He is an absolute talent in endurance racing, which is proved by the results of the last seasons. The young French driver named Nelson Panciatici is now looking to move up the ladder of endurance racing, to succeed in his ultimate goal; grabbing the overall victory during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. RacingInside.com spoke to Nelson Panciatici and asked him to talk about his career, his future and his life as a racing driver.
Hello Nelson, many visitors will know your name and your results throughout your current career. But, could you please give a brief introduction about yourself?
It is always difficult to talk about yourself, but I can say that I am a happy and passionate as a race driver. I put all my energy to succeed.
Some race drivers are getting involved in racing through friends or family. How did you get involved in racing? Did your parents support you from the early beginning?
When I started karting at 10 years old, my parents would not have support me immediately. They first wanted to see if I was passionate, then they have always been there to support me but never hold technical or other problems. I am so grateful to them and all people who support me!
You have started, like many other drivers, in karting and had quite some success in it. Do you think karting is an essential step in the career of a race driver?
These are the first of great memories, karting is very educational, you learn the basics of driving and racing, even more it is the school of life!
After your career in karting, you made the step to the single seaters. You have raced in Formula Renault 2.0, Formula 3, Superleague Formula and GP2 Series. But after that, you have made the switch to the Le Mans Prototypes (LMP-cars) quite soon. Why have you made this switch?
In single seaters it is difficult to win if you're not in a top team. There are 3 or 4 top teams maximum per category and requested budgets are very high. I did not have the financial means to go to a top team, so we decided to go endurance racing because I had a good contact with Philippe Sinault, who we had failed to work with in F3 because of budget problems! I am very happy with this choice, because endurance races are sprint races in single seaters with more team spirit!
Every race driver has some good and bad moments throughout his career. What is the best moment in your career and what is the worst moment in your career, until now?
The best moment of my career will remain my first single seaters victory in Albi, because it is important to win for the first time!
The worst memory is when I lost the F3 title, because I have been disqualified at the last race. Of course there were other bad times and good times, but I prefer to remember only the good times.
If you take a look ahead, what do you hope that your future career will bring to you? Is there a special goal you want to achieve?
Having a steering wheel in LMP1, to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
The life of a race driver is tough in a physicaly and mental way. Do you have a special training programme to stay fit and to gain strength?
Motorsport is very hard at the physical side. I'm doing physical training every day with fitness training, cycling, jogging etc. ... In addition, each winter I am doing very specific training including TRX. I build a solid foundation for the year in that way.
If you could change lives for a day with another race driver, who would it be?
I'm really happy where I am and I do not want to change, I just want to drive a LMP1 and continue to do some rally!
From the outside, being a race driver looks like a real dream. But there are also negative points, of course. If you could take people a look at the ‘inside’ of racing, what do you think is the most negative point of being a race driver?
In all jobs here are constraints, but when you love your job you forget them easily. I honestly do not see big things that bother me; I am willing to sign for a long time in racing!
What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
You must believe in your dreams, even in the most difficult times for the dream to become a reality. Whenever you have the opportunity to drive the car, you have to give your maximum to show your potential and listen to the advice of experienced people. This is not an easy way, because we need to find the budget. But, there is always a chance and you need to get it!