SOPHIE HOFMANN MEETS OLD ACQUAINTANCES ON HANKOOK RACE TYRES IN THE AUDI SPORT SEYFFARTH R8 LMS CUP

As a child, Sophie Hofmann was fascinated by motorsport and used to watch every single Formula 1 race on TV. Eventually, she was able to convince her father that she would like to focus her life on spending time at the wheel of a race car and made her first forays into karting as a 14-year-old. “The love of motorsport came from me, not from my father. He caught the motor racing bug from my enthusiasm and we used to travel to the Sachsenring, which is just 20 minutes from my home town, as often as possible,” says the youngster.

She first entered regional racing series and also competed on the international stage in 2015. Hofmann finished second in the women’s competition at the X30 Challenge in Castelletto di Branduzzo, won the Lady’s Cup at the IAME X30 International Le Mans, and was runner-up in the same category in the ADAC Kart Masters. Last year, she raced in the VW Scirocco R-Cup. “My father and I bought a Scirocco and did almost everything ourselves. We secured the help of one or two mechanics at races, or were also assisted by teams on site every now and again. It worked so well that I won the 4T class and was runner-up in the Junior competition.”

By the time she was 19, Hofmann was driving in the Special Touring Car Trophy (STT), in which she won her class in both races at the Nürburgring in a Seat Leon TCR. They were followed by starts at the Bördesprint and in TCR Germany. Sophie Hofmann: “At that time, Rüdiger Seyffarth kept asking me whether I fancied entering the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, which was launched in 2018. I gained my first experience in a real race car with Rüdiger – in a Citroen C2 – and eventually agreed to take part in a few races. The transition from a TCR to the Audi was huge. I finished ninth and tenth in the two races in Most a couple of weeks ago. I want to improve again by the finale in Hockenheim,” said the young woman from Saxony, who started a Business Studies course after completing her school education.

The race tyre supplied by exclusive partner Hankook is an old acquaintance for Hofmann, having had nothing but positive experiences with the tyre in the TCR and the Scirocco Cup. “The Hankook tyre is very compact and a true all-round talent. It works well at every track and lasts longer than many other tyres. It may wear a little over the course of the race, but never so much that you can no longer set fast lap times. My driving style really looks after the tyres, and I manage well on the Ventus Race.”

Hofmann wants to make it onto the top of the podium in the amateur class when the finale of the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup shares the bill with the DTM in Hockenheim in three weeks. That would be another step towards achieving her main goal and making a living out of motor racing. “I don’t necessarily need to become a works driver like Rahel, that may be aiming a little too high. However, you can still earn money as a normal racing driver, both at home and abroad, or work as a coach and instructor. Once I have finished my studies, I could, if it does not work out in the cockpit, end up working in organisation or management for a racing team. I definitely want to remain involved in motorsport, and to do so all my life. That is my dream.”

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