Porsche Carrera Cup GB reigning champion Tim Bridgman will kick off his Mobil 1 Supercup career this weekend as the series kicks off as an official support race for the Formula 1 circus, we caught up with the Stansted based driver before he headed off to Bahrain.
When we spoke to you last you were working on a deal to enter the Supercup, it now seems that deal has been secured, how did it come about and was Team Parker always part of the plan?
Yes, I can now confirm I am with Team Parker Racing/Schnabl Engineering for the 2010 Porsche Mobil1 Supercup. Obviously throughout the winter we have been talking to many teams regarding this season however the goal posts kept being moved whenever we were close to agreeing a deal. Stuart Parker and I had discussed the possibility of running together in the Supercup and as we looked further into it, the more it made sense. We can move forward with a great deal of continuity into a new championship, whilst having the benefit of a great partnership with Schnabl Engineering. Obviously Team Parker Racing ran a full season of Porsche Mobil1 Supercup in 2007, so it is covered territory for them also.
How do you feel you will benefit from a continued partnership with the team that you won the 2009 PCCGB title?
It is fantastic for me to be staying with TPR. We have had 2 very successful seasons together in Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain, winning the championship and breaking lots of records along the way. As far as I am concerned they are the best team I have driven for and so to to be able to carry on with them into The Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, with Stuart engineering me and my regular mechanic James on the car, is a very important benefit. Continuity is only ever a help and at the same time, we are very determined to show people just how fast we are as a team.
Your team-mate Niall Breen recently took part in the Porsche driver development program, he has similar experience in his career as you with previous experience in open-wheelers before switching to tin tops, do you see this as a benefit that you both came up a similar route?
Certainly having both had similar career paths through the single seater ranks, we are likely to benefit from having similar needs from the car. If we can work together on the setups and possibly end up wanting the same behaviour from the handling of the car, it will be a slight benefit for the team not to have to go in two separate directions. At the same time though, every driver is different no matter what the background so who knows. The important thing is that the team has two quick, young, determined drivers that have succesful backgrounds.
Who do you see as your main threat this year?
The grid has plenty of talented drivers, all of whom I’m sure are going to be fighting for wins. At this stage it would not be accurate to say who will be the quickest of all of us etc as none of us have been on the track together yet! Saying that, after Bahrain, there will be lots of testing and work going on from all the teams so who knows. It is going to be an interesting season for the spectator that is for sure and I think it is going to be a superb year for the championship.
What are you doing as your final preparations before the season opener?
Well I haven’t driven the Bahrain circuit before so I am doing everything possible to gain information. Also it is going to be quite warm out there so I will be training hard making sure I am ready for the challenge.
How do you plan to learn the new tracks?
I have knowledge of Spa, Monza, Silverstone, Nurburgring and after yesterdays test now Hockenheim. The remaining tracks I hope that some of them we will be able to test on. The others, for example the first race at Bahrain, I am studying onboard video footage from previous seasons. I will also be playing them on Playstation 3 and on the computer too. There is only so much you can learn from the simulators but they are nevertheless a help.
Which track are you looking forward to the most this year?
Monaco. Street circuits offer a unique challenge and I am excited to be racing at this famous circuit.
With a overflowing grid for 2010, the PCCGB series you were champion of last year looks set for another great year, who do you see taking your title crown from you this year?
Yes, what a great season PCCGB is in for. Full grids are not a common thing at the moment but I have to say the championship deserves it. Last year was fantastic with all three titles going down to the wire and I am sure that will be the case again for 2010. There is a mix of new drivers and also drivers with experience from the last year/ two years so it is a tough one to call. Obviously I am hoping for a successful year for the Team Parker drivers above anyone else. I actually believe it will be a fight between those three guys.