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MOTOREX Magazine 2004 73 EN

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MOTOREX_Magazine_2004_73_en

Report Report A female

Report Report A female race driver is one in 100. “But it’s less my sex rather than my talent, combined with that certain something”, says Gachnang, that will bring this young woman from Aigle in French-speaking Switzerland to the head of the pack. Natacha Gachnang: Tough young talent 17-year-old Natacha Gachnang has an eye for what’s important in racing and an impressive strength of character. The use of identical cars gives everyone the same chance and puts the emphasis on driving skills and strategic ability. Photo: AM Holzer While other girls her age were still at home playing with dolls, Natacha Gachnang was taking out the boys one after another on the kart tracks. That was in 1994. The racing gene seems to be well rooted in the Gachnang family. Her grandfather, Georges Gachnang, competed in the Le Mans 24-hour race, her father raced both hill climbs and slalom courses as a hobby, and her cousin, Sébastien Buemi, started racing successfully in the Formula BMW series this year. MOTOREX magazine: “Natacha, do you think that a fascination and talent for motor sports can be hereditary?” Natacha Gachnang: “I think so. Our family has always been involved in motor sports. I got my first kart at age 5, and I’ve been a passionate driver ever since. Personally, I define talent as driving ability gained through intensive training, and the sheer determination to be faster than the rest.” MOTOREX magazine: “When was the first time you really believed you’d become a professional racing driver?” Natacha Gachnang: “I won my first Swiss kart championship when I was 9, and my career continued from there step by step without my really being aware of it. I trained – a lot in fact, often more than 100 days a year – competed in races, and suddenly I would come to the point where I could compete in a new category. Some day I’d like to make a living by racing, in the same way that other people make a living in other careers. And that can only mean going professional!” MOTOREX magazine: “How long have you been racing in the Formula BMW series?” Natacha Gachnang: “Since 2003. Last year, BMW invited me and 59 other young drivers to take part in racing training. The instructor, Marc Surer, and the Jury seemed to be so impressed with my driving abilities and second-best time that I was immediately awarded a grant for Formula BMW.” MOTOREX magazine: “Fortunately, Formula BMW teaches you much more than just fast driving. How do you manage with all the excitement going on around you?” Natacha Gachnang: “It’s a part of my work, and in fact, I find it a lot of fun. Nobody ever gets anywhere without commitment!” MOTOREX magazine: “Willi Weber, who also manages the Schumacher brothers, has signed a long-term contract with you. What does this mean for you?” Natacha Gachnang: “A stroke of luck! (laughs) Mr. Weber has a lot of experience, and he really knows the scene. On the one hand, I’m motivated by his expectations, and on the other, I’m reassured to know I’m in the care of a professional.” MOTOREX magazine: “The results from the current season could be better – what do you think?” Natacha Gachnang: “This is only my second season in Formula BMW, and I’m still in the developing phase. The aim for 2004 was “Get on to the circuit and win points”, and that’s pretty much exactly what I’ve done.” Promoting young talent in Formula BMW BMW’s history of successfully promoting young talent goes back to the 1970s. Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher was once one of the drivers to benefit from the junior program.The talented young men and women who take part in Formula BMW races all have the same goal: to become Formula 1 drivers. Since 1991, BMW and ADAC have jointly sponsored formula series in Germany for young talent. Since 2002, the activities have been restricted to a single class: Formula BMW ADAC. The fact that the newcomers all drive identical cars is intended not only to developing their driving abilities. In addition to “Driving techniques and tactics”, the training program consists of four additional modules,“Vehicle dynamics and chassis setup”, “Fitness training and nutrition”, “Media training and PR” as well as “Sponsorship and sports management”. The vehicles are 140 hp, 455 kg (without driver) BMW FB2 formula racers. The BMW monoposto was redesigned two years ago. It is considered to be extremely safe and is sold by BMW at a subsidized price of Euro 55,900. Further information: www.bmw-motorsport.com MOTOREX magazine: “Race drivers hardly ever mention fear – how do you see this as a woman?” Natacha Gachnang: “Everyone knows it’s bad to listen to fear. If you start to be afraid, you can’t be really fast any more. Caution is a different matter, of course. If you’re in the top three, for example, you automatically adopt a different, more cautious strategy, than when you want to work your way up the field from behind.” MOTOREX magazine: “Do you have any role models in your career?” Natacha Gachnang: “Yes, especially the younger talents who’ve hit it big with their own, sometimes wild style.” MOTOREX magazine: “What’s your most typical character trait?” Natacha Gachnang: “Impatience with myself. But it’s a healthy impatience that keeps me committed to moving ahead.” MOTOREX magazine: “What do you do to relax when you’re not training?” Natacha Gachnang: “Spend time with my family. And of course I do sports. I love to climb, and I do endurance sports like cycling and fitness training. I also like to spend time with my friends in Aigle.” Our readers and MOTOREX magazine thank Natacha Gachnang for this interesting interview and wish her a successful career as a racing driver. Under contract: In addition to world champions (such as Michael Schumacher), Willi Weber also manages young talents. A healthy lifestyle and regular physical fitness are an everyday part of Natacha’s life as a racing driver. A strong character. Natacha’s natural and direct approach have won also her media favor. 6 7 Photo: Froidevaux Photo: supplied

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