From the moment he clinched the championship at Barcelona in November 2016, Langeveld has been in talks both in Holland and abroad. The reigning SEAT Leon Eurocup champion wanted a fitting follow-up to his impressive motor racing career so far, and found himself in a luxurious position in which he didn’t need to look around for himself. Instead, he was approached by teams from several international championships. “It’s good to know that my performance was duly noticed”, Langeveld feels. “This resulted in a multitude of talks, some very difficult decisions, and a plan that slowly came to fruition. You can only choose once, so I wanted to be absolutely sure of making the right choice.”
Picking ADAC TCR Germany with Racing One as his next challenge was a well-considered decision, says Langeveld: “Team Racing One entered a VW Golf in ADAC’s 2016 German TCR championship, and finished fifth in the final team standings. This ambitious team from Andernach near Koblenz in Germany then ordered an Audi RS3 LMS for next season and went looking for a driver that would fit in with their title aspirations.” And so they ended up with the talented Dutch driver from Sassenheim. Both sides showed so much interest in each other that talks were followed up by a visit from Racing One to the Netherlands. “That was one of the things that clinched it for me”, Langeveld states. “Racing One really showed that they wanted me. With them, I know the team is fully committed to the challenge. I’m from the same mould, both passionate and professional. I’m confident of strong results against cars from brands such as Honda, Seat, Volkswagen and Opel.”
The Audi RS3 LMS is new to TCR but Langeveld is no stranger to the machine. “It’s built on the same chassis and has the same 330hp engine as the SEAT Leon I know from last year. The main difference is the Audi’s sequential gearbox.” In April, Langeveld will be given a first taste of the RS3 during a test at Oschersleben.
In the past years, Niels Langeveld has gathered a number of people around him who have become very important to him. Herman de Jager will again assist the multiple champion in 2017, both as an engineer and as a driver coach. “I’m happy that Racing One has created the possibility for us to stay together by taking him on in the team.”
As in previous seasons, Maverick Media will be around with their cameras to follow Langeveld on his adventures at the tracks. Social media have become a regular asset to Niels Langeveld’s communications strategy. “It’s very important to me to give my sponsors value for money. So I will post fun movies on my YouTube channel showing what I must do – and mustn’t do! – to race and compete and perform at this level. People seem to appreciate this since last year I also won the SEAT-run 2016 Driver Social Media League.”
The ADAC TCR Germany season starts late-April at Oschersleben and will mostly take place in Germany itself. Each weekend will consist of free practice sessions, a qualifying session and two 30-minute sprint races. “Last season, qualifying was one of my strong points, as I made the top-three in each and every racing weekend. With 44 cars in the field this year that will be a lot harder to achieve. I’m expecting gaps that can only be measured by thousands of a second.”
In July, the championship will visit Zandvoort during the ADAC GT Masters weekend, which has been a successful and well-attended event for years now.