently

making sure that Britain retains its Formula 1

tomorrow. People just pitch up.”

Motorsport has a habit of being all-consuming

had composite technology consultations with

Grand Prix.

It’s going well, so what has Richard done?

and Richards smiles when he remembers the

the British ski and snowboarding teams. I really

“I haven’t spent time looking at that yet,” he says,

Bought a second hotel, of course.

24/7 work ethic, and now considers a time in

do get a buzz out of the engineering side – the

“but with so many teams and so much of the

“I’m a glutton for punishment,” he laughs.

which Formula 1 has “parc ferme”.

detailing and the effort.”

industry base here, it would be sacrilege not to

“These days, working around the clock is not

Richards is now 65, the sort of age when most

have one. I’ve taken on the MSA solely because

acceptable and we have adapted to different

sensible folk are starting to slow down. But, it

I’ve spent all my working life in the industry, have

challenges quite dramatically,” he says.

seems, nobody has told him. He still flies his

learned along the way, so hopefully I can help and

“Personally, though, I still like to get up at 5:30

helicopter everywhere, whether for business or

leave a bit of a legacy. But Karen thinks I’m mad!

AM and work quietly at home, with no phones.

family fun, reckoning that he wouldn’t get half as

She was looking forward to a quiet life…”


40 / 43 On-Track

On-Track

C.S. Santosh, the first Indian at the Dakar Rally

Tranquillity in the midst of chaos

I am glad we met for this story at the end of my motorcycle exploration of South India. It would have been a completely different tale if I had met the first Indian who took part in the Dakar Rally – and finished in the 36th spot, in his first attempt no less – immediately after arriving at Bangalore airport or, heaven forbid, had we done a long distance interview. India and motorsports are concepts that are still worlds apart, but the rider we are presenting here is also proof that nothing is impossible. As well as that the world, and India with it, is continuously changing.

by Matevž Hribar photography Matevž Hribar, Hero Motorsport

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I had not met Santosh Chunchunguppe Shivashankar, known as C.S. Santosh, an Indian born in 1983, before coming to his country. I was worried that I would encounter a spoiled rich kid,

41

coddled to the max and lusting for everything he hasn’t already got. But no, after two weeks of exploring South India, going from Bangalore to the southeast coast down to Cape Rameswaram, a stone’s throw from Sri Lanka, then on to the green and tea filled Kerala before returning to Bangalore, I was met at a farm in the middle of the countryside by a 33-year-old with his feet firmly on the ground and a handsome smile on his face. His parents grow a plant whose extract they sell to global beauty companies and thus belong to the small percentage of well off Indians. The father is not particularly enthusiastic about his son’s hobby, but supports him fully: “Racing is unforgiving. When you make a mistake in tennis, you lose the match, but in rally...” he shrugs.

Bikes are practical and cheap India does not have a history of motorsports like Europe does, even though bikes are much more prevalent here in everyday life than on the Old Continent. But while we Europeans ride bikes because we find them cool, Indians use them because they are practical and, especially, cheap. When I told a random Indian I met how much the bike which I was using to travel round the country in the company of two other locals, Uday on a KTM and Denish on a Triumph, was worth, I received the following reply: “You could have bought a car for that amount!” People here see motorbikes in a completely different light. When we asked the locals whether the narrow path we wanted to take our off-road bikes on would take us to our destination, they replied that there was a perfectly good (for Indian standards) road going there as well. “Why would you want to take a bike off-road anyways?” “In Europe there is great passion for motorcycle racing, and that does not exist in India,” said Santosh. “But things are changing. Buyers today are looking for more than just a means of transport from point A to point B. India is making economic progress and this in turn is increasing demand for motorbikes not meant for cheap transport, but for enjoyment. This is why the Hero


40 / 43 On-Track

company decided to take part in the Dakar, which

meet everything from animals, people, overstuffed

available to me now. I believe that you should

basically is travelling from point A to point B, the

pickups, auto rickshaws and seemingly barely

grab the bull by the horns, even if you are not

difference being you do it much faster.”

roadworthy buses. I read an article in the local

completely ready.”

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newspaper after arriving in Bangalore, that the

Dakar Rally in India?

city is planning to build a hundred skywalks

Yoga and meditation

“I think that everything in life happens at the right

(pedestrian bridges over busy roads), but is

I was interested in one more thing. India is globally

time. Before I took part in Dakar, there was not

faced with the issue that almost nobody is using

known for its yoga and meditation. Does Santosh

a lot of interest in the race in our country. But

the ones that have already been built. Did you

practice either? “Yes, they are certainly a part of

now there is considerable interest, the second

know that motorbike helmets are only required

our culture and I believe yoga helps us find inner

Indian team, TVS, with the backing of the Sherco

for the rider, but not for the passenger(s)? “The

peace amidst the surrounding chaos. I started

company, is taking part already, and more are

passenger is safe and does not need a helmet. At

taking it more seriously this year. I will be able to

on the way for next year’s event.” So is there a

least that is what Indians believe. I disagree and

tell you if it works after the next Dakar.”

chance for Dakar, having left its native Africa and

want to help spread the use of motorbike helmets.

Santosh is a professional rider now and dedicates

moved to South America, to eventually make it

You can heal many other parts of the body, but

all of his time to racing, which he sees as a team

to India? “Probably not. Perhaps a stage in the

if you hurt your head, there’s no helping you,”

sport and therefore uses the first person plural

Dakar series will take place here, but not the

says Santosh.

when speaking about it. But that is not really

whole rally.” Santosh was quite secretive about

42

unusual, as many renowned riders from the

that, but he was enthusiastic about how the

Traffic is similar to racing

West do the same. The riders’ vocabulary always

Germans work. After witnessing India first-hand,

I would bet, though, that the Indian style of traffic

contains “we” and almost never “I”. Their plot of

I simply cannot see how a local team, without aid

is much closer to real racing. Does this give him

land now houses the first off-road motorcycle

from a better organised European, or even better,

an edge? Instead of answering, Santosh tells

training park, but that is more a hobby than

German outfit, could make it to the end of the

me a story from the Germans: “Our boss, Mr.

business, because Santosh realised he immensely

two-week rally. As a fellow motorcycle traveller

Fischer, keeps joking that, should Dakar ever

enjoys passing his knowledge on to other riders.

told me – you do not plan a trip across India, you

make it to India, the riders would have no trouble

But this does not detract him from his next goal –

get there and then things just happen. And this

completing the stages, but would then get stuck

to be amongst the top 20 at a future Dakar.

is definitely not the winning mentality for a rally

during transfers. I think he’s right. Traffic here

which requires the perfect gelling of the entire

is crazy, but it also lets you know that nothing

team, from motorbike development, preparation

is assured, that you must continuously observe

and service, all the way to an uncompromisingly

what’s going on around you and try to predict

focused rider.

the unpredictable. Traffic in India is in many ways similar to racing.”

Driving on the left

Is it easier or more difficult to be the first Indian

Thinking through, predicting and solving problems

at Dakar? “At first I thought that it would have

are done according to completely different

been a lot easier if there were more riders from

standards in India. Let us look at, for example,

our country, that my entry into the world of racing

traffic. The only rule that is obeyed is that one

would have been easier and that by now we could

must drive on the left. Everything else is more

be reaching for the top. But I take the world the

or less left to the flow of endless particles in

way it is and every challenge contains a new

the matter: you overtake on the left or the right,

opportunity. I am glad of all the options that are

Traffic here is crazy, but it also lets you know that nothing is assured, that you must continuously observe what’s going on around you and try to predict the unpredictable.

While we Europeans ride bikes because we find them cool, Indians use them because they are practical and, especially, cheap.

“I think that everything in life happens at the right time. Before I took part in Dakar, there was not a lot of interest in the race in our country.”


44 / 49

H istory

History

History of the exhaust system

Once plain metal tube, now work of art by Andrej Krbavčič photography Bor Dobrin, Blaž Zupančič, archive

That noxious gases and particles created by combustion need to be removed from a person’s direct surroundings became clear soon after humankind tamed fire. Humans created chimneys and vents, which, much later in time, also became quite suitable for steam engines and even low-speed combustion engines, as long as these were stable or placed on ships. The trouble only started with the car.

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44 / 49

History

The revolutions, compression and power of internal combustion engines increased rapidly from day one, transforming the noise of combustion from tolerable hissing to loud banging and becoming a nuisance to passengers as well as passers by – and, most importantly, horses, which led to severe accidents. Soon thereafter mufflers were developed, first placed right by the engine and, if needed, continuing with an exhaust pipe. They were first made of sheet metal containers, allowing the gases to expand and cool off before being, once pacified, exhausted into the world through a small opening. But an unwanted side effect of the muffler quickly manifested itself: preventing the free flow of exhaust gases caused a drop in engine power. This was countered by placing vents just before the mufflers – either in the exhaust pipe or before the exit tube – to allow the gases to circumvent the muffler and be free. Using the vent was recommended for slopes and overtaking, but lovers of loud noise quickly started opening it in the middle of cities – they were definitely noticed! Vents were thus prohibited on public roads. The continuing growth of engine power resulted in more complex mufflers – their development went hand in hand with firearm silencers – which either utilised chambers with baffles and labyrinth (expansion mufflers) or an internal exhaust peppered with holes covered with steel wool (absorption mufflers). But what the manufacturers put inside, the owners, especially bike owners, loved to take out. Authorities thus equipped police officials with sticks that were used to prod the exhaust’s opening – if there was no resistance, a fine would ensue. Exhausts for passenger cars were not majorly affected by these developments up until the

47

introduction of catalytic converters and turbochargers. But racing cars were a different story.

46

The famous Brooklands can By the 1920s even children knew that racing had to be done without mufflers and with the shortest possible exhaust pipes in order to maximize engine output. People living near the racecourses, especially England’s Brooklands, were meanwhile becoming fed up and demanded that mufflers be fitted as the

Engineers embarked on a compromise to suitably silence the engine without making it lose too much power. The result was the famous Brooklands can, which in its first iteration had ten times the engine’s displacement and a shape reminiscent of a fish.

noise was becoming insufferable for all but the most fervent noise addicts. Engineers embarked on a compromise to suitably silence the engine without making it lose too much power. The result was the famous Brooklands can, which in its first iteration had ten times the engine’s displacement and a shape reminiscent of a fish. The delivery and exhaust tubes were placed parallel in the exhaust chamber and were sealed at the ends while being punched with holes on the sides. The contraption ended in a fish tail, the opening of which could be enlarged or narrowed, allowing for sound tuning. The end result was not a particularly silent muffler, but one which paradoxically increased the power of some engines. It was used on race cars and bikes and it soon became the vogue for sports vehicles. Its design continued to dictate motorbike muffler fashion for decades to come. Engine manufacturers simultaneously began to realize that engine power depends heavily on the length of the exhaust pipe. The resonant exhaust pipe tube was born, which was developed into the iconic conical and aerodynamically more advantageous megaphone – of course without a muffler – in the late 1930s. Those working

The megaphone never looked prettier than in 1950 on the AJS 7R.

with car engines, which usually had more than one cylinder, were meanwhile dabbling in separated or joined pipes – with both producing good results. The late 1920s and the 1930s also brought with them the importance of visual appeal: exhaust pipes became chrome plated or ribbed, stuck out from under the hood and only came together under the vehicle. At its very end the muffler could be separated into as many properly visible pipes as the number of cylinders – although that served no functional purpose. However, all of the above could be seen on two- and

Reverse pressure diagram for a tuned exhaust.

four-stroke engines.


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History

Exhaust development after that was primarily guided by environmental regulations. Mufflers arrived at the racetrack, catalytic converters have even silenced twostroke engines and the exhaust pipe must now also drive the turbocharger.

Tuned exhaust Germans tried to reduce the fuel consumption of two-stroke engines just prior to WWII and they came up with a resonant exhaust system, which used reverse pressure to prevent the outflow of fresh fuel mixture through the open exhaust port. This idea was taken up after the war by engineer Walter Kaaden, whose disc valve suction mechanism resulted in many years of dominance of East German MZ motorbikes. The technology then, in an ungentlemanly manner, ended up in Japanese hands and was only retired after it became impossible to control the exhausts of the two-stroke engines. A well-made tuned exhaust for two- and four-stroke engines utilises the potential of exhaust pulses, i.e. the negative and positive pressure, at just the right moment, albeit in a different way due to their different modes of operation. This phenomenon has for a long time been on the list of top priorities for engineers, as it is exactly the mechanism which increases the engine’s output.

Carlo Abarth Starting from the 1950s, youngsters, working from imperfect knowledge, continued to enjoy increasing the power, sound or at the very least the way their modest wheels looked. Small and big companies alike sensed the opportunity and created attractive products, especially for small mass produced vehicles. This was the case all around the world, but especially so in Italy. Notable manufacturers of aftermarket sports exhausts as well as other components for fast cars and motorbikes most certainly

48

include Carlo Abarth. His masterpieces flew off the shelves in huge numbers in the 1960s, bought by the owners of tiny Fiats, especially the 500 and 600 models. Exhaust development after that was primarily guided by environmental regulations. Mufflers arrived at the racetrack, catalytic converters have even silenced two-stroke engines and the exhaust pipe must now also drive the turbocharger. But let us stop here. Akrapovič is a different story. A story, though it started in distant 1991, is still connected mainly with the present and the future.

You know how it goes. How numerous excellent products, innovations, many things that changed the world came to be. Those who wanted something better, were usually dissatisfied with what was available at the market. One of them was Igor Akrapovič, bike rider and racer, from Ljubljana. He believed he could create a better and more efficient exhaust system than the ones that were then available on the market. Apart from racing and motorbikes, he also had a passion for music, for sound. And an eye for design as well. Carbon fibre, titanium and other exotic materials have for a long time had a place in Akrapovič exhaust system manufacturing, but the beginnings were mainly concerned with researching these materials, seeking new solutions for tube bending and welding, gathering experience and improving on what others have created in the century before Igor. The success of the Akrapovič model and approach is caused by the company’s tireless quest for providing the end user with the best experience, be it on a motorbike or in a car. Their increased performance combined with weight reduction through unique configurations and use of light-weight materials, is the exhausts’ added value while their design is the icing on the cake. We cannot say that Igor reinvented the exhaust, but we can certainly claim that Akrapovič, by now a globally renowned brand, caused the exhaust to be viewed in a completely different way. In short, we are dealing with a technologically perfected, practical and powerful piece of art. This is in stark difference to the products a 100 years ago, when nobody thought that exhausting noxious gases might benefit from a user’s experience or that it might even look good with a bit of design.

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50 / 53 On-Track

On-Track GTspirit Tour 2017

IN A GROUP DRIVING MAKES MORE FUN

50

by Des Sellmeijer photography Philipp Rupprecht

You have a special sports car? Not a normal 4-cylinder MercedesBenz SLK or an Alfa Giulia. Not a Renault Mégane Renault Sport or just an ordinary Porsche Macan. Diesel. No, maybe you own a real GT. You also have a lot of time. And some spare money, of course. You can and want to spend some five thousand euros on a weekend tour. So, here we are, you are the right person to join GTspirit Tour. You should think quick as we accept only 20 cars

each year. This year we gathered in mid June. The Tour started in Austria, in the middle of the Alps. Where in winter some of the world’s best skiers try the Hahnenkamm. The craziest downhill in the world. Up to 140 kph on skis. There was no snow and no skis in Kitzbühel on that spring day, but there were many very special sports cars.

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50 / 53 On-Track

forests, and then, suddenly, we arrived at a beautiful centuries-old town in the middle of dense forests and hills. Banská Štiavnica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was one of the richest towns in Europe in the 1600s thanks to silver mining in the area.

