Austrian Andreas Hasler (49) is the SUPER LIGHTS champion of the 2022 season. In this interview, he gives insights into his career and how he made his way from hillclimb racing to the single-seater cars of the BOSS GP Racing Series.
How did you get into motorsport?
ANDREAS HASLER: «Unfortunately much too late, I was 23 when I was on a go-kart track during a holiday and that’s how it went from there. At first, I was vice national champion in karting, Styrian champion and also drove in the European championship. After ten years we switched to autocross racing. It was a good move for us because we didn’t have enough money for formula racing at first. There we competed with a 4WD buggy, which was really cool. I raced there for ten years and became national champion in only my second year. I experienced everything you can experience. But then it was time for a new challenge. Through colleagues we got a Radical with a Hayabusa engine and then drove a hill climb for the first time at the famous Rechberg. But then I went back to the circuit relatively quickly, that’s more my thing.”
What was your first contact with BOSS GP?
HASLER: “We always went to Brno with the Sports Car Challenge, where we drove as support race of the BOSS GP Racing Series. I always dreamt of the BOSS GP. It was always something special to look into the garages and hear the engines. I would never have dreamed of driving such a car myself. It’s an achievement that we can be here at all.»
What do you like about circuit racing?
HASLER: «You simply get to drive more. It was also better for my mechanics, because at the hillclimb they only saw me at the start, but on the circuit they can follow the races much better from the grandstands. It’s also not as dangerous as hillclimbing. On the mountain, however, I had a bad start, because the first time I drove the Rechbergrennen, there was a fatal accident. Of course, my family, who were there, were shocked. Then, to be honest, I also got a little more pressure from my wife … but I prefer the circuit anyway, because you get to drive more, it’s also more fun, the paddock is more comfortable, good showers and everything … that’s more fun for me.»
What was your greatest success in motorsport? Which moment do you remember most?
HASLER: «Phew… there are so many, I don’t want to point out one. Of course, the national championship in autocross and the victories in front of the home crowd were special. There are so many stories I could write books about. The low point was a buggy fire in Hungary, where the European championship title was at stake. Nothing happened to me, but the car was almost a total loss and I only came third, the title was gone. The high point, of course, is that I finally managed to start in BOSS GP.»
You have your own team that supports you. How did that come about?
HASLER: «It’s always been like that, I’ve always had people helping me. It has changed a little over the years, but over time it has become more and more professional. Otherwise, it wouldn’t work, I’m incredibly grateful, because everyone here does it voluntarily, the family at home has to play along too. It used to be easier, but you notice that time is getting tighter everywhere in professional life, but the die-hards are still there, they always help. We’re a small team, but it’s a lot of fun. I have to thank my whole team and my sponsors. If you tackle something, you can achieve something even as a ‘little guy’. But I have always remained persistent and determined. That’s how it’s grown over the last 26 years.»
How did you get your race car?
HASLER: «Over the Internet and through colleagues. Ingo Gerstl helped me a lot, gave me lots of tips and had a look at the car in Italy. Because as a beginner, you don’t know the sector that well. I think it’s great at BOSS GP, because here you get help if there’s a problem, you’re in a professional environment and yet it’s still familiar, it’s cool here. If you have an issue, the other teams also help you, there’s a lot of cohesion here. That’s something special and I really appreciate it.»
So a professional environment in racing is very important to you?
HASLER: «Definitely, in BOSS GP you have that and a series with Formula 1 cars is something very special. Being at the start with the Toro Rossos or the Benetton, everyone bows down. Everybody is completely thrilled. At BOSS GP I also think it’s great that the website is updated immediately, every driver is introduced. I can then also link that and show it to the sponsors. For all those who are looking for and have sponsors, that’s great.»
What are the plans for the future?
HASLER: «The goal is to get ahead. Right now I plan to use the current car for another two or three years and then possibly switch to a GP2 in the FORMULA Class or a World Series bolide with a V8 engine. But when I see the Toro Rossos, the goal is of course to be able to sit in a Formula 1 and do a few laps. You never stop dreaming when you’re in motorsport. In any case, I hope we can be in BOSS GP for a few more years.»
Photos: Angelo Poletto/BOSS GP