Track us live while we're on the road:
The Route we took:
UPDATE: We did it! :) After over 770 kms we arrived in time and without any
Kai Kruse, May 2012:
700km distance more than 5900hm by pushbike from the Nürburgring to Le Mans
"What the hell is the reason that my mate Mike and I are going to do that? What is the link to the great gentleman and racing driver Bob Wollek?
It all starts about when my (motor)sport mate ask me what we are going to do in 2012 after we have done 24hr kart races, 24h bike races on the Nordschleife, many sessions with the bloody quick shifter kart at Schumi´s homeplace at Kerpen and also many party “Kölsch” beers with our VLN mates in Cologne city? He gave the answer as well and said: “Let´s drive to Le Mans 24hr by pushbike with the start at the Ring!” Before I agree to that Idea I remembering saying: “All right! Let´s remember Bob Wollek!”
It will be the first time for Mike going there and it will be the 6th time for me after running 2 teams there together with different partners – Ian Mitchell and Hardy Schiller – but the first time as a spectator. I got no idea how it will be, coming back to the place where I didn´t achieve what I was looking for, what was an aim for life – get a good result at Le Mans! Remembering a great TV coverage from Le Mans 1998 where Porsche was celebrating his 50th anniversary it was about that the great Bob Wollek probably knew it was his last chance to get the big win at la Sarthe where he always went by pushbike 30 times from his homeplace Strassbourg. He was leading the race and had a good chance for win but than on of his team mates – either Jörg Müller or Uwe Alzen – had a slight crash which damaged the floor of the GT1 car what cost them the victory due the required repair time. Afterwards I remember Bob –age 57- staying in the corner of the garage and he was just crying.. It was so sad to see him and his dream going away. I felt similar when I left Le Mans 2010 Thursday morning.
What am I trying to say? An ego-story about myself? Who wants to believe that I can´t stop him from that. But I think it is about that racing is not only about the winners. I think what links us all is the same passion for that sport. That we can imagine about how it feels when you win or lose and that behind every result – good or bad one – a big story is behind which deserve all our respect. How painful is it to see a competitor failing just 15min before the end? Bob was such a successful driver – but one thing he missed and that was an overall at 24h of Le Mans.
So please take a second remembering Bob Wollek."
Bob Wollek in 1976Bob Wollek (4 November 1943–March 16, 2001), nicknamed "Brilliant Bob", was a race car driver from Strasbourg, France. He was killed on March 16, 2001 at age 57 in a road accident in Florida while riding a bicycle back to his accommodation after the day's practice sessions for the following day's race, the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Skiing career Medal record
Gold 1966 Sestriere Men's Downhill
Prior to his racing days as a university student, Wollek was also a member of the French National Skiing Team between 1966-1968 competing in the Winter Universiade, he won three gold and two silver medals altogether. His skiing career came to an end when he was injured during preparations for the Winter Olympics.
Early racing careerPrior to a skiing accident which ended his skiing career, Wollek began racing cars when he entered the Mont-Blanc Rally in 1967 driving a Renault 8 Gordini and won. The following year, when his career ended, he started his career when he entered a Volant Shell scholarship taking place at Le Mans' Bugatti Circuit, finishing runner up to François Migault. Wollek later entered the Alpine Trophy Le Mans which he was the winner, earning himself a place for the 24 hour race where he finished 11th on his debut.
In 1969, Wollek made his debut in single seater series competing in Formula France, then graduated in the French Formula Three Championship.
During a round at Rouen-Les-Essarts, Wollek was involved in a fatal accident which killed Jean-Luc Salomon, when the pair plus Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, Richard Scott and Mike Beuttler was all fighting for the lead in Scierie, a two-lane road.
In 1971, Wollek switched to Formula Two driving for Ron Dennis's Rondel Racing. Despite a shaky start with only one point that year, he improved his performance for the following year with a single win at Imola and 21 points, placing him seventh. Despite this, he abandoned his Formula One ambition to concentrate in sportscar racing with which he became synonymous.
Bob Wollek in a Kremer-Porsche 935K2 at the 1000km Nürburgring in Germany (1977)Wollek had already won there in 1985 with A. J. Foyt, driving a Porsche 962. Despite being over 50 years of age and still racing competitively, Wollek had developed a fitness regime of riding bicycles to stay in good physical condition, especially for the longer races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to which he rode from home across France.
In the mid-1970s, he raced a Porsche 935K2 improved and entered by the Kremer Racing team from Cologne.
During his three decades of sports car racing, almost exclusively in Porsches, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona four times (1983, 1985, 1989, 1991) and the DRM in 1982 and 1983, with the Porsche 936 and Porsche 956 entered by the Joest Racing team.
For many years, Monsieur Porsche challenged the factory team with privately entered cars, as he was seldom hired to become part of the official Porsche crew, like at the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans (also 1979, 1997, 1998). In 1981, he even raced a Group C-spec Kremer-built Porsche 917, about a decade after these cars were retired initially.
Wollek never managed to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall, despite coming close in a few of his thirty attempts. In 1997, his leading Porsche 911 GT1 suffered damage in a minor incident, so the factory entry had to retire. In 1998, Porsche scored a 1-2 win, but Bob was once again on the less-lucky car.
Typically of many other racing drivers, Bob ran a car dealership for Jaguar.
Death On Friday, March 16, 2001, while leaving Sebring International Raceway following practice for the 12 Hours of Sebring, Wollek continued a tradition of cycling between the circuit and his accommodation, which took him west on Highway 98. While he had been riding close to the edge of the pavement, he was struck from behind by a van driven by an elderly driver from Okeechobee, Florida at approximately 4:30 p.m. He was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring and was pronounced dead on arrival. As a result, the driver was stripped of his license. Wollek was due to start in the Petersen Motorsports Porsche 996 GT3-RS with Johnny Mowlem and Michael Petersen, however out of respect the car was withdrawn from the race. On race day, the organizers held a one minute silence in memory of Wollek. Prior to his death, he announced he would retire from racing to serve as an ambassador for Porsche, and was due to sign this agreement upon returning home after Sebring.