by journalist Bruna Pickler
We had a nice interview with Austrian GT3 racing driver Simon Reicher, and he told us about his aspirations and enlightened us regarding a career in motorsport. In fact, we talked about everything. From the challenges of an athlete’s career, to BREXIT, to video games, and even travel aspirations. According to Simon, the best games on racing are Forza and Project Cars, while the most challenging circuit to play is Nordschleife. Find the interview below, in full. And thank you for subscribing 😉
Dear Simon, first of all, thank you very much for your time and will to collaborate with us by answering to this interview 😀
Bruna Pickler: Please tell us when was your first time racing? Why did you choose this as your career?
Simon Reicher: My first time racing was when I was eight. I started in Kart as it is usual today. Then I moved step by step upwards in categories of racing until I reached the level of touring car. In touring cars I started with a Renault Clio. Then I moved to the TCR and drove an Audi RS3. Now I reached the highest level of touring car, the GT3 category of which I am really proud of. When I started with motorsport it was like a hobby for me, because I hadn’t realize what would be possible. But then after a certain point, I said to myself: “This is the thing you wanna do.” After that I decided to make racing my profession. My career was based at the very beginning by coincidence.
Was racing ever only a hobby to you?
As I mentioned before, it started as a hobby but turned out soon, that I wanna do it as a profession. Now it isn’t a hobby anymore, because it got way to much professional and the things I had to sacrifice are to much to do it just as a hobby.
How do you think that a sports career affects formal education?
I think it has a huge impact on yourself, especially on young people. When you start for example in motorsport with your career in young age, then everybody tells you: motorsport is the school for life. In the beginning you do not realize it, because you are too young, but when you get older, you will start to understand what they meant and what you have learned. The biggest gift you get in this school are the experiences you make.
How has the current season treated you so far?
The current season started very well. I performed well in two races of the Creventic series, unfortunately we didn’t have much luck and couldn’t finish both races, because of a collision, were my teammates were involved. I am also preparing for the ADAC GT Masters and the preparations showed us, that we have a good position were we start from this season.
Can you please help us to understand what are the main differences between a normal a car and a GT car? (Please describe to lay people)
The biggest differences are the aerodynamics, which give you a lot of downforce, this improves the corner speed. Then there are the tyres, which have no profile, so they can build up more grip and then the whole car itself, which is made a lot out of carbon fiber to make it light, the better brakes and an engine with nearly 600ps.
The biggest gift you get in this school are the experiences you make.
Can you please explain to our readers what are the differences between an AWD, FWD and RWD engines?
The differences are quite simple: when you drive an AWD engine car you have a drive on all four wheels which give you a better traction and makes the car more stable to control. FWD engine car have their drive on the front two wheels. It is the common way how it is installed in most of the small cars today, because it reduces the weight and is easy to install in cars. FWD cars normally tend to understeer if you are driving them in the limit, that’s caused by the FWD engine.
RWD engine cars are the most fun to drive, because you can drift with them easily. This is caused by the drive which is given on the two rear wheels. RWD cars are common in a higher price class and also in cars where you need to handle a lot of power.
Please cite what is the best streaming platform? (in your personal opinion)
It depends on what you are going to watch. For movies and series I prefer Netflix. But if you wanna publish something to a broader audience, I prefer YouTube.
In your opinion, what is the best daily news format? Within Europe territory, and how is this affected when you need to travel for work?
The best newspaper are quality print papers, because they are for me the most serious news. The big advantage of print media is, that you can’t read fake news or wrong researched facts if you have a quality paper. In the web there are tons of information around and if you do not look well you might get fake news or anything else. But when I travel for work, then I look the news up in the internet.
What are your favorite social media? (please list a few personal best, based on time spent at)
I do not have a favorite social media, but for racing and the communications with my fans I would prefer Facebook, Instagram and my own website.
What is the role of social media in your career?
It takes a huge place in my career, because it is something you cannot miss today. Everybody is on the one or the other social media site and in our time nearly everybody communicates over these pages. Furthermore it is a good base to acquire new sponsors or partners.
Do you believe that being more active on social media attracts more attention to potential sponsors, or how is the relationship of this two subjects?
There is definitely a relationship of these two subjects and as I mentioned already, everybody is on social media and so are companies, as well as advertisements too. If you have a good press work a lot of companies see that and so you might get new sponsors. But there is a second factor that most of people forget: if you are not good in what you are doing or have no talent, then nobody will support you because nobody will set his money on a bad investment. It sounds hard, but that’s the way. Still there is also one big thing: the connections, so if you know somebody who knows someone…
Specific Knowledge Quiz
Which year did V.W. stop manufacturing V.W. beetle with only two rear mirrors?
I have absolutely no idea.
Did you know that Ferrari produces 100% vegan cars? Can you tell us about what is your current sponsor doing about their development and/or research of vegan products?
I never heard about that.
What is (or should be) the top speed of a 1974 V.W. beetle which has held, by the year of 2019, 90% of its originality/original parts?
I don’t know it, but for a normal car produced at it’s current standings I would say 180 km/h to 200 km/h.
