1st challenge: Time Trial in a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT
To make the race in the 375 kW Mercedes-AMG GT as open as possible, Kaymer has a flying start, while Rosberg will start from a standstill. The former world number one golfer reckons he’s a pretty good driver: “At least, I’ve never had an accident.” Sure enough, Kaymer looks quick on his practice lap, and as he crosses the line the clock starts ticking. With no major errors, he takes the flag in 43:34 seconds. “I didn’t have the confidence to accelerate through the turns,” admits Kaymer. Next it’s Rosberg’s turn to gun the engine. Currently second in the F1 drivers’ championship, he hits the kickstarter and accelerates towards the first turn with a squeal of the tires. It is clear he is determined to claw back his starting deficit. But then comes the first surprise of the contest: Rosberg is precisely 23 hundredths of a second slower. “That’s going to spoil my day,” says Rosberg with a grin. He wants to get even, this time on the golf course.
2nd challenge: Nearest the Pin
Just a few minutes’ drive away is one of England’s most attractive golf courses: St George’s Hill. Rosberg has ten golf balls which he has to hit as close as possible to the second hole from a distance of 50 yards. This time things are a little trickier for Kaymer, who has just three attempts to pitch from a distance of 150 yards. Rosberg goes first. His swing is elegant, the ball traces a high arc to the green. You wouldn’t think he plays off a handicap of 34. He has been playing golf for a very long time, he explains – “but only once every three years.” The fourth shot is his best. He follows it intently, inquiring: “Was that a hole-in-one?” Not quite. The ball stops less than 3 feet from the hole. “Big shot!” shouts Kaymer, and prepares for his first attempt. “I’m really curious to see his swing,” says Rosberg. Kaymer takes out a 9 iron. A moment of concentration, a smooth backswing, a gentle whoosh, and grass flies through the air.