Here we go with another great Interview, in this opportunity we have another girl racer driver and driving instructor, Tatiana from Russia and her Genesis Coupe, telling us her story of how she became a race driver and drive everyday at one of the most desire tracks in the world, Nürburgring – Nordschleife.
2. How did your racing career started?
It was started suddenly. I bought Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8, and on the third day of driving i decided to go to the racetrack to find out what is all about this car. Few months later, i took part in Russian time attack championship. In the middle of the season, i had participated in two championships in parallel. Racing tightened me; it is hard to stop once started.
3. What made you become a driver instructor?
For few years back, i participated in different time-attack championships in Russia and in Europe, each time trying to improve my driving skills. Once the CEO of Big Garage company called me and offered me a job as an instructor. Big Garage (BG) provides renting of sportcars and coaching service at the Nürburgring racetrack. As you can guess, i accepted the offer. Nurburgring for all racers is the dream track and I was not an exception. I started to drive a lot at the Ring by myself and coaching people as well. For me it was my next step, next level. In addition, for sure i do like to work with people who are addicted to cars, auto sport, and speed. I am glad that i have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with them. BG helps me in that a lot and i really try to do my best, that’s why i think we are a really good team. And yes, it’s cool to be a girl, who is coaching and racing at the Ring=)
4. What made you choose Hyundai for a race car instead of other brands?
Haha, don’t laugh at me. It was girly stubbornness that i want a car that nobody has. Genesis Coupe 3.8 is not officially available in Russia. Mine was the only one, which was brought to Moscow by dealer for some exhibition. The logic was pretty simple – if now i have the unique car, why could not i prove that this car can race and win. I clearly understood that it would be very difficult to build a race car for me from Gen, but i was not scary. Easy ways – not my ways=)
5. What were your expectations for the Genesis Coupe and how different is from your race car Genny?
I don’t remember what was my expectations before i bought Genesis. As a real girl i was just dreaming to have a rear wheel drive car with more than 300hp, colored blue with brown interior =) I do like the design of this car, rather sharp lines, wide and low ass (sorry! but it is so sexy). Moreover, it is fast. Fast enough. Gradually Ituned Gen, one step at a time. At that time there wasn’t many tuning parts for this car all over the world. I read a lot American manual; compare technical parameters and sizes with other cars just to find out what can fit. Slowly we made brakes, interior, suspension. Now, for sure, it is completely different car. Nevertheless, I like it a lot. Even when people once again tell me that this car is not for the track.
6. Can you tell us some of the modifications done to your Genesis?
I can provide you with my spec list as of today. It fully will show what was done with Gen. Honestly, there is a lot more work to do with Gen, but i hope someday to see it finished completely =) For example i need to improve the cooling of engine, as it’s not enough especially for hot summer days. Improve exhaust system and play a bit with suspension settings.
Suspension: AST 5100 Series
Stabilizer link: from WV Scirocco
Brake disks: – FRONT Performance friction 362×32 – REAR Endless 345×30
Brake calipers: – FRONT Endless 6p – REAR Endless 4p – Adapter, custom
Brake pads: Endless MA45b Brake hoses: reinforced, custom
Interior: – Sparco Corsa racing seat (driver) – Sparco Evo racing seat (passenger) – OMP Fia 4 points belts – Wheels: – FRONT Advan TCII R18x8,5 – REAR Advan TCII R18x9,5
– Transmission oil-cooler
– Brake cooling nozzles
– Transmission oil temperature DEFI ADVANCE sensor with Control unit
– Engine oil temperature DEFI ADVANCE sensor with Control unit
8. Do you have any superstitions before racing?
I have only one superstition before the racing. If it’s rainy and I am on semi-slicks – the racing will be funny =) just kidding.
The day before racing each time is very difficult for me. I dont want to compete at all. Its not a fear, I don’t know how to explain. I prefer sofa, fireplace and warm tea. Until the moment I come to pit lane in there my mind changes totally and I look forward to see the green light.
9. As a race car driver, how do you manage fear, or does fear even enter your mind before you strap into a race car?
I don’t feel fear before the race. For sure, I am nervous, but I think it some kind of girly emotions). Only once I was really scared. I went to take part in German time-attack championship at GP-Strecke Nürburgring track. I decided to be part of the race without much preparation, so could not say that the car was ready. It was raining cats and dogs. No, can say better- it was raining as hell. I was on semi-slick and my rear wheels were closer to slicks…. It was my first time on this track and this did not bring me more confidence. During the tests I spined 360 digress 4 times in 4 laps. I once saw the fence very close and the car was often in gravel, grass and so on. Before the qualification I was sitting in the car, in my helmet, racing suit and… crying. Really, guys, it was my first time on track and I was very nervous. I called my boss with the question “Will you laugh at me if i will not participate?”. Do you know the quote of legendary rally driver and Porsche test driver Walter Rohrl “When accelerating the tears of emotion have to run off horizontally to the ear”. I finished that race on 3rd place. Scared, tired, but very happy.
10. Name one of your favorite race driver of all time and how he/she influenced in your racer career.
Maybe you would be disappointed, but i have no favorite race driver. I think that from every person, who reached some level in auto sport, you can learn something. The person who influenced my race career was my coach in Moscow. I still have his name on my cars, despite the fact that he had already passed away. It was he who told me millions of times not to give up. That not everything in this world is about money and if you want to do something, you should try. He was right – never pay attention on people who say that you will to reach your goals.
11. Tell us something that fans may not know about you.
I can’t live without chocolate ice-cream and high heels. And Endless brakes.
12. What’s the strangest thing, or place etc. that you’ve been asked for an autograph or to autograph?
Once during the racing one little boy came to me with the pen and piece of paper and asked for an autograph. I was in my racing suit and helmet and for him I was just a racer, without name, gender and cups. He was looking at my helmet with great interest! I took off the helmet, give it to him and his parents made few photos. After that i told him “I have now a photo with you, as you are a real racer in helmet, would you be so kind to give me your autograph?”. He was very shy, but draw a cross on my paper. That was so cute.
13. End of the interview. You can use this last question to thank any sponsors or fans.
I am very happy with what i have accomplished. With emotions i have on track, with people around me, with my students. All that is not so easy as you can imagine. But its part of my life, interesting and crazy life. And i want to say many many thanks for Big Garage (www.biggarage.de) for thier support. I am glad to be a part of Nurburgring big family. And for sure, each of you is welcome to get experience and fun at the Ring =)
Thank you everyone for joining us in this interview and Tatiana for telling us her story. Stay tuned for more interviews soon.
Special thanks to Martin Hornung.