06 akrapovic news
12 ON THE TRACK
18 CAR ACTION
20 RACE DAY
24 6th GEAR
32 SHOW TIME
44 GO WILD
48 VISIT WITH US
62 HIGH GEAR
NOTE All the longer articles in the Akrapovič magazine will 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.
Printed in Slovenia in September 2012 in 12.000 copies. 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 necessarily correspond with the opinions of Akrapovič d.d., the publishers or the editors. Not for sale.
Warning Please note that certain aftermarket exhaust systems may not comply with applicable California laws and regulations, and may therefore be prohibited for use on California highways or roads, or on roads or vehicles otherwise subject to emissions control requirements. Akrapovič exhaust systems for automobiles and motorcycles mounted downstream of the catalytic converter (also known as “cat-back systems”) are considered “replacement parts” in California by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and do not require an exemption or
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executive order from CARB to be sold in California. However, California prohibits the use of any aftermarket exhaust system that modifies, removes or replaces original equipment catalysts, unless CARB has issued an Executive Order as to such a part or system. Further, Akrapovič parts or exhaust systems used or intended for use on “racing vehicles” (i.e. a competition vehicle used exclusively for competition on closed-course circuits) do not require an exemption or Executive Order from CARB to be sold in California. However, such parts are prohibited from use on California public highways or roads, even if occasionally used “off-road.”
AKRAPOVIČ Akrapovič Lifestyle Magazine Issue 11, September 2012 Akrapovič d.d. Malo Hudo 8 a SI-1295 Ivančna Gorica Slovenia www.akrapovic.com -
Publisher: Korpmedia d.o.o. Tomšičeva 1 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia www.korpmedia.si ID No.: 2272237000 VAT No.: SI14601737 President: Miran Ališič
Marketing and advertising manager: Mateja Kos Pregelj Printing: Florjančič Tisk d.o.o. Nad izviri 28 2204 Miklavž, Slovenia -
And so to Paris This month, September, sees us in Paris. It’s showtime again and the world’s automotive media will once again shine its spotlight on the international auto show in this beautiful city. We’re delighted to be at this event for the first time and to be able to show an Audi R18 endurance race car at our stand, in recognition of Audi winning a third successive 24 Hours of Le Mans race in June of this year and the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship itself – fitted with Akrapovič of course. Our race partnerships continue to bear fruit and whilst our world champion roster now tops 60, we’re glued each weekend to the pit lanes and TV monitors in the hopes and dreams of our race partners in all forms of motorsport. Riders using our exhausts are currently well placed in all the key championships and this may yet prove to be our best ever season. Racing provides our drumbeat each week in the company and we take time in this edition of the Magazine to discover a little more about like-minded companies and people – in the form of our partners: BMW Motorsport; the sports apparel manufacturer Alpinestars; and the legendary rider and multiple world champion Giacomo Agostini. Yet in recent years we’ve grown to be much more diverse in
Editor-in-chief: Miran Ališič Photo editor: Bor Dobrin Art directors: Neja Engelsberger, Saša Kerkoš -
Cover design: Zdenko Bračevac Contributors: John Barker, David Carradale, Alan Cathcart, Primož Jurman, Gaber Keržišnik, Neil Morley, Mitja Reven, Gregor Šket -
our operations. Since 2008 we’ve been forging a niche in the world of performance cars and to help develop this further, we recently arranged for an exclusive photo-shoot of three supercars – a Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari 458 Italia and Mercedes SLS convertible. Check out the results in this edition of the Magazine and look out for more imagery from this shoot in the upcoming months on our website and Facebook sites. And in this specially car-themed edition of Akrapovič Magazine, we also take a look at the fun world of MINI United and the Renault Clio RS Akrapovič Limited Edition car, a joint initiative with Renault Slovenia. Enjoy the Magazine, Neil Morley Marketing Director
Contributing Photographers: Bor Dobrin, Daniel Reinhard, George Rye, Matjaž Krivic, Aleksander Štokelj Lectorship: Michael Manske Translation: Matjaž Horvat -
Client Editor: Neil Morley On the cover: BMW M5 Exhaust Photo by: Aleksander Štokelj -
Akrapovič for Lorenzo’s M3 Jorge Lorenzo has an Akrapovič exhaust system fitted on his Yamaha YZR-M1. His BMW M3 has also been recently equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system, which provides Jorge with better responsiveness, an optimised power-to-weight ratio and a chance to enjoy that deeper sound, characteristic of an Akrapovič exhaust system. Akrapovič offers two titanium exhausts for the M3. The basic Slip-On and the Evolution, which adds 22 horsepower, 35 Nm of torque and reduces the weight by a grand total of 24 kilograms. Jorge must also like the carbon fibre tailpipe surrounds.
Akrapovič car videos have a following in the motorsport fraternity and amongst fans, so make sure you don’t miss the summer Best Of video produced for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This is our first compilation of existing video and our plan is to release a new edit for each of the major car shows, including some of the latest models. You can find them on the Akrapovič website, iOS applications and on YouTube.
Find more content on the Akrapovič Lifestyle eMagazine iPad app!
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Summer Events Goodwood Festival of Speed Akrapovič exhibited at a number of events this summer, the range of which just goes to show the breadth of the company’s products nowadays. First up, at the end of June was the globally famous motorsport and lifestyle event the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Akrapovič tent was widely admired and managed to show a fully equipped Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, The Morsus, Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha
Factory Racing MotoGP bike, plus a range of display pipes and other exhibits. This was closely followed by the BMW Motorrad Days weekend in July in Garmisch. Here, just a sample of BMW bikes, all fully equipped, were on display, including the S 1000 RR and GS 1200. Find more content on the Akrapovič Lifestyle eMagazine iPad app!
Yamaha Uses Akrapovič Pit Boards We all know the importance of pit boards, which inform riders of their position on the track, the time difference to the rider ahead or behind them, and of other details. Because the weight of the pit boards is also an important characteristic, Yamaha more than welcomed a new Akrapovič product. The pit boards used to convey information to Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies during the race are made of extremely light and thin
Best Of Car Video
titanium, combined with carbon. Only two such pit boards exist in the world.
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Third Top Spot Readers of the German automobile magazine “Sport Auto” have ranked Akrapovič in the top spot of the 2012 Best Brand vote. Akrapovič won its third Best Brand title in the exhaust systems category. The Best Brand awards are a huge recognition, and proof of the quality of the products coming from Ivančna Gorica.
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Audi World Champions, first World Championship* automobile title for Akrapovič Audi boasts a perfect record at the half-way stage: In an exciting battle of concepts, the hybrid technology in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro proved itself victorious in the fourth race of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the WEC. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi made history after achieving victory with a hybrid car for the first time, and followed this with a second win in Silverstone. At both events, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/ Benoît was at the wheel of the victorious car with the starting number ‘1’ and an Akrapovič exhaust system. In addition to their fourth race victory, Audi and Akrapovič also have another reason to celebrate: the brand from Ingolstadt holds an unassailable lead in the WEC Manufacturers’ Championship. After four titles
in the Rally World Championship between 1982 and 1984, as well as victory in the FIA Touring Car World Cup in 1995, Audi has
once again won another World title. This time, for the first time, with Akrapovič as an official partner of Audi Sport.
* Subject to the official publication of results by FIA
Bagoroš on a Bigger Duke Rok’s 690 Duke was especially tuned for stunt riding at the KTM headquarters in Mattighofen, Austria, and Rok has already stopped at Akrapovič to get a new exhaust system.
