Tandy, Barker & Webster: issue 123 driver columns
A new season has arrived and I can’t wait to get started. In fact, by the time you read this, the 24 Hours of Daytona will have already taken place. Daytona is, as you may know, one of my favourite races and it would be nice to win a second Rolex.
The car is certainly fast enough to do the business. At the ‘Roar’ test two weeks before the 24 Hour race, the two Porsche North America Racing RSRs were first and third fastest in the GTLM class.
We were over a second faster at the test than we were in 2014, testament to how far the team has come since it was formed just over 12 months ago.
For 2015, the 911 RSR hasn’t seen any significant changes, though we do have some new tyres from Michelin. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that there is also a new lightweight exhaust system featuring a single tailpipe. But, other than a few other small modifications under the skin, it is the same car that we finished the season with at Petit Le Mans.
After getting a good taste of American racing last season, I was hopeful that I would be able to secure a full-time seat in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship for 2015. However, as you may have noticed, I wasn’t at Daytona this year for the 24 Hour race a result of the FIA changing my driver rating from ‘Silver’ to ‘Gold’.
While this may sound like a positive, my US deal was based on me being graded ‘Silver’. The team didn’t want to miss out on signing a Gold for Daytona so my 2014 Supercup teammate, Kuba Giermaziak already had a deal in place when the FIA made their changes.
Annoyingly, if the FIA had announced the changes earlier I probably could have done a deal as a Gold driver but I’m still hopeful that I will be able to get a deal for Sebring.
I’m also close to putting a good deal together for another crack at the Porsche Supercup. While racing in the US would be my number one option this year, I know I can improve on my 2014 performance.
As I’m sure most people would agree, it was nice to get some time off over the Christmas break but, having entered the new year refreshed, I can’t wait to get going again in 2015.
For my second season in Porsche 911 racing, I was looking at making the move to the Supercup this year however, as I am in a two-year scholarship programme with Porsche Carrera Cup GB I will be racing in Carrera Cup GB again this year.
I’m also hoping to do a few selected rounds of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. This will give me plenty of seat time in the 991 GT3 Cup car while giving me a taste of the championship ahead of a possible full-time move to the premier series in 2016.
There is going to be a lot of pressure on me in Carrera Cup this year as there’s only one result to aim for: defending my title. After all, no one wants to come first in the first year and then finish second in year two.