Life in cars
TG’s own Queen of the Nürburgring talks ‘borrowing’ cars and Porsches with soul
The first car I drove was my mum’s, when I was 17 – she never used it, so it was easy as the key was always on the desk. I just decided to grab it and go – and head straight to the Nordschleife. That was a BMW 318i. My mother wondered why the tyres were always worn, and the brakes were soft, and why the petrol was always gone. One day I took her car for a race and I put it back in the garage on slicks. Then she took it to the hairdresser. The good thing is it was so foggy she couldn’t go very fast. She came home and said: “I don’t know what’s wrong with my car; I steer to the right and it drives to the left.”
I was always a BMW fan, but didn’t have the money for a BMW. My mum bought me a Volkswagen Polo GT when I was 18 – I put a roll cage in it, and I drove it on the ’Ring as often as I could. I had it for two years. Then I drove in the Ford Fiesta Mixed Cup, and I got a car from Ford. It was a Sierra Cosworth, rear-wheel drive. I won a couple of races with that car.
I drove a few more Fords, then I got my first BMW, which was an 850 CSi. I had a horse trailer to take to a competition, so I asked a friend of mine if he could put a hook on the BMW. It was nearly impossible because the oil cooler for the rear axle is on the back of the 850. So I said: “Can’t you put the cooling system somewhere else?”. He said, “Yes, no problem, bring me the car!”
Now I have a couple of cars. I have the racing car – a Porsche GT3 R, plus a Porsche Boxster S in black. It’s quite nice to have a convertible in the heat. And I have a Ford pickup that I use on my ranch.
We have another GT3 R for the road, and a GT3 RS and a GT2 RS, so a nice Porsche collection. I must say, the GT2 RS is a weapon. If you want to go on a track with it, you really have to think if it’s necessary or not! Because, I mean, it’s bloody fast. The suspension is so soft so you have traction, but it’s really forcing the goal with that car on the Nordschleife – it’s very dangerous and very hard to keep on the track.
I like our Porsches, they handle nicely, but it’s a lot of work. It’s not like a BMW M6 – that’s so easy to drive, and where’s the challenge in that? That’s why I get bored in a BMW or a Mercedes – they might be made for the racetrack, but my Porsches have a little bit of soul.