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Audi's Lucky Charm
Former "Playmate of the Year" is Taking the TT Cup by Storm
By Adam Riley - January 2016
A camera flash bursts, lighting up a lovely blonde haired woman as she softly poses. She slides her arm up and pushes her fingers into her hair while a photographer circles around her. Snapping pictures. Checking the aperture. Working for the perfect shot for an upcoming feature in Playboy Magazine. But little does he know; inside this woman’s mind she’s racing around the corners of a flatly paved asphalt track. Shifting through gears. Drafting behind cars. Passing other drivers. Her mind is racing, because she just happens to be Playboy’s Deutschland Tourenwagon Masters Series, TT Cup driver.
Being Germany’s Playmate of the year is quite an achievement, but for Doreen Seidel, her plans have molded into another adventure. Now as the team driver in the Playboy Audi TT R car, she’s ready to take on the championship. But how does one go from glamour modeling to grid racing?
Doreen’s enthusiasm for racing has been around for quite a while. Growing up near the Sachsenring Race Venue, every year she would attend the MotoGP events and sit on the grassy hillside as her favorite racer Valentino Rossi showcased his talents. As soon as Doreen became 18, she purchased a Yamaha R6 street motorcycle and was blazing around the corners during local track events. But with safety concerns from her family, she backed away from competing on two wheels.
Besides, Doreen was twenty-two years old and her modeling career was just beginning to bloom with a recent opportunity to work for Playboy magazine. Several years later in 2008, she was on-stage being crowned Playmate of the year. Shortly after that achievement, she took the role of working as the “Lucky Charm” Playboy bunny for former Formula One driver Markus Winkelhock, of the DTM races. Once again, Doreen’s love for high-speed racing began to emerge inside her.
Standing trackside, watching the DTM races, Doreen became fascinated by the sport. She learned everything possible about the series, but hungered for more. Finally, she decided it was time to try out racing for her self. But lacking a car, team, sponsors, and of course funding -- made the venture look very grim; until light finally shined upon her after convincing Playboy, to support a single test-day trial.
That one-day is all she needed. Doreen’s natural talent and enthusiasm proved she was worthy to train as a driver on the Playboy racing team. During the first few years, she was paired with racing managers and coaches while driving a Chevrolet Cruze. This wasn’t the premier race that she hoped for, but the perfect car for training and developing her skills. “I found a management after that test day who helped me lot in the first years of racing. After that, it was like in every other sport: I started small and got better and better every year.” She said.
Five seasons later, Doreen is now gripping the wheel of the Playboy Audio TT Cup Car. “The road version of the Audi TT is my dream car since it is the first version of this particular one. It was just the perfect car me: sexy, sporty and a little badass.” She said. Her team manager is now Markus Winkelhock, the same race driver she once worked for as a “Lucky Charm” Grid Girl. He’s pushing her in the right direction to become extremely competitive.
" . . . It was just the perfect car me; sexy, sporty and a little badass.”
Race after race, Doreen is gaining momentum in the TT Cup Series and has placed several podiums and V.I.P. podium finishes. But the grid is full of hefty talent and although she’s racing in a sea of young male drivers, Doreen is confident in her skills. She says, “People often think it's easy for me in the racing. But I think it's not easy for anybody in the racing . . . especially for me, it’s so much harder on the track. I guess you can imagine that no guy wants to be beaten by a Playboy Bunny -- so they push even harder when they see me in the mirror!”
She’s not fooling around with these young boys or their racing games. Doreen has a lot in store on the track and in her career. “My dream is to drive the Audi R8 LMS Ultra one day. That would be absolutely amazing! But jumping from the TT in the R8 is quit a big step and I’m looking for something in between that I can transition too.” She said. Doreen has also begun focusing on other projects including TV journalism and hosting. “The racing in combination with some filming is a nice combination and I really enjoy to do both.” She said.
Such charm and determination can make for a dangerous woman to compete with on -- and off the track. There is no doubt Doreen will make her way up to the top in any venture she chooses. So look out competitors! Audi Racing has a new Lucky Charm on their side!
Photos courtesy of Doreen Seidel. www.doreen.de
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