The first victory with the racing-standard ABS system: Kyalami, November 1990
It was prepared especially for this race by the companyʼs own Mercedes-Benz “st – sport technik” department. “With the help of a climatic test bench, which was very rare at the time, we prepared the engine for use at an altitude of 2,000 metres above sea level,” recalls former project manager Gerhard Lepler. “Bosch had developed a new programmable control unit for the 126 model series S-Class,” says Gerhard Lepler, explaining the basis of the racing ABS.
Real-life testing: Roland Asch, who drove almost all the test vehicles developed for the DTM at Mercedes-Benz in those years, was enthusiastic about this racing ABS system. “Initially, we kept the fact that the car was equipped with it secret in Kyalami,” explains racing driver Asch, born in Ammerbuch.
The “secret car”: Mercedes-Benz prepared very carefully for the “Yellow Pages 200” race in Kyalami over a distance of almost 200 kilometres. The original plan was to ship the cars to South Africa by sea freight. The transport weights had been calculated as 1,060 kg for the racing touring car and 220 kg for parts, from spare clutches to cleaning cloths sporting the Mercedes star. A Boeing 747 SP operated by Air Namib flew the small works team including the car and all the parts from Frankfurt to South Africa.
Even Asch was amazed by the new colour scheme of the M7: “I didnʼt even recognise my car at first.” M7 was later converted into an advertising medium for the campaign for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Berlin. “Iʼm really happy when I get the chance to drive this particular Mercedes-Benz at demonstration drives or historical events,” says Asch three decades after it was unveiled in South Africa.
Nov 16, 2020 at 04:54