Monday, July 22, 2013

Fast Five with Dion von Moltke

It's always a great honor to interview professional racing drivers, and today is no different! Truly an honor for me to interview the 2013 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona GT class winner Dion von Moltke! The 22 year old driver was born in America but drives with a South African racing license. Time for the resume: Dion began karting in 2004 working his way up to Skip Barber, a stepping stone for many up and coming drivers. He then joined the Sports Cars ranks in 2008, switching between Grand-Am and ALMS. He collected three wins in 2009, won the Rookie of the Year title for the Daytona Prototype class in 2010, and finished in the top-five in seven out of the nine races he ran in 2011. And as stated, he won the 2013 24 Hours of Daytona GT Class. I won't begin to say I've known Dion for years and he's like a brother to me, as someone brought him to my attention not too long ago. But after reviewing the numbers, I should have had my eyes open a long time ago! Don't make the same mistake I did, find Dion on Twitter here! Enjoy our interview:


1) You put on quite the performance winning the 2013 Rolex at Daytona 24 Hours in the GT with teammates Filipe Albuquerque, Olivier Jarvis, and Edoardo Mortara. What did that win mean to you?

DVM: It is really difficult to put into words what it meant to go into there with Audi and win all of our first Rolex at Daytona 24 Hours.  There was so much effort put in from everyone at Audi behind the scenes as well as the guys from Alex Job Racing.  It takes a mammoth effort to go into that race just to be competitive let alone win it.  I had the support for three fantastic drivers as teammates and the support from so many talented people working behind us to give us the car and strategy needed to win it.    


The Audi R8 that Dion drove to victory alongside Edoardo Mortara, Oliver Jarvis, and Filipe Albuquerque
at the 2013 Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona (Photo used from Dion's official website)

2) Following Daytona, you joined Alex Job Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports respectively in the GTC class. How has your season been going from your point of view?

DVM: After Daytona I joined Alex Job Racing for the Sebring 12 Hour in the Weather Tech Porsche, once again with great teammates with Jeroen Bleekemolen and Cooper McNeil and we were able to win that one as well!  Getting two Rolex’s in as many months was the most incredible start to the season I could have ever dreamt of.  Since then I have joined Flying Lizard Motorsports with Seth Neimen as my full season teammate and I could not be happier.  Flying Lizard Motorsports is one of the best teams in international motorsports and as a driver they give me all the backing I need to go out there and be successful.  We are in the GTC class in the American Le Mans Series which is one of the most competitive classes in the U.S. so it’s always a mega battle but with Flying Lizard Motorsports I know entering every weekend I always have a car underneath me that is capable of winning.    


3) Looking down the road, what is in your future? More ALMS? Indycar? Other racing platforms?

DVM: As a driver I will never say no to any opportunities.  I would love to try some open wheel racing in Indy Car but I am really enjoying be a sportscar racer and these are really exciting times to be one.  With the merger of ALMS and Grand-Am next year into the new United Sports Car Series it going to be a great future for sportscar racing in the U.S.  I have a lot of faith in the people who are making the decisions for our new series, between Jim France, Scott Atherton and Scott Elkins we have some really smart and passionate racing people making decisions and they have the best interest of the fans and teams on their minds and hearts so I couldn’t be more excited to be racing in sportscars here in the U.S.  


4) Thoughts on ALMS and Grand Am merging?  

DVM: It is going to be a great thing.  The first few years are going to be difficult but we all have to work together and come together to make this thing succeed, which it will.  It is going to be impossible to make everyone happy but they are working hard to incorporate as many cars and teams as possible so they can keep racing.  I am asking everyone to have an open mind going into this as overall it is going to be a great thing for sportscars and I can promise you the people making the decisions are the most qualified to be doing this and they understand what the fans want but they still want to hear from you!  

Dion von Moltke - Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200
Dion driving last year on the Streets of Belle Isle (Photo: Jonathan Ferry)

5) Pinnacle question of the Fast Five series is have you ever sneezed, yawned, raced with one eye, or anything else that could be considered obscure whilst driving a race car?  

DVM: Sneezed a lot!!! Dust gets into the car quite often and makes us sneeze you just have to hope its not in the middle of your brake zone!! And I actually have yawned before as well, those long cautions at around 2 or 3 am at the Rolex at Daytona 24 Hour can make you tired!


Make sure to share your thoughts with Dion and myself on Twitter! Again, many thanks to Dion for doing this interview with me!

-Matthew Hickey

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