Taking JTR in to Porsche Carrera Cup GB ‘ best thing that we’ve ever done’ – Nick Tandy

by Vince Pettit

In the first two parts of our interview with Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy we spoke about the importance of how the Carrera Cup kick-started his works career, and then what it was like moving up through the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, including racing through the streets on Monaco.

In our third and final part, we take a look into the Joe Tandy Racing team that he currently runs in Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Formed by his brother Joe, the JTR team worked its way up from Formula Ford, through to Formula 3, initially supporting Nick’s career. The team achieved great success in single-seaters, including helping to give the likes of Josef Newgarden, Tio Elinas, and Dan Cammish a successful start in their early careers.

“We’ve run the race team Joe Tandy Racing since 2006 I think, and its always been Formula Racing because this is what me and my Brother grew up around,” explains Tandy.

“It was what my Brother was doing as his job was before we set up the race team, but then when I became more and more involved with Porsche I could see the benefits of working with a manufacturer rather than working with a chassis supplier.”

In 2017 the team switched to Porsche Carrera Cup GB, running a three-car team for Dino Zamparelli, Tio Ellinas and Lewis Plato.

“We decided to change to Porsche racing and honestly it’s the best thing that we’ve ever done from a team point of view.”

“The support that we get from Porsche in the UK is more than I ever could imagine, the championship is super, the cars are fantastic. They are very easy to run, and they are very easy to work on and they are very reliable.

“The drivers enjoy racing them, whether they are very young or whether it’s a more experienced driver that just wants to race for fun.

“It’s a car and a championship that anybody can race in, you’re not just looking at something like in Formula 4 where the drivers are 15 to 16 years old, there’s a much broader range of people that can associate with the Porsche brand.”

Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

The JTR team had an immediate impact on the Carrera Cup GB series, Dino Zamparelli took three wins for the team, and despite scoring the same points as eventual championship winner Charlie Eastwood, lost out due to Eastwood taking one more victory.

Aside from his victories, Zamparelli took a further nine podium finishes, Plato finished fifth in the championship with four podiums while Elinas took sixth with five podium finishes.

There was also the amazing finish to the 2017 24 hours of Le Mans support race which saw Zamparelli and Cammish battle it out for victory over the closing laps.

“From a team point of view and the Porsche race cars, it is more relaxed for us, because we have this big support from Porsche GB, they put on all this help and support for the race weekends, and also for the teams that are in the Championship.

“Also from a customer’s point of view for us as a team you have a much broader range of people that you can approach, so it’s great and obviously I know how this can influence a race drivers career.”

For 2018 JTR continued with Lewis Plato, whilst Tom Wrigley joined the team along with Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship winner Dan Harper. Jamie Orton also joined the team to take on the Pro-Am category.

Wrigley scored four victories and an additional four podiums on his way to third in the championship, Plato finished fourth with two victories and six more podiums whilst 17-year-old Harper impressed on his way to fifth in the championship with two wins and four podium finishes. In Pro-Am Orton took five wins and three podium finishes, ending the year in third place.

Credit: Porsche / Dan Bathie

“It’s always good to try and help the younger professionals or the aspiring professionals by saying look I was doing this five years ago, and now I’ve had the chance to race all over the world and win some big races.

“So there’s a clear lineage and a clear line that shows what can be possible if you win within this brand.”

Outside of the Carrera Cup GB, JTR also had the opportunity to run in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the British Grand Prix weekend where Tom Wrigley surprised series regulars on his way to fifth in qualifying and a top ten finish while Lewis Plato had a strong race to finish in fourteenth out of twenty-nine competitors.

Along a successful team in Carrera Cup GB, 2019 holds further opportunities for Tandy as he enters his seventh year as a Porsche factory driver.

“So I’ll be racing in IMSA again, which is my absolute preferred championship all over the world, it has the best racing that I’ve experienced anywhere in the world so this is really really good.

“We will obviously hope to gain the entry again for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this is dependent on the ACO  and we hope to again take the America cars back to Circuit de la Sarthe and try and attempt this.

Credit: Porsche

“Then the other big thing, of course, is the defence of our title at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, this was a particular highlight for us last year and it will be great to go back as the defending champions with the new car as well the new GT3 R and keep the title in my hands.”

In addition to these plans, it was recently announced that Tandy will take on the Total 24 Hours of Spa this year with the race-winning ROWE Racing squad as they switch from BMW to Porsche for their 2019 assault.

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