Michael Greis, Tobias Angerer, Susi Erdmann – these are three of the many world-class winter athletes from the German military’s sports promotion group in Bischofswiesen near Berchtesgaden (Bavaria).
Now the young guns from the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup made their training début in the acclaimed performance centre at “Königssee” lake, which is directed by the two-time Bob Olympic Winner and multiple World and European Champion Christoph Langen. With a three-day fitness training course comprising several units, from the professional lactate test, to rowing and jogging, the juniors prepared themselves for the new season. The first of ten races for the 2007 Polo Cup they will be contesting at Hockenheim on 22 April.
“In motorsport, physical fitness is definitely a factor of success. Only someone who is in top shape from the starting signal through to the chequered flag has the ability to truly drive a racing car at the limit over the entire distance,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “The fitness course has a firm place in our preparation for the Polo Cup season. Christoph Langen’s team offered a first-class training programme.”
The Polo Cup contenders, who are between the ages of 16 and 24, at first found themselves in unusual surroundings: The soldier guarding the gate expected them to report for duty at “Jäger-Kaserne”. After “making their beds” and having lunch at the team quarters, the serious part of the programme started. For the lactate test, the drivers had to complete three-minute running intervals, interrupted by the taking of blood. The running speed was increased for each session until every participant had reached their performance limit. “The lactate test is very well suited to determining an individual’s performance capacity, to which everyone can then adapt their personal training programme,” said Benedikt große Darrelmann, Volkswagen Chief Instructor in the Polo Cup, who is going to be a doctor soon. In addition, there were fitness sessions, runs through the woods, rowing, mountain bike and football on the agenda. The programme was directed by athletic trainer Sven Rühr, a former Bob World Champion on Christoph Langen’s team, and Manuel Machata, Bob Junior World Champion in 2006.
The preparation for the new season will continue on 04/05 April. During the introductory course at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, a programme of theoretical units as well as practical instruction in the form of test drives is awaiting the juniors. After the season opener at Hockenheim, two races will take place, respectively, at Oschersleben (05/06 May) and the EuroSpeedway Lausitz (19/20 May). Afterwards, the juniors’ series will move the Norisring in Nuremberg (24 June) and Zandvoort, the Netherlands (29 July), before racing two circuits on the current Formula 1 calendar: Nürburgring (02 September) and Barcelona, Spain (23 September). For the final round, the Polo Cup will return to Hockenheim (14 October).
– Volkswagen Motorsport