'Queen of the 'Ring' Sabine Schmitz says she's not afraid of mixing it with her male rivals ahead of her WTCC debut this weekend at the Nordschleife.
Schmitz becomes only the second female driver in the WTCC's 11-year history, following on from the late Maria de Villota, at a track she knows more than all the other drivers in the championship put together.
The 46-year-old will drive with the Munnich Motorsport team in their Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1, a car which won two races last season, and driving with a team that has won three times in its relatively short WTCC stint.
The Cruze TC1 will also be 60kg lighter than the all-conquering Citroen C-Elysees this weekend.
"When I am behind the wheel I give everything,” said Schmitz. “I am tough and I bite also. I am always racing against men so I am used to it.
"But I don’t know how these high-profile drivers will react. I know that men are vain. When a woman wants to overtake them they are not always happy.
"I don’t know if they are fair and let me pass them, in case I have the possibility to pass them of course."
Schmitz will carry the colours of the FIA's Women in Motorsport initiative during the weekend, and is also the only German driver entered in the race, running in car #8 as team-mate to Stefano D'Aste.
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes