Driving a rallye with Christian Geistdörfer in a VW SP2
The best weather, a promising roadbook, a special classic and a very special co-driver – All that was the Sachsen Classic Rallye 2019. From Thursday to Saturday we covered close to 600km in a 1976 VW SP2 and competed in special stages against 180 other participants of this year’s Sachsen Classic. Let us start at the beginning though:
Stage 1: Pushing the VW SP2
At 12 am the first prewar classics started for the opening stage with fabulous destinations around Dresden. From the driver’s perspective this promised to be a very exciting one. Around 12.30 the number 30 of the AUTOSTADT team approached the starting line with the team Pieper/Geistdörfer. At this point some of you might be holding their breath for sure, which is exactly what I did after being notified who my co-driver would be. Let me give you some highlights of his career: Rallye World Champion 1980 and 1982, 4 times winner of the Rallye Monte Carlo and long-time co-driver of Walter Röhrl. If you come from a motorsport environment this is reason for some thrill/excitement. A quick note to the grandpa: “I am going to be driving with Geistdörfer”, Grandpa: “Well than you better give the best you can.”
That said, we met up on time at our sleek, orange VW and the same Christian Geistdörfer just says “Well, I will do what I do best”. That is how fast you become the driver of the Rallye history’s best co-driver.
Fortunately the Sachsen Classic is not a Rallye Corsica in competition mode and so we were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful landscape, tell and listen to rallye stories and give our best at the WPs. The first 150km were past rather quick and we returned to Dresden. Nevertheless, the SP2 once in a while could show some of its aircooled power.
Stage 2: The VW SP2 in Brazilian company
The next day started much more uncomfortable since we already started at 08.16:30am. This was going to be the longest stage with over 250km from Dresden to the Porsche factory in Leipzig. The 180 classics passed uncountable small villages with stunning little marketplaces and palaces while also passing drive through controls, time controls and of course more WPs. The whole event was organised quite perfect although from time to time it was a challenge to get all the cars through those tiny villages.
Our VW SP2 in bright orange ran smoothly on the second stage, empowering us to lead a rather quick group with Porsche 964s and Carrera 3.2s for some time. We arrived at Porsche late afternoon where we directly met the other cars of the AUTOSTADT Team for a quick photoshoot and for 1-2 beers in the process.
Stage 3: A successful premiere with the VW SP2
After finishing the day before on the 24th place, we were quite excited for the last stage hoping to improve even further. The days before we were driving in the “relaxed but quick” – mode which came to an immediate stop. Our Brazilian stunner started the day with some recurring electrical issues which led to several unplanned stops along the way. The problem eventually got solved by one of our great mechanics and we were able to go ahead without problems. Unfortunately, those stops brought us some trouble in terms of our timing for the next time control checkpoint. Now imagine Christian Geistdörfer to tell you: “Now we really have to hurry up to meet this checkpoint on time!” That is something one does not have to be told twice. We reached the time control checkpoint right on time and it somehow felt as if the SP2 was even running on additional 5hp after the repair. After a nice meetup with all other contenders for lunch we already started for the last kms of the final stage. When crossing the finish line, we were very happy with our orange VW SP2, the great roadbook, the phenomenal weather and a more than successful debut of the team Pieper/Geistdörfer!
The VW SP2:
Without doubt one of the most beautiful Coupés by VW. Produced and only sold on the Brazilian Market, only a few pieces found their way to Europe. Our orange VW SP2 from 1976 belongs to the AUTOSTADT. Due to the Brazilian-inspired colours of their campaign “Feito not Brasil – Born Local” the SP2 was one of the most recognizable vehicles of all the 180 classic cars. The AUTOSTADT’s campaign was indeed well exercised since they brought various other models including the Brasilia and the Gurgel to the event.
All of those were produced by Volkswagen do Brasil. Celebrating 60 years of the important factory “Anchieta” AUTOSTADT took the opportunity to show their incredible collection of Brazilian VWs in actual movement (they took part in several other events). In 2020 the AUTOSTADT will celebrate the next big anniversary: 20 Years of Zeithaus Wolfsburg. We can only say that the bar is set very high after this year’s programme!
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Photos AUTOSTADT GmbH (Matthias Leitzke)
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