He’s the Audi-powered WTCR rookie but who really is newcomer Niels?
Dutchman Niels Langeveld will get the chance of a lifetime when he steps up to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO in 2019 following his promotion by Audi Sport customer racing.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the 30-year-old Comtoyou Team Audi Sport driver starting with all things Feyenoord, naturally…
1: Feyenoord fanatic
The Feyenood Rotterdam supporter says: “I’ve been a soccer fan throughout my life. I love playing soccer or watching it on television. In motor racing, I love to sit in the cockpit, in soccer, I just love to be a fan and watch it.”
2: Statistically speaking
Since his career began in the Suzuki Swift Cup 11 years ago, Langeveld has taken part in 143 races, winning 36 for a victory ratio of 25 per cent-plus. In more than half of those races he’s finished on the podium having started on pole 40 times.
3: Favourite numbers
“I have two special numbers,” Langeveld says. “I like the ‘14’ in motor racing because my big soccer idol Johan Cruyff was sporting the ‘14’ as well. If I can’t get the ‘14’ in this year’s FIA WTCR, I would go for the ‘10’. I have won several titles in one-make cups with the ‘10’ on the doors of my former racing cars.”
4: Big fish
Langeveld won’t just be aiming to catch some big WTCR / OSCARO points, as he explains: “At some time in the future, I would love to go fishing by night to catch some really big fish.”
5: Keeping busy
When he’s not racing Langeveld coaches drivers – including on ice – and has also tried his hand at being in charge. “Last year I got to know motorsport from a different angle. I was doing the ADAC TCR Germany for team Racing One in an Audi RS 3 LMS. They also had a European programme with the Audi R8 LMS GT4, and I was involved in this project as their team manager. So I’ve learned a lot about this side of the sport as well.”
6: Getting the good news
Langeveld found out Audi Sport customer racing would be promoting him to the WTCR / OSCARO in January: “Last month they offered me a contract as an Audi Sport driver in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car presented by OSCARO. I grabbed it with both hands. I’m a professional racing driver now.”
7: Rivalries revisited
“When I was a kid, I played the TOCA touring car computer game and I was racing against Andy Priaulx, Yvan Muller and others in this virtual world,” Langeveld remembers. “And now, they are my opponents in reality! That’s awesome. I think I can only profit from racing against big names in such a great series like the FIA WTCR.”
8: New tracks await
“I’ve raced at the Hungaroring, the Slovakia Ring, at Zandvoort and on the Nürburgring Nordschleife before. But the other six tracks are unknown to me,” he says.
9: Familiar face
While most tracks will be new for Langeveld, his engineer Herman de Jager is a familiar face and the duo will continue their 10-year-old partnership when they join Comtoyou Racing.
10: TV star
Langeveld will present his on TV show on RTL7 from 17 February when he explains what’s needed to make a career in motorsport. “I will be taking the viewer along in my final season in TCR Germany, giving them a unique view behind the scenes.”
Photo: Audi Sport