Tom Bradshaw enters his second season as a Pro in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with the JHR team after a year as a scholar, TCF caught up with him as he was preparing for the season opener next week at Thruxton.
Before 2009 Bradshaw’s experience lay in karting and the usual single seaters, (Formula Ford, Formula Palmer Audi), we were interested in why he chose to make the switch to the Porsche Carrera Cup. “I entered the Scholarship when I saw it advertised in Motorsport News, I’d been looking to switch to GT’s as budgets were getting stupid in single seaters; as you’ve probably seen, F3 works out at around £600,000 a season, so that was an unrealistic career path for me.” explained Bradshaw. “Carrera cup looked the best equivalent and the scholarship looked like a fantastic opportunity to get myself the best introduction to GT racing possible.”
With the scholarship entered, the Bolton native then had to prove himself, “The test down at Silverstone was very tough and stringant, they put the last 6 hopefulls through their paces, so to come out the other end with the scholarship was fantastic. It made it so much easier for us to find the remaining sponsorship. The support which Porsche gave me throughout the year really brought me on as a driver. “
The switch to the rear-wheel drive Porsche’s was aided by his experience of single seaters but he admits that it wasn’t easy. “I found the weight of the car the hardest thing to addapt to, mainly because it makes tyre conservation a big issue which I have not been used to dealing with. My aggresive driving style didnt suit particularly well to begin with!”
As the season drew to a close Bradshaw finished an overall eighth, not bad for a debut season some might say, but he felt it could of gone better, “I wasn’t happy with my overall result, but by the same token there were many positives to be drawn from the season. My pace improved massively with top fours, a podium at brands and setting fastest laps at the end of the season.” He admits that he has one area he needs to work on “If I ironed out the DNFs I would have finished much higher up the order, something to work on for 2010!”
His highlight of 2009 was being stood next to Bridgman and Sutton on the podium at Brands Hatch on the GP circuit. “It felt like the hard work from everyone involved in my racing was beginning to pay off” he says.
In a stark contrast his weekend at Silverstone was a low point “In the first race I was taken out by someone making an overambitious lunge into the side of me from over the grass, the second race was my own doing; it began to rain partway through the race. I was lying a solid fourth and locked the rears going into Brooklands which sent me backwards into the gravel. Not good!”
Fast forward to 2010 and the young northerner is preparing for the new season, “I’m really happy to have sighned with JHR for 2010, they ran a great car last year in their first year so I think we can be confident of achieving some good results together in 2010.”
Bradshaw has clear goals for the year ahead, “My main aims are to win races and be at the sharp end of the field at every meeting. The championship is too much of a melting pot to look at at this stage. We have to go for results and see where it leaves us in the final standings.”
Keep a look out for Bradshaw this year, we predict he’ll be up there challenging for podiums, especially at Brands Hatch (GP layout) and Oulton which he regards as favourite tracks.
For now Bradshaw is happy what he is doing but we asked about his future plans, “My aim in the long term is to try and make a living out of motorsport, I’m not fussy over what car i’m driving whilst doing it, I don’t think theres enough room in proffesional motorsport to be fussy!” he admits before finishing, “but to race a prototype in ALMS would be something else”.
Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography