Nicki Thiim: A career-defining decision

posted in: General, LMGTE-Pro | 0

27972164103_fcfbe6c9d5_zOn 19 Novem­ber 2016, a dream became a real­i­ty for a 27-year-old Dan­ish dri­ver by the name of Nic­ki Thi­im. As he crossed the line in his Aston Mar­tin Van­tage V8, Thi­im, togeth­er with fel­low Dane Mar­co Sørensen, secured the FIA World Endurance Cup for GT Dri­vers – ahead of the bay­ing com­pe­ti­tion of Fer­rari and Ford.

Win­ning the dri­vers’ title in the WEC’s fierce­ly com­pet­i­tive GTE Pro class will come as wel­come jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for Nic­ki Thi­im, after the Dane’s switch from Audi GT rac­ing to Aston Mar­tin full-time. Last year Thi­im bare­ly had a week­end free as an Audi works dri­ver, tak­ing part in the ADAC GT Mas­ters, the Porsche Car­rera Cup Deutsch­land, the WEC (for Aston Mar­tin), Blanc­pain GT Series, VLN and TCR – and that’s ignor­ing the one-off races at the 24 Hours of the Nür­bur­gring and the 12 Hours of Sep­a­ng. In 2015, Thi­im took part in 30 sep­a­rate race week­ends. With Thi­im cut­ting down that fig­ure to 11 in 2016 – includ­ing starts at the 24 Hours of Paul Ricard and the 24 Hours of the Nür­bur­gring, besides his full sea­son for Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing in the WEC – this sea­son will cer­tain­ly have giv­en the Dane the chance to focus on his per­for­mance.

Nicki Thiim finished third at the first round of the season at Silverstone.
Nic­ki Thi­im fin­ished third at the first round of the sea­son at Sil­ver­stone.

Nic­ki Thi­im made his Aston Mar­tin debut back in 2013. Ever the jack of all trades – and the mas­ter of all, to boot – that same year he man­aged to take the cham­pi­onship title in the Porsche Super­cup and win the 24 Hours of the Nür­bur­gring in a Mer­cedes SLS. Despite a new works con­tract for Audi Sport, Thi­im still tried to com­pete in the FIA WEC for Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing as often as he could. Four vic­to­ries in eight races in GTE Am in 2014 with David Heine­meier-Hans­son and Kris­t­ian Poul­son was an impres­sive haul and saw the #95 Aston Mar­tin chris­tened the “Dane Train”. Clash­es with the ADAC GT Mas­ters meant that Thi­im missed two WEC races and missed out on the GTE Am dri­vers’ title his team­mates would go on to win.

2015 saw Thi­im move up a class wth the #95 Aston Mar­tin crew, com­pet­ing in GTE Pro with Christof­fer Nygaard and Mar­co Sørensen. How­ev­er, the Dane’s com­mit­ments for Audi Sport else­where once again had a major impact on the FIA WEC efforts, with Thi­im only fin­ish­ing 13th in the dri­vers’ title. Some­thing had to change if Nicky Thi­im was going to enjoy suc­cess on the world stage, and so he decid­ed to take a step into the unknown and break ties with Audi Sport. With a new con­tract in the bag as an offi­cial Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing works dri­ver, the rapid Dane final­ly man­aged to put the FIA WEC GTE Pro title at the focus of his efforts. He and Sørensen were duly reward­ed for their pace and con­sis­ten­cy, tak­ing the GT dri­vers’ cham­pi­onship ahead of the best that Ford and Fer­rari could throw at them.

On the limit: In Bahrain, the 27-year-old Dane gave absolutely everything to secure the GTE Pro drivers' title.
On the lim­it: In Bahrain, the 27-year-old Dane gave absolute­ly every­thing to secure the GTE Pro dri­vers’ title.

The con­sis­ten­cy through­out the sea­son has been amaz­ing,” Thi­im said after the final round of the sea­son in Bahrain. “The car has been great and the improve­ments we’ve made with our part­ners through­out the year have been incred­i­ble. To be up there in our first year with two new part­ners in Dun­lop and Total and to com­pete against some big teams with their two new cars is real­ly some­thing spe­cial. Right now, I’m very hap­py with what I and the team have achieved”.

Here at WEC-Mag­a­zin we would like to con­grat­u­late Nic­ki Thi­im on his GTE Pro dri­vers’ cham­pi­onship in the World Endurance Cham­pi­onship and wish him and the whole team all the best for the future!

Images © WEC-Mag­a­zin
Quote: Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing