Peter Daetwyler is a rarity, a unicum ! He discribes himself as a spinner in a positive way, living and enjoying motorsport to the full. He is a central figure in the swiss motorsport scene although he never was a successful pilot, nor a teamowner or an official. He is exeptionally well connected from the basis to the very top, an organisor and first of all an out-and-out enthusiast. For a long time, he was the operator of one of europes biggest indoor Kart tracks in Roggwil – which he turned into a meeting point for swiss motorsport - and now he manages, together with his Thai-wife, the restaurant of the small swiss airport in Bleienbach. Also he was the organisor of the Altbüron hillclimb and invented a get-together for ancient  swiss racig divers. Read his takes on motorsport and beware: he is not afraid to speak his mind!  TSS: Did you pursue motorsport actively when you were younger? PD: As long as I can think, I have always been a motorsport fan to the core. I was also a helper and mechanic for quite a long time and in fact, there was a period when I pursued a career as a driver. But I never made it into the history books primarily because of lack of pocket money. Important for me was the pure joy and honor to be part of the scene, and cornerning this, I absolutely gained a lot of satisfaction. TSS: Your first F1 Grand Prix! Tell me how you did get there and what are your memories! PD: I still know that if it was yesterday! After weeks of arm-twisting, me and two of my collegues were driving to Zandvoort in 1967. And immediately I was allowed into Jo Sifferts pits! As I was able to shake his hand,  I swore I will never wash my hand again in my life! My second GP was in Monza. I drove there, still as a school-boy, with the Landrover of our local carpenter – unthinkable today! Of course I did not have a ticket but I sat on the main grandstand for the complete race. John Surtees won in a Honda and Siffert came ninth. I was back at school on Monday morning, incredibly tired and but happy. TSS: You have a deep interest and knowledge in swiss motorsport. How do you explain that switzerland of all places has such a big tradition and enthusiasm for motor racing? PD: There was and still is a lot of money in our country – fast cars and bikes were always very popular here. You just have to check old startlists of slaloms and hillclimbs and you will find a vast amount of absolute dream cars having competed. We always were excited of fast cars and we always had good drivers! TSS:Talking of drivers, is there anybody in sight, taking the footsteps of Siffert, Regazzoni and Surer? PD: You can add Wilhelm Tell to the names you just talked about! There won`t be someone like him as well. The three names mentioned were real characters and idols. Nowadays everything is too fast moving and elusive. Speaking honestly, we have  successful swiss drivers like Fässler, Buemi and Jani who even were world champions, but you cannot compare the times as well as you cannot compare the performances. If somebody makes it into F1 today he is already called a F1 STAR, even if the achievements of a Herbert Müller for example must be rated much higher - a driver who did not make it into F1. At the time of this interview, another swiss–star is not on the horizon. But I am confident that swiss drivers will come out on top time and time again. TSS: Is there a motorsport-event you love best, one you would like to visit once or you even have been to already? PD:In the past, each hillclimb or race on a closed circuit I was able to visit was my favourite event! It was irrelevant to me if I was going to the really small local club races or to the big and important hillclimbs which I visited as a schoolboy with my moped everywhere in switzerland, or if I had to persuade a chauffeur to bring me to one of the international races in Hockenheim or other neighbouring countries, as I was too young to drive and our family did not have a car anyway.It was a fantastic time. Each month, the postman brouht a big cardboard envelope and in it was the latest copy of « POWERSLIDE » magazine: it was like christmas for me! Today in the times of internet it is inconceivable how exciting it was, to explore and enjoy this monthly magazine. That was really amazing! TSS:You are known in switzerland as the man behind  the Altbüron hillclimb. How did it all start? PD: It was a spontanous idea of a group of regulars! Each of them who were sitting at the table got a job, providing I would be able to get a permission for the event. The most prominent of them was Marc Surer, who promised to show up with his championship winning Formula 2 March from 1979! And suddenly there was no way back. I got all the necessary permissions and everything happenend very quickly! It was a wonderful debut and we got so much support from the locals who were all really enthusiastic about the event. TSS: Tell us something about the regular get togethers for (ancient) swiss racing drivers – was it your idea as well?. PD: Yes, in fact, I just sent out the invitations for  the 18th meeting for