/// Smiling faces all around Next up was Bratislava – capital of Slovakia – but before we got there we

National road 502 on the way to Nahác twists up and down over a range of hills like spaghetti on a plate. Each time you come over a crest you feel light before being pressed firmly into your seat through the dip.

first had to navigate our way via a collection of waypoints. If you found them all correctly, you ended up on my favorite road of the tour dubbed the roller coaster road. National road 502 on the way to Naháč twists up and down

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over a range of hills like spaghetti on a plate. Each time you come over a crest you feel light before being pressed firmly into your seat through the dip. The last day of the GTspirit Tour 2017 took us back to Kitzbühel, but the best might have been saved for last. Just a short drive from Bratislava we crossed the border back into Austria and shortly after Vienna we left the highway behind us for the rest of the day. Soon we found ourselves all alone on one of the most beautiful roads in Europe. No traffic, a never-ending combination of left and right turns going up and down small mountains and hills with a great group of friends. It was three days of driving and two thousand kilometres after we left Kitzbühel before returning to the Grand Tirolia hotel. Smiling faces all around. GTspirit Tour is not about the most exclusive and expensive cars in the world. It’s much more about the spirit of GT cars. Gran Turismo pure. It’s a desire to drive, experiencing great roads and having a lot of laughs. You Among the guests was one man that can claim to drive a car developed in

world stay there during the summer, its home to a famous casino and some

his name. I’m talking about Marco Wittmann - two time DTM Champion and

beautiful villages where many Slovenes once lived. Now they are just a

Akrapovič brand ambassador – driving his own BMW M4 DTM Champion

handful, but the Slovenian border is very close. This small country, nestled

Edition. But there were more interesting cars, a G500 with a lot of extras.

between the Alps and the Mediteranean, is also home to Akrapovič. Several

Insane. Or my favourite this year, a Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster.

cars in our tour were fitted with its exhausts. It would have been worth

Convertibles are no longer heavier than coupés . They are blistering

staying longer in tiny Slovenia, but this time we just crossed it straight to

fast. After a get together dinner in the famous Rosi’s Sonnbergstuben

Zagreb. Just across the border from Slovenia, with 1,5 million inhabitants,

above Kitzbühel, everybody was already enthusiastic about the first leg.

lies the capital of Croatia. It is home to a beautiful Art Nouveau building –

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. It’s obvious nobody wanted to stay up

Hotel Esplanade. Once frequented by Orient Express travellers, the hotel

too long the night before. Regardless of the information, which reached us

has all the same luxury again as it had 100 years ago. Zagreb was named as

during the dinner – it was snowing at Grossglockner… Anyway, at 3798 m

one of the best European party places recently, and we didn’t want to miss

above sea level it’s the highest mountain in Austria. But we wanted to stay

the opportunity. No more about that.

may also make some new friends. Not just among the cars. If you like, see you again next year in June.

optimistic.

/// On the highway to Budapest /// Next stop in Velden

Because the night was wild and sleep short we choose an easy programme

Our spirit was rewarding. The snow melted by the time, we reached the

for the next day. We drove just three hours on the highway to Budapest.

alpine road and our mostly rear-wheel drive sports cars on summer tires had

Another capital city with over a million inhabitants. Budapest is regarded

no problems reaching the top of the pass. Selfies were mandatory as well

as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, so we did some special

as some drone video footage. The south side of the pass is not as steep

sightseeing. We were discovering palaces, bridges, monuments, squares

and picturesque, but therefore shorter. The small postcard-perfect village

and the vibe of the city, but on the other hand, we were just as much a

of Heiligenblut with a famous church we left behind without a visit, because

tourist attraction with all our sports cars. No nightlife here, because the next

our next stop was planned in Velden in Carinthia. Everybody was surprised

day was to be busy and adventurous.

when we were greeted by a group of schoolkids, all cheering and clapping

The next morning we had to get up early and leave Hungary behind us

– their joy was one of the highlights of our tour. Wörthersee is known for its

for Slovakia, a country I personally didn’t know at all before our tour. The

elite guests. Many industrialists and celebrities from the German speaking

landscape on the way to our coffee stop changed from hills and fields to

Selfies were mandatory as well as some drone video footage.


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On-Track

On-Track

Four women in motorsports

NO PLAYGROUND FOR BOYS AFTER ALL by Karin Sturm photography Bor Dobrin, Tim de Winter, Eric Schmid, KTM Images / Marcin Kin, Yamaha

“Those stupid comments that women can’t do things like this just come from people who have nothing to do with motorsports.” Dianne Geesink

In the cases of Kiara Fontanesi and Laia Sanz it was their elder brothers,

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already active in motorsports, who served as inspiration during childhood to try it themselves. At school they didn’t receive a lot of understanding for their choice: “It was my lack of time to accept any sort of invitations, to do anything outside school, that the other children found a little odd,” Fontanesi recollects. “And then even motorsports – it was strange for a girl. Although I also did other sports at that time, gymnastics, artistic gymnastics – but this left me with even less time.” For her it was quite natural to ride a motocross

They have one thing in common, Italian Kiara Fontanesi, Spanish Laia Sanz, Dutch Dianne Geesink and German Sabine Holbrook: they succeeded in a men’s world where they are still more the exception than the rule. If on closed circuits, off-road or on lonely desert tracks – these four biker ladies demonstrate again and again that girl power is on the go on two wheels as well.

bike. “Because of my brother I was more or less brought up in the pits; everything was pretty normal for me. And my family also supported me all the time. My father even helped me to build up a very professional environment which allows me to live well from my sports now.”

Kiara Fontanesi The twenty-three-year-old Italian is a five-time motocross world champion, and she thinks it is appropriate that there are separate categories for men and women. “It would be different in a car, the physical differences don’t have such an impact. But on a bike, especially in motocross, it has, like it or not. Of course when we women train well we could always close in on the guys, but it will never be the same.” Earlier, as a youth rider especially, she often took on the boys, “and I must say that I definitively learned more that way. And I still like to take on the men occasionally, just like with my MX2 start in Valkenswaard this year. But in general it’s fairer to have separate championships.”


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On-Track

accept and respect her from her point of view.

Laia Sanz

“Those stupid comments that women can’t do

For Laia Sanz the solution at the Dakar is

things like this just come from people who have

perfect: “There is an overall classification – and

nothing to do with motorsports.”

an additional one for women.” When the now 31-year-old, who also scores good results in enduro events regularly, finished one leg in 5th

Sabine Holbrook In opposition to Geesink Sabine Holbrook was

place and left a few former Dakar winners behind,

very late in racing; she only got her bike driving

“these were my absolutely greatest moments in

licence at age 28 – in October 2008. “My

motorsports. I’ll never forget them.” Of course she

driving-instructor told me that I was talented, but

again felt some backlash then. The same kind

also too emotional. That’s why he asked me to

she already noticed when she won a Spanish

take a rider’s orientation and safety-training first,”

trial title as a teenager, “the only girl among boys.

the German, now living in Switzerland – where

Especially some parents didn’t like it at all that

she was cast up by love – says. “At the end of

I’ve beaten their sons.” A similar experience at the

this training we could drive one guided lap on

Dakar: “As long as it was only about finishing for

the racetrack. From then on I was infected with

me, everything was fine. But when I drove closer

the racing virus.” Less than three months later

to the top, too, some of my competitors didn’t like

she participated in her first race: “I asked the

it so much anymore.”

organizers if they would permit me to start at the

But in the meantime it has developed into

end of the grid. They did. I was so nervous – but

mutual respect: “All the others know very well

at the end I was not even the last to finish.”

how difficult it is to be competitive at the Dakar,

The mother of two – 16- and 13-year-olds,

how much one has to practice.” With fuel a bike

who often do some motocross with her already

weighs around 170 kilos, not so easy to handle:

– then worked her way up. That she is good

“I’m a little lucky to be almost 5’10” (180 cm) and

looking, is talented in marketing and already

well built, that may have made it a little easier for

knew “that there are more eyes on me than on

me. But I’m also training intensively to keep this

the ten fastest men” helped to find support and

level of fitness.”

sponsorship, “but of course also brought some

She notes: “In the past there were some girls

envy and unfriendly comments”. From 2015

and women who were not really good and

onwards Holbrook participated in the Alpe Adria

talented, but did a rather good marketing job

Championship with her BMW superbike, before

with their exceptional ‘female’ role. But it was

a bad crash on the Hungaroring in August

a little counterproductive for real professionals

caused a break because she suffered some

like us.” For a long time – even as a works rider

complicated injuries to her hand. In 2016 she

– she didn’t get the same material as her male

was back though, before destiny struck again in

colleagues. “Only now with KTM it’s different.

2017. At the end of June she lost her life partner

Here I’m on a level playing field indeed; also feel

to cancer. He had always accompanied her

incredibly well, because my teammates really respect me.”

“My driving instructor told me that I was talented,

in sports and business during the last couple of years. “But I want to race again under all

Dianne Geesink

but also too emotional. That’s why he asked me to

circumstances, I love this sport,” she said. Only

Dianne Geesink feels respected, too. Father

take a rider’s orientation and safety training first.”

