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Driven to Excellence: Laura Luft's Role as a Racer, Broadcaster, and F1 Paddock Club Expert Host

Seamlessly navigating the fast-paced realms of racing, providing insightful commentary for both SIM and live racing events, as well as being a distinguished host within the exclusive F1 Paddock Club represents Laura Luft’s deep rooted passion for racing time and time again. She has not just participated but excelled in every lap of her multi-faceted motorsport career. Racing through the challenging tracks of the Nürburgring Langstrecke Series since 2019 (formerly called VLN), the German racer has proven herself to be a formidable force on the circuit, securing a podium both times she has competed at the Nürburgring 24-hour qualifiers and race. However, Laura's involvement goes beyond the driver's seat. With a voice as dynamic as her driving, she has provided insightful commentary for 25 virtual and live racing events in 2023, showcasing her understanding and passion for the sport from behind the wheel and in the commentator's booth. Simultaneously managing a full-time job as an event manager during her racing career, and pursuing other interests such as horse riding, her success has been built from discipline, hard work, her love for motorsport stemming from when she was a young girl. 


Her Early Life


Since she was 10 years old, Luft was fascinated by F1 and racing, and loved analyzing race events,  but could never explore the career further until she was 24 years old. Stepping into a go-kart for the first time in 2007, Luft had to fight for her position in the racing industry and finance her spot, as her family had no background in motorsports. Finishing her studies and earning money with her first job, she continuously invested her earnings into supporting her career in 2008, going on to race in sprints and endurance go-karting races in the German Team Championship (GTC), as well as competing in several international 24-hour races, to place herself higher up in the driver rankings and gain the opportunity to race in a real racecar. In 2013 she completed her National A license, fighting her way back into a 24-hour race in Dubai after a sports injury that required surgery in 2014. She used the next year as another preparation year to bring herself back to her racing level before her injury, finally gaining the opportunity to start a full season of racing in 2016 after many discussions with some teams on her future path. 


She completed a full season in the ADAC Dacia Logan Cup, gaining useful experience that would help her tremendously in 2017,  as she could directly compete in some RCN races with a BMW Z4 on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife track. Continuing to take part in such races, she started to climb in the ranks to race in more competitive cars and classes. Finally gaining her Permit A in 2019, she was able to participate in higher racing classes in preparation for the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring. 


Throughout the pandemic and beyond, Laura had fulfilled her dream of racing in the 24 hours of Nürburgring after not being able to participate in 2022 due to health issues, performing very well in both the qualifying race and the ADAC TotalEnergies 24-hour race, she was able to finish third in the BMW M240i class with her fellow drivers and team, Adrenalin Motorsport. It was an unforgettable experience that Luft will never forget. 


“Massive thanks to my team and my amazing teammates for rocking this epic event with me. Brilliant work from the entire team and our car chief Philipp and thanks to Marcus for strapping us in. The first 24-hour race for me and then on the legendary one [Nürburgring] is a memory I will never forget!” (Instagram) 

Looking Ahead


Her journey has proven her commitment and dedication to the sport, as she aspires to compete in more 24-hour races globally and maintain her high standing in go-karting. As a fan of NASCAR, she would enjoy trying rally racing or driving within NASCAR, however, she enjoys endurance racing and the spirit of her team. Through building her career, her deep-rooted love for racing continues to show in her commentaries and interests off the track. As a supporter of the Dare to be Different initiative started by F1 Academy Manager Susie Wolff, she was also able to help at events on the track as part of another company project. In 2022, Luft and two friends of hers created a fan project called “Sparks&Splitter” to give fans a voice and provide them with the opportunity to ask questions directly to their favorite drivers or other people working in motorsport. Using a questionnaire, they collated interviews together to give fans some insights into different areas of motorsport. who could not be on-site at the track due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ultimately, she believes that through experience and trying new things, you can explore your true potential, which will not happen if you don’t take the first step. 



“With my story, I try to inspire others who think they are too old, etc., and try to help them find a way into motorsport by giving a little guidance. It is never too late to start living your dreams if you are willing to fight hard for them.” (Wheel Sisters) 

A firm believer in equality in motorsport, Luft believes that by showing empathy, inclusion, and supportiveness both in and out of the racing world, the negative stigma often associated with female drivers can hopefully change, having faced sexism in the past. 


“Under the helmet, we are all the same: racers! Motorsport can and should be inclusive, not exclusive, and I guess if those barriers and “traditional” ways of thinking for many sports in general change, it would be easier to start achieving equality. I guess women are sometimes afraid of the comments they might get or think they are not good enough to race. Women have to fight harder and prove themselves more in this sport… why?” (Wheel Sisters) 


“Sure, there are some guys joking about women in general (in a negative way to the extent that they say that women do not belong in a race car, etc.) or trying to flirt with you, but you develop a harder shell over the years and learn to cope with comments like this pretty well – at least I can. In the beginning some negative comments always made me think about what I could, should do better or differently but, in the end, that made things worse. So I try to follow my instinct and heart and don’t let my focus be distracted from my goals.” (Wheel Sisters) 

The one piece of advice that Luft would give to aspiring women who would like to get into motorsports, is to understand financial limits, work hard, and don’t overthink. 


“First of all, no matter who asks, everyone should know where their limits are (financial, personal or general circumstances) as in the end, the reason and goal for entering this sport should be realistic. If it comes to women in particular, I would advise them to work harder than maybe expected, but still not to be pressured into losing their female charisma. Furthermore, don’t worry too much or overthink your actions. It is better to think less when sitting in the race car, kart, etc., than being fearful or having concerns. This can be riskier than if ladies just try to feel the moment. Some might not have the problem of overthinking everything but that did apply to me when I started." (Wheel Sisters)


“And important: girls and ladies – don’t be shy and try it out. I didn’t want to regret not trying. It is also better to support each other than to be enemies. Ask for help from your fellow female drivers as well because if we all work together towards a better world in motorsport for us, we can achieve more. More love than jealousy or hate!” (Wheel Sisters)


Just do it, as otherwise, you don't know how far you can get!"







Citations:


  1. LUFT, Laura. "About Me." Laura Luft Racing, www.laura-luft.com/english/laura/. Accessed 12 Jan. 2024.

  2. "Laura Luft." WHEEL SISTERS, 22 Aug. 2022, wheel-sisters.com/blogs/news/laura-luft. Accessed 12 Jan. 2024.

  3. "Login • Instagram." Instagram, www.instagram.com/laura_luft_racing/. Accessed 12 Jan. 2024.


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