Under the Lid – Adam Christodoulou

News | October 20, 2020

GT PRO Adam Christodoulou has taken victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, is a 24H SERIES and VLN race winner, claimed the Formula Renault championship in 2008, and is an experienced AMG factory driver. Turns out, he has one or two thoughts about his hair style too…

Name?

“Adam Christodoulou.”

Age? You can lie about that if you want…

“I’m 29 years young.”

Where and when was your first ever car race, and how old were you?

“My first car race was at Brands Hatch and it would have been at the end of 2006, so I was 17. It was in a Caterham, and I was doing it just to get signatures to upgrade to the next licence. And I crashed at turn two, so I didn’t get many!”

What is the best moment of your racing career so far?

“I think there’s two. The first was at the start of 2016 when I was told I was going to be one of AMG’s factory drivers. This was the best thing that had happened for me at that time. The second was only a few months later, and that was winning the Nürburgring 24 Hours. This was REALLY emotional because of how it all unfolded. The race was super wet, it got stopped after one hour, and we were fighting actually against another AMG” – HTP Motorsport – “and we took the lead on the last lap. I wasn’t in the car, and a Nürburgring lap normally takes about eight minutes. This felt like half an hour!”

Which is your favourite circuit and why?

“I’ve got to split this into two categories. For outright circuits anywhere in the world, it’s got to be the Nordschleife, just because it’s known as the ‘Green Hell’ and it’s one of the biggest challenges in any form of racing. For ‘normal’ circuits, I really enjoy Virginia International Raceway in America. It’s a very old school circuit, with lots of run-off, small kerbs, and it’s just got an awesome selection of corners.”

Describe the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a motor race …

[Pause] Probably 2015, going back to the Nürburgring. It was the first year I’d been put in a full PRO car for the 24 Hours. There was me, Bernd Schneider, Andreas Simonsen, and, I think, Jerome Bleekemolen.” – Actually it was Yelmer Buurman, Adam, but he’ll probably forgive you. – “A few hours into the race, somebody hit us, but we continued with a small vibration. Two laps later, my wheel fell off. I thought it would be a good idea to put the wheel back on myself, which turned into a two-hour job! Eventually [the marshals] dragged me to a safe place and I managed to get the wheel back on, but we didn’t have much drive after that, and I got to the steepest part of the Nürburgring, after the Karussell, and ground to a halt there. They had to tow me back to the pits.”

Describe your helmet design to us, and what it signifies…

“It’s black and white with a silver stripe and a red stripe on it. There’s plenty of super colourful designs, but when you’re in a car, they’re very hard to see the difference and I like to keep it fairly simple. At the time, I’d just bought my first Stilo helmet, and I liked the shape of it, so I went with some of those shapes for the design. It looks fairly aggressive from the front, like it has a bit of a ‘mouth’ on it.”

What is your greatest strength?

“Being a clown?” [Cue laughter]. “I like to think I’m fast when I need to be, and I think my consistency is one of my strong points. I really enjoy the research and development of a car too, so making the setup better. I’m lucky that I get to work with PRO and PRO-AM line-ups, so I like to think I’m good at getting the best out of each situation for my teammates, who might have less experience, to give us the best results.”

If Hollywood made a movie about you, who would play you and why?

“I saw Yelmer’s answer for this, or rather the one he didn’t give so I prepared myself for this one! Obviously I have quite a unique hairstyle, so maybe Bruce Willis, or Jason Statham. That would be cool. He likes cars!”

What would you like to achieve before retiring?

“Of course I’d like to win some more major championships. I’ve been lucky enough, during my junior categories, to win Formula Renault, and Star Mazda out in America, but like any driver, I’d like to win some more. One race that’s on my bucket list is the Le Mans 24 Hours. I’d also like the opportunity to have a go in a Formula 1 car, or an LMP1 car. The GT3 cars are incredible, but at the end of the day, I’m a driver, and I want to drive as much as I can and whatever I can. Something like that would be super cool.”

Tell us a random fact about yourself that your fans might not know…

[Pause] “I…don’t know” [Another, longer pause]. “This isn’t my real hairstyle! Actually, another random fact, I know that other drivers have done it as well: if I’m sat in the race car for too long or if I’m waiting for a session to start, I can fall asleep! I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not that I can relax that easily, but there you go.”

Finally, what do you enjoy most about competing in the 24H SERIES?

“I love the competition and the variety of cars and drivers that are part of the championship. The regulations are a little different, but it’s super welcoming for experienced drivers and the ‘beginners’. Of course it adds a lot of variety, and because of the different classes, it always means there’s plenty of action on-track at any given point, which we all want!”

Adam Christodoulou was speaking with Koen Wiesman and James Gent at the 2019 Hankook 12H SPA. Images courtesy of Petr Frýba and Adam Christodoulou Official. You can also check out this story in the 2018 Hankook 24H COTA USA magazine, available for download at the link below.

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