Stephan Stöcker is always in first gear, when it comes to innovations and fast troubleshooting. He’s the Motorsport Manager at the chassis specialist Eibach and can be spotted at numerous racing events. We asked him what he finds so fascinating about his work and what a race weekend involves for him.
Eibach has a long-standing partnership with Land-Motorsport. What do the team and the partnership mean for you?
We’ve known each other for a very long time. The actual partnership began when Wolfgang Land’s team decided to join GT3 with Audi. That was the perfect fit and we quickly found synergies. Not only because I took over the motorsport sector at Eibach at the time, but also because our suspension systems are Audi-approved. Our partnership’s strong point lies in exploring the limits of new materials and requirements on the racetrack together. The team communication at eye level and the chance to develop new products are unique elements. You can calculate and simulate a lot of things, but the stress on chassis parts, for example at a 24-hour race, and the resulting outcomes for our research sector can’t be directly compared.
What does your race weekend look like?
We spend all our time either in the pit or beside the track and are consequently always in close contact with the engineers. Of course, everybody knows each other, and we share a fast and open communication. We have access to all chassis tuning data and so we can quickly give recommendations or sometimes help out with the fine adjustment, if necessary. This might be the case during sudden changes in the weather. All this imparts the feeling of always being a full team member. Before racing, we consistently go through all the findings from previous tests and races and these preparation phases for the season and also the individual races are particularly intensive. This is where we try to optimally prepare ourselves for the oncoming challenges and aim for success at the end.
What do you like most about your job?
Delivering Eibach’s performance to the world’s circuits! Once you’ve caught the motorsport virus, you can’t live without it. One of the great things about my job is being able to experience the ups and downs, as in sharing and celebrating successes and mastering challenges together, especially with Land-Motorsport. This even leads to genuine friendships. My most emotional moment was the Land-Motorsport victory in the 2017 Nürburgring 24 Hours. An hour before the race started, Christian Land and I changed the springs setup again and this ultimately led to the overall win. That was a feather in my cap and raised our partnership to the next level.