Monday, April 13, 2015

TT Cup: More than just a coach: Markus Winkelhock in the Audi Sport TT Cup

Audi Press Release

Markus Winkelhock cannot complain about lack of work this year. In 2015, the seasoned Audi campaigner is not only on track as a driver but also acts as coach in the Audi Sport TT Cup.

Winkelhock’s commitment in the new Audi one-make cup did not come about by chance. “My father, Manfred, in 1976 made his first steps in motorsport in a one-make cup and then went on to race in Formula One,” he says. “I think it’s great that Audi is giving young drivers an opportunity in the Audi Sport TT Cup and look forward to providing hands-on assistance and advice to the talents.” Plus, a bit of banter to add some levity: “That’s simply part of the process,” says Winkelhock with a broad grin. “A healthy mix of authority and humor is important.”

The 34-year-old manages this balancing act, not least thanks to his successes. Winkelhock used to race in Formula One and in the 2007 European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring clocked some kilometers as the race leader. He competed for Audi in the DTM, won a race in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup as a guest entrant and at the moment is successfully involved in the GT program of the brand with the four rings – victories in the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and at Spa last year speak for themselves.

As coach in the Audi Sport TT Cup, Winkelhock will pass on his experience from 17 years of racing to the young drivers. “They really provide a very professional impression and at the fitness camp some of them pretty much showed me my limits,” says Winkelhock with another laugh: win and let win.

On the race track, he is really in his element in his new role. “I carefully watch everyone and provide as many tips as possible,” the pro explains. “But many of the drivers approach me themselves. I’m happy that we immediately had really good rapport.” A little good-natured teasing here and there by Winkelhock, the 'kidder', has been helping quite a bit to build it.

Photo credit: Audi Media