Hi and welcome to my first blog for thecheckeredflag.co.uk.
I’m writing on the eve of my first weekend in the Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch. The switch to Porsche represents a big change for me, having only raced in single-seaters previously.
After winning the Formula Palmer Audi title and a £50,000 F2 scholarship in 2009 it looked as if I would continue along the same route. Unfortunately an illness in my family prevented me from racing last year, but the break gave me a good opportunity to step back and look at my career path.
Having tested for Team Parker Racing a few years back, the Carrera Cup had always been on my radar so I decided that instead of potentially spending millions (that i don’t have!) chasing an F1 dream, that it would be wiser to switch to sportscar racing and look at making a career in motor racing.
The PCCGB unveiled what it called it’s strongest ever line up last week with more and more quick drivers choosing this route of racing – they’re arguably as many speedy peddlers in this as the BTCC in 2011 and it looks like we will also have a bumper grid.
The amount of testing has been a real bonus too as it has helped me to get to know the Team Parker Racing guys again. They’re a great outfit and things have been going well.
We’ve only had the new 911 Cup car for the last few tests however, but my times have been very competitive. I was actually a little disappointed to end up only 6th in the official test day at Snetterton last week, having run in and around the top 4 for most of the day. My times on old tyres and on the longer runs were very consistent though and to be just a tenth behind reigning champion Tim Harvey can’t be too bad.
I had another test day at Brands Hatch yesterday (Tuesday), which was my last outing ahead of Friday’s practice session. It was another good day of getting to know the car, but I didn’t use fresh rubber and the track was really busy with all sorts of cars.
My times were good but it’s hard to know what to take from days like that in terms of overall speed. We’re certainly there or thereabouts however, and now I just can’t wait to get started in my bright yellow and red GWPrice and McDonald’s backed car!! It’s a pretty loud looking beast and it will definitely stand out from the crowd – but hopefully it will be at the front anyway!!
Anyway, that’s all for now but I look forward to reporting back after every round and feel free to come and say hi if you’re at any TOCA events.
For more information on Ricahrd visit his website at www.richardplant.co.uk.