Matthias Lodi, Twingo Cup Champ and participant of Clio Cup, is going to race with much more powerfull Audi R8 GT3 at Slovakia Ring in upcoming event of ESET V4 Cup.
You are going to race at Slovakia Ring with much powerfull car then you ever drove in past, how are you looking forward to it?
This race will be a real turning point in my professional career. If I’m completely honest, I’m in between minds with how to feel. On one hand I’m so excited but at the same time when I think about it, it’s quite intimidating and scary. After all we are talking about 650hp, just slightly more, 400hp to be precise, than what I’m used to with the Clio. I got the chance to see the camera car in the Slovakia Ring and the maximum speed was around 265kmh!
I think it will be a challenge and I hope everything goes according to plan. Naturally I want to do well and have a good race but my overall objective is to not cause any damage. There is a significant amount of money on the line with this race and the insurance excess on the car is high so I need to be careful!
Right now, I just can’t wait to race. The moment I step onto the track and into the car all thoughts clear from my head. Any worries and doubts I have had leading up tot the race vanish and I am able to focus on the task ahead of me. Only then, with a clear head will I really be able to get into the swing of things, enjoy the race and give it everything I’ve got.
How this opportunity come together? Was that your plan before the season or was it coincidence?
If I’m 100% honest, it all began with a joke. I had always dreamt of being part of Gran Turismo circuit and was discussing this with my Team Manager at the end of last season. Naturally, my participation in any type of race is dependent on the sponsor I can find. Unfortunately, due to my own economic circumstances, I cannot afford to participate in an entire season, let alone one in the Gran Turismo category and as such I am always on the hunt for sponsors. A difficult task at the best of times.
Bearing this in mind I decided that this year I wanted to invest all the money I received from my sponsor in this race. This meant I would have to sacrifice an entire season in the lower category, but it also meant that I wold finally be able to fulfil my dream. That’s why I will have a videographer following me to document every moment. I am hoping that this video will express my passion and talent for racing which may create interest and incentive for potential sponsors. The dream would be to be able to do the entire 2020 season in GT3 or GT4 but only time will tell! Fingers crossed!
You have already tested Audi R8 in Grobnik, what was your impresion?
Incredible! As I said earlier, I have never driven anything so powerful. The car is an absolute beast! It’s like an aeroplane without wings! I felt like a kid in a candy shop, I wasted a tonne of time just trying to understand all the different buttons hahaha.
Even the downforce that the spoiler makes is fantastic! The car has such stability that it allows you to take on curves at an alarming speed. It was crazy, in the first few laps I felt as if I was driving on train tracks as the car was able to stick to the track. This is a far cry from driving the Clio where you are constantly fighting the car to keep the rear wheels in line with every curve.
One of my favourite things about the car though is the sound it makes. The noise of the engine as it roars to life gave me goosebumps!
You have a lot experience with FWD and engine in the front. How difficult was it for you to drive GT3 car?
You’re right. My experience to date has mainly been with FWD and not with RWD so this was another layer and another challenge for me. In the test laps I want to continue to build on my confidence with the car and slowly but surely lower the traction control and see what I can really get out of this car. However, the €16,000 in insurance excess I’m sure will keep my down to earth and concentrated on the task at hand.
Audi´s are winning most of the races with experience drivers. You are a novice in this car, what is your goal for the weekend?
You’re right, Audi is managing to back experienced drivers and they are winning their fair share of races, but I wouldn’t count me out just because I’m a novice in the category. As with everything I do I always set goals for myself. Shoot for the moon and you’ll land amongst the stars. Obviously, the end goal is to win, but for me I’m happy as long as I have raced well. For this weekend though, my end goal is to do my best and to finish the race. However, if I manage to race well, well then that would be the icing on the cake!
And what about the future? Any more races with GT3, what are your plans for the rest of the season?
As I said, the dream would be to do the entire 2020 season with a GT3 or GT4. However, as you know well, this is dependent on sponsors and whether I am able to find someone to support my dream! I would love to take this opportunity to appeal to potential sponsors who will be at the various championships. I would be honoured and grateful for any help that would allow me to fulfil my dream!
Thank you so much for taking your time to interview me. It’s always a pleasure and an honour getting to talk to you guys! As we say us, grazie mille per tutto and I will see you in Slovakia!