The British racing driver Nick Tandy reached the top of the world in June 2015, winning the 24 hours of Le Mans alongside Porsche teammates Earl Bamber and Nico Hulkenberg. When talking after the race, crying Nick told that he could retire at the age 31 and he wouldn't be sorry because his dream became true with Le Mans victory. Luckily, Nick didn't retire and he continued to collect victories all over the world, driving mostly Porsches but also other race cars.
Prior to his Le Mans success, Nick Tandy was competing in different GT championships and Porsche single-make series, winning the German Porsche Carrera Cup championship title in 2011. Earlier in a career, before starting to race with Porsches, Nick was a successful single-seater and ministox racer.
Nick followed his brother Joe to the race track
Nicholas Nick Tandy was born on November 5, 1984, in Bedford, England. Following his older brother Joe (born in 1983), Nick started his racing career in the Ministox competitions at the age 11. In his debut season, Nick was the best Ministox driver in the Midland region. Year by year, Tandy brothers progressed in the Ministox competitions and they scored a 1-2 victory at the 1998 World Championship, with Joe winning the title and Nick being second.
Nick's career with mini cars continued in the Mini Se7en Championship in 2001 and he spent three seasons in it. In 2005, Tandy switched to the BRDC Single-seater championship,winning the title with eleven wins in fourteen races.
Tandy entered Formula Ford championship in 2006
He earned the Silverstone Scholarship and moved to the British Formula Ford championship in 2006. He continued to collect wins and finished as the championship runner-up, behind Nathan Freke. The second part of the season he was driving for the newly formed team of his brother Joe (JTR – Joe Tandy Racing). Nick spent one more season in the Formula Ford, finishing third in the points and winning the 2007 Formula Ford Festival.
After his Formula Ford Festival win, Tandy competed in the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy at Snetterton, and in particular the Formula Palmer Audi Shootout, which guarantees a place on the shortlist for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award for the young drivers. He won the Shootout, but the BRDC Award went to Stefan Wilson.
Moving to Formula 3 in 2008
In 2008, the JTR moved its operations to the British F3 International Series. Tandy was driving the Mercedes-powered Mygale chassis and finished 9th in the points, with three podiums in twenty races.
In August 2008, he was driving the Porsche 911 GT3 for the first time, as a guest driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. He participated in two races at Silverstone, winning the first race.
Winning the race after brother's death
In 2009, Tandy expanded his Formula 3 activities, competing both in the British and European F3 Series. On May 13, 2009, the tragedy struck Tandy family. Joe Tandy lost his life in a traffic accident while driving his BMW. Despite a loss, the team decided to continue its operations.
In the British championship, Nick was driving JTR's Mygale-Mercedes, winning one race (Rockingham) soon after his brother's death. He finished 10th in the points. In the European championship, he participated in six rounds for the Kolles & Heinz Union, driving the Dallara F308 (Volkswagen) without any notable results.
Impressive performances in debut Porsche races
The milestone changes happened late in a season when Nick was invited by Konrad Motorsport to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany at Dijon-Prenois circuit. Without any testing, Tandy impresses everybody and finished second in the race.
It opened him an opportunity to compete in the season's finale of the 2009 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at Abu Dhabi. He impressed again, finishing second in the first race.
Tandy has won the German Carrera Cup in 2011
After those successful races, the logical step for 2010 was his full entry to the Porsche single-make competitions. He signed for Konrad Motorsport and competed full season both in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. Scoring eight wins in total (five in Germany, three in PSC), Tandy finished as the runner-up in both series. The German champion was Nicolas Armindo, the Supercup winner was Rene Rast.
In 2011, Tandy returned to both competitions, determined to take at least one title. With three wins in nine races, he became the German Carrera Cup champion, ahead of Sean Edwards. In the Supercup, Rene Rast was a champion again, Tandy finished fifth in the points. Tandy also had guest appearances in the British Carrera Cup, winning three of four races.
DNF results in Daytona and Le Mans debut
During 2011, besides driving in different Porsche one-make competitions, Tandy expanded his activities to the international sports car racing, participating for the first time in the endurance classics – Daytona 24h and Le Mans 24h. At Daytona, he was a member of the Burtin Racing #17 crew in the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, together with Claudio Burtin, Martin Ragginger and Nicolas Armindo. They didn't finish the race.
Runner-up in the 2012 International GT Open
In 2012, Tandy competed full-time in two championships – ADAC GT Masters with Schutz Motorsport and International GT Open with Manthey Racing. He finished second in the International GT Open classification, together with Marco Holzer, just one point behind Ferrari's duo Gianmaria Bruni/Federico Leo. In the German championship, Tandy finished 7th in the points.
Besides those two full-time commitments, Tandy had a diverse schedule, driving Porsches also in the British GT Championship, American Le Mans Series, Grand American Rolex Series and participating for the first time at 24h Nürburgring.
2013 - the most diverse schedule ever
In 2013, Tandy had the most diverse schedule ever, being signed as Porsche Motorsport factory driver and competing with eight different teams all over the world. His main competition was the British GT Championship, where he participated in all ten races with Trackspeed team, sharing the car mostly with David Ashburn and finishing 6th in the points.
Of other series, he was most successful in the European Le Mans Series, winning two races for Proton Competition and finishing third in the GTE class standings. Other notable results in 2013 were class victories at Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca.
IMSA and WEC factory driver for Porsche Motorsport
In 2014, Nick Tandy's main job was in the cockpit of the factory-entered #911 Porsche 911 RSR in the IMSA United SportsCar Championship. Together with Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet, Tandy took the GTLM class victory at Daytona 24h. Later in the season, they didn't score any more wins and podiums, finishing 11th in the points.
In the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, Tandy participated in three races for Porsche Team Manthey, driving the Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE Pro class and scoring the second-place finish at Silverstone. At 24 hours of Le Mans, Tandy, Pilet and Jorg Bergmeister had a tough race and they finished seventh in class.
Besides driving for the factory teams, Tandy participated as a guest in some races of the British GT Championship and Pirelli World Challenge, winning one race in each of those two competitions.
2015 - sensational win for Le Mans LMP1 rookies
For the 2015 season, the #911 Porsche remained Tandy's workplace. He won four of eight races in the GTLM class of the IMSA United SportsCar Championship, but as he didn't participate in all rounds, he finished ninth in the points, while his teammate Patrick Pilet became the IMSA GTLM champion.
At Spa round, he switched to the #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid, the third car of the Porsche factory team, as a preparation for the Le Mans race. Tandy, Earl Bamber and Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth at Spa and then took the sensational victory at Le Mans. All three drivers were LMP1 rookies at Le Mans and nobody counted on them, but they gave the 17th overall victory to Porsche, the first after 1998.
For the rest of the 2015 FIA WEC season, Tandy returned to the #47 KCMG Oreca, helping the team to finish second in the LMP2 class championship standings.
Just one victory in 2016
For the 2016 season, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy remained the crew in the #911 Porsche in the renamed IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. They finished 8th in the points of the GTLM class after ten races, scoring only one victory (Long Beach).
Their partner in the endurance races was Kevin Estre. The same trio participated at Le Mans 24h in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, retiring after 135 laps due to an oil leak.