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Sabine Schmitz keeping expectations in check

Nürburgring Nordschleife expert Sabine Schmitz is keeping her expectations in check ahead of the World Touring Car Championship’s maiden visit to the legendary German circuit later this week.

Schmitz has been drafted in by series promoter Eurosport Events to race in the event at the wheel of a second Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze. Despite being an expert at the circuit, completing thousands of tours every year, Schmitz says she is not getting carried away with thoughts of beating her full-time professional rivals.

“I am always racing against men so I am used to it,” said Schmitz to the series’ official website when asked about racing against an all-male grid. “But I don’t know how these high-profile drivers will react. I know that men are vain. When a woman wants to overtake them they are not always happy. I don’t know if they are fair and let me pass them, in case I have the possibility to pass them of course!”

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Schmitz got her first taste of TC1 touring car machinery last month in the series’ official test, posting the 13th fastest time. With her time being 23 seconds off the pace, Schmitz says she needs more time in the car to go faster.

“I need a little bit more time in the car because I only did six laps,” she said. “But it’s expensive to run a car like this all the time. Instead I take some data home, look at it and get my brain prepared for what’s next.

“The first day in the WTCC car was slightly different to the car I usually drive, a Porsche GT3-R. The Chevrolet is slower but it’s not easy to drive really fast because I have to change the driving style really a lot. With no ABS I am too hard on the brakes and my entry speed for the corners is too slow. I am good on the exit but I am losing too much time on the entry to the corners.”

Schmitz has identified Tom Coronel as being someone she hopes to challenge during this weekend’s two races at the ‘Ring, but is under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to stand on the podium.

“To beat Tom Coronel will be very tough. And the other guys in the field are not known to be nose pickers. When I am behind the wheel I give everything. I am tough and I bite also.

“I don’t want to dream too much but if I could be on the podium that would be a dream come true. But if I end up in the top five I will be very satisfied as well. But first you have to finish.”

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