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Photo: Stisnpritisn studio
After amazing and thrilling international crowds on the KTM Duke 125, the official KTM stunt rider Rok Bagoroš of Slovenia has now received his first ever big bike: the KTM 690 Duke. “There’s a BIG difference between the two bikes,” Rok said. “The bike has five times more power then the Duke 125 and any mistake can result in a crash, as I’ve already discovered. The bike has amazing power but I’m slowly getting it under control. I have to remember that this is my first big stunt bike and so I have to learn how to handle the extra power and convert it into spectacular tricks that will be fun to do and thrilling for the fans.” Rok will keep his 125 Duke and now uses both bikes in his show to make it more exciting and more spectacular than ever. With the addition of the 690 Duke, his international fans can look forward to more speed, more smoke and more fun with the girls!
Next up – SEMA Las Vegas and the EICMA Milan Show Our event program reaches its peak during the autumn months on both the car side and the motorcycle side. At the very end of October and early November it’s time for the unique, global car tuning and after-market show at Las Vegas – SEMA. It’s here where the US market finds its next hot products for car tuning and embellishment and also where, to a greater and greater extent, the world sees upcoming fashions and trends in one exhibition. Many of these fashions never make it, of course, but it is a show with a serious purpose and Akrapovič is pleased to be there each year with its latest offerings. It’s not open to the public but for those who attend it’s always a good time investment. Hot on the heels is the annual zenith of the motorcycle world, in stylish Milan, the EICMA. The show comes right after the conclusion of the MotoGP season in Valencia, so that particular weekend will be followed by a few frantic days. If you are going to this show then make sure you find the Akrapovič stand, it’s brand new, and EICMA is our first use of the new stand in its motorcycle format. Updates on both shows will be posted regularly on our website and Facebook pages.
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PS Best Brand 2012 Readers of the renowned motorcycle outlet, PS magazine, have chosen Akrapovič as the best exhaust system brand. Akrapovič won a total of 81.8% of the vote, commanding a healthy margin compared to its nearest competitor, whose visibility was rated at 38.6%. Akrapovič is well regarded by the readers of the magazine, as it has now won the Best Brand award for the fifth time.
And wrapping up the summer, again in Austria but this time with Harley Davidson, Akrapovič exhibited for the second year running at Faak, or the European Bike Week as it is properly known. In a surprise move, Akrapovič chose to preview two custom builder’s new machines, the result of collaboration this summer. The Benchmark from Walz-Hardcore Cycles had its first outing at Faak. Marcus Walz is an internationally renown custom builder and with the distinction of having won at Sturgis on American soil. Also on the Akrapovič display was a Supercharged Harley fresh from the workshops of Strada Bikewerks. This is a real speed oriented machine also making its public debut. It just goes to show that serious custom builders recognize a good exhaust system when they see it. You will see more of these two collaborations in the autumn and in our next edition of the Akrapovič Lifestyle Magazine. Find more content on the Akrapovič Lifestyle eMagazine iPad app!
Photo: Luka Ileršič
Drive With Us
Miniacs dieser Welt, vereinigt euch! Mini-Fans aus der ganzen Welt trafen sich in diesem Jahr auf der legendären Rennstrecke Paul Ricard im südfranzösischen Le Castellet. by Gregor Šket photography Gregor Šket, David Stropnik Let’s begin with a definition: a miniac is a maniac with a mania for minis. You know, less is more, small is cute, useful, handy… And these fanatics, who worship one of the smallest cars ever made like a grand deity, were horrified and angry in 2001 when the new Mini arrived. What really got up their nose was that a symbol of Britannia, which should only be accompanied by God Save the Queen, was manufactured by Germans. They were also not partial to the half-metre enlargement. But more than a decade has passed since then, and even the nostalgics swearing by the original, which was designed at the end of the 50s by Sir Alec Issigonis, have gotten accustomed to the new look. As usual, time healed all wounds. It’s not really important whether a Mini is a German or a Briton. Mini is essentially a citizen of the world. International blood runs through its veins. After all, Issigonis had a Greek father, a German mother and grew up in England. The Mini was born in turbulent times. The times of the Cold War and the Suez crisis. In the year of its birth, “El Comandante”, Fidel Castro, rose to power in Cuba, the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet, Nikita Khrushchev became the first Soviet premier to visit the US and the Russians turned their sights to the Moon. Well, there were nicer things as well. The following years brought the Beatles, the Stones, the sexual revolution… Because Alec Issigonis understood the wider social, political and economic context, his Mini became a kind of official vehicle for the era. It was a car, which saw the world as its living room. A car, which seduced numerous high fliers, who could have easily afforded bigger and more expensive vehicles. And a car, whose story continued without a break, making the Mini a rebel without a pause. All this international success has, of course, been reflected in numerous other ways. The Mini is one of the few cars to receive type approval in all continents of the world. Its
owners, drivers, lovers and fanatics have added another interesting piece to the puzzle. They form a big family, a community of individuals who treat the car as a fullyfledged family member. They’ve formed a special relationship with the Mini, imbuing the compact four-wheeler with a different meaning. Its popularity seems like a virus, which has spread all over the world. Numerous countries have clubs of Mini lovers. Their biggest following can, of course, be found in Great Britain, where almost every village has its own society. There you will find the miniacs exchanging information and adding pieces of individuality to their beloved machines. They organise a mega party every two years – Mini United. The first one took place in 2005 in Misano, Italy. In 2007 they gathered in Zandvoort on the Dutch coast, not too far from Amsterdam. In 2009, when the Mini turned 50, it was logical to hold the big party in its homecountry: Silverstone. This year they went to the south of France, to the legendary Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet. They came from everywhere. Several thousand Minis arrived, not two of them completely alike. Imagination without frontiers. They drove thousands of kilometres, together accounting for endless pleasure. They also came from other continents, checking in their Minis as luggage at airports in Bangkok, New York, Singapore, Sydney... But they didn’t need taxis after disembarking, they simply drove their prized possessions to Provence. There were quite a few sporting Slovenian licence plates, one of them even sporting the colours of Akrapovič. Mini is a city “dweller.” That’s why it swears by an urban lifestyle. Proper “Urban Chic.” Zipping through the streets of large cities is one of its biggest assets and that was reflected by the party. It had a mixture of pattering engines, fuel vapour, cocktails and modern music, which was blasted from dawn to dusk. Even the great Iggy Pop came to play this year. You know: “I am a passenger.” “Oh yeah, I’m a wild one ...” That also holds true for the Mini.
You ’ l l n ev e r f o r g e t th e C l i o R.S. Esp ec i a l l y o n e s o s p e c ial .
by Mitja Reven photography Bor Dobrin The Clio Renault Sport is considered a bona fide hot-hatch amongst pocket rocket lovers. It has superb direct steering, low-profile tyres that dutifully convey all the challenges posed by the tarmac, firm sporting suspension, racing seats and pedals, a high-revving 2-litre engine with over 200 horsepower, and … how about we just go for a lap? The Clio R.S. is really difficult to resist as it is the embodiment of road pleasure for the young and young at heart. The Clio R.S. is the reason why the distance between points A and B turns into an unforgettable experience and the drive to the office and back becomes the highlight of the day. Or why multiple trips to the store due to forgetfulness turns into a purposeful routine. Even more unforgettable is the Clio R.S. Akrapovič Edition. The extremely limited series of 50 racing “Frenchies” is available through Renault Sport Specialist dealers in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia. But what makes the Clio R.S. Akrapovič Edition even more unique is that it is the first official Akrapovič Edition car. The Clio R.S. Akrapovič Edition is intended for true aficionados of adventurous driving, who are more interested in hugging the curves and going to track days than monotonous highway cruising. It does seem that the masters of Renault Sport Technologies perfectly tailored the Clio R.S. for the former. Quick acceleration, last-second braking, determined entering and exiting from the corners, the technology keeps pushing the driver on and on. The sound from the tailpipe of the Akrapovič exhaust system only serves to strengthen the desire to keep the revs in the upper third, where the Clio R.S. is at its most pleasurable: especially for your ears, your sweaty hands and your backside, nestled firmly in the Recaro sport seat. The booming left in the wake of the beautiful carbon fibre tailpipe surrounds during the perfectly tuned gear changes is the reason for “engraving” the palm of your right hand with the gears’ scheme. And you will show that palm with exactly the same pleasure as the third carbon plate showing Akrapovič Edition and the number.
