The European Motorsport Season Begins
It’s March 2022. The world of Motorsport is well and truly opening after the ravages of the global pandemic. Olaf Manthey has become a race marshal, Misha Charoudin’s long dormant alter ego Boosted Boris has returned from obscurity as a shamanic warrior guide, and Walter Röhrl waits in the snowy mountains to train ‘The Chosen One’ to be a better driver. All of this can only mean one thing – the public days or ‘TF’ Season at the Ring has started.
What is the TF Song?
The TF Song is rock track and a satire on boy racers and overeager young visitors to the Ring, or any race track. Beginners in motorsport can feel fear. This fear turns to adrenaline, and gives rise to bravado, and sadly often results in sticky consequences. The message is clear: Respect the Ring.
The Pineapple King is a reference to the German phrase ‘Goldene Ananas’ or Golden Pineapple, perhaps the equivalent of the ‘wooden spoon’ in English. It’s a non-existent prize for, has come to be associated with people who treat public ring sessions as a race. You can’t win a prize on public days, except perhaps the metaphorical and far from desirable Pineapple.
The video tells the story of a young would-be Ring warrior who comes to the track with the wrong idea of winning. He is spotted by YouTuber Misha Charoudin’s alter ego Boosted Boris who decides he is in fact ‘The Chosen One’. Then, with the help of Röhrl and Manthey, he finds himself retrained, renewed and ready to return to the Ring for a victory of a very different kind. There are also cameo appearances from the first British Nürburgring journalist Dale Lomas, and even former Lamborghini works driver and FIA GT1 World Championships race winner Stefan Rosina.
Many cool cars appear in the video, including German legends of VLN and motorsport. Nürburgring Regular the Foxtail Manta features, as does ‘Kermit’, the recently rediscovered and restored race Porsche 964 in which Herr Manthey won his very first Porsche Supercup title.
Also in the video are local TF Heroes such as the blaze orange Jägermeister Mk1 VW Golf, The Unicorn E46 M3, and local tuner Valiant Ecosse’s stunning modified Aston Martin Vantage Ringtool. Local leading track experience and rental company Apex Nürburg also make an appearance, along with their Schirmer BMW rental cars.
The Heizer Monkeys
The TF Song is performed by the Heizer Monkeys who are a band and also a race team. They hail from Vienna, Manchester and London. Drummer Leo Willert is the current Porsche Challenge Middle East champion. On organ is Christian Eigner, not currently on duty in his other role as drummer in megastar group Depeche Mode. Lead singer Joey wrote the song and is an incurable petrolhead. He has raced a 911 GT3 Cup at the Le Mans Classic. His first love is the Nürburgring, and specifically TF or Touristenfahrten, where he hurls an original BMW M3 CSL ringtool round the track. He says the song is kind of autobiographical:
"I think most of us develop into more mature characters over time, but as far as track driving was concerned, I was starting a bit from behind! When I first came 12 years ago I loved the ring from the first stroll around the car park during a TF day, but I really had no clue. More specifically, I had no clue about what I didn’t know, and that of course can be dangerous.
"The Ring is such a magical place, the people are so warm, and on a busy Saturday during TF there can sometimes be almost a carnival vibe. But driving fast can be dangerous. If people have serious crashes on the ring or even worse on the local roads, there’s a risk of bad consequences, not just for the people in the cars, but for TF itself. TF is allowed to happen only because people respect the danger. The Nürburgring and TF is allowed to continue to exist but it would be hard to imagine permission for them to be brought in for the first time if they didn’t already exist. TF is the beating heart of the local economy. If it goes, businesses will fold, people will leave the region, and a little of magic of the place will go with it. I hope the TF Song is enjoyed, but also that it helps people think about how privileged we are to visit this place. The truth is that our attitudes when we visit here can actually influence whether it survives in the future."
Covid, the Floods and Ukraine – Helping the Community
The Heizer Monkeys have been active in trying to help the community since the devastating floods faced by the region around the Ring. Joey volunteered in the aftermath and ended up giving dozens of short concerts to emergency workers and volunteers who had returned coming out of the disaster zone. The band also recorded and released the song ‘You Ahr Not Alone’ to raise money for the victims.
TF Song T-Shirts and other merchandise will be available through the website heizermonkeys.com in the coming days and proceeds go directly to the EifelKind Charity, made up of VLN racers who have been collecting donations in the paddock for disabled children in the region for more than a decade. EiFelkind has been at the forefront of disaster relief fundraising and is now fundraising on behalf of the motorsport community for Ukrainian refugees.