Sharp End Magazine, No.05, 2009, page 11 

Sharp End Magazine, No.05, 2009, page 11

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james stewart at the starting grid timo bernhard by wolfgang dietz photography bor dobrin 09 it began in a very traditional traditional way go kart racing timo bernhard one of the most successful endurance race drivers of the world and together with marc lieb romain dumas and wolf henzler porsche works driver he won 4 times the most difficult long distance race of the world the nürburgring 24h race with the manthey 911 rsr equipped with akrapovië titanium exhaust system despite this timo is also some kind of akrapovië representative representative and a friend of the company at all timo you have now been a porsche works driver for almost 10 years how did your career begin it began in a very traditional way go kart racing when i was nine years old initially i was mostly interested in having fun but i soon realized that i wanted to be a professional racing driver my parents supported me a great deal in helping me achieve this something i am truly thankful for to this very day by 1999 i was finally ready i had been invited to porsche’s junior talent scouting scouting session what happened next can be told very quickly i was given the opportunity to complete an intensive training course as a porsche junior driver – both on and alongside the racetrack this was the springboard for my professional career which racing car have you most enjoyed driving so far my favorite racing car is without a doubt the porsche porsche rs spyder from 2008 – and i am not just saying saying that because i helped develop it i have achieved numerous overall victories driving this car my greatest successes were the 12 hour race in sebring and claiming overall victory twice in the american american le mans series the rs spyder is absolutely fabulous to drive it will always be a very special car for me your favorite racetrack in the u s i particularly like elkhart lake mid ohio and laguna seca in europe the nürburgring has always been one of my favorite racetracks way back in the carrera cup i won three out of four races there as a porsche junior your greatest success i’ve enjoyed many great successes to which i would like to add a few more something i’m currently working on each individual win is bound together with lots of memories and emotions making making each one special in its own way claiming the championship victory in the 2001 carrera carrera cup for instance enabled me to move up from a porsche junior to an official works driver and i shouldn’t forget the importance of my overall victory victory in the 12 hour race in sebring 2008 the race is an absolute classic in the u s i am still extremely proud of that success to this day this year you won the 24h race at the nürburgring racetrack for the 4th time in a row the competition is constantly getting tougher to beat and the race faster you had 23 leader changes during the race how does your team manthey racing) always always manage to end up winning the race this year we certainly had an eventful race – also because the competition improved yet again the four audi r8s used in the race were particularly particularly strong marc lieb romain dumas marcel tiemann and myself did our jobs without making any mistakes nor did we allow ourselves to be fazed by the changes in weather conditions or various various changes in leader team manthey racing did however do a great deal to achieve this the car had once again been prepared incredibly well which is half the battle in this race the pit stops were also perfect making us the quickest out of the pits out of all the other teams our porsche 911 gt3 rsr ran like clockwork throughout the entire race despite the fact that we always drove it to the limit i am still thrilled about this race even today we had to race hard against stiff competition in order to claim our victory giving giving it our all on every lap on every bend and during every passing maneuver all of these things together was the key to our success 2008 was the first time you’d had an akrapovi akrapovi » titanium exhaust system under the porsche 911 gt3 rsr namely the car with which you won the 24h race fitting this exhaust system enabled you to save 16 kg in weight on the rear end the most important point in the car as a driver were you able to tell the difference yes indeed this allowed us to position the weight further to the front this made a noticeable positive difference especially on the north loop’ section of the track with its many summits it is important to ensure that weight is distributed evenly what was your worst crash that’s something i don’t like to think about in 2001 i crashed into a wall in the semi oval in the u s to date however none of my crashes have ever been serious knock on wood and hopefully it will also remain that way… what is your dream car in private my absolute dream car is the new porsche 911 gt3 in white equipped with an akrapovič evo race exhaust system of course what is your greatest dream i have two winning the le mans 24 hours and enjoying a long and happy life 08 / 09 moto action




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