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Racers in Isolation: Tommy Milner

Tommy Milner gives us a rundown of his sim racing set-up and tells us why his house is turning into a “zoo”…

Photo: Tommy Milner

Sportscar365 is contacting drivers from around the world to ask what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner (Twitter/Instagram) features in this edition of ‘Racers in Isolation’.

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

I’m at my home in Round Hill, Va. with my wife, Lauren and our two dogs. We’ve had a lot of little projects around the house and property that we’ve been able to tackle in the downtime, not to mention my wife is just finishing a small four-stall barn for her horse on the property.

We’ve had a lot to keep us busy over these last few weeks.

What’s your go-to for food when no-one feels like cooking?

Luckily for us, we enjoy cooking, so that hasn’t been a problem yet. I think we’ve been eating better now, healthier and better portions than we have at all.

The closest thing to a go-to for me is some of the Cliff Bars and Rx Bars we have at the house.

What’s your current favorite Netflix/TV show?

Tiger King has been some of the best trashy TV I’ve seen in a long time. We’re also excited about Ozark’s returning as well.

How have you been keeping up with sim racing?

I’ve been sim racing longer than I’ve been driving race cars. There was definitely a period there where I wasn’t doing it as much, but ever since I did some development work for the Project CARS 2 title, I’ve been much more into it than I had recently.

I think I’ve tripled the number of races I’ve done in iRacing in the 12 years I’ve been a member in the last three months. Which shows how little actual racing I had done before but also how much more I’m using the service now.

I just updated my rig at the end of last year with Sim Labs P1 X, Fanatec’s DD2 wheelbase, and a small upgrade to my computer. 

Do you have any pets?

We have two dogs, Zeva and Kona. Zeva is a Husky/Malamute/Lab mutt mix and Kona is a German Shepherd. Lauren has a horse and as of two days ago, she brought home four baby hens.

Slowly our place is turning into a zoo! No big cats for us though.

Favorite section of any race track in the world?

When the car is good, 1/2/3/4 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is fantastic. It’s one of the few sequences of corners in GT cars where you feel the car dancing at the limit all the time at some big speeds.

The uphill esses at Virginia International Raceway, especially T10, are probably a close 2nd.

The funniest thing you have heard or said over a team radio?

There may have been a little too much build-up for it, but in qualifying at Daytona two or three years ago, we convinced Olly [Gavin] to come on the radio when he was drafting Jan [Magnussen] to say ”Shake ‘n Bake – Slingshot engage!”

With his accent and the seriousness in his voice trying to put it all together, it was fairly comical!

Another good one was our, at the time, assistant engineer Reed Sullivan taking our normal engineer Chuck Houghton’s place at Mosport a few years back. It was his first time talking to us on the radio during a session, and the first time he said something, I could likely have heard him just as well if he hadn’t used the radio at all.

He absolutely screamed into the radio ”OK TOMMY, WE WILL PIT THIS LAP!” This was just as I was passing start-finish and it scared the s*** out of me.

I had to bail on T1 completely. We were able to get him to turn it down a notch for the rest of the weekend but there was still a ton of excitement in his radio calls.

What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track?

Just being back in the paddock, seeing all of the team, and seeing that other half of my family I haven’t seen in months. I’m sure there will be tons of stories to tell.

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