Simo Lind – the example of dedication in racing!

Simo Lind – the example of dedication in racing!

Always smiling and full of joy, loved in a paddock, a fair but fast competitor on the track. Simo Lind has raced with BaTCC for several seasons now, starting with National Class in an Opel Astra G and continuing with Nankang 2h Endurance in 2020 in BTC2 class, winning with equal points (142 to 142, and champion because of the event win) the series. Then a Honda Civic era from 2021 – the champion in sprints and vice-champion in Nankang. 2022 was reversed – first in Nankang 2h endurance and second in sprint. 2023 was similar story – dominant performance in sprints and champion but second place in the endurance. What will 2024 bring?

How did the road to circuit racing start for Simo Lind?

My journey into circuit racing began through my brother Siim, who was a mechanic for one of the Formula Baltic teams between 2004 and 2013. I sometimes “assisted” him in the paddock (asking stupid and naive questions but learning a lot). Around the same time, Uldis Timaks and Janis Vanks were racing Opel Astra G’s, and since I owned one as a streetcar, naturally, I supported them. In 2013, we ventured into the Estonian “Superkross” cup and acquired an Astra F with a roll cage for that purpose. Superkross, a blend of rallycross, ice track, and circuit racing, made us realize that the right move was to install a roll cage in my street Astra G, configure it for tarmac tracks exclusively, and reserve the Astra F for ice and rallycross. While I had two different cars for Superkross for a few years, circuit racing emerged as my favourite due to the combination of car setup, racing, and the post-race repairs.

Can you share the story of the first car – Opel Astra G – and then the acquisition of the Civic?

We initially bought the Astra G in 2008 for street use, opting for the limited series (3000 pcs) Astra OPC with a slightly tuned engine from the factory. This car holds numerous memories, including being our wedding car in 2011. In 2014, we installed a roll cage and used it for Superkross, Latvian National Class, and later Nankang 2h Endurance. I still have the Astra, and before acquiring the Civic in late 2020, we made several upgrades, though I’ve only tested it on a wet track. It should be faster than ever, but the car hasn’t been driven since the end of 2020. As a tip for anyone starting in circuit racing, the Astra is still available!

The Honda Civic purchase has been an interesting, fun, and expensive journey! Although we bought one of the fastest BTC2 cars in the Baltics, it came with considerable mileage. We’ve replaced or fully rebuilt most of the key parts, battled technical failures, bad luck, and sometimes our own mistakes. Currently, our focus is on improving reliability, with no significant changes for speed expected between 2023 and 2024.

Racing is racing, and one of the most heart-breaking moments of the 2022 BaTCC season was when your engine blew while leading in BTC2, costing you the Championship. Can you talk us through your emotions?

As they say, to finish first, first you have to finish. My Honda-era has seen various technical issues, some mystique, while others have explanations and fixes. Winning holds emotional value for me and my team, but losing pushes us to try and fight harder. Ironically, I might be the only one saying that my Opel was more reliable than my Honda.

What do you love most about circuit racing in the Baltic States?

The diversity of tracks, the positivity of people, and the supportive off-track atmosphere. I hope to race elsewhere in the future, and BaTCC serves as a strong starting point for that.

Which track is your favourite?

I have driven thousands of kilometres on Porschering and every time, I still find new details and nuances there. Now, I have really high hopes about Nemuno Ziedas new tarmac, because it’s also very fun track to drive but it has been quite harsh on the car. Bikernieki gets the heart beating faster every time, I arrive there. In general, I really like driving on different tracks and so far, I haven’t seen any track, I don’t want to try again.

What does it take to be successful in Racing?

Funding is undoubtedly a factor, but success depends on how you measure it. If being first is the only goal, a decent car, lots of practice, and a bit of luck are essential. For me, success is more about challenging and improving myself, the car, and the team. It doesn’t necessarily mean being first, but it requires hard work.

What would you say to encourage Estonians to participate in local circuit racing events?

Circuit racing combines driving skills, risk, 1-on-1 competition, fast decisions, and fun. Endurance racing adds physical and mental durability and strategy. Compared to when I started, there are numerous renting solutions available in every class. When in doubt, try something out. Even if not publicly advertised, most teams, including Lind Racing, are open to discussing training sessions and one time racing deals.

Who is Simo Lind outside race tracks?

I’m married and a father of two kids (4 and 9). I studied Energy Application Engineering many years ago and have a keen interest in everything with an internal combustion engine and/or electronic parts. Professionally, I’ve been involved in computer and phone repairs to varying degrees and currently work at Foxway in the field of production process development.

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