Interview with Franz Engstler
17 feb 2015

The new YOKOHAMA Trophy Champion 2014 within the FIA WTCC is the veteran German racing driver Franz Engstler.  He recently spoke to David Oliva, responsible for Communications at YOKOHAMA Europe, and provided an insight into his experience at the top level of Motorsports and his fantastic 2014 season.

Q: What is your feeling on winning the YOKOHAMA Trophy?

It has been our target from the very beginning in 2008, to win this trophy in WTCC. Sometimes I was within the best 3 but now the victory is a great success for me.

Q: Did you expect it before the season started?

Honestly you can think about this but for it to become true there are a lot of things which need to work out.  All the team did a great job in 2014, we had no technical problems and I was able to use the full potential of the car and my experience to win this trophy.

Q: What kind of preparation/training do you do before the racing season starts?

I try to use the little time left between my job in my companies and the races to take care of my fitness in the gym.

Q: As one of the most veteran and experienced drivers in the 2014 season at the WTCC what makes you keep wanting to race and motivated?

I do my job as race driver with passion and heart. When you become older you are also able to use your experience in racing.  To work in the race car, with my team is always a great challenge for me and as long as there are no younger drivers beating me, why should I stop?  Ok, now my son is starting his first steps in motorsport, maybe this could be an option to think about stopping because I want to give him a fair chance to do Motorsport and support him with all my experience.

Q: What have been the main highlights of your successful career?

Definitely the first victory of a private driver on my 50th birthday at the WTCC Oschersleben race.  How to manage this was the success of the whole team because we had an incident in the first race, and only 15 minutes to rebuild the car and the team did their best job. One minute before the pit lane closed I was able to enter the grid and kept my position in the first row. The rest was my responsibility to do my best race possible and fortunately I could win.

Q: What do you think of the YOKOHAMA Tyres and their evolution since you started racing with YOKOHAMA?

For more than eight years we use YOKOHAMA tyres in WTCC and never had a technical problem with the tyres. The staff that supports us is always professional, friendly and helpful.  This is the guarantee that YOKOHAMA knows how to do their job. Respect!

Q: What are your plans for 2015?

We will change into another Touring Car series and I hope to also do many great races there.

Q: What advice would you give young people who are interested in Motorsports?

If you would like to race, follow your dream. You can be sure that there are some setbacks possible, a step back or two, maybe you also fall down but then more important is to get up, don’t lose your targets, be honest, work hard and try to move forward day by day.

Q: Is it the man? Or the machine?

Both, the best driver can’t be successful without his team – the team is responsible for his car.

Q: What is your wish for 2015?

To be able to continue my passion to drive race cars as long as possible.

Q: A message for your fans?

Cross the fingers for me and my team, come to the race tracks and you are always welcome to visit our pits.

 

Thank you Franz!