Tom Grice recently confirmed his participation in the 2011 ELF Renault Clio Cup and TCF took the opportunity to catch up with the 18 year old as he gets ready for his first season in car racing.
Having been enjoying a successful karting career, competing at the highest level in the CIK-FIA World Championships, we asked Grice why he decided now was the best time to make the step into cars: “I feel at the age of 18, It's the right time for me to make my transfer from karts to cars as I've achieved a vast amount of success in karting over ten years of racing. Also, to proceed with my career in motorsport, tin-top cars have greater prospects for me compared to staying in karting.”
Grice has signed up with multiple title winning outfit Total Control Racing and has been happy with his preparations for the season so far: “Preparations are going well, whether that being from working out in the gym getting fit for the season to test days at the track with the team. I feel in the few tests that I have done in Clios so far, I’ve continued to improve from test to test, learning some of the tracks, getting a good feel for my car and knowing how far I can push the limits. I have had Jonathan Adam and TCR team boss Lee Brookes helping me out a great amount, which is the main reason why I have improved so much from the first test to the fourth test.”
Despite it being his first year in the series, the Essex-based youngster has big ambitions for the season ahead: “My aim for the season is to be a front runner in the championship at the end of the year and to achieve as many top step of the podium finishes as possible. Winning the championship this year will be difficult due to the great competition in it but I feel it’s not an unrealistic aim, especially with TCR’s backing and the great car they have set up for me so far.”
Joining him in the TCR line up for 2011 will be James Dixon and Nicolas Hamilton, and Tom is looking forward to working alongside them: “I have known both James and Nic for many years, so we will all get on which produces a good vibe throughout the team. Due to us all being good mates, we don’t mind helping each other out with questions about a lap which can only result in everyone being fast and TCR having all of their drivers up the front end of the grid.”
Looking into the future, we asked Tom what his dreams were for later in his career: “I would like to be a professional racing driver and my dream is to be a highly respected driver in the tin-top side of motorsport. I would love to race in the BTCC, in the WTCC and in DTM – that’s the lifelong dream.”
Despite being big ambitions, Tom feels he can achieve them: “With a few good years under my belt, some sponsorship backing and great teams I honestly feel I can reach those goals. At the moment I have the TCR team backing me with a great car, I just some more sponsorship to make this year a great one to remember.”