Race caller Peter Reichert doesn’t mince matters
The recognition value of his voice is enormous and his name has been well-known to many motor-racing enthusiasts for many years. Since 2007, Peter ‚Richie’ Reichert has been an integral part of DTM as race caller and commentator for DTM.tv. “Back then, Hans Werner Aufrecht called me and asked me if I could imagine assuming this task. It was in the deep of the night and I was in Singapore, on my way to the hotel,” Reichert recalls. But this didn’t prevent him from accepting the offer right away. Since then, he has been on site during every DTM race meeting and has been accompanying every single session from the race-caller booth – including practice sessions and warm-up. A task every information source is welcome for.
After all, the session alone often doesn’t provide enough topics Reichert can work with. “The more things are going on, the happier not only the fans but the track announcer, too,” he admits. ‘Particularly in the practice session, things can get sticky. It’s the fight for the Golden Pineapple. But even this doesn’t describe the situation correctly. The practice sessions are the ones with particularly limited action. But these are exactly the situations when it’s up to him to provide the visitors with interesting facts and background information on DTM and its protagonists. To do so, Reichert makes use of his experience’: he does not only inform himself via the media, in the run-up to an event, but also talks to the drivers and those responsible. “These one-to-one conversations are fundamental for my work,” he says. “Without research and first-hand information you just can’t execute this job. You definitely don’t want be caught flat-footed and therefore, your information level has to be absolutely up to date at any time.”
Since three years, now, Reichert has been sharing the race-caller booth with OIiver Sittler – a situation that makes commentating easier for the both of them. “Basically, you also could do the job alone but it’s clearly better with a partner,” admits Reichert. “You can feed each other lines and be somewhat funny. That helps to entertain the crowds.” The race caller’s main task, however, is to keep the visitors updated on what is going on on the track. Screens in the booth help to keep track of the action and provide additional information. Lap and split times, the gaps to the cars ahead and on the cars behind and the exact position of the respective car are just a part of the content Reichert can hark back to at any time. “In addition, I’m member in several smart-phone communication groups, such as the race control. These groups also provide me with information on the race action.”
Other than DTM partner ARD, the track announcers have no access to the team radio. But Reichert hopes that this will be changed. After all, this made his job during last year’s controversial race at Spielberg extremely difficult. “This was the arguably most memorable race in my race-caller career. But we realised the ‘push him out’ affair only by accident. That wasn’t exactly perfect,” reveals Reichert. But after having been informed on the radio message he didn’t mince his words and called for severe penalties. “I think it’s important to ne outspoken while commenting,” he underlines. “You should take a clear stance. If something isn’t okay you should say so explicitly and at any sacrifice.”
Even with nine race-caller seasons under his belt Reichert still loves his job and never regretted his in-the-deep-of-the-night acceptance. “For me, this task represents a major gain, making for a great balance to my job at RTL. You meet other people, see other venues and plunge into a completely other environment. Compared to Formula 1, you have got far more possibilities to talk to people. Everything is clearly more personal and just fantastic.” That’s one of the reasons that he believes that nine race weekends aren’t enough. “As I see it, 10 or 11 would be far better,” Reichert concludes.