Is it a man’s world? - Nancy Kahnt, Team Manager Attempto Racing

10 September 2017
Motorsport is one of the increasingly few sporting activities where women are hugely under-represented when it comes to the list of competitors. But looking behind the scenes, there are countless women actively involved in motorsports globally. They organise events, are active in race control, as team managers, mechanics, engineers, in marshalling and fulfilling a host of other important roles. The same is true for the Blancpain GT Series. In the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup alone, there are six women who inspire others. Meet the team managers of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup:

Nancy Kahnt, Team Manager Attempto Racing
Education: Degree in Social Sciences
Hobbies: Cooking, Music, People
Claim of fame: Being pedantic
Favourite quote: We know accurately only when we know little; with knowledge, doubt increases.

What inspired you to work in motorsports?
“I accidently ended up in motorsports. My first visit to a race track was so inspiring, the atmosphere, the people, the travel, the engines, the passion, just the whole thing. I needed quite some time to digest all the impressions but I really liked it. Working in motorsports is something extraordinary, there is no comparison. It’s the mix of all the things mentioned before and no day that is the same. For me this is the perfect way to work. I really enjoy it.”

Briefly describe your role and your tasks during a race weekend.
“It’s hard to describe this in a few sentences only. My work starts way ahead of the race weekend with planning the logistics, doing all the paperwork and so much more. During a race meeting I’m mostly busy with meetings, meetings with the organisers from SRO, driver’s briefings and last but not least the communication within the team – especially between drivers, engineers, mechanics, guest handling and also being the spokesperson for our team owner. I’m basically the ‘to go person’ for everything.”

What was the biggest challenge you ever faced?
“The biggest challenge on a day to day basis is to still prove myself in an unfortunately still male dominated world. But I’m successfully doing this for ten years now. But there are so many little challenges, especially as we’re a privately-owned team. We have to deal with things the factory led teams do not have to deal with. We have so many different departments at Attempto and everyone does and can do everything. Each season is a new beginning and it is always challenging to make the impossible possible even on a budget.”

What was your most memorable moment?
“The first truly emotional moment I can remember was winning the team and driver’s championship in the Porsche Carrera Cup 2010 with Nicolas Armindo. That was the first time that we got rewarded for our hard work, during times that nobody really believed in Attempto Racing. I cannot describe the feeling as we stood on the podium. But I knew back then that all the passion, the determination and the hard work was worth it.”

Are there enough women working in motorsports?
“In my opinion, it is beneficial for every team to have a woman among the workforce. Women just have a gift to smooth and ease stressful situations. And I don’t have to highlight that woman are better at organising things, are better structured and have a wider and overall view on all things.”

Female racing drivers who left a mark in the motorsports world just to name a few: Michelle Mouton, Jutta Kleinschmidt, Pat Moss, Janet Guthrie, Maria Costello, Denise McCluggage, Lyn St. James, Sabine Schmitz, Susie Wolff.
Which one is your favourite?
“Actually, none of the above. My favourite female driver is Claudia Hürtgen, she knows how to drive a car.”