ancient swiss automobile racing drivers! This event also grew from a spontanous idea and it developped into a sort of regular class reunion. Old friendships are being revived and existing ones are being fostered. It is always a beautiful day together with the warriors from past times. TSS: 4 short questions with short answers please: As you are married to a Thai woman: Switzerland or Thailand? PD: We are at home in switzerland, but we spend our holidays in Thailand and we love the country. Besides the nature, I used to love and treasure the kind of retro-feeling when I got there. But in the meantime I had to notice a trend that changed my joy into concern : when you  observe the road traffic, you notice many new cars that are bought on loan and it is no longer a pleasure for me to sit beside the streets and watch the cars go by – it became boring… TSS:Senna or Prost? PD: In the past it was Prost for me! I have admired him since his Formula 3 times. When I was a drivers fan, then it was with total commitment - there was only space for one! My idols at beginning were (bike racer) Luigi Taveri and Jack Brabham, then came Jo Siffert, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost and later Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. Doing so, I rather remember the stars from the 60!s and 70`s than the Grand Prix drivers of today. TSS: Porsche or Ferrari? PD: Both are amazing and unique. Porsche is perfect and it was the company with which Jo Siffert had most of his success. Ferrari is chaos and passion united. I cannot imagine motorsport without the italians! TSS: Car or airplane? PD: Though we are living now at the airport, my passion stayed with the cars. But being close to airplanes and pilots has broadend my mind. I admire the people and the planes from this scene and we made many new friends. They are like us: they give everything for their passion! TSS: Your interest is generally for engines – not only cars but also motorbikes, busses, tractors and planes, correct?. PD: Absolutely! But like with cars, I get goose-bumps primarily from the vintage specimen.For me, the fascination comes from the common ones which bring back memories, not the ones I could only dream of. Even tractors have their history and they must not be forgotten. My special love here belongs to „car-tractors“, these were normal cars converted into tractors. When you get involved closely with their history, you will realize that many of todays achievements were invented long ago. TSS: A few words about your Kondor F3 and the Formcar Formula Vee and the VW „Pritsche“ transporter: PD: These cars express my love for the past best! In a magazine for classified advertisements, I found a racing car from the early fifties that I bought and restored in more than ten years. But it cost me even more effort to find out about the history of the car. I could write a noble book about my adventures digging deep in the cars life - It was one of my most beautiful experiences at all! Today I sometimes compete with my completely original 1965 FormCar Formula V in historic races and I get there in style: of course on the back of a 1965 VW T1 « Pritsche » ! TSS: Lets talk about historic motorsport: should the jewels of yesterday be kept in museums or should they be driven in style like at the Goodwood Revival for example? PD : It is beautiful when they are driven and shown to the public. But when for example a Lotus Cortina turns in like a modern F3 car and it`s typical habits and movements in a corner have gone I feel no joy anymore with this game. If I am going through photos of old racing cars I enjoy the ones where the drivers wear the old helmets, otherwise I turn the page. TSS: We also have to talk about more controversial things. Do you see a way how modern motorsport can be made more attractive again for the spectator and fan? PD: You want to know my honest opinion? I am afraid! With these self-centered american showboaters who bought the right to run F1 it will not happen. There is no fuel in their vains, it is all about expanding the show to skim as much money as possible. We are in a viscious circle from which we cannot escape. The contemporary technical possibilities have pushed the limits so far up, that for example overtaking, which is essential for racing, is not possible anymore without technical gimmicks. You could give the cars steel brakes back, so the drivers would have to start breaking earlier and there would be more time and distance to pull up alongside and overtake under braking, as it was in the past. But understandibly nobody wants this anymore, because the constructors want to show their most modern and efficient  technology. And this is why I treasure the past times in my memory, when the man was fighting with the machine and drivers showed respect to their competitors, because also there was a huge amount of danger involved.  