At the conclusion of the Post-Qualifying Press Conference, Nick from SportsCarGlobal (SCG) took some time to catch-up with (this weekend) KCMG’s pole-sitter Nick Tandy.
SCG – How does it feel to be back in a leading LMP2 car instead of your Le Mans winning Porsche 919 Hybrid?
NT – The KCMG team & Oreca 05 car have proven their worth over longer distances, having won the LMP2 category at Le Mans, the aim having secured pole is to stay there until the finish.
SCG – What do you think when you see the LMP1 Porsche team mates?
NT – Yeah, no its great you see your teammates; its nice when your around with your teammates it’s not your competitors or the people you want to beat or the people you want to help so if you see them in the mirror you let them through vice versa – team cars aren’t necessarily in the same colours.
SCG – Can you explain the differences in passing and being passed in an LMP2 car?
NT – I mean it’s a lot easier to pass with the Porsche than it is with the Oreca Nissan but we have the top speed for a LMP2 car which helps passing the GT classes, but also having some Porsche Hybrid experience helps to know how the acceleration of the hybrids works so it gives you some knowledge as to when to let them pass.
SCG – You are on quite a winning run across different categories, how is that to manage?
NT – Of the last 6 races I’ve won five which is good, the other one we believe that after the race there was a problem, but yeah its going really, really well, pole positions in America and now here and in various places, it all keeps the ball rolling.
SCG – Is it difficult changing from one to another?
No, honestly the hardest thing is the differences in the different series regulations, and the differences in the systems on the car. So for instance the full course yellow procedures in WEC and then United Sports Car are different which you have to remember but actually getting in and driving the car, I do it so often now it takes 2 or 3 laps to get back into the seating positions and things like this but after that its quite normal, I enjoy the challenge.
SCG – So its not slipped your mind yet?
NT – No, Not yet
SCG – That makes the perfect driver to change from one car to another, to change from Nordschleiffe, Le Mans, Virginia… ?
NT – Yeh exactly it gives you experience of different situations also. Its great sitting here winning races and scoring pole positions! If I was doing badly then you’d think maybe its not such a good idea to be changing but when you’re successful ….. It shows what a good program Porsche put on for all of us, how well we’re trained and how they go about looking after us and giving us more experience in every different type of car that they can even if its not a Porsche
SCG – Who do you see as your major rivals in the LMP2 category?
NT – The two G-Drive Ligiers, the Strakka has been fast over one lap but not quite so good race pace and over 6 hours I think it will be the two G-Drives, they have good drivers and good solid chassis.
SCG – Was it your decision to drive the KCMG, Porsche’s or a bit of both?
NT – It was together, Porsche asked me if I thought it would be a good idea, I said yes it could be a good idea if we could make the calendars work because my full focus is in America, which was clear before we did the Le Mans LMP1 agreement and so then it was a case of making sure they could do the WEC LMP2 around the US – GTLM, which was still the main focus and at the moment its working fine but it takes a lot of time in travelling (and a little bit too much I must say) and I miss my family but it makes it a lot easier to travel when you come back with big trophies!
SCG – The focus on America is that a Porsche thing or personal motivation?
NT – Naa that’s a Porsche thing that’s what I was contracted to do at the end of last season so that was the first and foremost.
SCG – Just wondered whether the US and Nascar was a personal future goal?
NT – Ah theres plenty of time but I don’t want to upset what I have at the moment.
SCG – Rather than the variety that you are getting from Porsche now can we assume there is a personal desire for a step to the LMP1 team?
NT – I think everyone wants to be a world champion don’t they? –Awkward pause- But I’m in no rush, I enjoy my racing and I get to race in great cars all over the world which is fantastic. If I get the chance to be a world champion with Porsche in the future, that would be great.
SCG – You’re still young?!
NT – Yeah exactly, I’m in no rush theres time in the future same with US and Nascar !
Question – But I guess within the Porsche team there is a lot of pressure, everybody has to prove themselves?
NT – Yeah but its good for Porsche; perhaps not as good for the drivers that want to be in that position, or are aiming to get there one day, but Porsche is great because everybody wants to drive these cars.
SCG – Thank you Nick, whilst Porsche have such a choice of drivers across the world, in your case you cannot do more than be winning every race. Good Luck tomorrow.
A further Thank you to Sam Holland for providing a transcription service from the recording.