Thursday, 10 August 2017

Osmunde Dolischka


Osmunde Dolischka rose through the European single-seater ranks during the 1990s, after winning a regional karting title in 1994. She was one of a small group of women who came within touching distance of a Formula One career in the 1990s.

She was a latecomer to motor racing. Prior to 1994, she had competed in alpine skiing and was Austrian champion in the giant slalom. Even then, she showed signs of versatility and competed in water-skiing as well as the more traditional alpine form.

In 1995, she raced in the German Formula Ford championship, winning the last round, at Salzburg and finishing seventh overall. She was third in her state championship.

Formula Ford was followed by Formula Renault in 1996. She was second in her first race, at Zolder, and picked up another win part-way through the season.

Her progress faltered in 1997 when she moved again into Formula Opel. Her single season in the category was hit by a series of car problems and she was unable to finish higher than twelfth place.

In 1998, Osmunde got her career back on track. She raced in Formula 3 in central Europe, driving for the Fritz Kopp team. Her first races were at the A1-Ring and she was fifth and ninth. Two non-finishes at the Sachsenring came next, but then she managed a fourth at Most. Later in the season, she picked up another two fourth places at Most, having bounced back from another DNF. A second visit to the A1-Ring and a trip to Brno gave her two second places, the best of her season. She was third in the second race at Brno. Her last race of the season was at Hockenheim, where she was fifth. She was third in the Formula 3 Austria Cup, in her first F3 season.

Her form was impressive enough to attract the attention of Peter Sauber, who wanted to run her in Formula 3000. However, her biggest sponsor, Fujitsu-Siemens, pulled out in favour of her rival, Claudia Steffek, making this impossible. Osmunde and Claudia had fought it out on the track all year in F3, with Osmunde the more accomplished driver. Claudia was sixth in the championship and had a best finish of fourth. Fujitsu-Siemens opted for Claudia anyway, possibly due to her being younger and driving an older car. Her career stalled as suddenly as Osmunde’s did, a couple of years later.

1998 was her only season in Formula 3. She continued to compete in 1999, in the ADAC VW New Beetle Cup. Saloon cars were a new experience for her. She was eleventh in the championship.

That year, she also raced a Porsche 993 GT3 in endurance races. The results are not forthcoming. This marked the end of her circuit racing career. She had always had some money for her racing from family business interests, but without a sponsor, she was unable to continue at the level of which she was capable.

She attempted a comeback as a rally driver, in 2007, but crashed her VW Golf on her first event, and thought better of it. The accident happened on the first stage of the Ostarrichi Rally. It was one of a series of crashes on the stage and part of the rally was cancelled.

Osmunde is still involved in motorsport, running a kart hire firm and supporting her daughter’s karting career. Jorden was born in 2004 and has competed at a high level since the age of nine.

(Image from vn.at)

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