“Now – standing totally on my own feet – I have

Henk has always been a passionate biker and also participated in Dutch championship races.

Sabine Holbrook

56

“He already put me on his bike when I was just two or three, because I was always fascinated by

that everything has become more difficult now. to find a new team, need a little support for once.” It’s not only about financing the sport. “I have to feed my family on my own, too…” There

57

is another string to her bow already – guided

it. Aged 12 I already accompanied him to races

big bike tours she is offering in South Africa for

and helped him. When I saw a round of the 125

example – but the challenges, especially in this

cc Cup with very young drivers I knew: this is

difficult time of her life, are enormous.

what I want to do, too.” So her father helped her to make the dream possible. “He noticed that

The time after the active career

I was serious with it, talked to people to give

And the others – what goals do they have for

teenagers better opportunities. I was 14 when

the future, for the time after racing? Laia Sanz

I did my first race then.” Only her mother was

wants to stay in racing under all circumstances.

not so enthusiastic about it. “She was always

“It’s what I love and where I really know a

afraid that I could suffer an injury. But then she

lot. I may possibly do something with the

nevertheless watched me at some races and she

up and coming, supporting young talents.”

supports me too – although she didn’t really like

Kiara Fontanesi would prefer to try something

what I’m doing.”

different in between – she has already taken

In the last couple of years the career of the

a look into the broadcasting world during an

23-year-old, whose big role model is Valentino

Italian reality TV show. And Dianne Geesink

Rossi, began to pick up speed at last. She

who still studies alongside her racing career

successfully participated in the KTM RC Cup,

and will soon do her exam at the TMO Fashion

sniffed some Superbike and MotoGP atmosphere

Business School, would like to combine the

during guest drives in support races, recently at

bike and fashion world for herself. “A job in a

home in Assen; always competing with men who

company for bike wear – this would be perfect.”


Visit With Us

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Visit With Us

Porsche Design Tower in Miami

58 59

by Michael Baumann photography Porsche Design, Porsche

Miami Beach. City of the rich and beautiful, of sleek yachts and expensive vehicles. Known from many movies and TV series. In this densely populated area one can find countless hotels, vacation homes and high-rise buildings. Who wouldn’t like to drive their car into the garage and then step directly into his or her living room from there? This comfort is pretty normal for single family homes, but not so much for apartments in high-rise buildings. The exception to the rule can be found – of course – in the land of opportunity, the USA. In Miami Beach, Florida, Porsche Design – until now best known for watches, clothing and sunglasses – has built a giant, superlative example of a residential tower. It probably sets new standards in luxury and uniqueness. James Bond can return to Miami now.

The core of the Porsche Design Tower in Miami Beach are the three unique glassy car elevators, situated exactly in the middle of the building, which lift the cars up.


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Visit With Us

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Penthouse on four floors

interior from being heated up too much by the sun. Gil Dezer, himself

enter or leave your own four walls – if one doesn’t want to, they need

euros). But that’s not all: a 2% property tax is due to the state annually.

The black cylindrical building with a diameter of 131 feet (40 metres)

a Porsche fan and driver: “There’s probably no other building in the

not pass through any public space.

That’s a monthly lump sum of 3,500 dollars (2,900 euros) on top of

reaches 650 feet (198 metres) into the sky – towering over the three

world with such an innovative concept on the highest quality level. The

nearby Trump Towers on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. For

Porsche Design Tower in Miami not only gives the skyline a new face,

Not only Porsche cars can be brought up to the apartments, of course.

the common rooms, they are another story. But all the apartments

that reason the new landmark of this beach section, where many

but also sets new benchmarks on the market for luxury apartments.”

The dimensions of the elevator allow for vehicles of the size of a Rolls-

have been sold already, and Dezer notes that many of them are

well known architects have left their footprints, can be seen from

Royce Phantom or a Maybach. The apartments are conceived in such

being used as a secondary residence. So it’s mainly industrialists,

afar. Responsible for the Porsche Design Tower’s architecture is the

No wonder that only Dezer Development has invested in the Porsche

a way that one can always see one’s motorized darling through a glass

artists and athletes from all over the world who bought a home in the

local bureau Sieger Suarez, for the project’s development 42-year-

Tower project with its car elevators. Father, company founder and

wall in the living room – a unique novelty for car enthusiasts. But one

Porsche Design Tower which was completed in January 2017. All the

old Gil Dezer, one of the major owners of beach real estate and

billionaire Michael Dezer is an absolute car maniac, living his very

can also leave the car with the concierge, who then takes care of the

apartments together are said to have a combined worth of around 840

personal American Dream in Miami and having collected around 1,400

parking, and take the ordinary passenger elevator or treat oneself to a

million dollars (700 million euros).

entirety, supported by the Wells Fargo Bank. We are talking about

vehicles, cars and bikes, scooters and bicycles – his absolute passion.

drink at the bar on the ground floor. Minor servicing like washing the

an investment of around 500 Million Dollars (420 Million Euros).

The exhibits can be seen in three different museums. In the Miami

car or a lube change is also done by the team taking care of the cars.

Dezer even realized several real estate projects for the current U.S.

Auto Museum alone, more than 1,000 exhibits are to be lionized.

president, Donald Trump. Porsche Design took care of the marketing

Since 2014, Las Vegas, Nevada, has been host to the Hollywood

In-house movie theater

and – of course – the design of the latest hit by the colourful Dezer.

Cars Museum, with more than 100 cars from movies, videos and TV

The bar with a big fireplace on the ground floor is at the disposal of all

All together the building, which is characterized by a lot of tinted

productions. Another site was added in 2016 in the Xtreme Action

residents and their guests; the same goes for the gourmet restaurant,

glass, has 60 floors and has space for 132 apartments, each of them

Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with around 200 cars.

the well-spaced wellness and fitness area, the various sun decks,

building land all over Florida. He also financed the construction in its

additional costs for each apartment; as for the running expenses of

the big pools, the ball room and the club rooms with billiard table (by

with at least 4,800 square feet (446 square metres) of space with a large, wind protected terrace with grill station and a pool. Three to six

The core of the Porsche apartment tower in Miami Beach are the

Porsche Design) as well as computer games. The decks are situated

bedrooms belong to each unit, and at least as many bathrooms.

three unique glassy car elevators, situated exactly in the middle of

around the tower to make enjoying the sun possible at any time of the

the building, which lift the cars up. Up to the penthouse on the very

day. Services include an in-house movie theatre showing the latest

The most exclusive four level penthouse has two giant terraces with a

top this takes around two minutes. The tailor-made system is highly

movies all the time. The exterior facade and the common rooms were

breathtaking view in all directions. Two to four parking lots for vehicles

complex and offered some technical and construction challenges to

conceived by Porsche Design, the apartments’ interior design was

belong to each apartment and in the penthouses there is even space

the engineers. Integrating the parking lot into the living area means a

up to the owners, and is quite individual accordingly. Porsche Design

for up to 11 cars. If all lots are not needed for cars, they can be used

new level of development for the parking technology. Having reached

could also do the job if owners asked it to.

as ordinary rooms. The tower was shaped from an aerodynamic

one’s apartment in the sky, the vehicle is pushed out of the elevator

Everyone buying a home in the Porsche Design Tower Miami had to be

points of view, to give as little windage as possible. For this reason

into its parking lot. This all happens automatically, there is nothing left

ready and able to invest at least 6,3 million dollars (5,25 million euros).

the balconies were not just “attached”, but are an integrated part of

for the driver to do. He or she only has to engage a gear and pull the

The penthouse on top, with a floor area of around 19,300 square feet

the facade. The high windows are dark on the outside to prevent the

handbrake once the car is standing in the elevator. It’s very easy to

(1,800 square metres), even went for 32,5 million dollars (27 million

Everyone buying a home in the Porsche Design Tower Miami had to be ready and able to invest at least 6,3 million dollars (5,25 Million Euros). The penthouse on top, with a floor area of around 19,300 square feet (1,800 square metres), even went for 32,5 million dollars (27 million euros).


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Dedication with Alicia Keys

founded in 1972 by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Porsche Tower was opened last March with a rousing party at the

But they are by far the biggest products Porsche Design has ever

oceanfront pool. Around 900 apartment owners and invited guests took

designed. Today the studio is situated in Zell am See, Austria, and has

part, among them Gil Dezer’s parents, who once built up the family’s real

won more than 150 awards over the years.

