|March 28, 2006
From a Mechanic to an Audi Factory Driver
Anyone looking for examples of successful racing careers cannot possibly ignore Audi factory driver Pierre Kaffer. The 29-year old DTM driver from Audi Sport Team Phoenix has experienced a veritable textbook career in his sport.
Kaffer was not even 20 years old when he completed his training as a vehicle mechanic with the Zakspeed racing team in the "old” DTM in 1995 and 1996. "Ernst Moser, who is my team boss today, was the master mechanic back then, our current team manager, Frank Lynn, was the journeyman, who looked after me, as well,” reminisces Kaffer. "Learning everything from scratch was really very helpful.”
Yet his training was not the only thing that kept him busy. Parallel to becoming a mechanic, the young talent from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler was active in racing himself. In 1995 and 1996 "Germany’s quickest apprentice” won the Champion’s title in both of the Formula racing series he contested. At the same time, he would work longer hours to trade them in for compensatory time in order to be able to race at all. And at the end of the day he was awarded a straight A in his practical examination as a mechanic.
"If I had not become a racing driver I would have probably applied for a job as a mechanic with Audi Sport,” he says. Instead, Pierre Kaffer today is an Audi factory driver in the DTM with the team of his former master mechanic, for which he already contested the Porsche Carrera Cup back in 2002 and 2003.