IMSA Spotlight: Till Bechtolsheimer
Driver, No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 (CTSC)
When and how did you get your start in racing?
“I made a deal with my Dad when I was 10 years old. He bought me a go-kart on the condition that I promised never to ride motorcycles on the road.
“I’m not sure if it was legally binding but I’ve kept my side of the bargain. I still wonder whether I made the right call every time I see a triumph!”
How has it been acclimating to the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport and working with co-driver Tyler McQuarrie?
“My first time in the car was the race weekend at Sebring. There was a lot to take on because it was also my first time at the circuit, my first time in a modern race car, my first time on slicks and my first time in a pro-series.
“I think my biggest challenge initially was thinking that being in a modern car meant I could be much more aggressive in my driving style. Tyler helped me realize that I should drive the Cayman just like I drive the vintage cars I’m used to – smooth is always better!
“Each race I feel I am getting more comfortable in the car and learning from Tyler has been half the fun. I’m still at that point on the learning curve where I can feel myself getting better all the time so I’m really enjoying it.”
You are big into historic racing and recently took part in the Monaco Historics. How did that go?
“For any motorsport enthusiast the opportunity to race at Monaco is hard to beat. I was racing my Allard J2 and had to delay the transport to Monaco as we were still finishing up the engine rebuild after a blow-up at Spa last September.
“I qualified 2nd overall and kept that position until the very last lap when the engine blew a head gasket. I managed to make the checkered flag (barely) in a cloud of smoke and still in 3rd place.
“A podium at Monaco is something really special so I was ecstatic. Fortunately there was no major engine damage so the Allard is all ready for the Silverstone Classic next weekend!”
What do you do to prepare for the various tracks you go to?
“I have to confess that I’ve been so busy I haven’t really had much of a chance to prepare myself for the tracks before I get there. I’ve never raced on this side of the Atlantic before so every time we go racing it is all brand new.
“Watching in-car video before the first time on track as Tyler, Marc and Danny walk me through the ins and outs of each corner has been a really big help. More than anything, reviewing data between sessions has helped me get up to speed more quickly.”
When you aren’t in a race car, what are some of your other hobbies?
“I have my PPL (private pilot license) so flying is one hobby, especially anything vintage. Come winter I’m all about skiing.”