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It was only a matter of time before Renault Sport Technologies, dedicated to making superb and uncompromising sports vehicles, and Akrapovič, a leading manufacturer of top exhaust systems for motorbikes and sports cars, were going to join forces. The result of their cooperation is the Clio R.S. Akrapovič Edition with an Akrapovič stainless steel exhaust system with neat carbon fibre tail pipe surrounds. It’s made unique by titanium door sill plates and three carbonfibre identification badges, one on the rear flank, the other on the dashboard, and the third for the owner to, for example, place next to the computer screen. The driver and passengers are also reminded that they’re sitting in a very special vehicle by the Akrapovič logo, engraved on the top of the gear stick. The Clio R.S. Akrapovič Edition also turns heads due to its large Akrapovič logo on the roof and added racing black to the front bumper.
10 The back end of the Clio R.S. Akrapovič Edition hides an exhaust with two stainless steel silencers and carbon fibre tail pipe surrounds. Under the skilful hands of Akrapovič experts, the Clio R.S. AE now boasts 2 extra horsepower at 5,530 revs, has 4 Nm more torque at 4,200 revs and sheds 4 kg.
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On The Track
A k ra p ov ic and B M W M o t o rsp o r t
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On The Track
15 Expertise in advanced materials keeps Akrapovič at the forefront of exhaust manufacture. Such expertise includes a purpose-made titanium foundry, which sits in the heart of the Ivančna Gorica factory. Constant development with other materials, such as Inconel, is paramount in reducing weight and maintaining durability, especially at the very high temperatures developed by cars racing at full throttle in competitive racing. Visit the Akrapovič factory, including the modern carbon fibre facility nearby, and you’ll marvel at the technology employed – along with the passion and determination to succeed shown by each of the 500-plus employees. Make no mistake, this is no ordinary exhaust manufacturing factory; it’s a technological, high-skill showcase dedicated to performance cars and motorcycles.
Akrapovič in skupina BMW že vrsto let tesno sodelujeta na področju motorjev in avtomobilov. Zato ni nobeno presenečenje, da sta se podjetji povezali tudi preko dirk na štirih kolesih. V letu 2012 je Akrapovič pridobil naziv Uradni partner podjetja BMW Motorsport pri napadu na skupno lovoriko dirkaške serije DTM. V seriji dirka pet vozil BMW z logotipom podjetja Akrapovič. To je edinstvena priložnost za sodelovanje teh dveh velikanov v svetu dirkaškega športa, z namenom razviti edinstveni izpušni sistem, ki se izvrstno prilega vrhunskim zmogljivostim spektakularnega dirkalnika BMW M3.
‘We have worked very closely with BMW for several years, initially supporting their motorcycle racing efforts and then developing and supplying many automobile systems to the company. The BMW brand is, of course, of the highest level and, technically, BMW designers and engineers are amongst the best we work with. We are delighted to be Official Partners of BMW Motorsport and to work so closely with their motorcycle teams as well.”
BMW Motorsport Director Akrapovič is a company that is held in high regard, both in the field of automobiles and motorcycles, and has made a name for itself in all motorsport activities. We are pleased to be taking on the DTM challenge side by side.”
Akrapovic makes aftermarket systems for the BMW 1 Series M Coupé, M3, M6, X5 M and X6 M and for the new M5 saloon. Akrapovic also makes systems for the MINI Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. The impact on power delivery and performance improvement can be startling e.g. BMW M3 plus 22BHP and a weight reduction of -24kg. Akrapovic makes aftermarket systems for a range of BMW motorcycles and scooters, including the class-leading GS range, the S 1000 RR, the R 1200 R/ RT/ST and the C 650 GT/Sport scooters. Akrapovic systems feature in the majority of BMW Motorsport Safety Cars at worldwide race circuit events, such as the MotoGPTM, the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. Akrapovic and BMW cooperate in many other projects – if you like visual performances with a twist, look no further than the 2011 BMW Motorrad movie The Chase to see an exciting shoot-out between a BMW M3 and the S 1000 RR! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpw9g3PvBkQ And for a real symphony also check out YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2yziVGbBpg
Akrapovič Marketing Director We work very closely with the BMW Group in a range of areas – we support a number of top teams on the motorcycle racing side, we manufacture a complete range of BMW motorcycle and scooter exhaust systems and have our performance exhaust systems available for many BMW and BMW M models, such as the 1 Series M Coupé, the M3, X5 M, X6 M, several MINIs and on the new BMW M5 and M6. On the promotional side we supply and appear on the Safety Cars at MotoGPTM races and we recently collaborated in producing The Chase movie. Adding DTM racing to our partnership and becoming an Offical Partner to BMW Motorsport is a logical and exciting next step for Akrapovič. BMW are a fantastic company to work with and their brand is a perfect fit with ours. We are both dedicated to performance.”
Akrapovič Technical Director “When BMW was last involved in the DTM, they absolutely dominated. Akrapovič is excited to be involved in working with our partner at this crucial initial development stage. We will utilise all our expertise in the field and work closely with BMW to develop an exhaust which will deliver an outstanding performance. Working together, we believe Akrapovič and BMW will be unstoppable.”
Supercar Treat Adventure
In June, we had the pleasure of getting our hands on three supercars for a unique photoshoot here in Slovenia. The cars were all kindly lent to us by longtime customers and Akrapovič fans and included a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster and an unusual, grey Ferrari 458 Italia with some nice Italian-inspired touches. The reason? This autumn we’re upgrading our car materials – including our catalogs, our advertising and our marketing materials, and we wanted to capture some really fantastic images of the sort of
cars that wear our products so well. Choosing was the hard part and after many hours staring at the Akrapovič Cool Wall, an idea we borrowed from the Top Gear TV show, we finally settled on our illustrious trio. The three cars clearly have the right credentials – all supercar pedigrees, great brands of course, but also great lines; lines that we felt complimented each other. Then there were the colours and finding the actual cars to ship them to Slovenia. Our thanks go to everyone who assisted us and
especially Alex Štokelj and Bor Dobrin for their work behind the cameras and with lighting. The results are spectacular and we hope you agree. You can see a sample of their work here and look out for more soon on our website, in our 2013 Car Exhaust Systems Catalog, and throughout our upcoming communications. Right, now for our next special shoot…any suggestions are welcome care of our Facebook page.
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photography Alex Ĺ tokelj, Bor Dobrin Find more content on the AkrapoviÄ? Lifestyle eMagazine iPad app!
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Diesel Power There are only a handful of winners of the most difficult, most famous and most spectacular 24-hour endurance race in the world. Even less people have done it in a car with a diesel engine and an Akrapovič exhaust system. Marcel Fässler belongs to this very elite group. The career of this talented Swiss driver is impressive. He started with go karts, later switched to one seat formula, then touring cars, and finally sports cars. He’s won many races. That’s why Audi Sport has put so much trust in him. He has the privilege of steering the unique Audi R18 e-tron quattro. Marcel says it’s a machine that has such enormous power that it feels like you’re driving in second gear when the speedometer is at 250 km/h.
