Nicki Thiim is relishing the chance to compete at the ‘old-school’ Oulton Park circuit ahead of his British GT debut alongside Mark Farmer in the #11 TF Sport Aston Martin.
As part of Aston Martin Racing‘s renewed commitment to the series, Thiim inked a pre-season deal with AMR customer squad TF Sport to compete alongside long-time World Endurance Championship partner and compatriot Marco Sørensen in a pair of Aston Martin Vantage V12s.
Ahead of his much-anticipated series debut, the 28-year-old offered a glowing appraisal of his experiences in British GT so far, and is impressed by the searing speed of AM partner Farmer as the pair look to make a splash in the wet at Oulton Park.
“I love it, I’ve really enjoyed my time competing in British GT so far,” Thiim told TCF.
“I’ve got a new team-mate this year in Mark – he’s crazy, he’s on it and he’s fast! The team are really motivated to win, so I’m excited to see what will happen this year.”
Having become accustomed to the wide-sweeping circuits with vast run-off areas that are a permanent fixture of the WEC calendar, an excited Thiim is thrilled to face the refreshing challenge presented by the tight and twist confines of the Cheshire circuit.
“It’s great to be back on a proper old-school track, Oulton’s the kind of circuit I enjoy the most. You go round here feeling like you might die – which is great! I’m used to all those modern race tracks, so it reminds me a lot of when I started my motorsport career.
“I haven’t driven here very much, it’s only my second time at the circuit but I’m confident of challenging at the front. The weather will have a big impact, if it’s wet it will be a challenge but one TF Sport are looking forward to.”
The 2016 WEC GTE-Pro champion also admired the family-friendly environment the series provides, and insists he is here to give the expectant crowd their money’s worth as one of many star drivers on a grid brimmed with high-quality competitors.
“There’s a family environment in the paddock, it’s a really friendly and down to earth place with everyone chatting to each other. It’s a completely different world to WEC where everything is quite split apart.
“We want to put on a show here with our car for the British fans, and it’s a good step for us to be competing here for Aston Martin.”
Despite the focus on the arrival of some of GT racing’s best factory drivers to the field, Thiim firmly believes that AM drivers will prove just as pivotal in deciding race results as their illustrious professional counterparts.
“I’ll take the same approach into this series as always – just go flat out. The biggest change for me is partnering an AM driver, whereas in WEC you just focus on yourself and your own performance. Here, you have to do your best to make your team-mate happy, make them a faster driver and help set-up the car so it suits their driving style.
“The AM drivers will be the ones making the difference come the end of the season. A few seconds can make all the difference, so if they’re quick then it can really save your day.”