Racing drivers Benny Leuchter, Walter Röhrl and Tim Schrick in search of clues at the BILSTER BERG
‘It’s a pity you’re not allowed to race here’
A lap around the BILSTER BERG means pushing yourself to your limits and sometimes beyond. For the former ammunition depot BILSTER BERG, with its 4.2 kilometres, 44 crests and troughs, 19 bends and up to 26 per cent gradients, it is ‘a particularly demanding and technical track, ideal for testing and development’, says Benny Leuchter. Tim Schrick, also a racing driver, describes the BILSTER BERG as a ‘small track with little space. It’s like playing tennis in your living room’. And rally legend Walter Röhrl sums it up like this: “The BILSTER BERG is a challenge.”
Together, the racing trio went in search of clues at the BILSTER BERG for Triebwerk (Sport 1) to discover the secrets of the test and presentation track in the Teutoburg Forest. In doing so, they took a particular look at curve 1 and the unique Mausefalle (mousetrap).
For Tim Schrick, ‘the BILSTER BERG is a very special track because you can’t really have a clear view of almost any curve here’. “You have to know where to turn in at every turn. The prime example is curve 1 […] It’s definitely not worth it to turn all the way in from the left. All the way in, I have a hard time, but every time you realise on the exit…” “that you were in too early,” Walter Röhrl adds. The rally world champion of 1980 and 1982 shares his tips: “When you’re racing, you have to go in sharply. Other than that, stay more in the middle of the track so that it doesn’t get too rough at the exit.”
For the trio, the BILSTER BERG is like ‘a little Nordschleife, only more compact’. There are so many places here that you can’t see […] where you have to know what’s coming next. You have to turn in early enough,” Walter Röhrl describes the special features of the test and presentation track.
And then there is the notorious Mausefalle, a curve with a 26 % gradient, one of the most important key points of the BILSTER BERG’, as Walter Röhrl says. The co-initiator of the track already saw the potential back in the days, long before the track was even built. Röhrl was there from the beginning, the Mausefalle was his idea. He remembers with a laugh: “When I first told Hermann Tilke, the later architect of the track, about the Mausefalle, he said: ‘I’m not doing that!’ I told him, ‘Either you build it like that or we’ll have to find someone else.’ So he did it.’ ”
“The Mausefalle can’t be compared to anything,” says Röhrl, “at most to the corkscrew curve in Laguna Seca. There you swoop down like an eagle,” he explains and grins slightly mischievously. The BILSTER BERG is a very special track. For Benny Leuchter it is ‘a super track because there are so many overtaking opportunities in one lap’. Or as Tim Schrick sums it up: “It’s a pity that you’re not allowed to race here.”