Portrait of physiotherapist Axel Nahmmacher
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Every story has a beginning. And an end. This has a beginning. But no end yet. Because Axel Nahmmacher doesn't even want to think about that.
Axel Nahmmacher is on the road around 30 weekends a year
It should end at 60 - actually. You could call him a gypsy. Or as an addict. Or as solid as a rock. Basically, he has a bit of everything. For 33 years, Nahmmacher has been working as a physiotherapist from one racetrack to the next. Race series such as the Porsche Sports Cup, the FIA GT or the ADAC Masters specify the travel route for his converted truck with the 'Axel’s Mobile Sportsman Care' logo. He spends around 30 weekends a year in his mobile snail shell.
There are not top-class guards hanging in it, and there is no tea kettle, but everything is geared towards work. In the middle of the room are two treatment beds, as they are known from physiotherapy practice. There are carpets with animal motifs on the floor, and the walls look like a jigsaw puzzle made of motorsport photos. Sometimes they show Nahmmacher himself at the racing fiesta, sometimes he is shown together with his former companion Stefan Bellof. In the right part of the car on just half the square, Nahmmacher peddles when he's on the road. Bunk bed, refrigerator, cooking appliance - that's all he needs to live.
His hands are his capital
In the middle of his little realm stands a Nahmmacher with well-worn white Birkenstocks, gray hair and a serious expression. He is reminiscent of a doctor. 'I learned the profession of physiotherapist to help other people,' he says, rubbing his hands together. 'That makes me proud.' There are many ways in which he can help. The standards on the racetrack include problems in the lumbar vertebrae, cervical vertebrae and tension. His hands are his capital. Nahmmacher knows this all too well and therefore takes special care of his fingers when slicing bread, for example.
But not all problems can be solvedsolve with his golden hands: 'I am often the emotional garbage can. But that's normal, it doesn't always have to be the team boss.' Whenever there is trouble, he is solid as a rock. Worries are dumped like the latest gossip and gossip at the hairdresser's. The 62-year-old looks after around ten to 15 customers on one weekend. Most of them register for the whole year at the start of the season.
Nahmmacher doesn't want to know anything about vacation
There is hardly any time to catch your breath. With his Armani shorts and white shirt, Nahmmacher looks like he's just returned from vacation. 'Hawaii? I don't need any of that,' he says, rubbing his hands again and laughing so heartily that it almost scares you. Instead, he'd rather get back into the steering wheel himself. Nahmmacher chased the racetracks for 18 years. When he talks about the mountain races in his Abarth 1,000 TC, he stares at the wall as if he were seeing the images from back then like a film. 'I noticed how exhausting it is and what I'm missing,' he remembers. The idea for mobile athlete support at the racetrack was born. 'After all, you can't massage yourself. I still remember exactly how I treated Klaus Niedzwiedz in Zolder for a lumbago. First I worked in the truck, then in a trailer, then in the mobile home and now in my converted truck.'
On his way from the makeshift truck to the converted Physio-Mobil, Nahmmacher looked after great racing drivers like Stefan Bellof or the Schumacher brothers. Friendships also developed over and over again. For example to Klaus Ludwig, whose son Luca now also trusts the skills of Nahmmacher. The trained physiotherapist also had a bond with Stefan Bellof. After his death he thought of throwing everything away. But the love for motorsport was greater. A few days after his 60th birthday, Nahmmacher was almost forced to quit - a heart attack. 'I just don't get upset that much anymore because that doesn't work,' he says. Just hanging up on everything was out of the question. He only gave up his practice at Tegernsee. After this warning shot of his body, he only missed one race at the beginning of the season.
Nahmmacher is part of the motorsport family
What drives him is the feeling of being needed. It seems like an addiction. He now spends almost more time in his Physio-Mobil than at home in Bavaria. He is proud to be part of the big motorsport family and is happy to accept the gypsy life. 'I'm always happy when the end of the season is reachedBut then hardly wait until I'm back in action in the 24h race in Dubai in January. 'In between, however, he doesn't get bored. In winter, Nahmmacher looks after the ice hockey team at SC Riessersee.
U nd he couldn't stop anyway, says Nahmmacher. After all, there is currently no successor he passes on his experience to intern Daniel, who will possibly continue his work one day, but he still feels obliged to continue as long as he is healthy. Axel Nahmmacher even predicted that this story would never end, even motorsport reporter Rainer once predicted Braun: 'At some point you will come to the race track with the AOK chopper.'