Motorsport fans in Germany had a lot to enjoy last weekend with the jubilant homecoming of new Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel in Berlin, as well as a gathering of the best drivers and riders in the world to compete in the Race of Champions event in Düsseldorf.
BMW Motorrad’s Chris Pfeiffer was present at both events and performed stunt shows to well over 100,000 people during the course of the weekend. According to the organizers, thousands of F1 fans turned up to in freezing temperatures see a tire-smoking, rubber-burning display by Vettel in his Red Bull F1 car and Chris Pfeiffer on his F800R.
“There were lots of people in Berlin so it was like a dream come true for Sebastian to ride in the Capital. The fans created a great atmosphere and I was able to ride all along the Boulevard because the show track was about 500 meters long, so lots of fans were able to see my performance. I had to be careful though because it was very cold and starting to snow, so there wasn’t too much grip on the road!”
Much to the delight of the German motorsports fans, Sebastian’s success story continued later in Düsseldorf when he won the Race of Champions for Team Germany alongside Michael Schumacher. This was the Germans’ fourth successive Race of Champions Nations Cup victory and helped create a fantastic atmosphere among the home fans at the ESPRIT arena. Having flown into Düsseldorf with Vettel, Chris put in several top performances of his own over the two days of intense, head-to-head action.
“It was a crazy event — especially on the Saturday, when loads of people turned up to see the action. The riding conditions for me were the best I’ve ever had at the Race of Champions, as there was a roof on the stadium and heating inside, which helped keep temperatures at about 10-12 degrees [50-55º F], so it was warm, dry and comfortable.”
After performances in Berlin and Düsseldorf, Pfeiffer was soon on his way again, and his next stop was in Munich, where he was heading for a rendezvous with a BMW film crew and a meeting with legendary German bobsleigh rider and four-times Winter Olympic Gold Medal winner André Lange. A BMW G450X was involved too, and without giving too much away, Pfeiffer and Lange have already completed filming a special race, with him on the G450X — complete with Metzeler enduro spikes that enabled him to ride up the bobsleigh at high speed!
“I can’t believe just how much grip those spikes give you,” said Chris. “I was able to do wheelies and stoppies on the ice. They are the same tires that are used in the Enduro World Championship rounds in places like Sweden, so I knew they would be good. It was amazing riding on the bobsled run, although there wasn’t much space. The straights are only 110cm [43 in.] wide and as the width of the G450X is about 80cm, it only gave me 15cm on each side, so there wasn’t any margin for error and you needed a perfect line. I lost a lot of grip in the corners due to the banking but was able to find some good speed on the straights. The finished film should look really good.”
Even though the year is drawing to a close, Pfeiffer’s busy schedule continues to be packed. His next stop is in Austria at the Swatch Snow Mobile event in Saalbach Hinterglemm, where he’ll also be taking part in a snowmobile team race. From the Alpine snow, he’ll be flying to the Mediterranean island of Malta, where he’ll be performing a show in front of the country’s President at the Paqpaqli ghall-Istrina fundraising event. After spending Christmas with the family, he’ll then make the long journey to South America to perform paddock shows for the competitors and the fans at the Dakar Rally, which starts in Buenos Aires on New Year’s Day.