Somebody just has to do the job…
On the race weekends, when Stefan Monschein does his job, he uses to attract a lot of envious looks. When he is realised at all, that is. Usually, his charming companions attract all the attention. What comes as no surprise as Monschein’s task on the DTM weekends is to attend to the grid girls. His field of duty comprises everything concerning the girls during a race meeting. From arrival to departure, from accommodation through flawless organisation to the support during the weekend. “I can’t deny that I really like my job,” he says. “Nonetheless, it isn’t what many people believe it to be. After all, my task doesn’t comprise to flirt with the ladies. I have to focus on coordination the activities. There are 30 girls accompanying about a dozen of activities every day. And everything has to work flawlessly.”
Monscheins’ work even begins prior to the DTM season. After all, you have to search for the appropriate girls if you want to find them. For four years, now, he has been closely cooperating with a model management agency that is making a.pre-selection, for him. “I can fully trust them,” reveals Monschein. “The agency creates a pool of 80 girls that will be used during the course of the season, always 30 per weekend.” Only at Zandvoort and Moscow, the circuit operators are responsible for choosing the grid girls.
One thing, however, remains the same on every DTM race weekend: during an event, Monschein takes control. “Of course, the time schedules are of major importance. I use them for the basic allocation of the girls,” he says. Quite obviously, the race starts – not only of DTM but also of all the partner series – enjoy major priority. Here, the girls have to be ready in time – wearing the outfit of the respective sponsor – to take their positions on the starting grid, thus living up to their designation ‘grid girl’. By doing so, they do not only give the events an additional optical highlight but with their boards, they also show the drivers their positions on the grid. “The drivers position their cars where their boards are standing. Actually, it already happened that a grid girl was standing at the wrong position. The driver blindly relied on her and the result was a nice dose of chaos. It goes without saying that things like this shouldn’t happen but due to short-notice changes regarding the starting grid, they occasionally happen, nevertheless,” admits Monschein who is responsible for every grid girl’s correct position on the grid. “What I want to say: the grid girls also have got an important organisational function.” The boards usually are assigned by accident but every now and then, a girl wants to hold the board for a certain driver. And these desires usually are fulfilled, if possible.
In addition, the grid girls also accompany numerous autographing sessions that are held by both the series and the different manufacturers. Furthermore, they attend numerous photo shoots: inter alia, the visitors in the paddock are offered the opportunity to be shot together with the grid girls. Monschein: “In the run-up I have to create a schedule that makes sure that the girls work at full capacity but that avoids any scheduling conflicts at the same time. So, I’m coordinating an eight to nine-hour work day for each if the grid girls.” And he obviously does so to the satisfaction of all those involved – the grid girls and the organisers.