Josh Webster interview part one
2014 is a big year for Josh Webster. After impressing in the single seater ranks, the British racer has made the switch to GT racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with the Redline Racing team.
Webster, who won the Porsche Scholarship prize for the 2014/2015 seasons, got his first taste of the new 991 GT3 Cup car, along with his fellow Carrera Cup competitors at the series’ media day at Silverstone. Total 911 went along to find out how their racing columnist got one:
What were your first impressions of the new 991 GT3 Cup car?
The first time in the car is always a big day and I had a really fantastic day. I was quickest in the morning and really enjoyed it. The car handles well although the tyres took a little while to come up to temperature because it was quite cold. I got some really good laps in and now it’s just a case of focussing on data, and keep the ball rolling.
In terms of you obviously have Michael Meadows as your teammate. Is it proving useful looking at his data?
There will be a lot of useful information, especially as the track changed throughout the day and I want to find out if Michael felt that as well with his car, or if my car is lacking somewhere in setup.
Are you happy with the pace that you showed, both in the morning and this afternoon?
Yeah, I set a quicker time in the morning than in the afternoon; wasn’t expecting to as I normally go a little bit quicker in the afternoon but I think it was a bit warmer this morning.
P2, two and a half tenths off of Michael is a good day for a first day in the car compared to someone who is that competitive.
Now you’ve had the chance to get behind the wheel, what do you think your biggest challenge will be switching to GT racing this season?
I think one of the main things I’ve had to get used to today is the weight transfer compared to a single seater. The fact that you have to cement in your mind, you have to brake earlier, you have to be more patient with it.
Then, learning all the cockpit and technology. With the paddleshift gearbox, it has the ability to preselect how many gears you want to go down so you brake and it will go down by itself. You just give it a few clicks [really fast] and then it will do it when it wants to, and it does it at the perfect time so you get as much engine braking as possible. That’s a good thing to have learnt.
Although you haven’t had much time in either, how does the 991 compare to the 997?
The interior and the gearbox is the biggest change. It [the paddleshift] gives you less to think about. With a big sequential you are taking your hands off the wheel and it is a distraction no matter how talented you are.
Are you at an advantage coming straight from the paddleshift-equipped GP3 car?
To be fair, it is a really easy system to use. You just need to know exactly where on the lights to change and that is it. Having driven the GP3 though I am pretty accustomed to that sort of system.
After today’s showing, have your championship aims changed at all?
No, I’m not easily swayed by a good day of testing. I think, if the pace stays, it would be silly to still expect mid-pack, you’d want to be further up. It will all balance out over the next couple of weeks leading up to Brands Hatch. Then we’ll have a clearer idea: I don’t want to get to ahead of myself.
You can read the final part of our interview with Carrera Cup hopeful, Josh Webster here.