Factory Audi driver Christopher Haase caught up with apexnews.co.nz‘s Steven Wright as he prepares to partner fellow German Christopher Mies and Supercars ace Garth Tander in the #75 Jamec Pem Racing Audi for the 2017 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour next weekend.
APEX: For anyone who doesn’t know who Christopher Haase is, Tell us a bit about yourself.
HASSE: I am now 29 years old and from Germany / Bavaria. Grow up in very little town Kulmbach and there I got with 18 years old the chance to get into racing as a club sport. Somehow I have been very successful from the very beginning, and my sponsor (in that time) “flatex” has given me the chance to get into GT3 racing. Somehow I have been very successful again. 😉 From that moment on I focused myself in GT3 racing to became a professional driver, and so far it went quiet well. Sure you need luck and you have to be at the right time
Somehow I have been very successful again. 😉 From that moment on I focused myself in GT3 racing to became a professional driver, and so far it went quiet well. Sure you need luck and you have to be at the right time and at the right place. Anyway, I am still racing in GT3 business and now already for a long time together with Audi Sport Customer Racing and I feel very happy like it is.
My other part of work is being an instructor for Audi driving experience which I also enjoy a lot. I like to travel, I like to prepare myself on my simulator at home, I like to pet my cat Leo when I am at home and to meet my family if there is time. So that’s me….😊
APEX: Was it always your boyhood dream to be a race car driver?
HAASE: Sure…. And I still can´t believe that my dream came true…
APEX: What was your first experience in Motorsport and how did you get into it?
HAASE: First experience: Dacia Logan Cup test day Oschersleben, just before the season started in 2006. It was rainy, cold, and no rain tires allowed. Only semi slicks for everybody. 90hp can be quick in this kind of condition. For some reason it didn´t felt bad at all, I felt Ok, but thought I am last anyway. No radio or pit boards available. Came into pitlane after couple of laps and figured out I have been P1. Thats my first experience. 😎
Got into racing because I had great people and sponsor (flatex) behind me which gaved me the chance to prove myself and they all believed in me.
APEX: Racing drivers are considered to be generally busy with fitness and media commitments. What do you get up to in your spare time?
HAASE: Yeah thats true. But you find your way after a couple of years to handle all this stuff automatically. I always make sure to have some spare family time – because this gives me the power back. By side racing I am working for Audi driving experience which gives me a good balance off racing.
APEX: If you win this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour, where would it stack against your other big achievements, with the likes the 24 Hours of Nurburgring wins?
HAASE: Of course, especially because the competition got that strong during the last years in Bathurst. After Nürburgring Nordschleife – Bathurst is definitely the 2nd track on the world which is so difficult to learn and which doesn’t accept any mistakes.
APEX: Many factory drivers gets perks like company cars, What are some of the perks of being a factory driver for Audi?
HAASE: I also have a company car. An Audi S6 Avant – it´s a mega car, just love it. Time to clean it agian. 😉
APEX: With expectations that the GT3 car will dip below the 2:00s mark at the Bathurst 12 Hour this year, How do you prepare to do something like that during the Qualifying sessions?
HAASE: Always difficult to prepare propper raicng at home. By side all the fitness stuff I like to prepare myself on a racing simulator. Somehow it helps you to get even quicker into the race weekend. The best thing is to prepare youself during free practice with some quali runs.
APEX: Mount Panorama is considered by many as the greatest track in the Southern Hemisphere. Where does it rank in your top tracks to race at around the world?
HAASE: I love Nordschleife, and honestly I like many american race tracks. But Bathurst is so unique like Nordschleife that this two tracks are vey special to me. Unfortunately Austrailia is so far from Europe – otherwise you would find me there more than just once per year. 😁
APEX: Your co-driver Garth Tander said in a recent interview that the Van Gisbergen/Baird/Engel Mercedes entry as one of early favourites. Do you agree with him?
APEX: Do you think you have a particular driving style that separates you from everybody else? If so what is it?
HAASE: I guess all the professionals are quiet similar on driving style. Differences are very small.
Apexnews.co.nz would like to thank Christopher Haase for spending time answering these questions.
Photo: Zimbio.com, Audi Customer Racing Australia, Scott Taylor Motorsport