You have quite an impressive racing career. From go-kart, single seaters, DTM, to sport cars. Can you please talk about your beginnings? Like most guys, I started with go-karts when I was nine. The reason was probably my father, because he would drive at hill-climb races with his regular VW golf. That a was small thing, but he also started driving go-karts, and he brought me to the races. I think that was the point where I started dreaming of becoming a Formula One driver. Like every driver, I guess. Yes, yes... But you’ve been driving safety car at Formula One races... Yes, that’s true. Actually, at five grand prix races, I replaced Bernd Mayländer, the safety car driver, because he had a broken leg. At those five events, I only went on the track once. I remember that, leading the whole Formula One field for the first time. It was quite a good experience. A strange feeling. You’ve driven a colorful variety of racing cars. Which one have you enjoyed the most? This is a really difficult question to answer because I’ve had so many different cars and each one is a lot of fun in its own way. What most impressed me was my first time in the diesel Audi R10 TDI, because you couldn’t hear the engine, but you had this massive amount of power. When racing this car you would just hear wind blowing. Even above 250/kph, the car was still moving like it was in second gear. This was, for me, really impressive car at the time. At the moment, for sure, from the driving side last year’s R18 TDI and the R18 e-tron quattro are really great cars. With these cars you can really enjoy the drive, they feel a little like go-karts, very agile in the corners. Maybe it’s easier to ask what’s your favorite track? There are some good race tracks, but for sure Spa is one of my favorites. Spa is really fast and you have corners like Eau Rouge and Blanchimont, where you push the limits of speed with almost every car. You always need to go fluid, and think “Okay, I’ll stay flat.” Also the track, with
its up and down sections and fast corners is very nice. This is my favorite race track. Le Mans must be a very special place for you too. What does last year’s victory mean to you? Le Mans was really special. For sure it was a high point, the biggest success I’ve ever had in my entire racing career. In the beginning I couldn’t believe that the dream had come true. It was strange, because you’re always thinking: “I want to win, I want to win this race, this has to happen once in my life!” Then I got the opportunity to drive with Audi. The first year I finished second. I remember really clearly when I was standing on the second place of the podium, looking over at Rocky, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, the winners of the race. I thought to myself that one day I would be standing at the top of the podium. And last year we did it! It was really great to win at Le Mans. It was something special. With race drivers it is always difficult to talk about fear. But if you look at Le Mans and other World Endurance Championship races and the speed difference between LMP prototypes and GT cars, there must be some fear involved. How do you deal with fear on the track? On the track with these fast cars, the scariest thing isn’t actually the speed difference between the GTs and us. The bigger problem is with not-so-professional drivers who don’t know how to behave on the track. Sometimes they do completely the opposite to what we expect and what a professional driver would do. This can create really strange feelings. You go to the left, and all of the sudden he goes to the left too. That’s where the speed difference is a problem, because you can’t react! Even in prototypes you sometimes see drivers who don’t know how to behave on the track. This is a more scary thing, because you can’t predict it. Professionals running on GTs show us immediately if they see us or want to let us pass. You can read what they’re going to do. With less experienced drivers, you don’t know what they’re going to do. This is a bigger problem than the actual speed difference between cars.
Have you had any bad crashes? I only had one which I would say was a big one! Luckily, I’ve never had a really bad one. It was in 2008 at Le Mans in one of the Porsche Corners. I think I was in about fourth gear, when I lost the rear. I still don’t know why. I crashed backwards into a wall. I was unconscious for a little while and still don’t have any memory of the crash. That’s actually a good thing; it’s like it never happened. That was my biggest crash. I never had big crashes like Allan and Rocky did last year at Le Mans. I’m happy I’ve never had a really bad crash. Your Audi R18 e-tron quattro is equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system. It is a titanium system, so it saves a lot of weight. How do you see and feel this? From last year’s car to this year’s car, we’ve lost quite a bit of weight. This let us play more with the balance. The Akrapovič exhaust system was definitely a big step for us, because the exhaust is quite high and we now have this different center of gravity. I think we also increased the power with the exhaust as well. This is for sure a good thing. Losing weight, adding more power, that’s something everybody looks for in racing. What does a car racer do in his spare time? From January to Le Mans, I try to do a lot of sports in my spare time so that I’m fit for all the events, especially for Le Mans, which is the biggest event. You have to be physically prepared so I do a lot of cycling, running, a little bit of fitness training in the gym, but not that much. Cycling is a hobby for me and it’s a good idea to combine hobby and fitness together. Of course, with my four daughters, I have a busy time at home. When I’m at home I try to spend a lot of time with them as well. With a big family you are probably not a fast driver on regular roads? During races, we have a lot of time to go flat out. But, honestly, it’s too dangerous to drive fast on regular roads. In Switzerland, the penalties are quite serious and expensive and I’d rather save that money for a holiday! I don’t like to rush, I try to travel as relaxed as possible. I definitely don’t drive fast on regular roads.
2012 Winner at the Le Mans 24
Audi Sport driver
Hours Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Marcel Fässler (CH)
2011 Winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours Audi R18 TDI
Marcel Fässler is one of Audi Sports leading race car drivers. A 2011 winner at the 24 Hours Le Mans, he’s enjoyed a successful racing career so far. Marcel recently hosted Akrapovič’s 2012 business conference and we managed to catch up with him again for this interview in May. Marcel is a Swiss national and lives in Gross, Switzerland with his wife Isabel and their four daughters.
2010 2nd at the Le Mans 24 Hours Audi R15 TDI
2009 1st at the International GT Open, 3rd at the Spa 24 Hour race
2008 4th at the FIA
GT Championship, International GT Open, two races in the American Le Mans Series (Audi R10 TDI)
at the Spa 24 Hour race, A1GP Series What is your dream car and what are you driving at the moment? I drive a Q5 with a diesel engine. This is a really, really nice car. My dream car would be something from the fifties and sixties. I really like the Porsche 356. I like cars like the Corvette ZR1, the Stingray Convertible, and some other great cars from that era. I especially like the Porsche 356, while the VW Beetle is quite an interesting car as well. I just like cars from that era in general.
2006 4th at the Euro-
pean Le Mans Series, 2nd at the Spa 24 Hour race
2005 11th at DTM 2004 9th at DTM 2003 3th at DTM 2002 4th at DTM 2001 4th at DTM
A car lover, in general. How about bikes, do you ride? I like motorbikes very much. I follow the MotoGP, and I’m a big fan. We have Tom Lüthi and Randy Krummenacher who are riding there. One of my friends is Alex Hofmann, so I’m quite close. I don’t ride motorbikes anymore. I wanted to buy one once but my wife wasn’t happy with the idea, so I decided against it. It’s too risky. A motorbike I really like, and once had, was a Triumph. I sold it because I had too many problems with riding in the forest. Not with police. In Switzerland, you’re just not as free when it comes to things like that. With cycling and mountain biking, things are better, I don’t have any problems. Enduro is surely a thing I would like to do, but in my region it’s not possible.
1999 2nd at the German Formula 3 Championship
1998 4th at the French Formula 3 Championship
1997 11th at the French Formula 3 Championship, 1st at the Formula Campus invitation race, Macao
1996 3rd at the French Formula Renault, “Rookie of the Year”
1995 3rd at the French Formula Renault Campus
1993 3rd at the Winfield Racing Driver School, France
What is your dream? I have many dreams. One thing I really want to do is to travel across America. I would want to do it with a motorbike. But the most important thing is to do it without any time pressure. To start at one point, and after a month or a month and a half, return the bike at the other side and fly home. But in between: no pressure, no hurry. That’s my dream. I want to do it later, once my career is finished.