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estate empire. Following the welcome speeches, base jumpers threw themselves from the roof of the 600 foot (almost 200 metre) tower to

The next Porsche Design Tower will be constructed in Frankfurt am

entertain the spectators. A water ballet with beach girls and a giant

Main’s vibrant Europaviertel (European quarter). The works are set to

fireworks display, otherwise only seen at events like New Year’s Day, put

begin early next year, but without car elevators and with valet parking

those present into the right mood for the pinnacle of the evening: R&B

instead. Another project, one with several towers, is planned for

singer Alicia Keys had come from New York and held a twenty minute

Balneário Camboriú in the Brasilian state of Santa Caterina. The project

open air performance.

in South America will see Gil Dezer back on board again. In 2006 the first Porsche Design Tower was planned for Dubai, though failed to

With real estate, Porsche Design pursues the objective to represent

materialize due to the later financial crisis. But the residential tower

the brand and to create platforms for high-end design. For Jan Becker,

in Miami Beach will leave its footprints. Remembered by visitors and

CEO of Porsche Design Group, the completion of the first residential

viewers, on many photos, in movies and TV series of the kind that are

real estate project in the company’s history is a very special moment.

regularly produced in Miami. Maybe the Porsche Design Tower will even

“The functional design making up the brand’s DNA will accompany the

feature in a car scene in a James Bond movie. It would be only the fourth

residents in all aspects of daily life and offer a unique quality of living,”

time. So far Miami has only offered Her Majesty’s agent its hospitality

he said. Additionally the Tower in Miami is to incorporate the sportscar

three times. And then they would likely leave Bond’s Aston Martin to the

manufacturer’s aesthetics. Nevertheless, there are no plans to make the

Dezer family to put in one of their museums. Or preferably into the lobby

construction of residential towers the core business of the company

of the Porsche Design Tower.

Two to four parking lots for vehicles belong to each apartment, in the penthouses there is even space for up to 11 cars. If all lots are not needed for cars, they can be used as ordinary rooms.

// SI

62

Parkirišče na nebu Miami Beach. Mesto čudovitih in bogatih, jaht in dragih vozil. Znano je iz številnih filmov in televizijskih serij. Na gosto naseljenem območju so številne hoteli, počitniške hiše in nebotičniki. Kdo se ne bi želel pripeljati s svojim avtomobilom v garažo, od tam neposredno in na isti ravni stopiti v glavni bivalni prostor? To pogosto velja za enodružinske hiše, ne pa za stanovanja v visokih stavbah. Izjemo je mogoče najti v deželi neomejenih možnosti, v ZDA. V Miami Beachu na Floridi je družba Porsche Design, ki je bila do zdaj bolj znana po urah, oblačilih in sončnih očalih, zgradila 198 metrov visok stanovanjski stolp s 60 nadstropji in 132 stanovanji, ki postavlja nove standarde razkošja in edinstvenosti. Zdaj se tudi James Bond lahko vrne v Miami.


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Crazy Stuff

by Alenka Birk photography PR

F F U T S

A WINTER STAY IN ICEHOTEL -

You like cool? This is literally cool. IceHotel365 is the world’s first permanent hotel made of ice and snow. Based in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200 km north of the Arctic Circle where the sun doesn’t set for 100 days. The iconic hotel that covers 1,200 square meters offers a large ice bar, an ice gallery and 20 luxury suites, each complete with a sauna and bathroom. An interesting frozen vacation between art sculptures and architecture. www.icehotel.com

007 INSTALLATION Two years after the release of the latest James Bond film, Spectre, one of the key locations for the film, Sölden in Austria’s Tirol region, is to open a unique James Bond cinematic installation right next to the mountain-top restaurant where the film was shot. Cable Car Companies Sölden is creating a new building to house the 007 installation at the top of the Gaislachkogl next to the ICE Q Restaurant. The installation will be embedded into the top of the mountain. Bond art director Neal Callow is responsible for its conception. It’s gonna be authentic. Let’s go!

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www.soelden.com

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CAVE HOUSE THE VITALITY ROOM Primitive and modern meet at Casa Tierra, which was Do you need a new perspective on hotel rooms? Make a booking at Swissôtel’s Vitality Room. This is what the future brings us – a holistic concept that adapts to the needs of the guest. Designed by Wallpaper magazine’s Composed team, this new space will take you far away from the glare of your office’s fluoro lights. Simple and clean in the materials and colours used, The Vitality Room comes fully furnished with blackout blinds, discreetly inbuilt technology, a Wellbeing Wall (featuring fitness equipment) and furniture by designers Charles and Ray Eames, Jean Prouvé and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Vitality for body, mind and soul. www.swissotel.com/discover/vitality/room

built right into a limestone outcropping in a former quarry in Córdoba province, Spain. Design practice Ummo Estudio made use of caves created during the Roman period, which were originally quarried to provide stone for buildings in Villarrubia, Córdoba. During the 19th and 20th century, the caverns served as accommodation for shepherds and livestock – and even as a makeshift bullfighting ring. Now they’ve been reimagined as a rural retreat for up to four people. www.cuevasdelpino.com


Travel With Us

Melbourne Cup – the craziest horse race in the world

The Race that stops a nation by Miran Ališič photography Yenny Huber and Getty images

66

It was the beginning of November 2016 at the Melbourne Tullamarine airport. A Boeing 777, operated by Thai Airways, was ready to depart for Bangkok. A seat next to mine in the business class was empty, but then a younger man sank into it just before the plane decoupled from the jet bridge. As we were taxiing towards the runway a flight attendant approached the man with an invoice which she exchanged for 600 Australian dollars.

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Travel With Us glance and he erupted into an avalanche of

things have happened in the event’s 150 years

information about who was best out of the

to compress them into a magazine article and

gate, who should have won, what happened at

detail the achievements of individual horses

1,000 and 2,000 metres and concluded with

and jockeys, but one cannot omit some of the

the name of the winner, adding that he’d made

race’s peculiarities.

Travel With Us

no money – again. It slowly dawned on me why the first Tuesday in November is the most

Fashion first

important day of the year for residents of the

Flat racing for thoroughbreds is primarily a

state of Victoria, and a public holiday to boot.

social event. The Flemington Racecourse is modern, has had its stands enlarged on

The biggest prize fund

several occasions, and can now play host

So, what is it all about. Melbourne Cup is an

to over 100,000 spectators. Most of them

annual race for horses aged three years or

come to the track to socialise, have fun, bet,

more, hosted by the Flemington Racecourse

and, naturally, observe remarkably dressed

racing venue. This is the race with the biggest

women (and some men). The main accessory

prize fund in the world, which amounted to

here is the headgear, which is devised and

a staggering 6.2 million Australian dollars in

created by boutiques and designer studios

2016. The first time Flemington saw galloping

in Melbourne and across the land throughout

thoroughbreds was in 1861, when the race

the year. “Fashions on the Field” is the name

was 19 metres longer, but was then rounded

of the competition which awards the most

off to 3,200 metres in 1972, after Australia

daring creations. The Birdcage is meanwhile

adopted the metric system. In recent years

a large area beside the track populated by

the event has seen an influx of horses from

stars, entrepreneurs, politicians and everybody

“I can afford business class this time,” the

Europe and the Middle East, where rich sheiks

else who has bought their entry into the

slightly winded young man turned towards

continue to expand their collections of the

temporary palace, be it by status or the size

me and explained his on the spot manoeuvre.

world’s finest thoroughbreds. A total of 11

of their wallet. And because November means

“I did very well at the bookies, I made nearly

horses from outside Australia took part in 2015

springtime in Melbourne, roses form an

10,000 dollars,” he said, adding that he is an

– quite a feat, since making it to the event is

obligatory accessory at the Cup. Some 12,000

Australian living in Bangkok, who pops over

far from easy. A total of 24 horses are balloted

beautify the venue each year, and their colour

to Australia for the horse races during pretty

for the race, but the number of applicants

also plays a role. During the Cup raceday, they

much every southern hemisphere spring. “If

hovers around 400. Balloting thus depends

are always yellow, but because the event takes

you know nothing about the races, if you don’t

on the jury and even more so on results by

place over the span of an entire week, filled by

follow the goings-on for both horses and

individual horse in the last year. The 24 horse

smaller and less important races, the colour

jockeys, then it’s hard to make serious money.

limit is there mainly for safety reasons, as the

of the roses changes from day to day. Oaks

If you’re counting solely on luck, you will stay

largest number of participants stands at 39.

