Despite retiring from his job as a Director for finance and controller of a concrete components company a year ago, life for Klaus is never dull and he is always on the go. When he is at home, which isn’t that often, he is on standby to go to war! Fortunately when Klaus is summoned by Graf Karl-Georg zu Solms-Laubach, the Count of Laubach, to his castle with the rest of the Count’s soldiers, it is to the ‘Laubacher Ausschussfest’ annual celebration – not to go to war! However, it remains the Count’s ancient right for many centuries to call any of his male inhabitants in the village to arms, should the need to fight off invaders emerge.
Time has to be managed therefore, as Klaus says for a good ‘work-life -balance’ on ‘Bird Mountain’ in the midst of nature. Klaus divides his time between work in his recently finished garage on restorations, hiking, walking or choosing between his mountain or road bike for the next ride out. Then there is the rallying and the singing, plus he has to stay fit for next sword fight for the count!
The motor sport infection came from his father who was motorcycling in endurance events, “maybe a little bit as we do now” said Klaus. “My father competed over one or two days when you had to navigate and be on time, this was a very popular sport in Germany in the early fifties because cars were not easily available but smaller motorcycles were. Dad had a Steyr-Puch 250 which was pretty competitive and my Mum went with him. When I was around 13 years old that motorcycle was still there at home and I started to restore it, but in the end I destroyed it!
“Later on when I was 18 I bought my first motorcycle for street use but started my motorsport life on four wheels.
“I didn’t have the money at first, but saved up and got an Audi 50, a very early VW Polo really. I entered it into small local events around Giessen where we lived then, about 60 kms north of Frankfurt/Main. The sport was called ‘Orientierungsfahrt’, and a small championship called ‘Lahnpokal’, we drove mostlyat night usually around 120 kms through forests and farmland (nowadays impossible here). I did this for around three years, it was the start although it wasn’t stage rallying, it was like regularity rallying. It was quite similar to what we do now at HERO-ERA!”
“Then my sponsors stopped, ‘that’s enough they said, find your own money for that’. So then I had to stop this sport but other things became more interesting, like getting together with girls for example, but I was also busy with my studies.
“Giessen is a student town of about 90,000 people in Hessen where I have been all my life, until the recent move to ‘Bird Mountain’. The town is “Justus Liebig” Universität and technical academy where I ultimately qualified with a degree as a Master of Business and Administration. My first job was as a Financial Controller, but in my ambition to move up the financial scales in my next role, the company then got into trouble.
“Fortunately my third and final job was as Financial Director of a sizeable family owned concrete components company of around 560 employees, but the best part of it was that the boss was a motor sport nut like me, and he helped me where he could! We are still in touch and we have a little club when we meet once a month to talk racing and rallying!
“During my early employment I started to save and discovered my love of old cars. When my grandmother passed away and left me some additional money I bought an Alfa Romeo Giulia Super, a red one with a yellow nose. I contacted Alfa Romeo, and eventually became a circuit racer going to tracks like the Nurburgring or Hochenheimring in sprint races of 50-60 kms from 1991 to 1996.
“It was getting more and more expensive and the car was improving from year to year but the results were getting worse! There were many guys around me with bigger pockets so I was getting frustrated, and in the end I said this doesn’t make sense anymore so I stopped.