2000 4th at DTM
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24 HOURS of Le Mans
by Mitja Reven photography Audi
A Perfect Result Perfection in racing means being the first one to cross the finish line. If the race starts on Saturday and ends on Sunday, that kind of perfection is tough to achieve. Audi’s race car, equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system, won the third consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It would be hard to describe this partnership as anything other than extremely successful. We could say that the rest is history, but if we look back at the 2012 Le Mans race, we can say without a doubt that this one-day classic event was once again exceptionally demanding. The duel between two Audi concept cars, the hybrid R18 e-tron quattro and the light R18 ultra, was spiced up by two looming Toyotas. But after both of the Japanese cars dropped out, the two remaining e-tron quattro cars battled for the win. It was the R18 e-tron quattro, designated as car number “1,” against car number “2.” The race went on and on, lap after lap, without rest, until Allan McNish flew off the track on Sunday. But Le Mans is also a race of comebacks. After being repaired, the second Audi hybrid rejoined the race and added another vehicle to the fantastic Audi result: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th. For the first time in history, race cars equipped with Akrapovič exhausts fully packed the podium of the most prestigious race of the FIA World Endurance Championship, while Audi scored their third consecutive victory on this famous French track. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, commented: “This is no doubt a historic victory for Audi. We were the first to win Le Mans with a direct-injection turbo
gasoline engine and the first to be successful with a diesel engine. It’s a great result that Audi is now the first brand to have achieved victory with a hybrid vehicle – and right on the first run, as before with the two other technologies, and – what’s more – with both R18 e-tron quattro cars in the two top spots.” The winning crew at the 2012 Le Mans – Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer – also took the chequered flag in 2011. After 378 laps and 24 hours of racing, the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro entered history as the first hybrid race car to win the race. The high-performance Akrapovič exhaust systems for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the Audi R18 ultra are crafted from a specially developed titanium alloy and are an incredible 40 percent lighter than their stainless steel equivalents. Both the material’s outstanding heat-resistant properties and durability were crucial in achieving success in the punishing field of endurance racing. To ensure the very best performance from both the car and the exhaust, Akrapovič and Audi Sport engineers cooperated closely to ensure the Akrapovič system was finely tuned to the car’s engine. The team of experts worked together from the initial design phase, through to production, testing and, finally, race support. This stringent process is similar to that used to create the Akrapovič range of aftermarket exhausts – available for select Audi models and other high performance brands.
The high-performance Akrapovič exhaust systems for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the Audi R18 ultra are crafted from a specially developed titanium alloy and are an incredible 40 percent lighter than their stainless steel equivalents.
The victorious Audi R18 e-tron quattro at the 2012 Le Mans: 378 laps / 5,151.8 kilometres / 33 pit stops 1st victory for a hybrid powered car 1st victory for a car with non-permanent 4 wheel drive 11th Le Mans victory for Audi (00, 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12) 8th victory for a team that won the previous year
For the first time in history, race cars equipped with Akrapovič exhausts fully packed the podium of the most prestigious race of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Le Mans 2012 (Team, Drivers, Car): 1 Audi Sport Team Joest Fässler / Lotterer / Tréluyer Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2 Audi Sport Team Joest Capello / Kristensen / McNish Audi R18 e-tron quattro 3 Audi Sport North America Bonanomi / Jarvis / Rockenfeller Audi R18 ultra Find more content on the Akrapovič Lifestyle eMagazine iPad app!
Hot Stuff from Akrapovič 22
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G iaco m o Agostini
by Gaber Keržišnik
photography Bor Dobrin, Profimedia
We were sitting in the Yama-
ha hospitality area before the Moto GP race for the
German Grand Prix in
Sachsenring, when I asked him when a photographer
and I could visit him at his home in Bergamo. He pulled a small notebook out of his pocket. It was filled with dense handwriting on every page. He grew quiet for a moment and then turned a page or two ahead. He
flipped some pages back and then forward again. He
finally stopped, opened the notebook and said: “I’m still free on Wednesday be-
tween 6 and 7 p.m. or on
Thursday between 9 and 10
a.m. We could meet then. But you have to be on time,
because I have to leave just
after 10 for a TV interview in Milan.”
Special edition Akrapovič exhaust for Ago’s 70th birthday.
W h e n t h e A s p h a lt a ls o Me lt e d Yes, the 15-time motorbike World Champion
Giacomo Agostini turned 70 this year. Decades have passed since his retirement from active competition,
but his schedule is still as full, or maybe even fuller than it was when he regularly collected chequered
flags, World Champion titles, and the hearts of fans lining the track. With his thick black locks and looks that could melt asphalt, he was known as ‘the Beauti-
ful Ago.’ A magnet for women. When we shook hands behind the big green doors at the courtyard of his ha-
cienda in Bergamo, I decided to start with precisely that subject.
Those were the times, eh? Fast bikes, victories and beautiful girls. As a charming gentleman do you still chase them today with the same zeal as you did before? -
Come, come, not anymore. I haven’t for a long time. I’m happily married and have a family. I have a gorgeous wife from Jerez in Spain and children. And to be completely honest, I wasn’t that much of a chaser. It was more them coming after me. But I was only interested in motorbikes back then. I was not in love with women, I was in love with bikes and had eyes for them alone. The girls
sooner or later wanted me to meet their family and get married. But that was not what I wanted back then. I wanted to remain free, I simply had no time to be in love. That’s why us racers went through girls so quickly back then.
But you changed them more often than your brands of racing bikes. It seems that it’s the reverse today. Hmm ... you’re right, maybe that’s true. In my career I only raced for Moto Morini, then MV Agusta and finally Yamaha. -
You won 122 victories and 15 World Champion titles. Is it even possible for anyone to match and beat that? It’ll be difficult for anyone to get close, but not impossible. Somebody could beat me. Valentino Rossi is closing in, but has run into big problems over the past two seasons. There’s nothing wrong with anyone beating my record, but of course I’d like hold on to it for as long as possible. And if somebody does beat me, I hope I at least get invited to the party. -
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“What do you mean, put it? I’ll ride it! Better said: I’m already riding it! I sit on a motorbike every day.”
Could Valentino be the one? Who do you think is the best rider at the moment? Hmm, there’s plenty of good ones. Valentino is certainly one of them. So are Lorenzo, Stoner, Dovizioso and Pedrosa. There are many good ones, but at the moment Lorenzo and Stoner are surely the best.
What about before? Who was your toughest competitor? -
We had our fair share of fast boys back then as well. Mike Hailwood, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Tom Phillis, Luigi Taveri, Kenny Roberts, Barry Sheene and I could go on.
Can we agree that Jim Redman was the toughest nut to crack? I spoke to him last year at the race
in Valencia and he told me that you always had the best bike but that you never beat him. That you never finished the race before him. Is that true? -
Well, that doesn’t pass muster. I often finished ahead of him. Sometimes it was him in the front and sometimes me. I even beat him at my first GP race. I had a 350 cc Agusta at Nürburgring and beat him on his 350 cc Honda.
Well, let’s move away from statistics. It’s all written in the books anyways. What about riding style? It used to be very different from today. Of course. Motorbikes have completely changed, and they require their own riding style. And the tyres are much better today. Aye, if one of today’s
boys would sit on my motorbikes from back then ... Well, you can get used to everything, driving style included. It’s important that you own body supports you instead of hindering you.
You turned 70 years old this year. Congratulations! -
Yes, that’s true. It’s quite hard to believe. I sometimes wake up in the morning and ask myself: “Am I really 70 already? No, it can’t be true. It must be a mistake.” 50 would be a good number or 60 at most. Sadly, that’s not the case. Time flies.
Your present from Yamaha at the Silverstone race was a beautiful and completely new T-Max, personalised with your former racing livery and equipped with an Akrapovic exhaust. A lovely
Giacomo Agostini was born on June 16, 1942 in Bresca. He competed in 186 races, and stood on the podium a total of 159 times, out of which he won 122 times. He won 15 World Champion titles, 8 of them in the elite category.
Giacomo Agostini won 10 legendary races on the Isle of Man and beat everybody else at the 200 miles of Daytona, Florida, during his first appearance on a Yamaha. / He quit racing on two wheels in 1977 and then tried his luck with car races. He used a Chevron at the European Formula 2 Championship and spent a year in the British For-
mula 1 championships, racing for his own team in a Williams FW06. / He took over the management of Marlboro Yamaha in the up to 500 cc class and managed the Cagiva factory team in 1992. He turned 70 this year.
gesture and a beautiful present. Where will you put it? -
What do you mean, put it? I’ll ride it! Better said: I’m already riding it! I sit on a motorbike every day. While I mainly use a maxi scooter, by far the most useful machine for everyday travel, I also have a brand new MV Agusta in my garage. I also have my former racing 3-valve Agusta 500, which rounds up my collection.
Do you ever get the urge to return to the track? -
I still race. I love to appear at classical motorbike races, but of course I’m way too old for serious and active racing. Racing is a sport for the young and you have to use the time when you’re in your prime. Later on it’s too late. But I often dream that I’ve started racing again and then I usually wake up with a smile on my face.
On the Quest for the Holy Grail of Racing Giacomo Agostini and I were chatting during our photo session. Our photographer set up the lights and shades and we positioned a Yamaha scooter and the birthday boy himself in front of Agostini’s garage for our shoot. In the meantime, I kept glancing at the relics inside the garage, where various remains of winning motorbikes hung from the ceiling, while a long glass cabinet was packed to the brim with racing suits brandishing the characteristic tricolore. Everywhere around the luxurious house there were faded or black-and-white photographs from his victorious racing days. “He’s crying in this one,” explained a man who was watering the grass in front the house as we arrived. It was a large photo, likely taken in Daytona, judging by the huge stands and the oval race track in the back. The home of Giacomo Agostini is a veritable museum. Apart from the photographs, medals, cups and awards there is an impeccably renovated old motorbike in the middle of the living room. Giacomo was not surprised by my enthusiasm. “That’s nothing. Once we finish the shoot, I’ll show you my museum,” he said while my eyes stopped at a hefty pack of letters at the small front hall table, which the postman had delivered alongside electricity and water bills that morning. Based on the coloured envelopes and
greeting cards, it was clear that they were letters by old and new fans, congratulating the best rider in history on his jubilee. “I still get stopped on the street occasionally to sign an autograph,” Ago says, as he opens the door to the memorial room. I can only gasp as I behold the richest collection of racing history on the planet. Glass cabinets lining all the walls, two cabinets in the middle reaching from the floor to the ceiling, filled to the brim with cups, helmets and suits. Racing relics from around the world. All the races, all the prizes, all the titles. All the tears, wounds, sweat and champagne. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a sight that can only be glimpsed once. And only here. The holy grail of motorbike racing must be in there somewhere, it just needs to be found. Giacomo reaches for it with a habitual movement and reveals the least impressive of all the shining cups. A mid-sized trophy, completely ordinary in shape and quite dull in colour, with the oxidised metal bearing the brunt of time. “This is the most precious one. This is my first one,” he says, holding the cup, before carefully placing it back into the cabinet, turning off the lights and leaving the memories to rest in peace. My short visit, too short by far, to the 15-time champion has left a strong impression. As we are saying goodbye and packing all the photo gear into the car, Ago is putting on his Dainese riding jacket with the characteristic number 1. He was in a hurry to get to the interview in Milan, where he was set to appear on a talk show. As I shake his hand to say goodbye, he says: “See you tomorrow at the race in Mugello,” and then bursts into a hearty laught as I shout back through the open car window: “Goodbye Mr. Agostini and have a
Enzo Ferrari and Giacomo Agostini, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 8th September 1968.
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safe trip to Milan and back. Ride carefully, motorbikes can be dangerous, you know.” We haven’t even left Bergamo, when an Italian teenager on a souped-up scooter passes us shortly before joining the highway. He was wearing a racing replica of a Valentino Rossi helmet. Just after him, a gentleman on a Yamaha T-Max with a leather jacket featuring the number 1 quickly follows suit. And I start thinking … Who knows whether the lad in front thought for a moment that the 70-year old gentleman wearing an AGV helmet in the three colours of the Italian flag, who overtook him a moment after passing us, was the 15-time World Champion and the best motorbike rider of all time?
“If somebody does beat me, I hope I at least get invited to the party.”
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Ago Giacomo Agostini, 15 kratni svetovni motociklistični prvak, je letos dopolnil 70 let. In za darilo prejel od Yamahe prekrasnega, povsem novega T-Maxa, obarvanega v njegove nekdanje dirkaške barve in opremljenega z Akrapovičevim izpušnim sistemom. Lepa gesta in lepo darilo. Kam ga boste postavili, smo ga vprašali? “Kako mislite postavil? Vozil se bom z njim. Oziroma se že vozim. Na motorju sedim vsak dan,” je med obiskom na njegovem domu dejal Agostini, slavna italijanska dirkaška legenda. Leta 1977 je prenehal z dirkanjem na dveh kolesih in se poizkusil tudi na dirkah z avtomobili. Z dirkalnikom znamke Chevron je nastopal na evropskem prvenstvu Formule 2, v britanskem prvenstvu Formule 1 pa je eno sezono vozil za svoje moštvo z dirkalnikom Williams FW06. Leta 1982 je prevzel vodenje moštva Marlboro Yamaha v razredu do 500 ccm, leta 1992 pa je vodil tudi tovarniško moštvo Cagive.
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THE BBC I N I VA N C N A
Akrapovic were delighted to welcome the BBC to their Ivancna Gorica facilities earlier this year, the first visit by this influential media giant. A four-man crew spent a day at the factory, fronted by their well known presenter and former racer, Steve Parrish. The film tells the story of how some raw material – principally titanium – ends up as part of Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha Factory Racing Team MotoGP bike! Over 42 hours of footage were recorded, with some scenes requiring many takes as the day grew longer. The intrepid BBC crew did their best to work around the Akrapovic employees busy with their working day. There were genuine fears for the Go-Pro camera as it was attached to, first, the furnace doors and then to various tube bending and other machines in the heart of the factory, but the producers were delighted to confirm that no cameras were hurt during recording. The eventual film, around 2 minutes long, featured in the BBC’s coverage of the MotoGP during Autumn and further footage will be shown on the Akrapovic website, its Facebook site and at the EICMA bike show later this Autumn. Akrapovic Magazine was also delighted to sit down for a quick interview with Steve Parrish, whose job many surely envy. We spoke to Steve after he spent some time with Igor Akrapovic and they shared their racing memories.
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A Bottle of Masculine Energy An iconic metal blue bottle … A dynamic and self-confident fragrance. This is Bang Bang by Marc Jacobs, a perfect fragrance for independent and sophisticated men. Its exceptional freshness and lightness on your skin is created by citrus top notes. The heart of the fragrance meanwhile entices with warm sandalwood, while its base hides cashmere musk. Fresh, elegant and natural, a perfume that will undoubtedly leave its mark.
Style & speed The luxury Gucci brand teamed up with the legendary Bianchi bicycle maker to create a stunning pair of bicycles and cycling accessories by combining the Italian traditions of style and crafting mastery. Bianchi by Gucci presents two superbly made bicycles – for city riding and for off-road weekend fun, with the duo sporting the signature green-red-green stripe. You’ll be riding in style, no matter what, especially if you opt for one of the stylish designer accessories. We personally liked the aerodynamic helmet with a silver sheen and visor.
Sculpture on Water If Batman ever needed a boat, the Zaha Hadid’s Z-boat would fit the bill perfectly. The newest creation by the prodigious architect will set sail next spring in a limited series of twelve. It was commissioned by Kenny Schachter of the Rove Gallery, London. This piece of art on water will slice through the waves in different colours. The black prototype will go to Schachter, but white, grey and blue versions are also available. The top-quality design of these sea beauties measures 7.47 meters in length and will set you back £ 375,000 a pop. Orders are already coming in.
