For a lot of sportscar drivers, the upcoming producer inflow into the highest courses at Le Mans poses a possible career-making alternative. Manufacturing facility BMW GT driver Nick Yelloly makes no bones about his want to race the Munich marque’s LMDh automotive that can debut in 2023, not least as a result of his solely style of prototypes to this point was all too transient.
Twice a race-winner within the phenomenally aggressive 2012 Method Renault three.5 championship, ending forward of the likes of Kevin Magnussen, Nico Muller, Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens, Yelloly had been unable to lift the price range to stay within the collection for 2013 and so spent two years treading water in GP3.
Gathering eight podiums in all, however solely successful as soon as, the Birmingham racer completed sixth in each seasons and had common alternatives to showcase his glorious racecraft.
“Among the finest racers within the discipline, he can at all times be relied upon to carry residence a good consequence,” commented Autosport’s 2014 season evaluation.
However his path up the single-seater profession ladder had stalled and a transfer to sportscar racing beckoned in 2015 with Jota Sport, then as now one of many benchmark groups in LMP2, having launched Harry Tincknell right into a works drive with the ill-fated Nissan LMP1 challenge after a stellar marketing campaign that included a category victory at Le Mans.
Yelloly was successfully changing Tincknell aboard Jota’s venerable however nonetheless speedy Gibson 015S – beforehand generally known as the Zytek Z11SN, which had been campaigned by the crew since 2012 – within the European Le Mans Sequence, the place he would be part of Filipe Albuquerque and Simon Dolan. The deal was additionally deliberate to incorporate Le Mans, the place Mitch Evans would substitute Audi LMP1 driver Albuquerque.
Yelloly was an everyday podium finisher in GP3, however had reached a ceiling in single-seaters
Picture by: Motorsport Images
Testing went properly and Yelloly felt “very aggressive” forward of the ELMS curtain-raiser at Silverstone, however an all too acquainted snag meant he had to surrender the seat, with Tincknell returning to the fold.
“The funding had fallen by way of fully, so then it didn’t occur,” recollects Yelloly.
His place as a simulator driver for the Pressure India Method 1 crew – a job he nonetheless holds to at the present time within the crew’s newest guise as Aston Martin – helped him to get a part-season GP2 drive with affiliate crew Hilmer Motorsport in 2015. However come 2016 he was left with out a drive and reckons he “would have been accomplished” had it not been for an opportunity assembly with a former engineer on the Autosport International Present.
“I feel the best way it has performed out has been the easiest way and now perhaps they’d take me as a result of I’m confirmed when it comes to endurance racing” Nick Yelloly
Former iSport GP2 engineer Richard Selwin had been impressed when he ran Yelloly in a three.5 take a look at for Comtec in 2013, and the pair stored in contact afterwards. Selwin had joined German Porsche specialist Mission 1 for 2016, and Yelloly’s timing couldn’t have been higher.
“He mentioned, ‘Would you be taken with doing German Carrera Cup’ and I mentioned, ‘Yeah, in fact!’” says Yelloly.
“We flew out to Lohne the place the crew is predicated, I did a sim session and spoke with the boss there, Hans-Bernd Kamps, and he signed me on a two-year deal.
“They paid for every thing, other than my flights. I nonetheless communicate to Hans-Bernd weekly as I do Richard, as a result of with out them I wouldn’t have then acquired something in GTs.”
Victory at Monaco within the 2018 Supercup race helped clinch BMW manufacturing unit deal in GT3 racing
Picture by: Porsche
After a studying 12 months in 2016, he completed second within the German championship in 2017 and, after switching to Fach Auto Tech, adopted it up with a powerful run to second within the F1-supporting Supercup in 2018 that included a dominant lights-to-flag victory at Monaco.
Yelloly had been “nagging” BMW Motorsport for a chance since 2012, however his performances might now not be ignored. He was added to the manufacturing unit roster in 2019, successful the Nurburgring 24 Hours the next 12 months, and took pole for the occasion this 12 months amid horrendous situations by 2.three seconds.
Having made his method into the skilled ranks the laborious method, Yelloly believes he now has a lot larger prospects of gaining a foothold in prototypes than he would have accomplished if his unique plans had come collectively.
Because it turned out, Jota missed out on the 2015 ELMS title – heading into the Estoril finale one level forward of the rival Greaves Gibson, a deluge caught Dolan out and restricted the crew to fourth on the highway as Jon Lancaster, Bjorn Wirdheim and Gary Hirsch claimed the title.
“Though there was prototype large drives with Audi and Porsche on the time, I don’t know if they’d have taken you even should you had received ELMS and Le Mans as a result of they’d these massively skilled guys that they may lean on,” says Yelloly, who has been closely concerned within the improvement of BMW’s new M4 GT3.
“You’re not going to take Nick Yelloly, even when he has simply received ELMS in his first 12 months, over Andre Lotterer. It’s simply not going to occur, and I’m fairly lifelike on that.
Yelloly is now a longtime BMW manufacturing unit driver and has one eye on a shot at LMDh in 2023
Picture by: BMW Motorsport
“I feel the best way it has performed out has been the easiest way and now perhaps they’d take me as a result of I’m confirmed when it comes to endurance racing.
“I’ve acquired pedigree each in GTs and single-seater high-downforce stuff, so now I’m in all probability way more engaging in that function than I might have been with little expertise, even when I’d received the championship in 2015 with Jota.
“I might like to race within the prime stage of something. LMDh, having examined LMP2 just a little bit, is one thing that I might like to be concerned in. I’ll be pushing for it and we’ll see what occurs.”
#1 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3: Nick Catsburg, John Edwards, Philipp Eng, Nick Yelloly leads
Picture by: Alexander Trienitz