The Eurospeedway Spectacle
Sunday 10 June 2001
Path > Cottbus to Cottbus via Eurospeedway Lausitz in Germany
The now familiar autobahn greeted us again at an early hour on the way to the track for race day. We were a little unsure of what to expect. Would people stream over from the east and fill the stands as they used to at Brno, or would it be a hollow stadium with just the noise of the machines.
The rain had started and the sky looked ominous. This was definitely bad as the pits have next to no drainage. You'd think that they would have thought of things like that when they built the track...
The morning was busy, with the warmup the first major drama. I went to the first left-right-left-right-left sequence end the end of the start-finish straight, where I could take a variety of angles.
About halfway through the session I heard tyres squeal and revs rise behind me. I turned quickly and caught Adolf Hanni flying across the grass! Hauzi had lost it into the first right, spinning Adolf out the back.
I couldn't believe that I'd managed to capture this on the second day I'd had the camera. Maybe things were looking up...
With the excitement of the warmup over and Adolf getting treatment for a broken elbow, dislocated knee and some scrapes, it was time for the pit walk.
The Eurospeedway guys really put on a show, with parachutists, a marching band complete with cheerleaders and all manner of fanfare.
The promo girls were also out in force, and somehow I managed to get my picture taken with them.
The sun was shining and the large crowd was excited. Unfortunately, it wouldn't stay this way.
By the time the sidecar race came around, the rain had eased to showers and the track was flooded. I still managed to take some shots on the grid, but wasn't too happy about getting the camera wet. At least I had a plastic bag over it, a truly classy look!
The race provided a story that will be retold for years. About lap three, fourth place Guy and Peach missed the corner at the end of the straight, turning early up the service road. The spray was so bad that another 10 sidecars followed them!
The monitor in the commentary box showed Jamie Biggs pop up and look around from behind the fairing of the sidecar. He looked just like the Meer cats that you see at the zoo!
That was about the last of the excitement for the race, with the water taking it's toll on a lot of the machinery and a few of the competitors.
With the race over, the now familiar dash to the podium was on. I found it in time, but was soaked by the time I got there.
After collecting my gear and finding the media centre, the controversy erupted. Two teams were disqualified for failing the ride height test in scrutineering. One of those two was Championship leader Klaffi, which made things pretty interesting around the paddock...
I collected the interviews and after a little work, we left for the hotel. It had been a wet day, but some of the photos had definitely been worth it!
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