A Symbol of Power Swarovski has been creating jewellery for men for the second year running. The autumn and winter collections will focus on different lines, inspired by heavily accented themes and combinations of various materials. One of the inspirations are snakes, a symbol of power, which can transform into a stylishly perfect bracelet. The vintage effect is guaranteed by a cobra, made from matte stainless steel with a head crafted out of black crystals.
Pride 1981 1981 is firmly set in the history of Scottish Whiskey, as the year when Glenmorangie distilled Pride 1981, one of the finest single malts in its 168 years of existence. After maturing for a whooping 18 years in oak casks in the town of Tain in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, Glenmorangie Pride 1981 was then re-racked for 10 additional years into Sauternes barriques at ChĂ˘teau dâ€™Yquem, the first time a Scottish whiskey was given such an honour. What you get are a perfect look, bouquet and taste. For visual delight, the 1981 Pride was poured into a crystal bottle by designer Laurence Brabant and carefully placed in a wooden container made by Wouter Scheublin. Only 1,000 bottles have been produced.
S for Shadows and Sol The new Molteni & C collection radiates sunny colours with intriguing forms to create its stunning shadows. The innovative shape of the Sol rocking chair, designed by Constance Guisset, plays with light and shadows. Her first creation for the brand was made after studying the interaction between surfaces and three-dimensional shapes with light. The incredibly light Sol chair is extremely light and made from laser-cut aluminium sheets, which are shaped in a cold press and then arc-welded. This is aesthetics writing an innovative story for stylish and comfortable everyday use.
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by PrimoĹž Jurman photography Bor Dobrin
“I Don’t Sleep the Night Before a Big Jump”
by Gaber Keržišnik
photography Bor Dobrin
Robert Kranjec (31) is a ski jumper and the Ski Flying World Champion of 2012, a
title he won in February with a 244-metre jump at the Vikersund hill in Norway. A Slovenian. A relentless athlete, who has been training since the age of 11. A biker by
heart, a fan of Valentino Rossi and Metallica, he’s in love with his wife Špela, and with travelling around Asia.
Who is Robert Kranjec?
An ordinary Joe who has dedicated his life to ski jumping, continuous training and his wife Špela. He’s an athlete who comes to grips with his sport every day.
What do you mean by that?
That there’s rarely a day in my life when I don’t think about what I do. I constantly think about how to improve myself, and how to perfect what I do.
How do you train for events? Who’s there to help you?
I have a coach, an assistant coach, a psychologist, a bio-energy therapist, a physiotherapist -- a whole team of people. There’s so much more to do than just train according to a schedule – it’s not nearly enough to just do what the coach asks of you or what’s written in the schedule. You have to keep improving, discovering something new, searching for your inner motivation. I attend additional
stabilisation sessions, I walk on a tightrope to improve balance. I keep looking for those little edges that can help me in my jumps.
Aldo Drudi, Valentino Rossi’s helmet designer, likes to say that champions are curious. Are you?
Yes, I am. I set new goals for myself every year, and do the things I need to do because I am getting older.
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I have to do many things if I want to keep in shape and regenerate properly. I read a lot. I’m interested in psychology and the biographies of famous personalities, I wolf down crime novels between events. I usually choose an author and then read all of his or her books.
Ski jumping and flying looks quite simple on TV, but it really isn’t, right? How big a role does technique play, how do material and equipment affect results? A lot. The suit is the most important part, it’s been continuously changing, evolving and developing. In jumping, and even more so in flying, you use lift and the suit acts like an airplane’s fuselage. The modern suit is made of seven parts, but used to be made of nine. Rich teams, like the Austrians and the Scandinavians, keep looking for improvements in their labs. And the investments are pretty steep – a million or two for the development of a new suit. Even little details like stitches play a part. Another big piece of the puzzle: skis, which are available in different types of stiffness. The softer skis are for smaller hills and back winds, the harder ones for head winds and larger hills. Our team has been using the Akrapovič wind tunnel for the past three years, while other teams have been using such equipment for about 40 years. We started by practising squatting, but have now moved on to technique and the feel for flight. We plan to simulate the flight phase in the future.
The jump itself has several phases?
First, you’ve got the in-run, where you must maintain your own squatting position, which has to give you balance, a good feeling and trust. The second phase comes just before the ramp. That’s when you have to hold on and make sure you’re not pushed to the back, front, left or right. Then comes the take-off. If you’re in form, it almost happens by itself. You have to know where to look, and control the movement. Body movement is what counts during take-off. This is followed by flight, but every jumper has his or her own style, which practically remains the same during their career.
When you fly over 200 metres, you spend about 10 seconds in the air. What do you think about during that flight? I just let myself go with the speed gained during the pre-flight and flight stage, so I don’t think too much. I watch my body position, especially my hands and I tell myself as I’m flying over the 200 metre mark: “You see, you can do it!”
How important is the body shape of a jumper and/or flyer?
While it’s true that height gives you an advantage in the sense of a bigger surface area and increases your lift, every mistake is much more costly for taller jumpers, whereas medium-sized jumpers like me can compensate more easily.
Where’s the boundary between ski jumping and ski flying? Are you ever afraid?
The boundaries lie in the size of the hills. I’m afraid of big hills, we’re not allowed to train ski flying there. You fly five to seven days a year and that’s it. It also depends on the size of the hill. I’m most terrified in Planica (Slovenia), where the landing slope’s incline is more than 38 degrees. I can’t sleep the night before the event and usually also don’t really perform as well as I want to on my first flight. Also terrifying are the hills in Harrachov (Czech Republic) and Obersdorf (Germany). Vikersund (Norway) and Kulm (Austria) are OK, I feel an adrenaline surge there as well, but nothing special compared to the former three hills.
Can you compare hills to race circuits? Different hills allow for different flight curves, because they’re built in a different manner? That’s true, but it’s difficult to compare hills. Sometimes you soar up high at the beginning and then just fall down, while with others you jump a bit into the “unknown.” Planica is visually scary; it’s narrow, and everything is huge. But jumping at Vikersund is pure pleasure.
Do you also jump in the summer?
Of course, summer is the time when we prepare for the winter. We jump on hills with artificial surfaces. In the winter we only have a week to get used to the snow, because the competitions begin soon afterwards and we have no time to train. I train technique during the summer and use the time to gain stamina. I work hard in the summer to compete in the winter.
Which are the best ski jumping teams?
Without a doubt, the Austrians, Germans, Norwegians, Poles, and Japanese. And then there’s us, the Slovenians. It’s essentially a central European sport. We’ve closed the gap by quite a bit this year, despite having less money and less support compared to the best teams. But we have a bigger heart and a greater desire to succeed.
Your hobby is motorcycle riding?
True, but I don’t often ride on roads anymore. I sometimes go for a coffee with my wife or we just ride to clear our heads. I don’t go for trips on Sundays anymore, I get my adrenaline kicks on the track a few times a year. I’d love to do this more often, but don’t have the time for it. I’m also careful on the track. I only ride at about 70% of my abilities, mainly just to get some kilometres behind me. Some of my teammates are proper petrolheads, while my foreign competitors include Janda with his Formula 3000, Ahonen’s enthusiasm for Drag Racing, and Morgenstern, who has already driven a Formula 1 car.
Do you also think of jumping when you race your bike around the track? I do! Some of the turns give me a similar feeling as a hill does! In riding as with ski jumping, you have to trust your feelings!
You recently met Valentino Rossi. Have you become his ski jumping idol?
I don’t know, I haven’t asked him that. But I did invite him to Planica, where a suit and a helmet would be waiting for him to test. Well, that was a bit of joke. As far as I know, he’s into snowboarding now.
Is he familiar with sports in general and ski jumping in particular?
