Julia Paradowska: The 2018 season has ended, what are your plans during the off season?
Gosia Rdest: I’ve begun working on the next season; mostly discussing plans with current sponsors and acquiring new ones. We are organizing a large media day in October; to recap on the 2018 season, and discus the 2019 season. There is also the Auto World GO program. The recordings will probably start at the end of September. Plus there will new videos on my Youtube channel. I do plan to have some time off from the simulator and physical training but only for a couple of weeks, as we have plans to race in Bahrain, probably during the last week of November.
As part of mentoring the winners from #GirlsOnTrack Tychy and Rzeszów heats. This year I still have 3 sessions with the pupils looking at various aspects of racing – one is actually a video link session. The #GirlsOnTrack project will head to Le Mans in March of next year with the 3 finalists and to start to prepare them as racers. I hope this program will bring good results. I also hope that a Polish Woman will be first winner from the competition.
JP: Are you going to drive for Phoenix Racing for next season?
GR: I’m definitely in the team for the next season and I am satisfied with the format of the racing weekend and the level represented by GT4 European Racing, because there is really a lot of driving and the rules are simple and clear. The question will be which GT4 European series. When it comes to the balance and performance of cars; the cars presented at an even level. If at the beginning of the weekend they did not present this level, then the track was adapted later.
I adjusted to the car’s performance by the second event of the series. Brands Hatch was a mix of emotions, where we finished the race in the sixth place in the general classification, and the first in the PRO-AM class, but the next day the cup was taken away because the pit stop that my alternate was doing was too short – it was about 0.2 seconds too fast.
There is also a chance of starting in the US. This is something incredible for me, one thing is for sure – it will also be GT4. I’m 100% in the car.
JP: Looking back, during race one on Saturday you received penalty points, what happened?
GR: we had two penalites, which I and Cedric (Gosia’s teammate) caused through different events. My punishment was that during the yellow flag I went faster in my sector. It resulted from the fact that on the previous lap I was driving behind other cars. It was only when the space between us got out and I had a free track in front of me, involuntarily I started to drive faster. It was not my personal sector record in comparison to the times achieved in Friday’s trainings or the next sector times, but unfortunately it was my first quick lap and it was faster than the previous. It was a bit of a surprise to everyone, because I was not the only car, but probably 10 more cars received the same penalty.
And Cedric’s penalty – it was for exceeding the speed limit in the pit lane. Until the end we are not sure what it resulted from – when I went down and handed over the car, I had a pit limiter turned on. Probably some irregularities occurred when drivers changed. Maybe I or Cedric caught a knee, foot, armchair or whatever pit limiter you could turn off. It never had happened to us before, and Cedric did not check if the pit limiter was on. when he accelerated from the pit stop on the pit lane, he had no resistance and drove more than 50 km/h. If it is a qualification or training, for such an offense you get penalty points depending on the offense – one or two. At the moment of season, penalty points are not awarded, especially considering that it was the last race weekend in the series, so no point would have worked, which is why Cedric got a penalty through the pit lane.
JP: Sunday hosted the second race, unfortunately your car didn’t finish the race. Can you explain the events leading up to the retirement of the car?
GR: Cedric, got hit during the start of the race. This resulted in problems with the temperature, because the right cooler was damaged and thus the temperature of oil and water had to be controlled all the time. As the race continued, the car gently began to go crazy in traction control, which we turned off anyway, but all the time there was a problem. There was Safety Car period which shortly after, we got hit again; when somebody drove into the left rear. This caused the car to have steering problems and we had to retire the car.
I have did not race one lap today; It was terribly sad because I was ready to change – I had my little racing seat in my hand and helmet on, waiting for the car to come in during the pit window – and it turned out that I will not go any further in today’s race.
JP: But there is a big positive for the team this weekend.
GR: The huge positive of this day is the fact that the second car from our team with the number 5 (drivers: Milan Dontje and Nicolaj Møller-Madsen) won the championship title. It was also a huge combination of events; because the BMW which was competing with our car was involved in the incident during the first lap right after the start. The BMW did not manage to avoid the collision and they hit a back-facing Mercedes. The #55 Ginetta was also involved in the collision, which became engulfed in flames later on because of the impact received during that incident.
JP: You have a lot of memories when it comes to the Nürburgring- you have achieved a lot here. Is this one of your favorite tracks?
GR: Definitely yes. In fact, the first time I was here (about 7 years ago at the Polish event) – it was the premiere of the new Mercedes A45. It was an event for Polish Mercedes customers, so I received an invitation and it was my first contact with the circuit.
The next time I appeared here in the Audi Sport TT Cup, where I managed to beat in third place. It was a cherry on the cake and a terrible joy because it was supported by the plant. It was the penultimate race of the season and the bet consisted of this: if I finished on the podium during this race, then my supervisor at Audi Sport TT Cup, declared he would present to me an Audi TT at The Warsaw Motor Show. Luckily I finished 3rd.
This year the track was in a different configuration (sprint). With Oscar Tunjo, we managed to win second place in the first race, and in the second race the first place. Memories from the track are very good – in fact, apart from this weekend, which is the worst, but it is a combination of unfortunate events. Two penalties, I still had a gentle contact after the start, but it was a gentle push and the fact that today I did not participate in the race. I was disappointed at Spa, where my team-mate completely broke the car during qualifying, but it was not so bad, because the Hungaroring and Nürburgring were next on the calendar, so there was almost still half of the season left.