Tom Dillmann is a French racing driver whose greatest success so far is the championship title in the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 Series. Earlier in a career, he was competing in GP2 Series, GP3 Series and various Formula 3 championships, winning the German F3 title in 2010.
Most recently, Dillmann competed in 2019 in the Formula E Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship.
Son of a racing driver
Born in April 1989 in Mulhouse, as a son of the former racing driver, mechanic, and team manager Gerard Dillmann, Tom Aston Dillmann was involved in the world of motorsports since he was a child.
When he was 10 years old, Tom started to race karting and until 2003 he won many races and titles in the Alsace region and he finished in 4th place in the French championship.
Dillmann switched to single-seaters in 2004. His first experience was with his father’s team in the Belgian Formula Renault in which he took the 5th place. At the same time, the French teenager appeared in the selected races of Formula Junior 1600 Spain and Formula Renault Monza.
Switch to Formula Renault
In 2005, Dillmann raced in the Formula Renault Eurocup and French Formula Renault Championship as a part-time driver. The results were pretty bad but the young pilot picked a lot of experience and had a good preparation for the following season.
He signed with SG Formula team for the full 2006 Eurocup Formula Renault season. Tom finished 8th overall taking three podium finishes. At the same time, Dillmann competed in the French Formula Renault championship and scored two wins before finishing 10th in the final classification.
The next step was a Formula 3 with a support of Red Bull
The Mulhouse-born driver continued his progress in 2007 driving for ASM Formule team in Formula 3 Euro Series. He failed to win any out of 18 races and finished in 9th position. He had a financial support of the Red Bull Junior team while his teammates were Romain Grosjean, Kamui Kobayashi, and Nico Hulkenberg.
In 2008, the Austrian energy drink maker decided to send Dillmann to SG Formula, his former team in Formula Renault. Unfortunately, he was fired after just three races after being unable to secure a part of funding requested by Red Bull. Without sponsorship, Tom could barely find a drive. He stayed in Formula 3 for a while, racing for the Swiss team Jo Zeller Racing but without notable results. The same year Dillmann drove in six races of the Italian Formula 3 but again without success.
Move to Germany proved to be a good one
Dillmann had another try in Formula 3 Euro Series in 2009, driving for Prema Powerteam and HBR Motorsport but failed to earn points in eight races. However, light at the end of the tunnel was in Germany. He signed with Neuhauser Racing for the last six races of the season and impressed with three wins and other two podium finishes.
Everybody in the team was delighted with Tom’s attitude and he was offered a full-time drive for the 2010 season. Dillmann justified the trust of the team and won the title in great style. The Frenchman scored six wins, a total of nine podiums, 10 fastest laps, and seven pole positions. With 120 points on his account, Tom finished the season ahead of Daniel Abt, Kevin Magnussen, Felix Rosenqvist...
As a reward, he was called by Renault Sport for Formula Renault 3.5 test in Alcaniz. Every Formula 3 and Formula Renault champion was there during the test in which Dillmann set the best lap times.
Looking for the best opportunity
Triumph in the German Formula 3 was a huge boost and Dillmann’s future in the world of racing looked better. With a proper financial backing, he earned a drive in the GP3 Series with Carlin Motorsport. Unfortunately, the results weren’t fascinating and Dillmann finished the season in 14th place.
During the season of 2011, Tom appeared as a guest driver in Formula 3 Euro Series, German Formula 3, and FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. Before the end of the year, French pilot drove for iSport International in the GP2 Series non-championship final race in Abu Dhabi and did a good job finishing 6th in the feature and 3rd in the main race.
GP2 Series debut in 2012
Tom had several offers from GP2 teams in 2012 but the lack of the sponsorships again prevented him from becoming a member of some top teams. After the official pre-season test at Jerez, he still didn’t know if he will drive in 2012. In the very last minute, he got a call from Rapax.
Dillmann drove for the Italian team in the six opening rounds and won the main race in Bahrain and earned points in other two races. However, he was dropped from the team before the race at Silverstone, again because of a lack of money, but was brought back for the Hockenheim round. Unfortunately, that was his last appearing for Rapax that season in which he finished 15th overall.
2013 - full season in GP2 Series with Russian Time
In 2013, it was announced that Dillmann will join Russian Time, a new team in GP2 Series. He finally got an opportunity to show what he's capable of, without pressure and thinking about the money. Even though he failed to win any out of 22 races, Tom fulfilled the expectations finishing 10th in the standings. The best results were 3rd places at Silverstone and Monza. He also had one pole position and two fastest laps.
Tom parted ways with Russian Time but stayed in the GP2 Series in 2014 as a part-time driver. He replaced injured Arden’s Andre Negrao for the round in Barcelona where he took the 3rd place, while later in the season he jumped into the seat of Caterham’s car as a replacement for Alexander Rossi.
He also drove in the Porsche Carrera Cup France that year and finished 3rd overall, scoring three wins. Another appearing was in the Porsche Supercup as a guest driver of Lechner Racing at Red Bull Ring.
Switching to Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2015
During 2015 Tom again had many duties. He had short spells in the World Endurance Championship with Signatech Alpine, as well as in the Blancpain GT Series and ADAC GT Masters with Bentley Team HTP, but racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series was his main duty.
Driving for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, Dillmann had a pretty good season. He scored points on a regular basis, he twice finished 3rd, once had pole position and also scored one fast lap eventually finishing 7th in the Drivers’ championship.
Championship title for Tom in the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 Series
Before the beginning of the 2016 season in the renamed Formula V8 3.5 Series, Dillmann moved to the Spanish AVF team. The season was very close and intense but Tom was in a stable form most of the time. He won only the race at Hungaroring but had many top 3 finishes before the last round at Catalunya Circuit.
Dillmann finished 3rd in the first race of the weekend but he had a slim chance of becoming a champion, as he was seven points short to Louis Deletraz. In the final race of the season, Deletraz was on the pole while Dillmann started from the 7th place. Against all odds, Tom won that race and took the title in the very last minute, after a thrilling and exciting race.
Ten starts with Venturi in the Formula E
In 2017, Dillmann was out of racing until May 2017 when he accepted a new challenge in the Formula E Championship. He joined Venturi as a replacement for Stephane Sarrazin in the sixth round at the streets of Paris. He scored points in his Formula E debut, finishing in the eighth place. Dillmann stayed with Venturi until the end of the season, recording six more starts in three double-header rounds in Berlin, New York and Montreal. His best result was the seventh place in New York's second race.
Dillmann joined Venturi again in three races of the 2017-2018 Formula E season, finishing best in the fourth place in New York.
In 2017, Dillman also joined GRT Grasser Racing Team in two rounds of the Blancpain GT Series, driving their Lamborghini Huraca GT3 in the Sprint Cup finale at Nurburgring and Endurance Cup finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Combining Le Mans prototypes, Super Formula and Formula E
In 2018, Dillmann accepted a completely new challenge by joining Sunoco Team LeMans in the Japanese Super Formula Championship. In five races, his best result was fourth place at Sportsland Sugo.
In the same year, he competed in two more global championships, joining ByKolles Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and NIO Formula E Team in the electric single-seater competition. He recorded six races in the LMP1 prototype, including two starts at 24 Hours of Le Mans, not finishing both races. In Formula E, he spent a full season with Chinese team, not scoring a single point in thirteen races.