Day thus swears by violet, while Stakes Day

poor at the races,” he explained his success,

It being the richest race in the world is

blossoms in red. But there are always 12,000

adding before the end of the conversation that

meanwhile thanks to a certain Frederick

of them.

he’d been seriously counting on the winner of

Standish, a British military officer, who loved

the main race, the Melbourne Cup, before it

betting on horses in England and lost a lot

A bit of everything

started. “You need knowledge and instinct,” he

of money doing so. Perhaps that was the

A person coming from a country where

remarked before drifting off into deep sleep.

reason why he sold his heavily mortgaged

thoroughbred flat races are not part of the

land in 1852 and travelled to the end of the

national tradition is entitled to wonder what

The most important day of the year

world. He got a job as a police commissioner

all the fuss is about. Is it the topflight sporting

My first visit to Melbourne during the Cup, one

in Australia, before becoming the pioneer of

event, is it the enormous amount of betting

of the most prestigious thoroughbred flat races

horse racing in Victoria and the chairman of the

money, are the above two just excuses for

in the world, happened in 1992. This was also

Victoria Racing Club. It was his idea to name

festive socialising in unusual clothes and for

my first trip to Australia and during its first day I

the race the Melbourne Cup. Far too many

imbibing copious amounts of alcohol? I think

set foot on the fifth continent. They said it was a holiday. “What holiday?” I enquired. “Today is the Melbourne Cup, the most important day of the year,” the hotel receptionist explained. In early afternoon I found myself in a tram, which was tinkling through Melbourne as if it were a city somewhere in Central Europe, when the driver suddenly stopped at a crossroads. There was no tram stop, no passengers, just a small corner bar with a TV. The driver jumped from his seat, flew down the tram’s stairs and disappeared into the pub. There were almost no passengers in the tram, so nobody deciding between waiting or walking to the next stop, but before I had made my choice the on his merry way. I shot him a questioning

Melbourne Cup is an annual race for horses aged three years or more, hosted by the Flemington Racecourse racing venue. This is the race with the biggest prize fund in the world, which amounted to a staggering 6.2 million Australian dollars in 2016.

it is a bit of everything. Horse owners and

main event. The bookies’ favourites were not

three articles entitled “The Day”, “The Owner”

breeders approach their work with all due care

at the fore. Rather, it was Heartbreak City and

and “The Jockey”. But as you turned the

and professionalism, success at the races

Almandin who fought an intense battle in the

page, you noticed that the remainder of the

depends on top-level jockeys, and if one does

last couple of hundred metres with Almandin

stories focussed on the fashion. Red and

not follow the results of individual horses and

crossing the line just ahead of his rival. Kerrin

pink, especially, were the colours du jour at

jockeys, and doesn’t look for the most likely

McEvoy was the jockey, but the majority of the

2016 Melbourne Cup. Only the wonderful

combination of the two to cross the finish line

prize money went to the owner, Melbourne

six-year-old stallion Almandin was almost

in first place, placing bets is akin to playing the

resident Lloyd Williams, whose horses have

forgotten the day after. He will get his five

lottery. The fifty dollars that I allocated for the

now won the Melbourne Cup for the fifth time:

additional minutes of fame at the next major

bookies at the Melbourne Cup only serves to

“When you’ve had as many horses as I have

event, where he will possibly bring joy to

confirm the above.

and been in it for as long as I have, and you’re

some, and despair to others. Even if only for a

in the last quarter of your life, you want to

few minutes.

Almandin won in 2016

win the Melbourne Cup again. So you keep

This is undoubtedly an event like no other in

Let me conclude with the 2016 Melbourne

trying,” the gentleman in a grey tuxedo and

the world. The Australians call the Melbourne

Cup, the last event at the writing of this

top hat remarked while receiving the trophy

Cup “a race that stops a nation”. No doubting

article. “Jameka” was the country’s darling

last November.

that. This was also the case 25 years ago

as it was the only favourite foaled and raised

wondered much about the occurrence. I was

driver returned, closed his door and continued

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while I sat in that tram during my first visit to

on Australian soil. He was also the bookies

Red and pink

Melbourne. So, should you happen to find

favourite. Weather was, as befits Melbourne,

I noticed something else while reading

yourself in Melbourne on the first Tuesday of

changeable. It was not cold, but passing

through media coverage of the race. The city’s

November, don’t ride around in a tram. Go to

clouds kept the sun at bay for most of the

leading newspaper, The Age, allocated its first

Flemington for the Melbourne Cup instead.

day, and there was even drizzle during the

three pages to the race. The first contained

You won’t regret it.


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Bentley Bentayga among truffles, prosecco and prosciutto

THE SECRET LIES IN TRADITION AND TechNOLOGY

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by Miran Ališič photography Bor Dobrin

Should you spot a Bentley on the European mainland, be it a coupé, limousine or the newest ambassador of the British brand, the grand and majestic all-terrain SUV, Bentayga, it will most likely sport UK license plates and you could reasonably assume it is taking its passengers to Monte Carlo, St. Moritz, Zürich, or at the very least, Kitzbühel during the winter... You would be surprised if you saw one in the Sečovlje salt-pans or a small Istrian village, though perhaps a bit less if parked in front of a luxury villa in Venice’s hinterland. The times are changing, and you can now easily take a Bentley to places that the British once considered undeveloped and remote, and which they saw as a lands behind the Iron Curtain. British aristocracy tends not to visit such places too often, which probably explains why Bentleys were largely absent from Karst or Istria; even though parts of some of his most famous works were written here by the famed Irish writer, James Joyce.

The Secovlje Salt-pans are the last in Europe that still harvest white gold in the traditional, centuries old way.


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What Joyce said

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large SUV tips the scales at over two tonnes and

The Zigante family’s restaurant, hotel and truffle shop in the deserted village of Livade under Motovun, is reviving the kingdom of truffles.

Many things have changed since Joyce’s stay in Istria. Before escaping to Trieste, Joyce spent six months teaching English in the Croatian city of Pula, wrote some of his best passages there, but seemed not to have had that great of a time. He called the city at the tip of the Istrian peninsula a horrible “provincial backwater”, labelled Istria a “naval Siberia” and a “long boring place, peopled by ignorant Slavs who wear red caps…” Well, over a hundred years after Joyce’s comments Istria

a half, but still needs just over 4 seconds to get from zero to a hundred courtesy of an Audi W12 with 608 hp. Its engine and power thus make the Bentayga a legitimate representative of the Bentleys of yore. W.O. Bentley was an engineer. He was mainly interested in engines, capable and powerful engines, in technological inventions linked to engines, in racing, and nothing else. He was a racer and wanted to build racing cars. His products kept winning at Le Mans in the 1920s,

has become something completely different. A

year after year after year, up until 1931. Economic

tourist paradise along the coast and an exquisite

recession stopped Bentley’s bloom and he was

place to relax in the luxuriant nature in its interior.

forced to sell the company to Rolls-Royce, which,

The most famous of the Istrian towns must be

instead of race cars, used the brand to produce

Motovun or Grožnjan. Both are villages on top

somewhat cheaper versions of its luxurious

of hills, close to the river Mirna. Motovun, the

limousines. For Bentley that meant defeat, and

slightly larger of the two, is renowned for its movie

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he departed from the firm. This was perhaps also

festival, while the smaller Grožnjan, whose historic

the time when W.O. Bentley himself would have

city centre does not provide enough space for

agreed with Bugatti’s caustic remark.

the Bentayga or any other car, houses galleries

Despite Bentayga’s four-wheel drive, we steered

in almost all of its renovated houses; galleries

clear of the fields and forest meadows where

which sprung after the explosion of summer art

truffles are hunted in the autumn with the aid of

academies which began attracting numerous –

sniffing dogs, and made a dash to the Slovenian

mainly Slovenian and Croatian – artists to the

coastline instead.

empty town, which was deserted after World War II. The town is also famous for its evenings of classical music, which take place in August.

