With the help of Erasmus Sport, which helps over eighty athletes combine their sports careers with studies, Nick (18) started his business administration degree with his goal of starting his own business. For now, though, he has his sights set on climbing up the ladder in the world of motorsport.

From karting to world-famous race tracks

Similar to most racers, Nick started off with karting and progressed through the ranks as the years passed by. “I started off with karting when I was ten. It was indoors and not really competitive, but you learn how to drive the ideal lines there. Eventually, with a team, we continued with professional karting outdoors with our own karts for six years.”

With success in karting, including driving in international races like the European Series, World Finals and winning the GK4 senior kart championship in 2021, Nick decided to advance to motorsports by joining a new team. He currently drives at the GT4 championship.

The ranks in question

Different championships have different cars, with the more advanced championships having greater superior performance cars. “You have open wheel cars like in Formula 1 and you have GT cars. GT cars are not based on factors such as downforce like in Formula 1 as much, they are more like street cars. GT4 cars are based on factors like engine power, speed, and weight. They are slower and heavier than open wheel cars. Me and my team are switching to the GT3 series and those cars are lighter and more aggressive.”

Driving for the team ‘PG Motorsport’ and sponsored by McDonald’s, Nick currently competes at the Benelux Porsche Sprint Challenge. Next year, he will race with the more advanced cars at the Porsche GT3 Cup series, and he does not plan on slowing down anytime soon. “I want to get higher up by winning races. Then, I can get more sponsors, become more known and get to drive in more competitive championships”, reveals Nick.

erasmussport_nickho_racing_Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux
Image credit: Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux

Preparing for races

Preparing for competitive racing deviates from the standard training practices of the world’s most popular sports like football and basketball, which involves rigorous athletic training. A good body condition is evidently required for sports, which Nick maintains by running.

Racers like Nick employ other methods of maintaining sharpness for races. “Getting on tracks is expensive and not available that much, because there are a lot of championships going on. I must be prepared as much as I can before a race, so I do that by practicing on the training racing simulator. I’m behind my simulator at home everyday to build muscle memory.”

The pressure comes with fun

Just like most sports, pressure is a barrier athletes have to overcome. Nick is no stranger to that in motorsport racing. “There is a lot of money going around the sport and your team relies on you”, he states. “You normally have one lap to set a really good lap time, and the competitors are also going for that.”

Nonetheless, Nick embraces the challenges and looks at the brighter side, always trying to get the perfect lap time. Working with his team of mechanics and coaches, he also pursues the adrenaline of motorsport. “It gives a kick when you drive over 200 kilometers an hour, two centimeters apart from your rivals. It’s very close and has to be fair, but also a lot of fun.”

erasmussport_nickho_wouterboerekamps_PG Motorsport
Image credit: PG Motorsport

Sustainability is progressing

Most vehicle-racing-based sports, including motorsport racing, have been criticized for the nature of the sport: racing fast cars which consume a lot of fuel, thus releasing carbon dioxide. However, sustainability initiatives were launched in the world of motorsport, which Nick sees the changes of already. “Sustainability is definitely important and our cars are also being developed to be more sustainable. For instance, the GT4E car is fully electric, so that’s a nice development.”

Despite being mindful of the topic, he still loves the feeling, and sound, of a fast racing car. “Not looking at the effects of climate change, I prefer the sounds of a natural engine. Of course if we have to switch to electric, I understand!”

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