Sophie Hofmann makes endurance debut at 24H of Dubai
After a positive campaign in DTM Trophy, Sophie Hofmann returns behind the wheel of the Heide-Motorsport Audi R8 GT4 and will make her endurance debut at the upcoming 24 Hours of Dubai.
23-year old German racer Sophie Hofmann announced that she will make her endurance racing debut at the upcoming 24 Hours of Dubai, at the wheel of the Audi R8 GT4 by Heide-Motorsport - returning to the team for which she raced in the 2021 DTM Trophy season. Hofmann made her professional racing debut in 2019, when she competed in the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup. In the six races contested, Hofmann showed good progress and scored 53 points. Additionally, she raced in a guest-driver appearance at the season finale of the 2019 ADAC TCR Germany championship at Sachsenring, where she made her touring car debut. In 2020, Hofmann signed a deal to race in the all-new DTM Trophy, the main stepping stone to the popular Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. Unfortunately, the difficulties of the pandemic put the deal on hold and the young driver had to wait 2021 to make her first start in the DTM Trophy, as she joined Heide-Motorsport. The experienced team lined up a three car operation and Hofmann piloted the #17 Audi R8 LMS GT4 Evo for the full 7-event season. At Monza, Hofmann was an encouraging 14th, and repeated the result at Lausitzring. She could top her personal best at Red Bull Ring with a P13 in race 2 and, most importantly, continued a positive trend of improvement throughout the season. Despite it was Hofmann's first full-campaign in GT4 - and in a very competitive field - she was able to score her first points at Hockenheim with a tenth place finish and rounded out her season with a remarkable seventh place at Norisring, her home race, thus collecting a total of 11 points.
"It was nice having my first proper GT4 season in the DTM Trophy last year it was really good work with the team and really successful in the end." - Hofmann told us. "Last race was the best race and this is where I want to start in 2022 again. I was able to develop over the whole season step by step." At the eve of the 2022 Dubai 24H - often the first major motorsport event of the calendar year - Heide-Motorsport confirmed its line up for the popular endurance race that attracts every year the world's top GT teams and drivers. Among them will be Sophie Hofmann, who makes her first start in endurance. "So so happy about this opportunity", wrote Hofmann. "It will be my first endurance race, so quite a challenge. But what else other than starting the new year with a new challenge?" Hofmann will share the wheel of the Audi R8 GT4 with Heinz Schmersal, Daniel Karl, Ulrich Kainzinger and Cabell Fisher. Heinz Schmersal, 75, has a wide experience of 24-hour races and will be at his second start at Dubai with the team after the 2020 edition. For Daniel Karl, on the other hand, it will be his first race in GT4 machinery as well as in endurance. Kainzinger also makes his Dubai debut after racing in the Mini JCW series, while American racer Fisher entered in 2021 as a guest starter but will be working with Heide-Motorsport for the first time.
"Endurance was always something I wanted to try, I just had no chances because of other race programmes until now", she explained. "I feel really pleased and thankful having this great opportunity now. And I am really excited to start this new experience." Sophie Hofmann will not be the only female competitor at Dubai Autodrome: Betty Chen will start in the #10 GT3 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini; 2021 series champion and reigning Dubai winner Samantha Tan will be behind the wheel of the #1 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3; Saudi racing star Reema Juffali will make her first start in the #20 SPS automotive performance Mercedes AMG GT3. TCE Vice-Champion Jasmin Preisig returns behind the wheel of the #111 Autorama Motorsport VW Golf GTI TCR, while Hanna Zellers makes her debut in the #208 Yeeti Racing BMW M2 CS Racing in the TCX class. The CREVENTIC 24 Hours of Dubai, first round of the 2022 24H Series season, will get underway on Thursday 13th January, with a free practice session followed by qualifying for all the classes. A night practice is scheduled for the late afternoon, while the 24-hour race will go green on Friday 14th January at 15:00 local time.