Mathias Lauda, the son of three-time Formula One World Champion Niki Lauda, has done a little bit of everything in his driving career from open-wheel (GP2 and A1GP) to touring cars (DTM) and sports cars.
Now, the 33-year-old will try his luck in NASCAR-sanctioned competition. Lauda will drive for the two-car, Austria-based DF1 Racing team in this year’s NASCAR Whelen Euro Series alongside former 24 Hours of Le Mans champ Christophe Bouchut.
Lauda got to sample the NASCAR Euro machine recently on the “Indy” course at England’s legendary Brands Hatch, where his father won the British Grand Prix three times in his stellar F1 career.
“It’s totally different,” Lauda said about the car in a release from Motorsport Vision. “The DTM car has so much downforce and carbon brakes, and this car is like going back 20 years. But it’s really fun because it’s a proper driver’s car and only by driving can you make the difference.
“You have to rethink your whole driving style and watch the tires, watch the brakes – it’s so easy to lock up and you have to shift down not too early, so as not to over-rev the car. I think that it’s like when you start racing a little bit, but it’s a lot of fun and I enjoyed it a lot, so I can’t wait until the season starts.”
Lauda isn’t a complete novice with stock cars, however. In 2008, he competed in the now-defunct Speedcar Series, a Middle East-based stock car series, in addition to running in DTM.
This year’s NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season begins with a pair of races in Valencia, Spain on April 12 and 13. The series will then make its way to Brands Hatch for its third and fourth events of 2014 on June 7 and 8.