My son is interested in any car that has big exhaust pipes… the more pipes the better. Being a keen reader, he noticed quite some time back as we were zipping down the Autobahn that the DTM was coming to a town right down the street from us. How his eyes brightened as he read the sign and comprehended what it meant: super duper car racing practically in his backyard. It wasn’t originally planned that he and I go, but it seemed like the right thing to do. After much talking and much promising the day arrived. Today we went to the DTM races in Hockenheim.
My acquaintances did not understand why I was going. Why to support my son who really wants to go, of course. Heck, one person looked at me like I was crazy. And when I told him I was also looking forward to it, he just shook his head and his wife gave me the “you poor brave thing” look. But I tell you, dear reader, I was truly looking forward to it.
We had a quick breakfast this morning full of anticipation. Then we set out to conquer the 20 km drive in one hour. We were driving so slowly that we could practically see the asparagus on the side of the road breaking through their hilly dirty prisons. The traffic was horrible as expected. After parking on some farmers field with thousands of other people, we followed the crowd through the woods, over the bridge, past the dixie toilets, through the tunnel and finally into the Hockenheim ring. It was all quite exciting and exhausting. It was a 30 minute hike.
Our first purchase was ear muffs to protect dear sons fragile child ears. We found our seats. Perfect! We were at the first curve right across from the pit stop exit and in front of a big screen. We had no excuse not to be able to follow every part of each race and show program. We could hardly contain ourselves in our perfectly hard yellow seats.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, my son and I have a very good personal relationship with the sun. The sun seems to shine for us on days when no sunshine is predicted. We’ve been in London before when there was a 70% chance of rain and it didn’t rain one drop. It was also supposed to rain this afternoon. No chance when we’re around. The sun beat down relentlessly on us and the other 71,000 spectators. Of course, I had forgotten a hat for my son. That was the second purchase.
We arrived just in time to see the Formula 3 car race. Formula 3, you ask? Yes, Formula 3. And please don’t ask me to explain why there is no Formula 2 because I just don’t know. We donned our ear plugs and ear muffs and watched in awe as little Francesco-esque race cars hovered no more than a few centimeters above the hot asphalt. My son could hardly believe his eyes and ears. It was like being on the sidelines of his very own Disney/Pixar movie.
After the Formula 3 cars, we had time to walk around and get something to eat. Suggestion for the organizers: In-stand concessions. I really could have used a nice cold drink and greasy, artery clogging hot dog and french fries at many points during the event. However, that would have meant packing all my stuff together and dragging dear son up 100 stairs and then down 100 more stairs to wait in line for 30 minutes for the food. Cold drinks! Hot dogs! Get your hot dogs! We returned to our seat, we watched Michael Schumacher do a lap of honor in his Formula 1 car. As we were at one of the curves, we got to see him burn rubber right in front of us. Oooh! Aaaah! The last time I saw my son’s eye’s that big was when I told him he could have candy before noon.
Then it was time for the real race. The fanfare was spectacular. The drives were driven around like beauty queens on the back of cars waving flags. A marching band with girls in high heels and much to short skirts paraded from the pitstop entrance to the pitstop exit. And then the cars lined up and the countdown began. Just 45 seconds to go. Just 30. Just 10. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! They were off and it was spectacular. It was spectacular for 7 whole laps. Did I mention that they were to race 40 laps?!?! I already knew that we wouldn’t stay for the whole thing, but I didn’t know that our fun day would come to a halt so quickly. We came. We saw. We had a grand time. We braved 20 laps and then I gave my son the choice of more laps or ice-cream. Anyone have a good tip for getting out chocolate stains?