The most familiar face in the Audi Sport Seyffahrt R8 LMS Cup is that of Rahel Frey. In 2009, the Swiss driver became the first woman ever to win a race in the German Formula 3 Cup. She then switched to GT racing and spent two years competing in the DTM. For her, this season’s Audi Sport Seyffahrt R8 LMS Cup is about more than just race wins and podiums. As coach and mentor, Frey will also be on hand to offer advice to the young drivers as they take their first steps in motorsport.
“In the Audi Sport Seyffahrt R8 LMS Cup, I not only keep my eye on what is happening on the track, as a racing driver. For me, it is also exciting to see whether the young drivers stick to what we have discussed. I must not necessarily be crowned champion of this series, I can win races elsewhere. However, I will obviously fight hard in every race and will not be pulling any punches, as the youngsters must work hard to earn what they get – just as I do. Our goal is to put on a great show for the spectators in every race,” says Frey.
The 33-year-old’s main task will be to help her protégés find the right balance between tactics and aggression. “Many show too much caution in the races. You really have to persuade them to take full advantage of support systems like ABS. On the other hand, some drivers are too aggressive and wear the car and tyres down too quickly with their style of driving. In that case, I have to try to work with the drivers to find a reasonable compromise.”
The Swiss feels the race tyre provided by premium tyre maker Hankook is the ideal partner for the Audi Sport Seyffahrt R8 LMS Cup. “I know the Hankook race tyre and have always really enjoyed driving on it. You have a good peak in qualifying, then honest feedback in the race. The tyre lets you know when you are asking for too much, but also forgives mistakes. This allows newcomers to learn a lot about tyre management.”
Rahel Frey is one of a few women to have established herself in motorsport, but still sees great potential for more development in what is largely a male domain. “Not a lot has changed for us since I started out in motorsport 20 years ago. That is why it is so great to have the W Series, which is for women only. I would have been delighted to have had an opportunity like that when I was younger. They could obviously also have systematically invested the money in just one or two female drivers. However, this gives a lot of women the opportunity to show what they are capable of on a big stage.”
As well as the Audi Sport Seyffahrt R8 LMS Cup, the Audi works driver is also actively involved in GT racing and lines up in more than 20 races per season. In Switzerland, she and her sisters run a car dealership – it is all about four wheels for the 33-year-old. “I am happy with what I am doing. When I am at home at the weekend, I take my mountain bike and go for a ride into the mountains, in order to stay fit for my work. Work takes priority for us Swiss. We are a bit crazy in that regard.”
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