“Madness”, “This tops it all” – four celebrities at the Nürburgring
“Incredible. This tops it all!” When Jörg Pilawa gets out of the DTM Race Taxi he can’t stop grinning. The popular TV presenter working for DTM’s German TV partner ARD was one of four celebrities who attended the DTM race meeting in the Eifel. Multi-time alpine skiing Olympic Gold Medallist and World Champion Maria Höfl-Riesch, Pilawa’s colleague Matthias Opdenhövel and Ralf Hasenhüttl, manager of Football Bundesliga newcomers FC Ingolstadt also were on site to witness the DTM action at the legendary circuit. And they all were fascinated by both the on-track action and what was going on aloof from the track. This applied in particular to the three men who arguably won’t forget their taxi rides in the DTM vehicle for a long time.
Höfl-Riesch and Hasenhüttl began their DTM weekend in the paddock of the Audi teams. Both met the drivers Jamie Green and Timo Scheider and enjoyed an exclusive guided garage tour. Höfl-Riesch told the ARD that she lost he driving license when she was young due to two traffic offenses but that she learned her lesson, thanks to this penalty. Höfl-Riesch: “Motor racing and the speed-skiing disciplines have got quite a lot in common. But the racing in DTM is even clearly faster. I think it’s unbelievably thrilling.”
Pilawa who made his first trip to a DTM race also was provided with fascinating insights: “Usually you tend to think that there just are full grown men in perfect shape driving around in circles. But I was offered the opportunity to take a glance behind the curtains. And it’s pure madness what is going on there. I’m massively impressed.” His colleague Opdenhövel was just as thrilled by his DTM debut. “I was aware that this will be more than just a driver travelling to the racetrack with two mechanics. But the dimensions of the entire logistics in he background are truly awesome. I’m running around with my eyes wide open.”
And he opened them even wider when he was waiting in racing gear – just as Pilawa and Hasenhüttl – for the Race-Taxi ride. In the run-up, the two ADR presenters opted for the same strategy. Opdenhövel: “They’ve got a lot of tasty dishes, here, but I’d rather don’t touch them before my lap.” And Pilawa added: “I also only had a light-fare snack. I am scared and have a lot of respect.”
Although Pilawa already had a small taste of motor racing at the Nürburgring. According to him, he contested classic-car rallies and even completed some laps at the Nordschleife. But the ride in the Race Taxi represented a completely different dimension, for the 50-year old: “This was so wicked, I’m brimming with adrenaline. I definitely opted for the wrong profession and now it unfortunately is too late to make the switch. Unless they create an over-50 category.” While Pilawa smiled during his lap and showed a two-handed thumbs up, his colleague was clearly less relaxed. Nonetheless, he said after his turn: “This was sensational. I enjoyed every single centimetre. It’s extremely cramped in the car and I had to take my glasses of as they didn’t fit under the helmet. Nonetheless, I didn’t miss anything, leaned back and enjoyed.”