Coach Tom Dillmann: Coach with Inside Knowledge
As a coach, he currently advises the Formula 3 drivers Joel Eriksson, Marino Sato, David Beckmann and Keyvan Andres. He is an idol for the junior drivers. In simulator training, he gives the ideal racing line, and supports them with expertise and knowledge of the different tracks. During tests and race weekends, he helps them adapt quickly to the new conditions with his experience, points out special features of the circuits and offers constructive criticism on a level playing field. Away from the race scene, he is a friend to the young talents and gives them personal insights into the motorsport scene. He is still friends with many former drivers.
Dreamed of a Career as Comic Illustrator
Tom Dillmann, who grew up in Mulhouse in the French area of Alsace, did not always want to be a professional race driver. Instead, he dreamed of a career as a comic illustrator when he was a kid. Fate has other things in store - and today Tom Dillmann is the reigning champion of the Formula V8 3.5. He won the German Formula 3 season 2010 and has been assisting Team Motopark as a coach with his experience and skills since 2012.
With Motopark, he entered the GP2 in 2013, where he was able to draw attention to himself with strong single results. In 2015 and 2016 he also participated in the long-distance World Championship (WEC). In May, Tom Dillmann celebrated an impressive debut in Formula E in Paris.
It’s thanks to his father Gerard Dillmann, that he didn’t become an illustrator, but a professional racer. “Dad was a driver and a mechanic and he built his own cars from scratch”, says the 28-year-old. “I used to help him in the workshop.”
Father was Mechanic, Engineer and Team Principle
Actually, his career began in 1999 when he won his first championship: the soap box championship in Alsace. After that, Tom Dillmann entered the go-karting scene with his father, won numerous races and took his next career step into Formula racing. At that time, it was still possible to gain a foothold in motorsports without big sponsors and millions, he says. “My father did everything by himself. He was my race engineer, my mechanic and my team manager. We were a real family team. Today, that would be impossible”, he is convinced.
At the age of 15, Tom Dillmann competed in the Belgian Formula Renault 1.6. With a victory in Spa he became fifth in the overall standings. In 2007, he became a member of the Red Bull junior programme. In the Formula 3 Euroseries, he competed against well-known talents such as Romain Grosjean, Nico Hülkenberg and Kamui Kobayashi. An accident in Nogaro destroyed his hopes and set an end to a strong season. With a broken chest and vertebra, he had to pause for two months. Nevertheless, the fast Frenchman became ninth in the championship.
Team-Mate of Sam Bird
Since he was struggling with budget issues, his main sponsor Red Bull cancelled his place in the junior team. A difficult time for the young race driver began. He competed for various teams in different series, always delivering successful positions and many victories.
In 2010, he was offered a cockpit in the German Formula 3. He seized this chance and became champion straight away – leaving drivers like Daniel Abt and Kevin Magnussen behind.
In 2011, he started in several races in the GP3 series as well as in the Formula 3 Euroseries. Despite his talent, which he demonstrated in various teams, Tom Dillmann constantly struggled with budget issues.
In 2013, he joined Russian Time, which was operated by Team Motopark. Together with his team-mate Sam Bird, Dillmann won the team championship of the GP2. In addition, he participated in the French Carrera Cup (2014), Formula Renault 3.5 (2015), ADAC GT Masters (2015), FIA WEC (2015 and 2016).