Slovenia has some world-class attractions Slovenia is a small country with a paltry 46 km

World’s best truffles But this part of Istria is known best for its truffles. Which bring us to the probably most famous Istrian from Motovun, the US racing car driver Mario Andretti, F1 World Champion and multiple CART champion. Upon asking him during an interview many years ago about his place of birth in the middle of Istria, where he spent the first eight years of his childhood (1940 –1948), before his Italian family, like many others, had to leave the region after it was handed over to Yugoslavia, first to the Lucca refugee camp in Italy and from there on (in 1955) to the USA, he, despite not having nice things to say about Yugoslavia, which took away his home, remarked with shining eyes: “I will forever carry with me the taste and smell of truffles; the best truffles in the world.” Andretti’s words are confirmed by the Žigante family, which, with its restaurant, hotel and truffle shop in the deserted village of Livade, under Motovun, wants to, like numerous other Istrian families, revive the kingdom of truffles. The family achieved worldwide fame in 1999, by finding what was then the world’s largest truffle, thus earning their place in the Guinness Book of World Records. White truffles are much more prized than black, but this is a topic that would

72

lead too deep into the realm of these tubers. We stopped our Bentley Bentayga for quite a while

Nowadays you can easily take a Bentley to places that the British once considered undeveloped and remote, and which they saw as lands behind the Iron Curtain.

of coastline, but it still houses some world-class sites. The Postojna Cave, the Lipica Stud Farm, which gave the name to the Lipizzaner stallions, and the less noticeable Sečovlje salt-pans, to name a few in the Karst region alone. The salt-pans are the last in Europe that still harvest white gold in the traditional, centuries old way. Its natural pools are flooded with seawater during high tide and then water access is shut off. Seawater is then pumped by using wind and other power to higher-lying pools where it evaporates, leaving salt. Due to the natural manner of harvesting, the white pebbles contain calcium and magnesium, giving the salt its specific aromatic taste. For the epicureans amongst you, a wonderful wooden wellness spa, the Lepa Vida, was built at the northern end of the salt-pans. You can indulge in the natural environment and wonderful ambience and choose among numerous therapies closely linked to the healing and soothing properties of the Sečovlje salt and mud. We used the unique opportunity and benevolence of the salt-pans managers to drive the Bentayga through the site, which is otherwise closed to traffic. This Bentley is really a car made to spoil you. On all seats. The version we drove had four individual seats, two in the front as well as at the back, which can be adjusted to any position you

to taste the fungi.

desire. Instead of the fifth seat you get a lot of

Fastest trucks in the world

controlled from the back seat and wooden

Perhaps what Ettore Bugatti said of Bentleys in the 1930s, namely that they are the fastest trucks in the world, seems a bit insulting, though a glance towards the Bentayga might suggest that his statement contains a grain of truth. The

space to put things down, a multimedia player panels with tablets mounted on the back of the front seats. You know, for TV, surfing the net or, in more old-fashioned style, watching a DVD. Executives will easily set up a mobile office in the back of a Bentayga.


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Slovenian Tuscany

its all-terrain looks, Bentayga is an urban vehicle.

a wonderful garden and park in Asolo. She would

bridge even then, but the town’s rulers insisted

Goriška Brda are becoming the Tuscany of

It feels most at home on wide motorways, where

undoubtedly have been pleased to chase away

on him renovating the wooden one from the 13th

Slovenia. The hilly area, nestled between the

all of its luxury really comes to the fore. It masters

the blues with the Bentayga as well. Perhaps by

century. We were not allowed to cross the bridge

Adriatic and the Alps, has for a long time been

turns and slopes with ease, its adjustable height

driving to the most beautiful of Palladian villas

in the Bentayga, but we were able to drive it to the

known as a world-class winegrowing area,

via a switch in the cabin improves handling in

nearby, the Villa Maser, which, though privately

Grapperia Nardini. This is one of the first families

and the increasingly souped-up villages with

the turns, the powerful engine breezes over any

owned, can still be visited. But you cannot take a

to have started selling the brandy and it opened

numerous hotels, inns and designer wine cellars

inclines without getting short of breath or having

photo of your Bentley in front of it. Well, Caterina

its first distillery way back in 1779. The location,

provided a suitable backdrop for the Bentayga.

to resort to higher revs by way of the ZF eight-

Cornaro was not able to drive one of these either.

a stone’s throw away from the famous bridge,

While brands like Kristančič, Movia or Kabaj have

speed automatic gearbox; though the pressure

The majority of newer villas in the Asolo area are

nowadays hosts the museum of grappa, belonging

been in the spotlight for quite some time, the

you exert with your foot obviously impacts the

hidden from prying eyes. They were mainly built

to the Polli family, while the Nardinis will spoil you

Brda’s hidden treasure is the village of Šmartno.

consumption of 98 super plus gasoline. On the

in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the town was

in the architectural masterpiece called Le Bolle

Completely renovated it looks like an open-air

motorways and within speed limits the Bentayga

the go-to place for musicians, poets and painters.

(The Bubble), home to the R&D department of

museum – one where people live in almost

will burn through 15 litres per 100 km, but that

These include the former homes of poet Robert

their distillery. A parking spot for the Bentley can

every house, however. Šmartno naturally offers

number can quickly rise to 20 litres if you push

Browning and actress Eleonora Duse, whose

be found right next to the bubbles.

accommodation, should you take your Bentayga

it through the corners. Compared to the price of

claim to fame also includes being the mistress

To be honest, there aren’t many places that would

to Brda for a day or two. Hiša Marica is a unique

the vehicle, which, depending on taxes in different

of Italy’s national poet Gabriele D’Annunzio.

not allow you to park your Bentayga, and those

boutique hotel in the centre of the town, the

countries, stands at between 280,000 and

But if your interests do not lie in villas, park your

that wouldn’t are mainly places where parking is

birthplace of famed Slovenian painter and graphic

450,000 euros, fuel costs seem negligible.

Bentayga on the main square and take a walk

impossible anyway. I cannot quite put my finger on

through the streets, under the arcades and soak

why. Part of the reason must lie in the power of the

in the most magnificent view Northern Italy has to

brand to open many a door. Or does it perhaps

offer, reaching all the way to the Adriatic.

have to do with the record number of consecutive

artist Zoran Mušič, who spent most of his life in Paris and Venice. After Karst prosciutto cold cuts,

Conegliano and Asolo

it is time for the last leg of our journey. From what

Conegliano is a winemaking centre. And it’s not

is less to what is better known.

just any wine that’s made there, but the sparkling prosecco. Because it is surrounded by a lot of

Bentayga feels at home on motorways

Bassano del Grappa

high-quality arable land and because Treviso and

With the Bentayga safely tucked away in a garage,

Venice lie nearby, Conegliano has since times long

it is time for an Italian dinner. There is no lack of

Perhaps the towns in Venice’s hinterland belong

gone been a home for the very rich. The attractive

exquisite restaurants in the vicinity, but no matter

to a completely different historical and political

town is full of villas and palaces, stretching all the

what you eat, it must end with grappa. The home

framework and have been on the global tourism

way to Asolo, the summer retreat of the Venetian

of this grape brandy lies in a town by the river

map for far longer, but their closeness and

Republic and other patricians. Should a Bentayga

Brenta, tucked under the mighty Monte Grappa.

similarity of food, customs and traditions took us

have existed in the 15th century, Venetians would

Bassano del Grappa has but one visible attraction.

to Conegliano, Asolo and Bassano del Grappa.

have probably given it as consolation to Caterina

The wooden Ponte degli Alpini bridge, which

These are the places to go to and relax from

Cornaro, a rich Venetian lady, whom the doges

was originally built in 1209 and then destroyed

tiring and noisy Venice. They are located about

exiled to Asolo to remove her from political life in

several times by floods and fires, and was rebuilt

an hour’s drive north from Venice or west of

the republic and prevent her from meddling with

for the last time after World War II as a replica

Slovenian border and are easily reached by the

Cyprus, the island gifted to her by her husband.

of Palladio’s structure from the 16th century. It is

straight and beautiful Italian autostradas. Despite

In order to mitigate the pain of exile, she created

worth noting that Palladio wanted to erect a stone

// SI Skrivnost je v tradiciji – in tehnologiji Če na evropski celini zagledate Bentleyja, pa naj gre za kupe, limuzino ali najnovejšo pridobitev britanske znamke, za velikega in mogočnega SUV terenca Bentaygo, najverjetneje bo imel nameščene še britanske registrske tablice, upravičeno predvidevate, da so potniki namenjeni v Monte Carlo, v St. Moritz ali vsaj v Zürich, pozimi tudi v Kitzbühel ... Presenečeni boste, če ga boste zagledali v sečoveljskih solinah ali v kakšni istrski vasici. Morda nekoliko manj, če bo stal pred razkošno vilo v beneškem zaledju. Toda časi se spreminjajo, tudi z Bentleyjem zdaj zlahka obiščete kraje, ki so jih imeli Britanci nekoč za nerazvite in odročne, imenovali so jih tudi vojna krajina za železno zaveso. Tja britanska aristokracija ne zahaja prav pogosto. Zato tudi Bentleyji v Benečiji, na Krasu ali v Istri nikdar niso bili nekaj običajnega. Pa čeprav je v teh krajih svoje najbolj odmevne romane napisal sloviti irski pisatelj James Joyce.

