Dennis Layher: From RC Cars to Formula Sports
‘Working with the playgroup is really fun,’ says Dennis Layher and smiles. Layher is project manager of Team Motopark’s Formula 4 division and is in charge of many different tasks. On the one hand, he teaches the junior racers – most of them come directly from go-Karting – how to handle Formula cars. Together with the race engineers, he analyses the tests and races with the help of data evaluation and develops their driving skills as well as the set-up of the cars. ‘Good drivers will be able to implement what we tell them,’ he says.
Good drivers – for him, these include Antonio Felix da Costa, Marvin Kirchhöfer, Pipo Derani and Beitske Visser. He accompanied them on their first steps into professional racing. In his opinion, it does not matter whether a woman or a man sits in the cockpit. ‘Beitske Visser and Sophia Floersch were in no way inferior to their male competitors,’ he is convinced. ‘They are definitely strong enough. The only difference is that only a handful of girls are active in go-karting while a million boys are.' For that reason, only few women make it into Formula racing.
Dennis Layher was born in August 1979 as the son of German and Kenyan parents in Warendorf near Bielefeld. Since his childhood, he has been passionate about racing. For eight years, he was an active motor sportsman – but with a bit less HP: he raced remote-controlled cars. At school, he was more interested in math than in German, he says. After finishing school, he trained as a cutting-machine operator at a mechanical engineering company. It was there that motorsports crossed his path. ‘We produced many parts for racing, for example measuring devices,’ he says. Team Motopark still orders custom-made products from the company in Rietberg where Dennis Layher used to work.
It’s been ten years now since he started to work for Team Motopark. He can still remember the weekend he travelled to Braga in Portugal. It became clear quickly: he and team principal Timo Rumpfkeil have a few things in common – like a strong leaning towards perfection. The very first driver he supervised was Antonio Felix da Costa. After a stint in the DTM, Dennis Layher has been an integral part of the team since 2015.
He lives in the hip Friedrichshain area of Berlin. From there, he travels once a week to Oschersleben. In Berlin, he enjoys jogging and cycling, which keeps him fit. The German capital is also a good base for his travels to the Formula 4 races. In general, he does not care much about the turbulent lifestyle in motor racing with many long hours and weekends, when he lives out of his suitcase. He finds events at the Red Bull Ring near Salzburg the most exciting. ‘The ambience is great,’ he says. His favourite sportsman is Valentino Rossi. Does he dig biking? ‘No, in private, I either take the train or drive my Smart.’