Why is autocross so expensive

Motorsport Autocross Team from Seelow prepares for the new season

There is still light in the small garage in Seelow. Four young men sit over their buggy and talk about horsepower, engine speeds, tires, dampers, and differentials. They are preparing for the new autocross season, in which they at least want to defend the title, because Henrik Altermann had made it: After a successful series in 2019, he beat his competitors in the special cross class with one in the final race on Matschenberg 6th place and became ILP champion in the final score.

Clock • Seelow
Behind the letters ILP there is a racing series "International Lausitz Cup in Autocross", which was renamed in 2014 with the entry into the ADAC club sport in "Interest group Lausitz Pokal". Whoever wins this championship is, so to speak, a Brandenburg champion. From the very beginning, the aim of the ILP was to offer local as well as national and international autocross athletes the opportunity to present themselves in front of a local audience. A little as a pendaent for German championships or the European championship, teams can start here that do not have the very large financial resources or even have a large financial backing behind them.
They are living their dream a little: Henrik Altermann, his brother Stefan Altermann, Oliver Kroel, Steffen Gericke and Martin Wache together make up the Altermann motorsport team. Your domicile is a small garage in Seelow and the boss of the whole thing introduces his team: "Oliver is our screwdriver and at the same time the designer for our buggy. Steffen is a mechanic and now a specialist in everything to do with the drive technology of the vehicle. Martin , Our chief mechanic is himself a master mechanic and a real expert when it comes to fine-tuning. And finally, we have my brother Henrik on the team, who will always try to get the vehicle over the finish line first in the New Year. " Henrik has just turned 30.
Team is more than just the driver
They all like to talk about the championship in the ILP classification. "I want to put that into perspective right away. Whenever there is talk of a success, only the driver is mentioned. Sure, I've won one or more races. But if I didn't have my boys, none of that would be possible either or lose the whole team. " And immediately the rest of the team answered and shouted almost unanimously "Our Henrik is simply the best!"
"And we can justify that too," says Oliver Kroel. "He is not only great at controlling the car. He can also feel how the track works and how the technology in the vehicle is behaving. This enables him, as a mechanic, to tell us exactly where there is a problem and which settings we may need to change . He can adapt to the changing track conditions super quickly. And speed is also absolutely important for the accompanying staff, "says Kroel, pointing out that there are only a few training kilometers on the day of the race.
"I'll never forget how we started with the new buggy." Henrik Altermann had done his first laps again after a long break and "he immediately set the best times". By this, Kroel means Henrik Altermann's return to racing. He had stopped for many years and an intermittent foray into the stock car scene and came back to the cockpit in his mid-twenties.
Henrik Altermann was already at the racetrack as a young boy. "Of course, preferably the one at the station in Seelow," he remembers. As with so many racing drivers, it all started with karting. "I also drove with the Red Devils. Racing was my passion from an early age. I got that from my father Fred and also from my grandfather Harry. My grandfather was one of the founders of the MC Seelow go-kart troop. I have something from both of them on the way to get."
Altermann learned the trade of a car mechatronics technician and now works as a professional firefighter.
Preparation has started
We are currently working feverishly on the new season's car. "The masters are made in winter," says Stefan Altermann. A lot is tried and a lot calculated, because more than one test run in the garage is not possible.
Regarding the technical data of the new racer: It can generate around 190 hp. It draws its power from a 1,300 cubic centimeter engine that can run 10,000 revolutions. The engine comes from the house of Suzuki (Hayabusa 1300). The power is transmitted through a six-speed gearbox and makes the black-orange-colored racer fast up to 140 kilometers per hour.
"The route in Seelow has gotten faster and faster in recent years," says Henrik Altermann happily. "And in the new series, too, after some renovation work and the additional compaction of the ground, it will be a little more fluid for the pilots." Changes were made to the notorious chicane in particular. "Overtaking is of course becoming more and more difficult," says Henrik Altermann, and his brother immediately adds: "But he almost always finds a gap."
The Altermann team also has a problem. Sport is getting more and more expensive. There are new rules in the European Championship regarding fuels and tires. There will only be one provider and so a complete set of tires costs just under 1000 euros. 4.13 euros per liter are paid for the fuel. It is therefore very questionable whether the Altermann team will be able to compete in the home race in Seelow for the European Autocross Championship on May 16 and 17.