Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Cora Schumacher

Cora in 2005

Cora Schumacher has raced in a number of one-make series in Germany. At one point, she was the highest-paid female racing driver in the world.

Cora came into motorsport quite late. She married Ralf Schumacher, then a Formula One driver, in 2001. Her own racing career began in 2004, at the wheel of a BMW Mini.

For her debut, she was part of the celebrity team in the Mini Challenge in Germany, with four other drivers who were all TV presenters. She qualified in 22nd place out of 24 for her first race, at Lausitz, and finished in 18th. Her part-season that year gave her a 27th place. Many had been rather disparaging about her going racing, given her “F1 WAG” status and former work as a model, but she kept out of trouble and surprised a few people. One of her most vocal critics was former DTM racer, Ellen Lohr, who made remarks about Cora’s breast implants adding weight to the car.

She surprised even more onlookers in 2005, when she returned to the Mini Challenge and scored her first top ten, and eighth place. Unfortunately, her season was curtailed by a nasty accident, which caused her to sit out much of it. She was 34th in the championship.

After that, she signed up for the 2006 SEAT Leon Supercopa alongside Christina Surer, in a deal that was said to make her the highest-paid woman driver in the world, and the fourth highest-paid German driver, according to the German press. This was billed as the first step on the way to a drive in the DTM. Cora and Christina shared the car, and Cora ended up only racing in two of the rounds.

After her short run in the Supercopa, she took a break from motorsport. In 2010, she returned to the MINI Challenge, with Lechner Racing, for the second half of the season. Her best finish was thirteenth, at Hockenheim, and she was 19th overall.

Her finishing positions improved a little in 2011, and she was more consistent. She just missed the top ten on three occasions, all at Hockenheim, finishing eleventh each time. She was 14th overall.

In 2012, she drove in the Dubai 24 Hours in a MINI, winning class A2. She and her four team-mates were 25th overall. She also spent some time testing a Chevrolet Camaro GT3 car. For most of the season, she raced in the MINI Trophy, scoring six top-ten finishes, the best being an eighth at the Red Bull Ring. This was good for 15th in the championship.

Another break from motorsport followed, during which time she did more modelling, appeared on the German version of Strictly Come Dancing (in 2015) and split up with Ralf Schumacher. They were divorced in 2015.

In 2016, she made a comeback, and signed up for the DTC (Deutsche Tourenwagen Cup), racing a Mini in the 1600 Production class. She joined the championship for the second half of the season, and scored two class seconds in her first races, at the Red Bull Ring. She was also third at the Nürburgring, and was sixth overall in class.

Cora’s racing plans included the 2017 Dubai 24 Hours, in an Audi TT, but she pulled out of the race with an injury. She recovered in time for the third round of the GT4 European Cup, in which she drove a Reiter KTM X-Bow. She was 13th in the Amateur class of the Northern series, with a debut podium position at Brands Hatch. She was third. Driving for the Besagroup team, she entered the Catalunya round of the Southern series in a Porsche Cayman, and was ninth. 

There was more action with Besagroup in 2018. Cora was part of a five-driver team for the Dubai 24 Hours, driving a Mercedes AMG GT. They were 33rd overall and fourth in the GT4 class.

Later in the year, she was part of the team again for the GT4 Central European Cup rounds at the Red Bull Ring and the Nurburgring. She and Franjo Kovacs picked up two fifths, a sixth and a seventh place.

(Image from motorsport.com)

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