Former Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia driver Jonas Gelzinis drove across Europe from Lithuania this week as he was left with little choice of getting to Rockingham with the fallout from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. We spoke to him in the build up to his second race weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship.
Thruxton saw a great debut performance on a track that he had never driven around before arriving there, with the prospect of learning a new track made worse by the changeable weather conditions. “It was difficult and the unpredictable weather forecast make it harder for me.” he admits.
So how do you gain knowledge of a track you’ve never visited before? Gelzinis admits he spends some of his preperation time in front of the computer. “I always try to run some laps on rFactor, before the races, especially going to a new track, because it helps a lot.”
With practice and qualifying in wet conditions Gelzinis and the team faced a tough job as they prepared for the dry weather races. “They tried to predict what the dry Thruxton track needed and they managed it perfectly” he admits. “They also changed the gearbox very fast between the races. At the end it was amazing to receive team of the weekend award.”
The second race at Thruxton saw Gelzinis pushing hard, the young Lithuanian driver relished the challenge. “I pushed really hard at the end becauce I saved tyres in the beginning of race.” he admits. As the race drew to a close Gelzinis closed the six second gap between himself and Ollie Jackson, given a few more laps he thinks he could have passed him.
Although new to the GB series Juta Racing previously competed in the Carrera Cup Scandinavia, so how does it compare? “Porsche GB is few steps in front with organization, much better tracks, both races live on TV, and have VIP hospitality and money prizes, all of that is missing in the Scandinavian series.”
So what should we expect at Rockingham from Gelzinis? “Rockingham will be one more new track for me, so its difficult to make any predictions at the moment, but I promise I will push as hard as possible.”
Photo credit: Vince Pettit Photography