Sarah Winkhaus has been presenting live broadcasts from the Super Sport Car League for SPORT1 from the start of the season. Prior to that, she was the face of Formula 1 for Sky Italia for many years. The 35-year-old presenter just loves the unmistakeable sound of the GT cars. Winkhaus, who is part Italian, tells us in our interview why she thinks the ADAC GT Masters has a great future in motorsport. SPORT1 will broadcast the races from the Sachsenring live and in full at 1.00 pm next Saturday and Sunday.
Your first season as a presenter in the ADAC GT Masters is almost over. What do you think of it so far?
Sarah Winkhaus: "My impressions have been extremely positive! I've become a real fan. I'm from Formula 1 originally, as you know. Comparing the two, I have to say, I really love the sound and the action in the ADAC GT Masters. In Formula 1 I needed ear plugs in the beginning, but it's no longer the same with today's hybrids. Things are completely different in the ADAC GT Masters. The sound of the engines still never fails to mesmerise you."
And what about the action?
"Drivers still have proper scraps in the ADAC GT Masters. You can't help being dragged in. Also, the range of different brands competing adds to the excitement. The races are always good for a surprise or two. Spectators know that as well, which is why this series has so many fans."
You really get involved, don't you?
"Yes, I'm sure its popularity will never diminish because of the atmosphere I just mentioned and the proximity to the fans. On the contrary, I rather think that the ADAC GT Masters has a great future in motorsport!"
What do you mean by 'proximity to fans'?
"There aren't as many hurdles as in Formula 1 or in other racing series. Spectators can build up a personal relationship with their favourite team and driver. Also, competitors race GT sports cars, and people can better associate with that and see themselves in the role of racing driver."
You sound really taken with GT3. Have you yourself ever driven a racing car?
"Not yet, unfortunately. I've only ever managed to sit in the passenger seat so far. Marc Gené once took me out in a Ferrari 458 during a press event at Monza. We performed Donuts in the middle of February on a track covered in ice in places. It was great fun. I was still laughing as I got out. We've been good friends ever since."
Sounds terrific! Did anything funny happen to you this season?
"Well, I can think of hundreds of things. The storm at Oschersleben, for example. During the storm, the grid girls had problems hanging on to their signs as I was presenting. No wonder, in their high heels! The drivers were worried about their bonnets. I simply mucked in and helped them out, for which many of the girls later thanked me on Instagram. Also, when in the middle of a live broadcast, my hair, which used to be long, would often blow in my face, so that I could hardly see."
There are two races left on the schedule. Got anything to say about the title fight?
"I think it's going to be crunch time at the Sachsenring because of its layout. The many left-hand turns and steep changes in gradient are bound to produce one or two surprises. Jules Gounon is currently in the lead. Philipp Eng has a 38-point deficit, and yet, it's still exciting. That's why I love the ADAC GT Masters so much!"