2015 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion Tom Oliphant says a move into the Porsche Carrera Cup GB next season is under “major consideration” following a couple of successful recent tests.
Oliphant got behind the wheel of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machinery at Silverstone last week with the GT Marques team as part of a Porsche taster session for prospective drivers, before running with Redline Racing on Thursday (5th November) in wet conditions at Donington Park.
“I’ve spoken with some Porsche teams recently and GT Marques kindly offered me a run in their car during the Porsche test at Silverstone,” Oliphant told TCF.
“It was a great car to drive and I got used to it a lot quicker than I expected. I thoroughly enjoyed it, we went to slicks on a drying track and managed to get within two seconds of the race time this year, which I was pretty happy with, especially ending the day quickest.
“I’ve been in talks with Redline as well and they invited me to Donington to do a full test. I had Michael Meadows looking over the data and he and the team felt I was pretty close to the pace straight off the bat.
“I got on really well with the team and I felt really comfortable with their car. I was starting to take it to its limit in a few of the corners and I came out with a huge smile on my face. A massive thanks to both GT Marques and Redline for putting on the tests for me.”
With experience in both GT3 and GT4 machinery under his belt, having also competed in British GT for the last two years alongside his Supercup exploits, Oliphant feels he got to grips quickly with the Porsche.
“I think my driving style suits the car and I seem to be able to get it on the limit. I think being very smooth helps, especially with the rear engine weight,” Oliphant explained.
“The car is mega in a straight line. It feels like a GT3 in that sense, so I was quick used to the speed and that wasn’t a big shock. The power is so clean, the gear changes are really crisp and the car feels really well built.
“It has subtly different characteristics to the Supercup car. For example in the wet in the G55, you can keep your foot in and produce understeer, that’s how you know you’re on the limit, but in the Porsche, the rear loses grip first and that took a little time to get used to through the Craner Curves.”
The 25 year old admits the Carrera Cup GB is one of a few different championships he is assessing for next season following his successful 2015 campaign, in which eight race wins and thirteen other podium finishes took him to the Supercup title with Century Motorsport.
“I’m considering a number of options for next year and I’m looking to try and do a championship with maximum exposure for my sponsors, whilst still being competitive in a championship that will promote me up the motorsport ladder,” he explained.
“At the moment I’m looking at Blancpain, ADAC GT Masters in Germany and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with maybe some guest Porsche Supercup rounds, and I’ve been speaking with teams in all the championships.
“The Porsches are definitely a major consideration for next year. It’s sprint racing which I prefer, not having to rely on a team-mate and being able to set the car up how I want, and being on the TOCA package is brilliant for my sponsors. We should know soon where I’ll be racing.”
You can read our Ginetta GT4 Supercup champions interview with Tom Oliphant by clicking here.