What's more distant between a racing car driver and a mom? Between the thrill of speed and risk, and the warm, reassuring and protective maternal embrace? Between a competition which is almost totally masculine and the kind sweetness of a young woman?
Nothing probably or perhaps a lot if we follow Manuela’s story, born to a family where high speed racing is a normality and which at a certain point of her life captivated her too, to the point where she relinquished her promising volleyball career.
Having the ability to drive a car at such high levels, you have to achieve the right balance between technique and sensitiveness, between when to have to push it and when to respect it, until you reach the very subtle limit where driving becomes a delicate dance. It all comes down to being able to control the vehicle, of understanding its’ possibilities and limits.
Passion is born
Manuela Gostner was born on 19 May 1984 in Bolzano and grew up in Caldaro, a typical South Tyrolean village in the heart of the Alps with her sister Corinna and brother David.
A young mother of two little girls and a successful volleyball and beach volleyball player.
How does a very feminine and delicate woman fit into a predominantly masculine and risky sport? By pure chance.
Her brother David had a passion for karting and their father Thomas supported him in all his races. Both very fascinated and attracted by the roar of the engines to the point of going beyond go-kart racing to debut with great passion in the Ferrari Challenge with the MP Racing Team. They, father and brother, were the real forerunners in the world of motorsport for Manuela and her sister Corinna.
The big dream and
the great challenge
the 24 hours of the Mans
After her victories in the 2018 Ferrari Challenge, Manuela is selected by the Kessel Team, for an all female line-up to participate in the most prestigious race of the La Sarthe circuit in France which is the ELMS (European Le Mans Series Series) At the wheel of the Ferrari 488GTE together with her two team mates swiss Rahel Frey, and Danish Michelle Gatting, composing the Iron Dames.
Manuela is the third Italian in history to compete in this prestigious race, after the legendary pioneers Anna Cambiaghi and Lella Lombardi.
and the debut
In 2014, during a final championship test, David (European Champion Ferrari Challenge Coppa Shell) hosts Manuela in his Ferrari 458 Challenge, encouraging her to test the car.
It was love at first sight!
In that precise moment she realized what she wanted to do with her future : Become a racing car driver! A turning point where she experiences the thrill and excitement of being the only one responsible for the outcome of the race.
Unlike other sports, she says:
"The moment you close the car door : everything depends on you even if you are surrounded by a team, but you decide everything, the speed - the chances you take, you are purely the driver and outcome of the whole race!
All is in your hands and it is just so fascinating!"
On the path of growth
After her third race on a Ferrari 458 Challenge 560cv, Manuela realizes that she doesn’t have, but needs at least the basics to sit on a speed chair that reaches 300km/ hour!! she takes on a coach, an experienced pilot himself, Giorgio Sernagiotto who couldn’t believe she had never even driven a kart before!
Almost four years down the line Manuela has increasingly improved her performance by working hard, improving her driving technique, learning to handle and drive her emotions to improve her skill.
Manuela had a double commitment During the 2017 season, the European Ferrari Challenge Shell Cup Championship with the new Ferrari 488 Challenge Turbo and her first significant enterprise outside the Ferrari crew, Chosen as the referent driver of the Villorba Corse team in the GT4 European Championship, driving the Maserati Granturismo MC EVO GT4.
Europe Shell Cup
In 2018, she competed on various circuits, including France, England, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Barcelona, Portugal and Italy, positioning herself on the podium in many of these races. Her performance during the whole season did not go unnoticed, little did she know that around the corner the biggest of dreams for a pilot was ready to embrace her life and career. The selection for a very ambitious project of a female line up to compete at the ELMS 2019.