Motocross Vice World Champion as Guest starter in VW Polo Cup2009-10-28 02:56
For motocross rider Max Nagl, the VW Polo Cup at the DTM in Hockenheim on October 24-25, 2009, was his first racing experience on four wheels.
The KTM MX1 factory rider managed to finish the race held in very adverse weather conditions in 25th place. The DTM, according to organisers, is the most popular international touring car series in the world.
For Nagl, securing a guest start in the Polo Cup in Hockenheim was the fulfilment of a long-standing wish. In fact, there was nothing to hold the Bavarian-born rider back now that he had free time after winning the 2009 MX1 vice World Championship title, his career best performance so far. Usually totally focussed on his offroad sport, he was rewarded with this challenge after intervention by Red Bull and VW.
The bar was set high for Nagl because he was competing against international drivers. He only had a couple of days to get used to the car at Oschersleben so that he could enter the cup race on equal terms.
Despite the motivation-damping statement on the part of the event organiser that guest starters were in principle personally responsible for any damage to their car, the experienced, Belgium-based motocrosser delivered some lively pirouettes and drifts while driving on the unfamiliar surface. Nagl is always impressive coming out of the starting gates of the MX World Championship races on his powerful KTM factory 450 SX-F and winning the so-called holeshot. But after difficult training and a 23rd place on the grid, his chance of such a start was foiled when he wasn't able to find the necessary gap. Despite heavy rain and racing on unfamiliar wet tyres, he did manage to finish the race in 25th place - and without any scratches on his car. Now he already has an invitation for the VW Scirocco Cup in 2010. Before that, Nagl is planning to top his 2009 success in his own discipline by winning the MX1 World Championship onboard his factory KTM machine.
Max Nagl: "A big thanks for this invitation, which was tremendous fun in dry weather even if it was like driving on eggshells on the wet tyres. What was really fascinating for me was the sound in the car. That's really something. Engaging the clutch is a pretty hard, all or nothing business. It worked well for me at the start but then four other cars immediately braked and closed the gap. It was lucky I was wearing a helmet so no one could see how embarrassing it was when I spun out in the warm-up lap in the Sachs corner in front of so many people. But if there's another change to get a guest start, I'll take it up straight away."
Source: KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG
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