Saloon car racer David Pittard enjoyed a successful test in a Porsche Carrera Cup Car at Silverstone this week with frontrunning Porsche Carrera Cup GB outfit Team Parker Racing.
Pittard, a frontrunner in the 2011 Red Dragon Toyota MR2 Championship, hadn't driven anything like the 450bhp 911 GT3 Cup Car prior to the test, for which he used the car driven by rookie Sam Tordoff in 2011. Pittard couldn't wait for the opportunity, having worked hard all year to get it.
Pittard said: “I had been buzzing for this day for weeks and weeks. A chance to drive something with more than double the horse power I have ever driven, and with such a prestigious name as Porsche was a dream come true. I was nervous at the beginning as all week the day had been predicted dry, but it was damp when we arrived.”
The damp track meant the team decided to put him out on wets at the start, with the Hertfordshire-based youngster relishing the chance to get to grips with the car for the first time, commenting: “It was a spine tingling moment. I was glad the car didn't have the pit to car radio fitted as I'm sure they would only have heard me screaming with joy! The car was awesome. The power was incredible, absolutely relentless in its acceleration.”
After a quick change of tyres as the track dried, the Letchworth born driver started to set some impressive lap times out on track, lapping up to a second faster than more experienced drivers also testing. There was to be disappointment for Pittard though, as when he was out of the car to review the data and video from his first two runs, the car suffered a terminal mechanical failure when in the hands of the drivers Pittard was sharing the car with for the day, prematurely ending his test.
Looking back at the day, Pittard reflected: “It didn't take me long to get familiar with the car and after a short spell on wets the team pulled me in as the track started to dry and it was neither wets or slicks. After waiting 10 minutes or so we went out on slick tyres. There were damp patches on the way into Copse, on the exit of Becketts and apex on Brooklands and Luffield. I just slowly built up heat in the tyres and confidence in the car to brake later, and get on the power earlier, and the times quickly came down.
“I returned out on a slightly drier track and a couple of seconds behind another car which gave me extra incentive to push on! Over the next 10 lap run I slowly caught him and managed to pass him after he made a mistake! This was my best run of the day and I felt completely calm with the car and just worked on my braking technique and lines as the Porsche requires such a different driving style.
“Jumping out of the car I felt very pleased with how the session had gone. I knew there were still area's for improvement and was looking forward to reviewing the data. After a quick chat with the team boss I then returned to the truck for an in depth debrief with Jules my engineer. After analysis of the video and data there was defiantly room for improvement on my lines and throttle. I was pumped to get back out there!
“I was frustrated to not have a second run after looking at all the analysis. But unfortunately these things happen. And it was nice to end on a high with my driving impressing team boss Stuart Parker. A massive thanks to Stuart, Jules for being excellent help, Podium PR for arranging the test and Roy Powell for taking some photos. Finally, thanks must go to Herts Business support Scheme who have made this year possible. It would be a dream come true to be out on the Porsche Carrera Cup grid next year, I will be working hard this winter to make that happen.”