Fans of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship are already familiar with Dion von Moltke. The racer has seen his share of success in the past few years at the apex of world sportscar racing, competing in both the American Le Mans Series as well as the Grand-Am Rolex Sportscar Series. This season, he is busy behind the wheel of the Audi R8 for the Flying Lizard team.
Prior to traveling to Sebring for a scheduled test, von Moltke took a few moments to sit down and answer some questions about the nature of racing, the rulebook, and the future.
1. What are your feelings about the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and your hopes for the 2014 season as a whole? "Overall we were really happy to come out of Daytona with a top 5 finish. Just surviving and finishing Daytona is extremely tough, and with the competition we had this year it was one of the hardest races I have ever done. Thanks to excellent work from everyone on our team, and all of my teammates we were able to finish pretty high up there! We have our sights set on doing our job to the best of our ability, and hopefully if we are able to do that and maximize our ability we can be fighting for a championship."
2. How do you feel about the newly minted TUDOR United Sportscar Series, as opposed to Grand-Am and ALMS? "I am loving the Tudor United Sports Car Championship! The competition is the highest I have ever seen in sports car racing, and the energy the series has is special. Just walking around the paddock you feel like you are apart of something special."
3. Do you intend on participating in the entire TUSCC schedule, or just the Tequila Patron Endurance Series events? "We will be competing in the full championship."
4. Aside from yourself, who are the drivers to watch out for in 2014? "It’s so hard to limit that down to a list. At Daytona we had 29 cars, and looking at those cars I could count over 20 cars that had a shot to win. Everyone that is in this series is on top of their game and deserves to be there. Each weekend we will see a big battle between multiple cars."
5. Do your driving duties include other series in addition to IMSA? If so, which ones? "As of now I will just be racing in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship, but I hope to do some more races throughout the year in other series."
6. What is your favorite racetrack? "Kyalami."
7. With IMSA seeming to favor more strict enforcement of the rulebook, and imposing stricter penalties, do you think that this effort will stifle competition? "I actually don’t feel that they are enforcing anything more than ever before, but it definitely challenges the team to find the best out of the box they are allowed to work in."
8. Do you see the series expanding in the near future, or will the 11 race season become the norm? "That really depends on how financially successful the series is. Right now with the way costs are in the series most teams couldn’t afford to do more races. But if the series can become more successful and the teams make more money from sponsors and prize money for winning than we would love to expand the number of races in the year."
9. What are your hopes for the 12 Hours of Sebring? "To win. It’s going to be very tough, but we have no reason not to believe we can be in the battle for the win as long as we all bring our A game for the entire 12 Hours."
10. Do you feel that the series has been fair in applying it's balance of performance standards? "It’s still very early days, so I believe any answer would be premature. They came very late, too late really for most teams. But we are just starting, I believe they will get a strong handle on this."
11. How do you feel about the general state of motorsports in the 21st century? "I think motorsports had a few down years in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s but we are on the way up again. Everything just got a little stale and the weak economy didnt help. But we all have to work hard on improving our product and show, plus the racing for the fans."
12. With the current economy, how difficult is it for drivers like you to market themselves to sponsors? "It’s always been very difficult, probably one of the hardest parts of the job. But where there is difficulty there is opportunity. So I am working harder than ever on this, and you can’t let a few no’s get you down. Perseverance is the name of the game for us."
13. Why did you decide to get involved in auto racing, and what is your favorite racing memory so far? "I started racing when I was 13 after my dad bribed me. I was going to a school that I was not doing well in and he wanted me to change schools which I did not want to do. So he offered me a brand new gaming computer, or a go-kart... After thinking it over for a good half a second I said, “Go-kart and I am in!” My favorite memory of my career was celebrating with my family, teammates, and friends after our win in the 2013 Rolex at Daytona 24 Hour."
14. I recently completed the Competition 101 Racing School, driving 20 laps in a former NASCAR stockcar. Do you think that programs like this are important to help fans understand the sport more? "Absolutely! The more we can get fans inside our office, the more emotionally attached they will become! Especially our younger fans, who can turn into lifelong fans."
15. How was your off season? "Very short! There isn’t much of an “off-season” in racing, and anytime I got off I spent training trying to get better for this year!"
16. Is anything else you’d like to share with the readers of the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner? "If you want to learn more about me, or follow me as I continue to chase my dreams make sure to check out www.Dionvm.com!"
The West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner would like to thank Dion von Moltke for taking time out of his hectic schedule, and hopes that he has great success in Sebring. Stay tuned for additional interviews from members of the TUSCC garage, as well as full coverage of the Mobil1 12 hours of Sebring in March.
Be sure to subscribe to the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner, and keep track of your favorite racers, no matter how many (or how few) wheels they may or may not race on. If you're a motorsports fan, and know of an event, team, or person you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about local getaways, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.