Dino Zamparelli has not been written about as much as he really ought to have been in 2015. His switch to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB was arguably the biggest news pre-season and yet results have been hard to come by. Arguably too hard.
So, a switch to the GT Marques team from Parr Motorsport before Silverstone could have been viewed as a driver trying to save his season. That is not a snipe at Parr, they are one of the top teams in national Porsche competition.
Yet the switch to GT Marques has been more than validated.”I have just driven a Porsche like I knew I could,” comments a delighted Dino following his win in the opening Silverstone race last weekend. “It’s hard to continue when you’ve had six rounds with no results and no podiums. To get that win is a big relief. It’s come together now.”
Those may sound like the comments of an overly jubilant driver, relieved to have finally got a monkey off his back. That would be a mistake though. Zamparelli then went on to score a second podium in race two, which became a victory when Josh Webster’s Team Parker Racing machine was docked time for a forceful move on Michael Meadows’ Samsung SUHD TV Racing entry. So this is definitely a real renaissance as opposed to false dawn. On the circuit he won his Formula Renault BARC title? “I like it even more now!”
“It’s not just on the podium, it’s the top step,” the Bristol Sport driver enthuses. “I know a lot of drivers thank their sponsors but without them (Bristol Sport) this move into the series and now to GT Marques would not have happened.”
There is the hint of frustration in Zamparelli’s voice, the sense that had Silverstone been the first round of the season his year would have been very different. “This weekend we were able to showcase what we are able to do,” he offers.
This idea that from the driver’s perspective, nothing has changed, is re-enforced by the final word from the star of Silverstone. “I didn’t expect to be strong here. I haven’t changed what I am doing, I’ve been doing the same thing every weekend.”
Whatever the reason, Zamparelli has certainly found his magic bullet. Sometimes a driver can just click with a new set-up and that would appear to be the case here. The true test though, will come on the Brands Hatch GP loop. If Zamparelli can take on new champion Dan Cammish and Redline Racing, on a circuit where Cammish stormed the field on his debut last year, then his new found found form will be fully validated. If (and it is a big if) Zamparelli can beat Cammish in Kent, then the former GP3 driver will end the year on high. Only soured by the question: What might have been?
Zamparelli spoke to TCF’s Simon Paice at Silverstone.