Which car has Bumblebee (fictional character) last transformed into (in 2018), according to the movies released in the cinemas in Europe?
I watched all transformers movies, but not the last which is called Bumblebee. But in the transformers movies he transformed into a Chevrolet Camaro, I think.
What do you think about graduating (masters degree) in video-game’s technology and its narrative?
I think it is a study as every other one, but honestly I do not play much video games, because I have no time for it. On the other hand you just have to take a look on how much money there is in the video games industry. In the future it will be even bigger for sure and so it is not the worst study.
Do you think this subject can be related to the motorsport industry? In which way?
Maybe, if you wanna develop a new simulator or to simulate the behavior of a car and other things where you wanna develop or prove something of the constructions of the car. But in other ways no.
What are the current best games related to motorsport? (Please be as specific as possible. Can cite more than one)
The best games related to motorsport are Project Cars and Forza. I use to play Project Cars, because I like the driving physics and in comparison to the real car it is in my opinion really close to the reality.
The best games related to motorsport are Project Cars and Forza. In comparison to the real car it is, in my opinion, really close to the reality.Simon Reicher about what games simulate best the real scenario of racing
When playing any video game, which is the most fun circuit to try?
When I am playing a video game, then I just play it to learn a track and get a feeling for the driving line and things like that. Sometimes I also just play for fun, but then I prefer driving the Nordschleife, because it is really a challenge to drive on.
What other sports do you like?
I like Tennis, Baseball and Boxing.
Do you know the rules or ever tried to play: archery and/or an equestrian sport? Would you try one? Which?
I have never heard about that sport.
What are the skills most needed to be a racing driver? What would you suggest to a person who would like to start in this career, even if amateur?
The most needed skills are definitely to have a bit of talent for that and a feeling for the movement of a car. But beside this things there is the most important of all: to have the motivation, the engagement and the will to do what is needed to reach your goal.
What do you like most about Austria?
What I like the most is the landscape and the culture. Because it’s something different in Austria. I think you can still feel the history, especially in the bigger cities. This makes Austria both, a special place to live while being something I am proud of.
What would be the best place to visit in Austria for a first time traveler?
It would definitely be Vienna. To visit the old buildings where, once, the monarchs ruled over the country. But also, some museums and the city itself. If there is time, then you should also visit Salzburg, because it is for me the only place in Austria, where you can really feel the past, because there you can find the old castle and the old town.
Anything else you would like to share with us about Austria? Or other cities in Europe?
Not really, everybody has to make it’s own experiences and fulfill their dreams.
Have you ever been to Brazil or any other places in Latin America?
I was never in Latin America, but I once want to travel to the Caribbean islands especially the Bahamas.
What are your main concerns and thoughts about the world we live in today?
That people act without thinking of something. That’s the biggest problem and always will be. That people do not learn from their mistakes. That’s also the reason why history is repeating itself.
What was the best gift you ever received from a fan?
Recognition and respect for what I am doing.
Please describe in your own words what is ‘altruism’
It’s when somebody acts selfless.
Who is your current idol? (in any field)
I have some idols, but my favorite is my father.
What about the world post-BREXIT?
There will be many changes after that, but it doesn’t matter what happens, the world won’t stop turning.
Career and Routine
What would be another career path for you if not in motorsport?
Another career path for me would be to found my own company. I am finishing now my school and then I will go for studying to. It is important to have something other than racing, because at the same time, racing is also not everything.
What are the next levels in your career?
The next level in my career will be to make me a name in GT3 category, so I can reach the point to become a professional driver. This means that I have to learn and gather experience in this and the next season.
What does your training consists in? (Special diet, daily gym training, restrictions when travel, etc…)
I go everyday to the gym, because it is absolutely necessary to be fit in the car. This is the most important part, to keep fit. With eating I am just looking, that I do not eat too much unnecessary things which are not healthy.
What does a driver’s physical training consists of?
Most important is endurance, because a race is only finished when you pass the jacked flag and this takes some laps.
What about food, and food & beverage restrictions?
For me it is important, that I do not eat too much before a race, because then I may loose focus, and can get sleepy and slow in the car. That happens because the body needs the energy to digest. I always pay attention to drink enough before the races, so I won’t get dehydrated, but while at endurance races I have something to drink in the car.
How many times do you watch the replay of your own races? How does that allow you to perform better in the next race?
I always try to recap the races and watch it again. I like to see it also from outside, like a normal viewer, because then you get to see some mistakes you made, which you cannot see from a onboard video.
How are the practices/trainings at the simulator? (Please describe it to someone who never had access or seen it)
As I already mentioned, I am not the biggest fan of simulators, because it’s something totally different to drive in real. I just drive on simulators to learn a new track, but that’s it.
What are your major motivations to everyday self-improvement?
It’s my own will to achieve something, to get better and fulfill my dreams. But I also have one thing in life, that keeps me moving forward, a person very special to me.
When was the first time you heard about Macao and/or Macao GP?
I can’t remember, to be honest… But it was already some years ago.
Are you racing in Macao GP this year?
It is not planed, but coincidences happen, especially in motorsport and I don’t know what the future will bring.
Anything else you would like to share with us that we forgot to ask?