Nick Tandy is the latest driver to be signed by Porsche’s works team. He’s the only Brit to have won the German Carrera Cup, but this was still an unexpected announcement…
As a 16-year-old Nick Tandy lined up on the grid for the 1996 Midland Short Oval Ministox Championship the last thing on his mind would have been one day becoming a Porsche factory driver. Its happened, though, and having won the German Carrera Cup in 2011, a feat only one other non A
German has managed (Frenchman Nicolas Armindo in 2010), Porsche motor sport bosses must have taken note. At the end of 2012 he was summoned to see the management in Weissach, Germany, and told that his racing career would change for ever.
“It was a pretty good Christmas present,” he admits before heading to the Daytona 24 Hours to race a Konrad Motorsport Porsche GT3, “especially because it was so unexpected this year that made it all the sweeter. Affer winning the Carrera Cup in 2011 it was something I was looking for and something I was trying to work towards, but I didn’t expect to be offered it for this season. The full plans for this year are yet to be decided, but it starts with Daytona, my favourite race of the year.” Tandy underlined why Porsche has been so quick to sign him after he put his car on class pole for the 24hour race. Things didn’t go as planned, with an off due to being forced offline, tyres delaminating because of the damage and then further punctures later in the race. The final one took out the radiator, bumper, front wing and electronics. “At that point we decided that we’d had enough bad luck for one race and retired the car,’ says Tandy.
Next up is the Sebring 12 Hours on March 16, with the Walker Racing-run Falken team, and a few months after that he will line up on the Le Mans grid in another Porsche customer car. As he mentioned, the rest of the season isn’t yet decided, but what about a possible prototype seat when Porsche returns to the premier class in 2014?
“Its not something I’d expect to be considered for,” he says, after a short pause. “Obviously more or less every driver wants to drive the fastest car they possibly can in the highest profile series available, but I don’t expect to be given a chance in Porsche’s new prototype. At the moment I’m 100 per cent focused on the GT job and if I get many more years in Porsche’s GT programme I will be a very happy man, a very happy driver.
“When I first started racing a Porsche (in 2009) the Carrera Cup was the best championship at the time, the best option for me, but that’s because Porsche is so integrated with motor sport across the world. Everybody knows about Porsche and its record in motor racing Along with Ferrari and its Fl heritage, its one of the most recognised names in motor sport”
The list of recent British Porsche works drivers is pretty short Richard Westbrook and Allan McNish are the only two during Tandy’s whole career a detail that no doubt makes his new position all the sweeter.