Pepe Massot believes he can beat championship leader Josh Webster and double champion Michael Meadows and take race victories in the remaining four meetings of the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
The Spaniard had a tough start to the 2014 season, with his campaign in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup with reigning series champions JHR Developments not producing the results expected.
After taking just one win in the first eleven races, the expected title contender made the decision to leave the series and move across to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with Parr Motorsport ahead of the Croft meeting in June.
In this second part of an in-depth interview with the 18 year old from Snetterton earlier this month, he discusses his move into the Porsche’s and his hopes for the remainder of 2014 and beyond.
Read part one of the interview, in which he talks about his nightmare Ginetta campaign and his decision to leave the series, by clicking here.
TCF: You joined the Porsche Carrera Cup GB field at Croft, how did you find your debut weekend?
PM: “Croft was hard, it was my first time in the car on the Friday and I didn’t have the experience with the car and the championship that everyone else had. Everything is so, so different with this car to the Ginetta, it is completely different to anything I’ve driven before.
“I qualified fifth despite it being a damp circuit on slick tyres, which made it even tougher for me. In the first race I came fourth, and then third in the second race, which considering the situation, joining the series with no testing, it was a good weekend to start off.”
TCF: Taking a podium finish in your first meeting is an impressive feat, are you happy with how quickly you’ve adapted to the Porsche?
PM: “To be fair, I usually adapt quicker to new cars. When I drove the Ginetta G55 for the first time with Century Motorsport in November 2012, it was wet at Silverstone and I beat the times they did in practice in the exact same conditions earlier in the year by one second within fifteen laps.
“It’s taking me more time getting to grips with this car, as the car is so different to what I’ve driven before, and I’ve also got to get used to the tyre window. It is tougher than the Ginetta’s as you only have one lap in qualifying and after that lap, you will never have that grip again.
“In the Ginetta’s, you could do five or six good laps, but in this you have one and it’s tough to get your head around the fact you just have one chance and that’s it, if you make even a small mistake you’re done.
“There’s a couple of things that are making it tougher, but I’m happy with my performance at the moment.”
TCF: You’ve been moved up from the Pro-Am1 to Pro class here at Snetterton. With a Pro-Am1 class title challenge now out the window, do you think you can beat the title contenders to overall race wins this season?
PM: “In qualifying here [Snetterton] I was only four tenths off Michael [Meadows], who’s been champion twice and racing this track in this car for a few years, and I could have been closer without traffic.
“Josh is a fantastic driver and is doing very well indeed, but naturally my eyes are to Michael as the double champion, he’s the benchmark in this championship and being close on pace to him already is good.
“I really like some of the tracks coming up, Knockhill and Rockingham for example, so I think I can beat Josh and Michael … but I know I’ve got to work hard.
“I prefer to speak with the actions I do with the car than with my words, but if you ask the question, yes I think I can win races.”
TCF: While you were competing in the Ginetta’s, was the Carrera Cup GB a championship you were looking at taking the next step to anyway in 2015?
“In 2012 we looked at the Porsche’s as the benchmark series, they were a lot quicker than the Ginetta’s, and we liked the idea, but with a bit more experience we changed our mentality. We’ve thought about going to Europe and doing some single-seater racing, but looked along the ladder to GP3 etc and thought about how it would be to get there with the money and knew we couldn’t afford going into Formula Renault or anything like that in 2015.
“We didn’t really know where we would go next season and beyond after finishing Ginetta’s, but coming into Porsche now has opened up my mind a bit more to the sort of opportunities like Porsche Supercup and paid GT drives in Europe and America. Becoming a professional GT driver can start from being in Porsche’s.
“I think joining the series now is a good step in my career and I think we’re in the right place, but we don’t know what next year will bring and I know that if I haven’t got a good budget, I won’t be able to race in a competitive championship.”
TCF: Taking budget and other factors like that out of the equation, would you choose to return to the Carrera Cup GB next season for a title challenge or go elsewhere?
“I would consider racing in the GB series but it depends on the grid they have next season. I would certainly look at the Carrera Cup Germany or the Porsche Supercup too.
“I would definitely love to continue with Porsche though, Ben Barker is a good benchmark for me as a professional racing driver competing in America and the European Le Mans Series, and it all started in Porsche’s for him.
“We’re in the right place, all I’ve got to do is get the results and when I do, everything will come together for me and we’ll have more options for the future.”