The omnipresent dangers of fire and fatalities shaped the drivers and races. Thankfully the modern safety standards of today saved many lives, which is good – but we will never ever see the same sport again as it was in the past.The current generation only knows the circumstances of today and people today live their modern form of live and careers as we did it in our times. But that is the change of the time and we have to accept it. TSS: One thought  on Formula E: Will you attend the race in Zürich in june 2018? And: Does circuit racing have a chance in switzerland? PD: I think it`s good that FE is allowed to have a race in Zürich and I say congratulations to the organisers and to those who gave the permissions. I rather prefer not to attend it, although I accept the electric motorsport, as well as I accept the electric percentage in normal road traffic. I see Formula E as overrated momentarily: drivers who do not get a place in F1 try to find a one in Formula E. Still the drivers level is much too high compared to the relatively poor potential the cars and especially what the « circuits » offer. But the future will take control of that.Though, this event in Zürich will not lead to a permanent race circuit in our country, let alone to a Formula One Grand Prix – that won`t happen! The Golden times for this kind of facilities and profitable race events are gone. TSS: Are there any dreams you would like to realize in Bleienbach airport? PD: Dreams not really. But I want to continue with our popular veteran car meetings with all these beautiful old cars and I want to make people happy, bringing back their memories perhaps seeing a VW Karmann like their piano teacher has driven one in the 60`s. It is not about the showily Ferraris and Lamborghinis which bring smiles to peoples faces, it is the ordinary car that manages to achieve that.And of course very important are the face-to-face encounters with so many lovely people from the past, for example our annual « Swiss Race-driver Meeting » for ancient drivers or our weekly and monthly get-togethers of likemindeds. TSS: Peter, I would like to thank you so much for your time and your open words and enjoy the drivers`meeting of next month!
Peter Daetwyler In His Own Words IF A LOTUS CORTINA TURNS IN LIKE A MODERN F3 CAR AND IT´S TYPICAL HABITS AND MOVEMENTS HAS GONE, I FEEL NO JOY ANYMORE. WE WILL NEVER EVER SEE THE SAME SPORT AGAIN AS IT WAS IN THE PAST! WE WILL NEVER EVER SEE THE SAME SPORT AGAIN AS IT WAS IN THE PAST! IT IS NOT ABOUT THE SHOWILY FERRARIS AND LAMBORGHINIS WHICH BRING SMILES TO PEOPLES FACES, IT IS THE ORDINARY CAR THAT MANAGES TO ACHIEVE THAT. All Speed and cars daetwyler Pure Passion
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All Speed and cars
Peter Daetwyler
In His Own Words
daetwyler Pure Passion
Peter Daetwyler is a rarity, a unicum ! He discribes himself as a spinner in a positive way, living and enjoying motorsport to the full. He is a central figure in the swiss motorsport scene although he never was a successful pilot, nor a teamowner or an official. He is exeptionally well connected from the basis to the very top, an organisor and first of all an out-and-out enthusiast. For a long time, he was the operator of one of europes biggest indoor Kart tracks in Roggwil – which he turned into a meeting point for swiss motorsport - and now he manages, together with his Thai-wife, the restaurant of the small swiss airport in Bleienbach. Also he was the organisor of the Altbüron hillclimb and invented a get-together for ancient  swiss racig divers. Read his takes on motorsport and beware: he is not afraid to speak his mind!  TSS: Did you pursue motorsport actively when you were younger? PD: As long as I can think, I have always been a motorsport fan to the core. I was also a helper and mechanic for quite a long time and in fact, there was a period when I pursued a career as a driver. But I never made it into the history books primarily because of lack of pocket money. Important for me was the pure joy and honor to be part of the scene, and cornerning this, I absolutely gained a lot of satisfaction. TSS: Your first F1 Grand Prix! Tell me how you did get there and what are your memories! PD: I still know that if it was yesterday! After weeks of arm- twisting, me and two of my collegues were driving to Zandvoort in 1967. And immediately I was allowed into Jo Sifferts pits! As I was able to shake his hand,  I swore I will never wash my hand again in my life! My second GP was in Monza. I drove there, still as a school-boy, with the Landrover of our local carpenter – unthinkable today! Of course I did not have a ticket but I sat on the main grandstand for the complete race. John Surtees won in a Honda and Siffert came ninth. I was back at school on Monday morning, incredibly tired and but happy. TSS: You have a deep interest and knowledge in swiss motorsport. How do you explain that switzerland of all places has such a big tradition and enthusiasm for motor racing? PD: There was and still is a lot of money in our country – fast cars and bikes were always very popular here. You just have to check old startlists of slaloms and hillclimbs and you will find a vast amount of absolute dream cars having competed. We always were