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.
Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 pandemic?
I’m at home [in Warwickshire] with my wife.
How are you keeping busy without any real-world racing going on?
Keeping busy by doing a lot of training. I’ve managed to do three half marathons so far in the last month alone.
I’ve actually probably done more training than ever in that way, just using my daily [one-hour] allowance.
And the rest of it is spent on the sim. There has been a lot of cleaning and organizing around the house as well! My job list is getting smaller, but it was quite large to start with.
What music are you into at the moment?
I listen to podcasts more than music at the moment. I listen to them when I go running.
Music-wise it’s probably Stereophonics. I listen to John Hindhaugh’s Midweek Motorsport, and I often find that podcasts are better to listen to when you go running because they occupy the time better and distract you more.
What films/TV series have you been enjoying?
Massively into Netflix with Ozark. I got hooked on that and watched three series in the last three weeks.
There is also a very good Scottish drama called The Nest on the BBC. I’m not normally a ‘drama’ guy, but with the time that we have had on our hands, I’ve actually got into quite a few.
How has the sim racing been going?
I bought a simulator in December purely because I wanted to spend a bit more time on myself at home, because normally I put a lot of customers through Darren Turner’s Base Performance.
Recently it’s been really good getting on iRacing and I’m probably spending a couple of hours a day just racing friends. There are a lot of groups of drivers from all different formulas that get together and have a few races a day which is good.
I’m also doing a few sim-leagues during the week. Everything from single-seater stuff to front-wheel 2-liter touring cars.
It’s a good variety and it’s all good fun. To be fair the racing is so good on stuff like iRacing that it keeps you mentally racing sharp at the moment. That’s a good thing because when the season does finally start you want to be as sharp as you can be.
Who is your racing inspiration, and why?
For me, it’s Allan McNish. He was very much the backbone of Audi’s success, and a bit of Porsche as well.
He was always the ultimate professional on and off the track and is still a massive part of Scottish motorsport, and still integral to Audi, as well as sportscars through WEC.
As much as we’re a tiny [Scottish motorsport] community, we’ve always all supported each other. I can still pick up the phone to Allan and Dario [Franchitti], and these bonds are all still intact because there are only a few of us Scots now that are actually racing at any high level.
We all look out for each other, but you miss the Jackie Stewarts and the David Coulthards, that have helped springboard a lot of talent through financial and opportunity.
What, in your opinion, has been your best-ever race performance to date?
The 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans. To get a victory on the final lap is like a dream come true for any race driver, but to do it against Corvette was pretty cool.
The way the race panned out, over 24 hours, was like a fairytale, and obviously it was also a massive victory for everyone in Aston Martin because it was the final year of the previous generation Vantage in the Pro class. It was the perfect sign-off.
Describe your ideal road trip…
I would drive an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera and I would actually go and do the NorthWest motorcycle race route [in Northern Ireland].
It’s scenic, it’s a nice part of the world and they are good roads for the DBS, which is a fantastic car.
What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track?
Competition. We all miss it massively. As drivers it makes us hungry, it makes us drive and work a bit harder.
We’re chilled now, just relaxing and waiting for the coronavirus situation to move on.
At the moment we’re not in that competitive spirit, but when we get back on the racetrack that will change very quickly!