Next weekend (28/29 July), the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series heads to Snetterton as the second half of the season gets underway; leading the championship is Slidesports Engineering driver Tio Ellinas, who is now in his second year of racing in the series after a switch from single-seater racing.
The 26-year-old Cypriot has been racing for nineteen years now as he progressed through the ranks in karting, before heading through British Formula Ford, Formula Renault UK, GP3, MRF, GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 before his switch to sportscars in 2017.
In 2017 Ellinas races with the JTR team, finishing on the podium five times before finishing sixth in the highly competitive championship.
For 2018 a switch to Slidesports has seen him continuing his progression in the series, taking his series first win at Donington Park earlier this year.
Talking about his expectations for the 2018 season, Ellinas said, “Although I knew competition would be tough I also knew we would at the sharp end of the grid.
“After a learning year last year, I knew what to expect and the new car obviously put everyone in the same position but I guess I was the most consistent out there!”
This season saw the championship switch to the second generation 911 GT3 Cup car, while the changes were small, they have been noticeable.
“Handling-wise not a big difference to last year’s car to be honest, but the biggest difference is the torque of the engine and the power!” says Ellinas.
“Last year was just a huge learning curve, getting to know something completely different from what I got used to!
“I have moved teams for this season so I have had to get to know a new bunch of guys but I’ve really enjoyed running with the Slidesports team and I’ve particularly enjoyed working with David Fairbrother.”
While he secured his maiden win in the Carrera Cup GB series, it wasn’t an easy victory.
“It was my first win in the Carrera Cup but also the first win for the team as well so it was a very special moment.
“We had difficult conditions with the track drying but it really played to my strengths as I am really good in reading what the conditions will be like… I’m very strong in wet/damp conditions.”
With eight races down in the series and eight to go, Ellinas leads the championship by six points, while he has the upper hand at the moment, he knows that he needs to make improvements to continue his momentum.
“We still need to work a little bit on topping the time-sheets in quali and be quick at the beginning phases of the race!
“If we can find that extra bit of pace in the qualifying sessions it will make the job easier in the race but we are leading the championship at the moment so we know we are close.”
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB series continues next weekend (28/29 July) at Snetterton for rounds nine and ten.