Interview: Marcus Storb on joining the National Hotrods
Marcus Storb will join the National Hotrods in the 2021 Autospeedway season – In the #226 Ford Fiesta, the race driver from Gelsenkirchen wants to quickly catch up with the leaders
The 2021 Autospeedway season is just around the corner and the National Hotrods can look forward to a new addition. Marcus Storb has acquired a Ford Fiesta, which has been overhauled, repainted and made fit for further racing in the winter after the first race in 2020. The racing driver from Gelsenkirchen now knows what he still needs to fine-tune in order to be able to fight for victory on the track.
‘Leadlap.net’ spoke to Storb about the purchase of the car, the first steps and the busy winter. He also reveals which setup settings are key to success for a touring car on a small Autospeedway oval and what goals the experienced oval racer has set for the 2021 season.
André Wiegold: “What made you decide to sell your 2l Hotrods car to join the National Hotrods?”
Marcus Storb: “We sold our 2l Hotrods car, with which we were also very successful, because I was tired of the constant damage and wrenching. When we sold it, I realized right away that I couldn’t do without racing. Then we found the Fiesta in Gladbeck, where it stood for three or four years.”
“The car came from Fokko Wildeboer at the time, who in turn had brought it from England. He then converted it for the races on the mainland, for left turns basically. Then we got the vehicle and rebuilt it.”
André Wiegold “How did the first meters go and what did you change on the vehicle?”
Marcus Storb: “In 2020, we drove the first race with the car in Venray – without any big changes. We checked everything, of course, and tightened the screws. That’s when we drove to test where we were with the car in the first place. That’s when we found out we were at the very back because nothing was really working.”
“So we used the winter and the Corona break to completely disassemble the car and rework all the parts. We’ve had every screw in our hands and changed some things because we think it can work that way. We’ll see if it works when we get to race again.”
André Wiegold: “What’s the story behind the Ford Fiesta?”
Marcus Storb: “As for the history of the car, I learned afterwards that it is an original Chris Haird car. Chris Haird drove it himself, Theo Birkner sent me some photos of the car. What I liked most about the history was that it is probably the car in which Hotrods legend Barry Lee contested his last race – with the #351.”
André Wiegold: “The Autospeedway ovals in the Netherlands are a unique challenge, but which setup settings actually play an important role?”
Marcus Storb: “The wheel loads are quite important, meaning the weight distribution. This includes a cross value and the individual wheel loads. It also includes an inside weight, front weight and a rear weight. The braking system is also very important, because half of the race track is a turn. If it doesn’t work there, it’s not going to work, because the cars always go straight somehow.”
“Those are such key points. I also always say that the car can have a little less power if the suspension and the brakes fit. The wheels and tires are also important, of course, because that’s the first contact with the road.”
André Wiegold: “Entering a class with a new car naturally leads to a steep learning curve, but what are your personal goals for the 2021 season?”
Marcus Storb: “The goal is to first gain experience in the first season and to find a proper setup so that the car works well and becomes competitive. Once it’s competitive, I’d like to compete for wins and podiums, of course. The ambition is definitely still there. We’ll be racing at Venray and Posterholt – there will be races there as well. On top of that, there’s Lelystad, we’ll skip Ter Apel.”
André Wiegold: “Which people are all behind the team and the National Hotrods project?”
Marcus Storb: “I thank my family, especially my wife Petra, but also my children Calvin, Nico and Maurice. I thank André who painted the vehicle. Wilms Alurad Service polished our wheels. In addition, there are numerous people in the background who really actively support us. Of course, I would also like to thank Liqui Moly for their support over the years.”
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is not yet clear when the National Hotrods will hold their first race in 2021. As soon as sporting events are permitted again, the #226 car with its nice livery is sure to immediately catch the eye of many people.