In 2019, after a consistent run that netted four TCE wins from six starts, Fabian Danz secured the Overall TCE Drivers’ crown in the 24H SERIES Europe. It was the Swiss driver’s first championship title in a career that spanned tenures in the sprint-based Renault Clio Cup – in both the Switzerland and European charters – the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup, and ADAC TCR Germany before his focus turned to endurance racing. Though only a few years into this new discipline, Fabian can already boast 24-hour wins in Dubai and Barcelona, and an overall podium at the inaugural TCR SPA 500.
Just don’t ask him to wash the car after a 24-hour race…
Age? You can lie about that if you want…
“29 years old.”
Whereand when was your first ever car race, and how old were you?
“My first car race was in 2010. It was the first round of that year’s [Renault] Clio Cup Switzerland, and it was in Dijon, France. This was the Easter weekend but it was really snowing hard! That was quite strange but also a lot of fun.”
What is the best moment of your racing career so far?
“I think the best moment was winning my first sprint race in Renault Clio Cup Central Europe [in 2014]. I won the Hockenheim race, which was the last race of the season, and I can remember my dad waving his Volkswagen jacket on the pit wall for a Renault Clio Cup win!”
Which is your favourite circuit and why?
“I think it’s the Circuit of the Americas. I really love COTA. Before last year, I’d never been there before but I really enjoyed it. Its’ fast, there’s lots of bumps – I really love the bumps! – and it’s perfect for TCR cars because you can overtake anywhere.”
Describe the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a motor race …
“[Pause] I think this happened at one of my first races, but one time, I forgot my helmet. A friend of mine managed to bring it halfway and I had to leave the circuit to collect it from him. Then when I got back, I realised I didn’t have my gloves either! I remember vividly, sitting in the car with two right hand gloves on. It was okay, but I had almost no grip on one side. I don’t know how I managed to get away racing like that.
“I had to borrow some boots as well. I wasn’t prepared for that weekend at all!”
Describe your helmet design to us, and what it signifies…
“I have a painter who does all my helmets in Switzerland, Pat Art Design. He’s really good, and my design was one of the first ones he did. Plus, he’s getting better and better every year, so now I go to him and say, ‘let’s have a refresh, have fun with it, but just make sure it’s green.’ The design has been mostly the same for a few years now, and there’s no significance to it. I just like green, so that’s the base colour for all my helmets.”
What is your greatest strength?
“I think during endurance races, I can really work with the tyres. I can go fast but I don’t destroy the tyres. I always have in mind that the tyres are the most important part, so I can go long stints, still fast, without ruining them. That’s a really important part of endurance racing.”
If Hollywood made a movie about you, which actor would play you and why?
“Maybe Vin Diesel. He drinks Corona without lime, like me!”
What would you like to achieve before retiring?
“Last year I won the [TCE Division] European championship, and now I want to win the 24H SERIES Continents. One big dream is to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans but I think that’s more of a financial problem. Plus I think every driver dreams of doing that race at some point. Realistically, I’d say winning the Nürburgring 24 Hours in a Porsche Cup car is a goal. Maybe in a few years.”
Tell us a random fact about yourself that your fans might not know…
“[Laughs] I’m the owner of a car cleaning company but I hate cleaning cars! I absolutely hate it! My car is clean on the inside but I never clean the outside, so it’s dirty as hell. I can do it really well, especially polishing, but I just don’t find it fun: you can spend two hours cleaning a car, drive 200m, and it’s dirty again.”
Finally, what do you enjoy most about competing in the 24H SERIES?
“I think it’s really well organised. There’s a lot of good people involved and we only ever race at good tracks in the 24H SERIES. It’s also a lot of fun to drive with everyone here. In sprint races, I always found it difficult getting on with other competitors. Everyone was so focused on winning. But here, it’s fun. For me, driving with Autorama [Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing] and Bas Koeten Racing has been a real highlight.”