Man versus woman - the decision on the racetrack

Who does not know this in a partnership: "Everything you can do, I can do much better!" - "You can't!" - "I can!" But what is humorous in the musical Annie get your gun can be behind the steering wheel of a car can lead to discussions. After all, this is about the honor of the man who writes these lines. Driving a car is clearly my domain. In addition: I tore off hundreds of laps on the Nordschleife, but now my girlfriend doesn't even come, get in the car without any circuit experience and is then faster? So we need an umpire. Neutral and competent when it comes to fast driving. We turn to Lately racing, because they know how to deal with hot spurs and the team around chief instructor and racing driver Markus Gedlich also has a plan at hand: separate coaching for me and my "Wilde Hilde".

Who is ironing here? And who?

Man vs. Woman - The decision on the mountain

Kreis Höxter in late autumn. It's cold, the clouds are low. Not exactly the right weather for the showdown of the heated minds in the gender fight. It is still quiet on the Bilster Berg race track opened here at the beginning of 2013. Wikipedia describes this 4,2 kilometer long circuit emotionlessly as a test and presentation route for vehicles on the site of a former ammunition depot of the British Armed Forces. What a technocratic understatement, because when instructor Daniel Schwerfeld takes us by the hand and leads us around this impressive mountain and valley railway, we are both amazed. "Any questions?" Grinning, Daniel stands in front of us after we have looked into the steeply falling mouse trap, had to put our head back to find the exit from the steep wall and the meandering between ammunition field and telegraph arch made us almost dizzy , Yes, we have a question: why did we meet here to clarify who is faster? The answer is captivating: "You both do not know the racetrack and you have the opportunity to get shown on one and the same car by us, how best to get around here."

Aha, get around. And with what? In front of us is a light blue and red Opel Corsa OPC, prepared for use on the racetrack: emptied, with cage, bucket seats, four-point belts, Semislick, differential lock, 200PS strong and equipped with the Race Navigator One, an incorruptible data recording system that measures lap times, speed, as well as longitudinal and lateral acceleration and also films the occupants and the route. So it's done and I summarize: Unknown route, unknown car and ... oh well, the circuit is wet and slippery. That can be cheerful. Our instructor agrees, who first lashes my friend Daniela down in the co-pilot's hot seat and then leaves the pit lane with the Corsa roaring.

Photocredits: Thomas Wysocki


Kernig roaring on the first round 

Three laps later, Daniel and Daniela come back to the pit stop grinning: driver change and it seems that the two of them are having a lot of fun on the wet track. When the trainer and his student roll into the pit lane after a few more laps, grab the Race Navigator attached to the windshield with a suction cup and retreat into a quiet little room, I realize how serious they are. Transferred to a tablet, the coach evaluates the data and discusses it with my partner. I am condemned to watch and am deeply impressed how you can use this application to superimpose and compare cornering speeds, braking points and acceleration. As meticulously as the two go into detail, they have their learning goal clearly in their sights and it becomes clear: regardless of whether they are a racetrack novice or an old track day fox, with 1: 1 coaching everyone is treated equally and the result is amazing. Or expressed in numbers: the two find 17 seconds between Daniela's first and last lap. But for the instructors, it is not so much the pure gain in time that matters, but a feeling for the car and the route. "Many participants do not use the width of a racetrack optimally for their ideal line and also do not adapt their driving style to the characteristics of the car." Daniel sums it up. And with that he turns to me: “Come on, put your helmet on, fasten your seat belt and leave. You should actually know how to move on a circuit. ”Yes, but that doesn't save me from a clear criticism of maneuvers: I brake too hard on some corners instead of braking gently into the radii. “You have to drive more smoothly and take more speed into the corners.” The second stint is off and after a somewhat unsettled start I can clearly feel the result of my efforts: Daniel no longer has to nod as hard as if he were sitting in a Smart and the navigator spits out a lap time that is eight seconds faster. Daniel grins with satisfaction: "You know, that's exactly why I love doing this job, because everyone can still learn something with us."

Gender war: Race mode: ON!

And the speed-driven gender battle? The male honor was saved. With just over 11 seconds I was able to distance the best woman by my side. But the pure lap times should be put into perspective, because within 45 minutes of training to increase 17 seconds is impressive and shows their steep learning curve or as our coach says: "Daniela has real potential". On the other hand, I feel rather weak with my eight-second improvement.

Nonetheless, both results demonstrate how intensively the Gedlich Racing instructor team addresses and motivates their 1: 1 coaching clients without overstraining them. So not only newcomers learn the fun of the liability limit, even the experienced hare can be given several new aspects in the search for the limit on the racetrack. The moral winner is so clear Daniela, because without prior knowledge into a track day including coaching to overthrow, deserves the highest respect.

So the question of who is faster in automotive gender struggle cannot be answered definitively. It smells like revenge and also Gedlich Racing has a solution for that: A winter training under the warming sun of southern Spain on the magnificent course from Ascari.


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