Make no mistake, the younger brother of Daytona 24 Hours class winner Indy Dontje is certainly no slouch behind the wheel. Milan Dontje had already clinched the Dutch KZ2 Kart Championship before he made the jump to car racing in 2015 aboard a Day-V-Tec-entered Chevrolet Corvette, and even made his Hankook 24H DUBAI debut the following year in a V8-powered MARC Focus. Since 2017 though, Milan has been an Audi man, a relationship through which the young Dutchman has contested the Audi Sport TT Cup, the VLN and GT4 Cups both internationally and in Europe, the latter of which he was crowned champion in 2018. At this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI, he also scored a class podium with Car Collection Motorsport.
Turns out Milan Dontje knows one or two things about chewing gum as well!
“I am 26 years old. In fact I just had my birthday on 20th April.”
“I started racing quite early. I started karting when I was 8 years old [in 2003], did that until I was 18, and then I started racing a Chevrolet Corvette GT4 in the Supercar Challenge, the Dutch organization [in 2015]. I came 2nd, so that was really good, and after that I moved into the Audi TT Cup and the GT4 [European Series].”
*We’ll shamelessly point out here that Milan also made his 24H SERIES debut that year at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA in the Red Camel-Jordans.nl SEAT Léon Cup Racer.
“Actually GT4 was my best moment, because I became the GT4 European Series champion [alongside teammate Nicolaj Møller Madsen] with Phoenix Racing in an Audi R8 LMS.” - Impressively, Milan won his series debut at Zolder.
“I drive quite a lot on the Nürburgring, so, sorry, that is still number one! But another circuit I love is Spa-Francorchamps. Spa is really good because of the history and the speeds involved, and of course, the big race. Spa 24 Hours is the biggest race, and I’ll be racing again this year, which I’m really happy about that!”
“I haven’t had a lot of strange things fortunately. I think I’ve been quite lucky [Pause] Ah! Once when I was in the TT Cup, and I think this is still on the internet, I was driving at the Norisring, and someone spilled oil. I was behind [Yannik Brandt] and went to overtake him, and we spun at the same time, like we were synchronised! That was quite funny. Less fun at the time because I could have won that race, but afterwards it was kind of funny!”
“I have a brown helmet this year, which is a little different. I went a bit ‘80s with it! I got my name on it about five times, like in Greek, in Arabic and Russian. I’ve always had that so I’ve kept it. I’ve also got the sign of James Hunt on the top – ‘Sex, the Breakfast of Champions’. But I’ll be getting a new helmet soon, so maybe we’ll have something new with that.”
“Endurance, for sure. I’m not great at qualifying but I’m really good at driving consistently to the same lap times over and over, with traffic and without traffic. I don’t know how I do that but I’ve always been able to do it. So that’s helpful in the 24H SERIES, and also on the Nordschleife.”
“[Pause] ...who played James Hunt?”
CREVENTIC: “Chris Hemsworth?”
Milan: “Chris Hemsworth! I want it to be Chris, for sure!”
“I don’t know how long I will be racing, so I don’t know actually! This might be my last year, it might not. It’s a gamble. But I would like to win one of the big races before that. My brother [Indy] won the Daytona 24 Hours this year [in the GTD class with HTP Winward Racing], so that’s one of the three. [The 24-hour races at] Spa and Nürburgring for sure. If I can win one of them in a class, I’d be really happy.
“Driving Le Mans would be amazing too. In fact, just driving Le Mans would be incredible! That’s probably at the top of the list as well.”
“I make plastic-free chewing gum. A lot of people don’t know that there are a lot of microplastics in chewing gum, but you can take those out. And that’s what I do. I just started the company last year” – BenBits – “so it’s a bit left and right: on the left, I’m a social entrepreneur, and on the right, I fly all over the world to drive race cars! But it’s going well.”
“It’s a lot of fun. A lot of gentlemen drivers get the chance to travel to some lovely places, like I did this year with Dubai and [Circuit] Paul Ricard to race for 12 or 24 hours. It’s competitive, but it’s still fun. I think this makes the 24H SERIES really enjoyable to get involved with.
Milan Dontje was speaking with Mart Boksem and James Gent at the 2021 Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD.