FIA World Endurance GTE points leader Nicki Thiim (Instagram/Twitter) is next up in our ‘Racers in Isolation’ series, looking at how racing drivers are pushing through the current motorsport lockdown.
The effervescent Aston Martin racer tells us all about his old-school music taste, his ‘Mom’s Basement’ sim racing setup and an electronic solution to having no pets…
Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 pandemic?
I’m currently in the Austrian mountains. I’m spending a lot of time in ‘Mom’s Basement’. Racing drivers are used to traveling a lot, so now we are home a lot we certainly have to come up with some creative ideas to survive the quiet times!
What’s your go-to for food when no-one feels like cooking?
All those takeaways are pretty nasty, so when you go for it you have to go ‘all-in’! That’s probably a problem for Marco Sorensen and me. We don’t do it very often, so if we are in a city together or something, we both then to pull on the same string and the one doesn’t stop the other! Probably my favorite is a nice juicy burger!
Current favorite Netflix/TV series, or book if you’re more of a reader?
Books… I haven’t started those yet, they make me feel old! I actually considered started doing it recently though. I’m not really a ‘Netflix’ type of guy; I’d rather spend the time with my partner and my family.
What music have you been listening to recently? Name a song we should all be listening to right now!
Something old. I love my ’80s and ’90s rock, so some Guns & Roses or some Bon Jovi is great.
Tell us a bit about your sim racing set-up and what games you use. How useful is sim racing for keeping you sharp behind the wheel?
As you probably know, a lot of racing drivers are starting sim racing now, even Maxime Martin! That shows you how bored racing drivers are right now.
But obviously I have a complete room, which I call ‘Mom’s Basement’, which is only for gaming and keeping me young.
It’s a good mix of shooters and sim racing and obviously, when I do sim-racing, it’s between iRacing and Assetto Corsa.
Do you have any pets?
No, I’m not allowed! But I do have my automatic vacuum cleaner which trolls around the house, which is the closest I come to having a pet.
Favorite section of any race-track in the world, and why?
The German fans and the insiders of the Nürburgring Nordschleife will know this well, it’s basically from Hohe Acht, through Brünnchen, all the way down to Pflantzgarten, just before the small Karoussel.
It’s one of the few places where you basically hold your breath for almost a minute and then when you get out on to that long straight, as you all know, you check yourself and you’re breathing like a sprinter!
These days, it’s so quick and so intense, especially now with the modern GT3 cars.
The funniest thing you have heard or said over a team radio? Can be from any series!
A lot of those things can never reach the surface, but my engineer on the Dane Train, Evert van Doorn, is always making me laugh.
As I crossed the line in first place at COTA, his first words to me were; ‘No doughnuts at Turn 1’… They all know me too well.
What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a racetrack?
Giving you a big hug! No seriously I think it will be just being back in the paddock. We all fight intensely on the track, but it is a little bit like a big traveling family.
I think things like what is happening in the world right now help put everything in perspective and make you value things more. I think when we get back to racing, we will all appreciate it even more.