Insight: The Resurfaced Racer Turning Heads at the ‘Ring
After walking away from motorsport for several years, Jakub 'Kuba' Giermaziak is back on track and turning heads at the Nordschleife…
In the early 2010s, Jakub ‘Kuba’ Giermaziak and Kevin Estre were vying for wins in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. A decade later and the pair are battling once again, this time in GT3 cars at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
During the intervening years, their careers took polarized trajectories. Estre, of course, became one of Porsche’s most decorated factory drivers. Giermaziak, on the other hand, walked away from professional racing in 2015.
Although competing was always a pleasure, he found that earning a long-term living as a driver without manufacturer backing was difficult. Giermaziak also wasn’t fond of having little control over his time, travelling frequently and living out of a suitcase. He decided to join his family’s paper packaging company in Poland, Netbox, which makes “very small cigarette boxes up to big, corrugated transport boxes for a refrigerator or TV.”
Giermaziak started there in 2014 and had one year of overlap with racing in Supercup and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, before putting his full focus on work outside of motorsport.
Several years of helping to steer the 400-person company as its CEO went by until he considered making a racing comeback. He’s now sharing the grid with some of his old Supercup foes like Estre and Nicki Thiim, and last year took four NLS victories with Phoenix Racing en route to the title.
“I decided that if I got the company running to a level when I wouldn’t have to be in it every day, then I would do some racing,” the 32-year-old tells Sportscar365. “In 2021 I decided to come back because the business I was running was going well enough. I missed racing. But I wanted to do it more my way.”