She is considered the fastest woman in Germany: Sophia Flörsch. In the Normal Gets You Nowhere podcast, the 22-year-old extreme athlete talks about her beginnings - she's been racing cars since she was 14 - her goals and racing in general.
"Living the dream"
- that's what her Instagram bio says. "The Dream" for Sophia is driving fast cars on race tracks all over the world. The fact that she is allowed to live her dream today is thanks to the passion she already had as a four-year-old. Influenced by her father, once a kart driver, Sophia took up karting herself as a child. She mastered her first kart races at the age of eight before switching from kart to car at 14. Always by her side is her father, who accompanies her everywhere from childhood to the present day.
"First of all, you actually need money"
- Sophia answers the question of how one actually becomes a racing driver. Most people don't know that some Formula 1 drivers pay millions to drive for a team. Sophia describes this side of racing as the downside. Since there is not a race track in every city and test days on the track can quickly amount to 14,000€ to 25,000€, the training consists mainly of days in the simulator. In addition, there is strength, endurance and reaction training, since forces of up to "5G" act on the body during a race. Due to the high costs involved, most drivers rely on partners and sponsors to be able to afford this sport. For this reason, Sophia also refers to social media as "part of the game," as her social media presence helps her to continually attract new sponsors and partnerships as a result.
It's not the speed itself that Sophia finds special about her sport. Rather, it's things like aerodynamics that fascinate her and also help carry her through the corners at top speed, and her 20-40-person team that works day and night to make her car even faster, turning an individual sport into a team sport. Even outside of her own racing team, it's the togetherness that sets the sport apart. The fact that some of them have been competing against each other for years, and that they always meet the same people at the various race tracks, means that they grow together like a family, as Sophia reports.
Comebacker of the year
One event Sophia is associated with and is always talked about is her 2018 accident on the racetrack in Macau. At over 250 km/h, Sophia took off from the track at that time and crashed into a catch fence. "When you watch the video, you think you won't survive this accident," Sophia herself says about her accident. Apart from two broken vertebrae, however, she survives the accident unscathed and is back in the car just one year later - in Macau, of all places. For this achievement, she receives the Laureus Sports Award for comeback of the year in 2020.
Lindsey Vonn as inspiration
Sophia sees former ski racer Lindsey Vonn as one of her role models. Despite many setbacks, she always believed in her goals, which many considered unrealistic, and achieved them. Sophia's goal or dream is that motorsport, which is still very much dominated by men, will become more diverse and that there will be more women in the cars and in positions on the track.
Sophia is born original because she has dreams, fights for her goals and inspires others with her story.
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You can now listen to this and other inspiring stories as we put this talk into a podcast episode on normalgetsyounowhere.de! There you can find all episodes with links to the most popular podcast platforms. Just be aware it's in German language. Have fun listening!