This week Fast Lane hosts Jamie Thwaites who has driven for JCT600 Brooklands Leeds in the Ferrari Challenge UK for the past two seasons and who won the Coppa Shell.
Jamie in what has been a difficult COVID year, but I am sure you are just relieve to be out there racing?
“Yeah I mean you kind of look forward to doing your racing mid-summer when the weather is pleasant and especially somewhere like Snetterton with it being an old air force base you really start to feel it (the cold) in October, but of course yeah we all want to be back on track and hopefully finish the season on a high”.
This year, last year ever present in the Ferrari Challenge… why?
“Do you know what why not? I’ve been a Ferrari fan since I was a tiny tiny boy, if I’m going to race why not race in the Ferrari Challenge, it’s a dream come true. When you see the trophies in your office or at home you’ve actually got a Ferrari trophy - that means a lot”.
The reality then has live up to your expectation?
“Yes it is a fantastic event, really well run, the Ferrari guys are fantastic, they give you all the help you need, the professional drivers – I mean proper professional drivers – ex touring car drivers, current GT racing drivers, it’s a big family, I’ve met some really good friends, not just the drivers, but people who are working for Ferrari as well”.
Of the circuits we’ve visited this year and last year, is there a stand out favourite for you?
“They’ve all got their pros and cons, there’s parts of all the tracks that I enjoy, and some parts of the tracks that I hate, so… I think Silverstone might be my favourite, I won twice there last round out in the Coppa Shell so yes we’ll say that for the time being”.
We want to find out a bit more about Jamie Thwaites the person rather than the successful racing driver, is there anything special you do in preparation for a race weekend?
“Do you know what I actually try not to think too much about it, and I stop training I mean properly training on about Wednesday, because if I train up until the weekend, I’m going to be so shattered come the end of Saturday, it’s like today I’m really tired now, I don’t really eat in the morning, so I didn’t eat this morning because I thought I don’t want to be full, I’m going through second practice thinking umm low blood sugar level, I’m just trying to get back on a level where I can think about Qualifying in 10 minutes”.
The driving level in the UK Challenge has been exceptional, and what really strikes me about the paddock is you’re all in competition, but there is a sense of camaraderie and friendship in this paddock, which I think is true of nearly everything associated with Ferrari, Agree?
“Yes I have met some people I would call friends now that I have met in the paddock including some of the racing drivers. I think no one has got anything to prove other than on the track, everyone appreciates everyone’s success, there’s no airs and graces, just people being people and we jump in a race car and go and race against each other – its nice!”.