excited of fast cars and we always had good drivers! TSS:Talking of drivers, is there anybody in sight, taking the footsteps of Siffert, Regazzoni and Surer? PD: You can add Wilhelm Tell to the names you just talked about! There won`t be someone like him as well. The three names mentioned were real characters and idols. Nowadays everything is too fast moving and elusive. Speaking honestly, we have  successful swiss drivers like Fässler, Buemi and Jani who even were world champions, but you cannot compare the times as well as you cannot compare the performances. If somebody makes it into F1 today he is already called a F1 STAR, even if the achievements of a Herbert Müller for example must be rated much higher - a driver who did not make it into F1. At the time of this interview, another swiss–star is not on the horizon. But I am confident that swiss drivers will come out on top time and time again. TSS: Is there a motorsport-event you love best, one you would like to visit once or you even have been to already? PD:In the past, each hillclimb or race on a closed circuit I was able to visit was my favourite event! It was irrelevant to me if I was going to the really small local club races or to the big and important hillclimbs which I visited as a schoolboy with my moped everywhere in switzerland, or if I had to persuade a chauffeur to bring me to one of the international races in Hockenheim or other neighbouring countries, as I was too young to drive and our family did not have a car anyway.It was a fantastic time. Each month, the postman brouht a big cardboard envelope and in it was the latest copy of « POWERSLIDE » magazine: it was like christmas for me! Today in the times of internet it is inconceivable how exciting it was, to explore and enjoy this monthly magazine. That was really amazing! TSS:You are known in switzerland as the man behind  the Altbüron hillclimb. How did it all start? PD: It was a spontanous idea of a group of regulars! Each of them who were sitting at the table got a job, providing I would be able to get a permission for the event. The most prominent of them was Marc Surer, who promised to show up with his championship winning Formula 2 March from 1979! And suddenly there was no way back. I got all the necessary permissions and everything happenend very quickly! It was a wonderful debut and we got so much support from the locals who were all really enthusiastic about the event. TSS: Tell us something about the regular get togethers for (ancient) swiss racing drivers – was it your idea as well?. PD: Yes, in fact, I just sent out the invitations for  the 18th meeting for ancient swiss automobile racing drivers! This event also grew from a spontanous idea and it developped into a sort of regular class reunion. Old friendships are being revived and existing ones are being fostered. It is always a beautiful day together with the warriors from past times. TSS: 4 short questions with short answers please: As you are married to a Thai woman: Switzerland or Thailand? PD: We are at home in switzerland, but we spend our holidays in Thailand and we love the country. Besides the nature, I used to love and treasure the kind of retro-feeling when I got there. But in the meantime I had to notice a trend that changed my joy into concern : when you  observe the road traffic, you notice many new cars that are bought on loan and it is no longer a pleasure for me to sit beside the streets and watch the cars go by – it became boring… TSS:Senna or Prost? PD: In the past it was Prost for me! I have admired him since his Formula 3 times. When I was a drivers fan, then it was with total commitment - there was only space for one! My idols at beginning were (bike racer) Luigi Taveri and Jack Brabham, then came Jo Siffert, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost and later Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. Doing so, I rather remember the stars from the 60!s and 70`s than the Grand Prix drivers of today. TSS: Porsche or Ferrari? PD: Both are amazing and unique. Porsche is perfect and it was the company with which Jo Siffert had most of his success. Ferrari is chaos and passion united. I cannot imagine motorsport without the italians! TSS: Car or airplane? PD: Though we are living now at the airport, my passion stayed with the cars. But being close to airplanes and pilots has broadend my mind. I admire the people and the planes from this scene and we made many new friends. They are like us: they give everything for their passion! TSS: Your interest is generally for engines – not only cars but also motorbikes, busses, tractors and planes, correct?. PD: Absolutely! But like with cars, I get goose-bumps primarily from the vintage specimen.For me, the fascination comes from the common ones which bring back memories, not the ones I could only dream of. Even tractors have their history and they must not be forgotten. My special love here belongs to „car-tractors“, these were normal cars converted into tractors. When you get involved closely with their history, you will realize that many of todays achievements were invented long ago. TSS: A few words about your Kondor F3 and the Formcar Formula Vee and the VW „Pritsche“ transporter: PD: These cars express my love for the past best! In a magazine for classified advertisements, I found a racing car from the early fifties that I bought and restored in more than ten years. But it cost me even more effort to find out about the history of the car. I could write a noble book about my adventures digging deep in the cars life - It was one of my most beautiful experiences at all! Today I sometimes compete with my completely original 1965 FormCar Formula V in historic races and I get there in style: of course on the back of a 1965 VW T1 « Pritsche » ! TSS: Lets talk about historic motorsport: should the jewels of yesterday be kept in museums or should they be driven in style like at the Goodwood Revival for example? PD : It is beautiful when they are driven and shown to the public. But when for example a Lotus Cortina turns in like a modern F3 car and it`s typical habits and movements in a corner have gone I feel no joy anymore with this game. If I am going through photos of old racing cars I enjoy the ones where the drivers wear the old helmets, otherwise I turn the page. TSS: We also have to talk about more controversial things. Do you see a way how modern motorsport can be made more attractive again for the spectator and fan? PD: You want to know my honest opinion? I am afraid! With these self-centered american showboaters who bought the right to run F1 it will not happen. There is no fuel in their vains, it is all about expanding the show to skim as much money as possible. We are in a viscious circle from which we cannot escape. The contemporary technical possibilities have pushed the limits so far up, that for example overtaking, which is essential for racing, is not possible anymore without technical gimmicks. You could give the cars steel brakes back, so the drivers would have to start breaking earlier and there would be more time and distance to pull up alongside and overtake under braking, as it was in the past. But understandibly nobody wants this anymore, because the constructors want to show their most modern and efficient  technology. And this is why I treasure the past times in my memory, when the man was fighting with the machine and drivers showed respect to their competitors, because also there was a huge amount of danger involved.  The omnipresent dangers of fire and fatalities shaped the drivers and races. Thankfully the modern safety standards of today saved many lives, which is good – but we will never ever see the same sport again as it was in the past.The current generation only knows the circumstances of today and people today live their modern form of live and careers as we did it in our times. But that is the change of the time and we have to accept it. TSS: One thought  on Formula E: Will you attend the race in Zürich in june 2018? And: Does circuit racing have a chance in switzerland? PD: I think it`s good that FE is allowed to have a race in Zürich and I say congratulations to the organisers and to those who gave the permissions. I rather prefer not to attend it, although I accept the electric motorsport, as well as I accept the electric percentage in normal road traffic. I see Formula E as overrated momentarily: drivers who do not get a place in F1 try to find a one in Formula E. Still the drivers level is much too high compared to the relatively poor potential the cars and especially what the « circuits » offer. But the future will take control of that.Though, this event in Zürich will not lead to a permanent race circuit in our country, let alone to a Formula One Grand Prix – that won`t happen! The Golden times for this kind of facilities and profitable race events are gone. TSS: Are there any dreams you would like to realize in Bleienbach airport? PD: Dreams not really. But I want to continue with our popular veteran car meetings with all these beautiful old cars and I want to make people happy, bringing back their memories perhaps seeing a VW Karmann like their piano teacher has driven one in the 60`s. It is not about the showily Ferraris and Lamborghinis which bring smiles to peoples faces, it is the ordinary car that manages to achieve that.And of course very important are the face-to-face encounters with so many lovely people from the past, for example our annual « Swiss Race-driver Meeting » for ancient drivers or our weekly and monthly get-togethers of likemindeds. TSS: Peter, I would like to thank you so much for your time and your open words and enjoy the drivers`meeting of next month!
WE WILL NEVER EVER SEE THE SAME SPORT AGAIN AS IT WAS IN THE PAST! WE WILL NEVER EVER SEE THE SAME SPORT AGAIN AS IT WAS IN THE PAST! IF A LOTUS CORTINA TURNS IN LIKE A MODERN F3 CAR AND IT´S TYPICAL HABITS AND MOVEMENTS HAS GONE, I FEEL NO JOY ANYMORE. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE SHOWILY FERRARIS AND LAMBORGHINIS WHICH BRING SMILES TO PEOPLES FACES, IT IS THE ORDINARY CAR THAT MANAGES TO ACHIEVE THAT.