Rahel Frey, luxury “spotter” for the Iron Dames in Imola

Rahel Frey, who will take Doriane Pin's place for the rest of the season in the WEC outside of Le Mans, spoke to AUTOhebdo before the 6H of Imola about her 2024 program and the debut of the LMGT3 category.

Published on 21/04/2024 à 12:28

Dorian Grangier

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Rahel Frey, luxury “spotter” for the Iron Dames in Imola

© Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Hello Rahel, you are here in Imola not as a driver, but as a spectator among the Iron Dames. What do you do to keep yourself busy?

I try to give advice to the girls, and this weekend, I'm also their spotter!

You can also share with them your experience here in Imola, where you rode in ELMS in 2022 ... 

Yes, I'll give them directions, that's cool! But here the traffic is so complicated because the track is not wide enough. Everyone can waste a lot of time with traffic, hence the importance of having a spotter.

At the time, how did you experience the race at Imola with faster cars overtaking the GTs?

In ELMS, there were also the LM P3s. It was much more complicated. Now, with the Hypercars, the girls tell me that the Hypercars go by quickly anyway. I think it's more complicated here for Hypercars than for GTs. If they don't overtake before turn 2, they have to wait. Afterwards, in sector 2, it's complicated, the last sector too... But it's Imola. There are a lot of stories here, that much is clear. The paddock, the atmosphere, I find it impressive.

And then you are an Italian team, I imagine that there is a lot of excitement around the Iron Dames here…

Exactly. That's always cool. We have a lot of visitors, fans. All the families of mechanics and engineers are there. It's very nice.

Let's talk about your return WEC, replacing Dorian Pin who will respect a program in car, in FRECA. The trio with Sarah Bovy and Michelle Gatting is reformed!

It's very cool. I'm happy for Doriane, I understand that if she only does the F1 Academy doesn't do a lot of racing. If I can already do three championships (WEC, IMSA and ELMS, Editor’s note), it’s still a great program. It was a good solution for everyone, but I'm very happy to come back with Sarah and Michi. And then clearly, for Dori, I think it's important to just stay in single-seaters now, to do F1 Academy and then now also FRECA. Because if she wants to progress next year, she needs to do more tests, more single-seater races.

You will actually drive in three championships, with different cars (Lamborghini in WEC and IMSA, Porsche in ELMS) and different manufacturers. How do you adapt, weekend after weekend, to these transitions?

Its not always easy. But still, it's interesting. Some GTs are closer to a single-seater driving style than others. For example, with the Lamborghini, you have to drive very, very aggressive. This means that you put a lot of angle on the steering wheel, you brake a little later and harder. You really have to be aggressive with the car. With the Porsche, it's completely the opposite. It’s quietly, with the flow, with caution. That's still very close to the single-seater style. It's super interesting. For us, we can quickly do a few laps to adapt. We try to work with a lot of data, we talk a lot with engineers, we watch videos, we do a lot of visualizations. You have to change your mentality when you change cars. And then also doing the simulator sessions, that can help.

You weren't in Qatar in the car, but as a spectator, how did you judge the debut of the LMGT3 category?

The interesting thing this year, in WEC or in general also in ELMS, we have another system for BoP with torque and power management. I think it's great. We can no longer 'play' as much with the BoP. Manufacturers are limited in this game, they really have to leave the data free. For all teams, it's complicated because all the engineers really have to analyze the data, have to understand the system. And then, the system is completely different between cars.

ALSO READ > The art of managing traffic in Imola, by Kévin Estre and Frédéric Makowiecki

Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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