Tom Wood: I’m blessed to be the longest standing driver with the YRDA, coming up to my 10th year"

February 16, 2021

VLN

After his announcement of his brand-new sponsor, Pulse Natural Energy, and his coverage of his winter training. We catch up with VLN driver and long-time YRDA athlete, Tom Wood, on how he is coping with COVID-19, what he is doing to prepare for the season and lays ahead in 2021.

How have you been preparing for the upcoming season?

"Hustle, hustle, hustle! With the gyms not being open I’ve been focussing a lot on the cardio side of fitness training (cycling of course being my main sport.) Aside from that I’ve jumped on the iRacing ‘bandwagon’ which has boosted my desire to win even more into the 2021 season as well as helping my performance under pressure a substantial amount." 

How have you been dealing with COVID-19 during the off season?

"Striving to reach my best possible form, both mentally and physically, going into the season keeps me going. Every day I write down what I’m going to achieve which will ultimately benefit my season, which boosts my motivation and keeps my mind fresh." 

What was the experience like of racing in the VLN series last season?

"VLN was an absolutely incredible experience. It is just completely different to anything I’ve done before. The pace of the races, the risks and the crashes are all multiplied by 10 compared with the championships I’ve done before. I was very happy with my performance. To be consistently in the top 3 in the 240i cup 5 class is really something to be proud of, and I hope to be back there soon!"

What was it like to drive the Nordschleife for the first time and how difficult is it?

"Daunting! I spent a lot of time on the sim learning each bump, kerb and rise I could, but nothing can prepare you for the complete rollercoaster the Nordschleife presents’ you almost have to re-learn it. The most difficult thing was driving it in the wet. Aquaplaning at 235km/h gets the blood pumping! Glad to say that my lap time was enough for P2 in class (shout out to Christian Krognes for the tips beforehand) before I came in to make sure we had a car for the race!"

Tell us about the work you will be doing with Polar Racing this year which includes ice driving?

"I’m so grateful to be an instructor for Polar ice/rallycross school in Finland starting towards the end of the year. Clients from all over the world will be able to spend 2 days with myself and the team to learn how to drive and, ultimately, race against each other on snow/gravel (season dependant). It’s an extremely exclusive experience so a big thank you to Ralf Teuber for putting his faith in me to be part of the team."

What do you have planned for the 2021 season and what are your hopes for the next couple years?

"My plan for 2021 is to focus my efforts on racing in Europe. I have made a name for myself out there over the last few years already so to be winning is going to be my aim which will put me in good stead for manufacturers attention. As always though, winning is everything."

How have you used YRDA over the years to help get to this stage in your career?

"I’m blessed to be the longest standing driver with the YRDA, coming up to my 10th year being under their umbrella. The contacts I have made not to mention the advice, the sim time and the knowledge I have gained have been priceless. The training days, especially at St. Georges park, always reignite my competitive side (if I am ever lacking). I always go away with a new outlook from the attending speakers but also new targets which definitely help drive success." 

What would be your advice to drivers in Karting looking to progress into cars?

"The biggest piece of advice I would give is to focus on yourself. Motorsport is full of different variables which may affect your results, so if you do the best you can with regards your performance, things will start falling into place." 

Click here to find out more about Tom Wood and how you can follow his season in 2021