For Timo Scheider, Hockenheim is a very special venue. In 2008 and 2009, he secured his two DTM titles there. And in the finale of the 2015 season, following a longer barren spell, he mounted the top of the podium again for the first time.
“That was a special victory following a difficult season,” says the two-time DTM Champion who has been competing for Audi in the DTM since 2006 and for Audi Sport Team Phoenix since 2014. “Hockenheim gave me a lot of motivation. Winning on the final weekend was important for winter – for me, as well as for the whole squad, and especially for Laurent (Fedacou), my engineer. For him, it was his first ever DTM victory. It’s very important for me to pick up where I left off and to score further victories in 2016.
The same applies to his teammate, Mike Rockenfeller. “The chemistry between us is right and we also spend a lot of private time together,” says Scheider. “That sometimes makes the processes easier. He’s strong as a driver, too. In general, a good teammate is extremely important for promoting your own performance – although the level of drivers in the DTM is now so high that, actually, you can only have strong teammates there…”
2016 marks the 16th DTM season for Timo Scheider. Over the years, the internationally popular touring car series has seen him at the very top, as well as at the very bottom. He knows both sides of the grid. “The DTM is very special and extremely tough. The level could hardly be higher. The small time gaps between us drivers can sometimes drive you mad. With a deficit of just two tenths of a second you can find yourself in 15th place – and everyone will call it a ‘bad weekend’ …”
Timo Scheider is another driver who is pleased about two races having been held per DTM weekend since last season. “I think everyone welcomes this. I definitely enjoy the new format. Unfortunately, Saturday’s races without a pit stop tended to be a bit boring last year. The qualifying session on Saturday is even more important than the one on Sunday.”
Scheider picked “10” as his car number in the DTM. “I had a ‘10’ on my car as far back as in my first DTM championship winning year. And in soccer, the playmaker usually wears a ‘10’ on his back,” he explains. Converting the “10” into the “1” of the DTM Champion again remains Timo Scheider’s big aim, though it’s an aim he shares with 23 other drivers …
Alongside the DTM, Scheider would like to contest more GT races in the Audi R8 LMS in the future. For starters, he will be competing together with his DTM teammate, Mike Rockenfeller, in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. “I’m receptive to further GT commitments,” says the Audi driver who in 2015 celebrated his debut in the World Rallycross Championship. “That was mega fun, too!”
Scheider stays fit for racing primarily by riding his bicycle. After surviving Cape Epic in South Africa, one of the world’s most grueling mountain bike races, last year before the DTM season opener, he is planning to participate in the Transalp event this year. “Unfortunately, there’ll be a race before and after the event so that I’ll only be able to take part in it for two or three days – but even that’ll be a challenge.”
Scheider has never shied away from challenges. Be it Wok Racing or the Stock Car Challenge hosted by TV entertainer Stefan Raab: Scheider is game for any idea, no matter how wild it may be. However, his own Formula 4 team, which he has moved close to his adopted home near Lake Constance, leaves him only little time for unusual activities. In addition, Scheider’s son, Loris, is tackling his first karting season this year, so free weekends tend to be in scarce supply.
Timo Scheider is engaged to Jessica Hinterseer, the daughter of entertainer Hansi Hinterseer. Slight differences most recently occurred in the Scheider family when it came to choosing cars. “Jessica is going to get a Q7, while for me the RS 6 is still my first choice. In terms of comfort, space and performance, the RS 6 perfectly meets the requirements profile of any race driver.” Scheider’s current RS 6 is bright green – a stark contrast to his subtly black AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM.