Five minutes with Michael Meadows
2013 was a good year for British racing driver, Michael Meadows. It marked another year of dominance in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, with a second title in as many years going his way.
However, the 2014 season marks the introduction of the new 991 GT3 Cup car to the series and a switch of teams for the Samsung-backed driver. Total 911 took time to talk to the champion about the challenges he faces in the season ahead.
What were your first impressions of the new car?
It was a massive step, one of the biggest changes the series has ever seen. It is much more of a racing car. From the driving environment, you’re sitting lower, you can see less, so it feels more compact.
All that sort of stuff makes a big difference to all the senses. But, after 15 or 20 minutes [you get used to it] It’s a 911, it reacts in similar ways [to the outgoing 997]
How are you getting on with the paddleshift gearbox?
It’s taken away a bit of the skill, no doubt. To change with a sequential ‘box and get the braking right is a difficult skill, so the paddleshift is definitely going to close up the field and make it more Pro-Am friendly. It’s going to be difficult to have a big gap on people.
Is that going to put more pressure on you not to make mistakes?
Yes. There were a few races last year where I was ten seconds ahead. I don’t think that is going to be happening this year. With the new tyre as well, it doesn’t go off as quickly as the old one, so it is easier to be consistent. I got out the car after a relatively long run and I didn’t have any sweat on me at all.
How have you found having Josh Webster as a teammate?
I first met Josh on the Scholarship evaluation day. He did a great job then, and he’s done a great job today [at the official media day test]. He’s approached it in the right way; he’s not shouting about what he’s going to do and he’s working hard.
What are the biggest challenges facing Josh?
The biggest challenge for me [coming from single seaters] was the sequential gearbox. The weight of the car, what you can do with it [will be his biggest challenge]. It’s just so hard to find the limit initially and it takes a lot of getting used to.
Are you looking forward to Le Mans?
It’s going to be unbelievable. They’re talking about there being 60 cars, so it’s going to be a tough race but the chance to drive that track helps to get experience if you ever do the 24 Hours in the future. It’s definitely something I’m looking forward to.
Was moving up to the Porsche Supercup the plan initially this season?
In previous years it has been my target. But at the end of last year it wasn’t. If a good offer had come along, I would have taken it, but I didn’t push for it because I don’t think it’s what I need now. After the couple of years I’ve had, GT are already calling me.
Do you think the championship is possible again this year?
Oh yeah, it’s definitely possible. I think it’s going to be hard this year. The new car could have a few glitches. In terms of pace, we’ll be in the mix. The aim is to be the first driver to win three [Carrera Cup GB titles] in a row.