With our 1978 Citroen CX through the Bergische Land
This past weekend, we were introduced to a whole new chapter of our lives: with our young timer, a beautiful French vintage car we’d only bought this May, we were allowed to be part of the 6th Radisson Blu Rhein-Ruhr-Rallye. But as we were complete newbies in this field, we simply wanted to get through this trip and return safely to the finish line! Not too big ambitions, but enough for complete beginners, anyway!
But the day before the rallye, we were quite nervous as there are so many things you have to keep in mind – reading the directions seemed very difficult, being able to drive a certain distance in a certain time sounded even harder. But as I was the co-driver, I had to deal with the pressure of leading Max along the road and all the way back to the Radisson Blu hotel.
At the day of the race, we first of all forgot about all the pressure again because we simply spent our time admiring all the beautiful vintage cars. Oh my, they all looked so brilliant! And our rather simple Citroen CX looked very beautiful among all the other classic cars with its lovely green colour.
With starting number 30 and after a perfect breakfast at Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel*, we hit the road at about 10 am. After we had successfully managed the first few kilometres, we already the first test and had to drive a certain distance in 45 seconds exactly. I think we managed okay, but wow, my Max drove like a madman, I can tell you, haha!
Further down our rallye-road, we always saw some of our fellow drivers, that we had already gotten to know before the race. The friendly and familiar atmosphere of the whole event really struck us as something truly special. Everyone was so sweet towards us newbies! And it was really lovely driving in a line and seeing all the beautiful cars in the most lovely summer scenery around Dusseldorf. And then, we had already managed half the way and paused for a yummy lunch.
By the way, navigating Max as co-driver wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had thought. Lucky, we had taken part in a little schooling event at Radisson Blu hotel the day before the race, so I was super well prepared to be the best co-driver I could be. We were also told that many couples fight during these kind of rallyes, but Max and I simply drove along the way, both with a big smile on our faces at all times! And we are sure that our Citroen did smile as well.
After lunch, the second half of the rallye started and here, we also had to get through some testing along the way. But we got trough rather well and really enjoyed the sunny weather and the lovely roads. And we had some beautiful vintage cars in front of us as well. My favourite was a light green Volvo Amazon and Max totally fell for a perfectly black Porsche 356 SC! But the best thing? Our Citroen CX was able to keep up with the sporty Porsches and Mercedes which made us really proud parents, hehe!
At the end of a very exciting rallye day, we arrived as 3rd at the finish line and generally, we became 29th of the whole rallye which was good for absolute newbies!
In the evening, there was a lovely party at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel in Dusseldorf with good food and many prices for the winners! But mainly, we experienced this warm, family-like atmosphere with all the other participants again which was the most important thing for us – wouldn’t you agree??
*Thank you Radisson Blu, that we were able to be part of this rallye!
Photography: Max Bechmann & Ricarda Schernus