David Pittard has firmly set his intentions on winning the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, telling The Checkered Flag that he’s ready to get on track and ‘throw his weight around’ on his TOCA package debut.
The former Britcar class champion steps up to the Supercup after an impressive 2013. A strong campaign in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, featuring three wins and a top five points finish, was capped off by victory in the annual Henry Surtees Karting Challenge, a success that earnt him an end-of-season GP3 test in Abu Dhabi.
Those performances has brought Pittard a lot of attention over the winter. He was awarded Rising Star status by the BRDC, named a Brunel University Sports Scholar and won the 2013 Comet Sports Personality of the Year award, an honour previously won by Lewis Hamilton.
The most important accolade came though when Pittard was announced as a member of the KX Akademy for 2014. The scheme, set up in 2012, sees a small group of talented racers benefit from financial backing and support workshops under the guidance of KX mentor Jason Plato, with Pittard already starting to reap the benefits of the programme.
“I’m hugely grateful to the KX Akademy for coming on board, and for them and my other sponsor the Sears Morgan Group for getting me on the grid,” Pittard told TCF at the annual Ginetta Media Day.
“We had our first KX mentoring days earlier this month. We were down at Pro Performance to do our fitness assessment, in which they pushed us very, very hard, and then we went to Base Simulators with Jason [Plato] to work on vehicle engineering, to learn the correct communication skills between a driver and a race engineer, which will be a huge benefit.”
Whilst the majority of the his new Supercup rivals have been busy spending the winter testing in preparation for the new season, Pittard has not yet had the chance to get behind the wheel of his Ginetta G55 GT4 with SV Racing.
Despite SV not having competed in the championship before, Pittard feels their front-running experience in the Renault UK Clio Cup and GT racing in the past, plus his ability to adapt quickly to new machinery, means they’ll still be able to hit the ground running from the opening meeting at Brands Hatch.
“In my whole career, I’ve never really had a pre-season budget at all,” he commented. “So to have any test days before the season will be a step up in itself. What Danny [Buxton – SV director] has done with the Clio Cup boys and in GT’s has shown they can certainly set up a title-winning race car, and I can’t to get out on track with them.”
Tom Ingram became the first KX Akademy-backed champion with a dominant Supercup title win last year, and despite the most competitive Supercup grid in the championship’s short history forming for the new season, Pittard is confident he can be right in the mix to retain the title for the KX Akademy.
“There’s a bit of pressure to do well with the backing, and I’d love to bring the championship back to the KX group,” he enthused. “There’s certainly some tough competition in the Supercup this season, but I’ve never really needed a learning year when joining a new championship, I’ve been able to be competitive from the off.
“There’s a few guys out there with more experience than me, so I want a steady start to the year, but I’ll certainly be throwing my weight around, showing what I can do out there. I’m going to focus on having a nice, consistent campaign and making sure I’m in the mix at the end, as that’s where championships are won.”