I think all athletes are interested in other sports. Rossi included! He asked me whether I was the World Champion in ski jumping or flying, so he knows his stuff. Well, he doesn’t follow the sport as closely as the housewives who tune in at the same time every day to watch Mexican soap operas, but he does seem to watch a competition here and there. After all, what we do is very compelling. He also asked me about my longest jump and how many seconds I spent in the air then.
Until when do you plan to continue?
Definitely until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi, where I want to become an Olympic champion. We’ll have to see what happens next. I have to have a vision and have to set achievable goals. I’m not that young anymore, so my career will also depend on my results.
Slovenia has 2 million inhabitants and 9 ski jumping clubs, which can have up to 200 members each.
“300 metres is the next limit in ski jumping, but we’ll never get there. The human body has its limits!” Robert Kranjec
Scoring The Hill Size defines the size of a jumping facility. A normal hill or large hill, as well as K90 or K120 are only classifications but don’t indicate the actual size of the hill. This is calculated with the use of the hill’s technical data, for example: radius, angle of inclination and record distance. Hill size is the distance between the end of the take-off table and that point in the landing area where the hill still has a gradient of 32°. Small hills: HS up to 49 m, Medium hills: HS 50 m to 84 m, Normal hills: HS 85 m to 109 m, Large hills: HS 110 m and more, Flying hills: HS 185 m and more For a jump on the calculation point distance the athlete gets 60 points. For every meter short or beyond this mark the jumper receives fewer or more points. The distance points, plus the judge’s marks, result in a total score. The judges must judge the outer appearance of the succession of the jumper’s movements, from the end of the take-off to the passing of the “fall line” in the outrun, from the aspect of precision (timing of the take-off), perfection (carrying out movements), stability (flight position, outrun) and general impression. The points that are given for the ideal performance of the jump mark the utilization of the aerodynamic efficiency of body and skis; the posture of
the arms and legs; the skis’ position during flight; the succession of movements during landing; and conduct during outrun. Also, the flight, landing and outrun should convey an overall aesthetic impression. The point deduction for faults and deficiencies must be carried out according to the three groups of appearance of the successions of the jumper movements: flight, landing and outrun. The judges have to submit their point deductions separately according to the three groups; flight, landing and outrun. The total points consist of the three remaining judge’s points (after the highest and lowest marks are annulled) and the distance points. The current world record is 246.5 metres and is held by Johan Remen Evensen.
Robert Kranjec in numbers: 1 World Sky Flying Champion, Vikersund 2012 1 Olympic medal for third place, Salt Lake City 2002 1 medal for third place at a team event, World Championships, Oslo 2011 1 medal for third place at a team event, World Ski Flying Championships, Vikersund 2012 4 wins at the world cup events 200 days away from home a year 244 metres is his personal best 1000 cc BMW motorbike is his passion 50,000 kilometres in a van during the season
Photo: Aleš Fevžer
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“Pred veliko tekmo ne spim!” Osebni rekord Roberta Kranjca v poletih je 244 metrov, kar je hkrati tudi slovenski državni rekord, postavil pa ga je na svetovnem prvenstvu v poletih na letalnici v Vikersundu letos pozimi, ko je postal svetovni prvak. Tam je na ekipni tekmi s slovensko reprezentanco osvojil še bronasto medaljo. Motorist po duši, navijač Valentina Rossija in fan Metallice, je zaljubljen v svojo ženo Špelo in potepanja po Aziji. Find more content on the Akrapovič Lifestyle eMagazine iPad app!
Pred kratkim je srečal Velentina Rossija in ga povabil na skakalnico v Planico, kjer ga čakata kombinezon in čelada, da ju bo lahko preizkusil. “No, malce v hecu. Rekel mi je, da zdaj borda. Vprašal me je tudi, koliko sem najdlje skočil, in koliko sekund to pomeni biti v zraku,” je še dejal v pogovoru Kranjec.
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Visit With Us
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Visit With Us
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THE ART OF ITALIAN CUISINE IN VENICE Why shouldn’t you enjoy all beautiful things at once, combining them into a unique blend to satisfy all your senses? You can enjoy art, nature, delicious food, tradition, prestige, culture, style, hospitality and more in the Canova Restaurant, located in the luxurious 5 star Luna Hotel Baglioni in Venice. You’ll love it. The restaurant received the coveted “Fogher d’Oro” and “Gambero Rosso” awards, handed out for excellence in food and dining. Its beautiful traditional Venetian style conjures up the perfect backdrop for the dishes of Chef Cosimo Giampaolo, whose biggest concern is the art of eating well. In this hotbed of culinary ideas, with a special focus on the recipes of Venice and the Veneto region, you can celebrate the art of Italian Cuisine with dishes prepared from the best fresh local products. The restaurant extends to a magnificent hall, where walls lined with silk and wood panelling are gently illuminated by the lights of Murano glass chandeliers. The windows are decorated in a traditional style with fine Venetian lace. And if that wasn’t enough, glass sculptures by Murano masters and images of paintings by Antonio
Canova further enrich the setting. Nobody will prevent you from staying the night after dinner in a place brimming with luxury and history. This building of historical and cultural importance deservedly wields its tradition of ancient hospitality: it is the oldest hotel in Venice, and its records tell us that it hosted the Templar Knights in the 12th century, before they left for the Holy Land. Ideally positioned, just a stone’s throw away from Piazza San Marco, and facing the San Marco Basin and the island of San Giorgio, the Luna Hotel Baglioni is only a short walk away from the most famous historical and artistic attractions of the city.
While the chef recommends the frittella, a typical Venetian Carnival dessert with a secret recipe, we recommend staying in the beautiful rooms with classic 18th century-style furniture and bathrooms made from Italian marble. Bon appétit and sweet dreams! www.baglionihotels.com
KING OF POP ART 25 years later To commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death, numerous exhibitions all over the world are paying tribute to the cult pop-art artist Andy Warhol. One of them will take place at the Amberg Congress Centre (until 26th September), and aims to enlighten you about the artist’s Slovakian background, friendship with John Lennon, the Beatles and his life in the “Factory.” Personal belongings and numerous photographs paint the extroverted artist in a new light. Not only can you enjoy his most famous works, such as Campbell’s Soup, Flowers, portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, you can also revel in ten works from his famous series “Jews.” And should you want to see more of the, once heavily criticised, collection of famous Jewish personalities, head over to the Jewish Museum in Vienna to gain a new perspective on the portraits of the famous 20th century Jews at an exhibition
entitled “Jewish Geniuses – Warhol’s Jews” (until 28th October). Apart from portraits of the ten most important Jewish personalities of the 20th century, such as Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Martin Buber and Gertrude Stein, the exhibition will also unveil the person who convinced Warhol to make the portraits. Not to keep you in suspense: it was Warhol’s friend, the lawyer Ron Feldman. Want more? Check out the Late Self Portraits showcased in the Graves Gallery (until 1st December), which provide an insight into how Warhol saw himself between the late 70s and his death in 1987 and discover the many faces of this cult artist. www.jmw.at www.acc-amberg.de www.dulwichpicturegallery.org www.museums-sheffield.org.uk
PR materials, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Inc. /VBK, Vienna 2011. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.
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“I was saving this pittance for a cup of coffee when I landed in London. But I got sidetracked at a bookstore. I was leafing through a photo magazine when I saw a competition by the Royal Geographical Society. I asked how much the magazine costs and the clerk told me ‘six dollars.’ It was a difficult decision, but I gave up my coffee and bought it. I entered the contest after coming back home and was told a couple of weeks later to buy a ticket to London at their expense and take part in the awards ceremony.” He was called to London, because he had won and was awarded a Hassleblad XPan camera and a trip to South Africa to boot. Almost every step he made after that led to an almost impossible series of coincidences. These resulted in exhibitions in China, Tibet, Moscow, and New York, where his photos were on display in the Tibet House run by Robert Thurman, father of the famous actress Uma Thurman.
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