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victories at Le Mans nearly a century ago?

There aren’t many places that would not allow you to park a Bentayga there, and those that wouldn’t are mainly places where parking is impossible anyway.

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Original

Original

Miran Ališič

Mateja Kos

Lidija Petek

2007 – present president and editor in chief

2007 – present managing director

2007 – 2009 and 2012 – 2016 editor

“At the beginning, it was just an idea. Everybody believed in it. But we stand here today only because all those involved gave us their best.”

“We wanted to create something different. It was not easy to address the world of racing with an attitude of excellence. Without a doubt, Akrapovič stands exactly for that.”

“Not many people know that, but the most interesting and challenging part of this project was completed before the first issue was even printed. The fascinating transformation from the ideas in our heads to the final product in the readers’ hands.”

Bor Dobrin

Jasna Milinković

Neja Engelsberger

2007 – present photo editor

2012 – present co-ordinator, editor

2007 – 2017 designer

“A demanding client, complex stories, superb result.”

“When creating each issue, I work with pleasure and eagerly anticipate what content we will put into the next one.”

“It was challenging and intense to refresh the design of each issue according to the content... But it paid off, based on the positive feedback gained from the stakeholders and motoring world.”

Gaber Keržišnik

Gregor Šket

Saša Kerkoš

Alex Štokelj

2007 – present idea creator

2009 – 2012 editor

2007 – 2017 designer

2007 – present cover photographer

“It’s good to still have such media that allow interesting stories and adventures to be captured and recorded forever. Even if only on paper with words and images. In a way this makes them eternal.”

“To create such a magazine was pure pleasure. I was overwhelmed by pride and joy every time we received fresh copies from the press. To be able to create something for Akrapovič, a team that belongs among the world’s best.”

“A decade of evolving visual identity and changing design gave us lifelong experience on art directing and understanding the process in the field of magazine design with a very specific target audience.”

“Boundlessness and timelessness captured by a state-of-the-art exhaust technology…”

We believed in our idea. We got together by chance. And created a magazine that has already survived for a decade. It was not always easy, because arts and journalism can differ greatly from manufacturing exhaust pipes. We were understood and given enough freedom to carry out our plan. We are pleased and proud. We know that the coming decade will be an even greater challenge. Of course, we will try to come across more good ideas along the way... illustration Mitja Bokun

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H ig h G e ar

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#TrustedByChampions

High Gear

78

The Dakar Rally by Toby Moody

“Hey – I’ve got a great idea. Let’s race bikes and cars from Paris through Algeria all the way to Dakar, the most westerly point of Africa, via some of the most inhospitable places on earth with nothing but a compass, some sketchy maps and a few radios.” Well, that idea came true thanks to Thierry Sabine who, as a 29-year-old, made the Dakar Rally happen in December 1978, when it took off from the Eiffel Tower to wind its way through Algeria, Niger, Mali and Senegal for the very first time. Little did he know just how big the event would be forty years later… Within a matter of years manufacturers, drivers and riders saw the event as a huge showcase of motorsport in the absolute extreme. Racing off into the middle of nowhere with the best engineering designed by the human race. But the weather and a prehistoric landscape course would actually be the thing that beat hundreds of men and machines time after time as temperatures soared to 55 degrees in the scorching sun. The Dakar Rally is the last of the true whacky races. Over 300 competitors covering a 9,000 km route through unimaginable heat over never-ending dunes to the top of mountain passes higher than Mont Blanc during a two week event that takes over a year of preparation. Le Mans 24 hours, Nürburgring 24, Baja 1000, all are tough on everyone involved, but the Dakar is an endurance event that drains competitors, mechanics and organisers of all energy, both physically and mentally. I’ve been lucky enough to work on the Dakar seven times as a TV reporter, the first time in 2001 when the event was still in Africa, and I remember calling a friend about what it is like on the event. We spent over an hour on the phone talking about things, but there is still one overarching piece of advice he gave me: “Stock up on sleep before you go.” I didn’t quite realise how important it was, but he was a wise owl of the event and I thought it prudent to listen. How right he was, and it soon dawned on me how much of an endurance event

it all was, but I’ll never forget standing on top of a huge dune in Mauritania thinking: “I really am in the middle of nowhere.” You get so involved with the Rally that you do actually lose touch with what day it is, as it’s easier to just forget what stage it is on a certain day, but you are so involved it eats you up. It really is the best thing in the world for a month of your life as you trace the progress of the big hitters going flat out to win overall and the amateur riders on their bikes who just, and only just, finish each day in one piece. Many say it is the amateur motorcycle riders who are the true spirit of the event, as they are limited to just having two boxes containing their supplies and spare parts carried to each bivouac. No mechanics. No special help. Just them versus the desert. On the flip side the full factory teams are something else. Porsche arrived with their 959 and Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx; Peugeot brought along an elongated Group B rally car and won in the 80s but now they have their uber cool 3008 DKR. World rally drivers soon saw it as a huge crown to take as the legendary status of the Dakar was quickly on the level of winning Le Mans, Monaco, Wimbledon, the Indy 500, events with a much longer history. But that was how important it was within just ten years of the event having started. Many are at a loss as to why it is called the Dakar rally when it has been held in South America since 2009, but when a brand carries itself forward then you know it has grown way above its humble beginnings. But the sights you see on the “new Dakar” are arguably as breathtaking as when the event was in Africa, where the white sands of Tichit would drift in a different direction to the darker sand to almost make a huge desert cappuccino, and where in Tunisia they filmed many of the Star Wars scenes “as if on another planet”. The Atacama desert in Chile, though, is the driest place on earth, where it might rain once in four years, almost making it otherworldly. This is perfect Dakar territory for the modern day.

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

Photo: Ray Archer, KTM Images

illustration Natan Esku Heat and navigation is the main test on a Dakar stage as riders and drivers have to find the waypoint – an invisible goal they have to physically get to – before getting the coordinates for the next waypoint. The skills needed for this are hard to come by, but for some it is second nature as they “read” the terrain. The man who stands out above all others is Stephane Peterhansel who’s won it six times on a bike and seven times in a car. Sure, he has a co-driver alongside him, but with Mitsubishi, MINI and now Peugeot he is the man to beat. Others who have taken the crown are determined drivers who work the entire year for the one event on the calendar, drivers such as Ari Vatanen, Juha Kankkunen, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Jean-Louis Schlesser and even a former downhill skier, Luc Alphand. On two wheels it has recently been a battle of the manufacturers to topple KTM from the top step, as they have won every Dakar since 2001. The race is on to beat the orange team with Honda and Yamaha chasing hard… Wherever you are in the world reading this article, you’ll probably be a long way away from the Atacama desert and the Andes mountains in January, but if you have the chance to get there, or to the ceremonial start in Lima, then I urge you to see what really is the biggest – and craziest – motorsport event on earth, because as good as the TV pictures are, you just have to see it in real life!

Thierry Sabine made the Dakar Rally happen in December 1978 as it took off from the Eiffel Tower to wind its way through Algeria, Niger, Mali and Senegal for the very first time. Little did he know just how big the event would be forty years later…

E L B A K A E R NB

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r oli on i a C o i n o t nd A n impec c a ble a g n i c a R Fac t o r y c e ag a in t h a t a n M T K l l u R e d B i p! P r o v i n g o n o t s n o i t ess. a l c h c u s t u n a s o r i g o p t n m o y C GP ch a ience a r e t he ke X M e h t g w innin e a nd t r ue r e s il c per f or man

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

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


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

Akrapovič Magazine vol. 22  
Akrapovič Magazine vol. 22