Timo Scheider – a name synonymous with international motorsport, but also a straight-talking racing driver. Direct, uninhibited and uncompromising. A real drivers’ driver. All those miles under his belt aren’t reflected in his features. Despite his 39 years, he could still be mistaken for an up-and-coming star. He always has a smile on his face and is a benefit to any team.
One of the highlights of Scheider’s career came in 2008, when he took the DTM drivers’ title – which he retained the following year. A decade has passed since that first championship win. Not every driver can win a drivers’ championship, let alone retain it the year after, but what else is there to Scheider’s unique racing career? Which races, victories or defeats are most important to him? And what role has Phoenix Racing played in his life?
For Timo Scheider, it’s the victories that went a little under the radar that he remembers most fondly. Opel is not necessarily renowned for an illustrious racing and motorsport reputation. However, in 2003, Scheider was the surprise winner of the Nürburgring 24 Hours for Phoenix Racing with teammates Manuel Reuter, Volker Strycek and Marcel Tiemann in an Opel Astra V8 Coupé. No one thought that the Meuspath-based team, then racing Opel cars, would be in the running for the win at all. In fact, most of the team’s rivals thought that the car wouldn’t make it through five laps! In the end Phoenix Racing had the last laugh, giving the then-24-year-old Scheider his first major victory.
Timo Scheider’s maiden season with Phoenix Racing has stuck in the memory and had a major influence on his successes later on in his career. He also shares a great connection with the team from the Eifel Mountains away from the circuit. Scheider still loves the relaxed and familiar atmosphere within the team and the spirit it shows in a sport that so often disappoints. In this special interview, Timo Scheider lifts the lid on what makes the team special.
He also reveals what girls’ names and touring cars have in common, which race he would love to compete in again and why his wife could only drive home at a snail’s pace after Mike Rockenfeller’s championship victory party.
By returning to Phoenix Racing for the final three years of his DTM career, Timo Scheider has returned to where it all began. It should come as no surprise, then, that the decorated former Audi works driver still has close links with motorsport in general and Team Principal Ernst Moser.