The Porsche Carrera Cup GB is a great championship with great cars to drive. I think for us, individually, we’ve had our ups and downs but we’re still learning. We take it race by race, and every race is like another test session, because you’re always gaining more and more knowledge. It’s still my first year but I’ve enjoyed it a lot to be honest, because who wouldn’t want to race a Porsche around the track. I also feel extremely lucky having sponsors funding it, being in the position that I am.
Even though it’s enjoyable, we have had our ups and downs, and we’re trying to take away all the mistakes that we’re doing and just get a lap together so we can be up there in qualifying, because we know we can do it. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to. We’ve got the team, we’ve got the facilities, I just need to stop messing about and do it.
With it being my first season, Team Parker Racing knows what to do with me. They know how to make me more comfortable with the car, they know if there’s something wrong with me as I’m still learning, and they know what to give me to learn the quickest and in the best way possible. I would never take back my decision to join Team Parker, and we’ll probably stay with them for the future as well. There are great members of staff, they have great facilities, and they’re just an amazing team overall.
It’s been a bit tricky, going from Ginetta GT5 into Porsche, learning a new way of driving a car. It makes me a better driver but learning how to drive the Cup car properly is extremely hard and it’s difficult to put a lap together, the car really is a beast. It’s something that we struggle with, and we’ve just got to do it. There are no excuses, you just have to get your act together and do it. Self-belief is something which I’ve struggled with a bit throughout the years, so I have to believe I can do it. Once you believe you can do it, it makes everything else a lot easier. Not a lot more enjoyable, but you have that little bit more satisfaction, knowing ‘I can do it now.’
Going to do a round of Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux where I could follow Harry King around has helped my confidence. It’s tricky because we had first practice and finished 16th. You look at that and it messes about with your head a bit, going from one weekend where you’re in the top ten to the next weekend when you feel you should be better. It is silly, but you want to be first place. I know where I want to be and where the team wants me to be, I just have to put it all together. I am slowly learning how to do it. Having the self-belief and doing it will help, because otherwise, if you don’t, even when you’re driving and you’re two or three tenths up you can think,’ I will definitely mess up.’ That’s what I kind of thought before, but now I talk to myself throughout the lap, telling myself to stay calm and finish the lap, because you can find the time. You break the lap down and take it corner by corner.
There’s a lot to think about in terms of getting the tyres up to temperature in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. You go out, get two warm up laps and you want to try and get it on the first and second lap, because after that, the tyres are pretty messed up, so you won’t get anywhere as near the time as you would on the first two laps. So, for example, if you compare me to Kiern Jewiss, he can do it straight away. Ryan Ratcliffe can do it straight away, whereas in the past my fastest lap has been the last lap, which is what I’ve been used to in Ginetta, pounding round seeing what you can do. This is a lot more intense; you want to go out and do it straight away and then come in. Two or three out laps, two or three push laps when the tyre is at its peak, put on a new set, and do it all again. Your mentality has got to be so good to come in and calm yourself down. When you come in from the first set, you’re ready to go and do it again, so you have got to calm down and not get too excited about it, because once you get too excited, you start over driving. It is quite mentally challenging, but it’s all about the learning, it’s all about the process, and the moment that you’ve finished processing it, you’ll be fine.
It is quite hard to remind myself this is a long-term plan. I am in Pro-Am, but I look beyond that, looking at who is first place overall because I want to be in that top five overall, not top five in Pro-Am. There’s more satisfaction looking at that and doing it than being seven or tenth. I’d like to be in the top five and that’s what my aim is.
I believe that if anyone hooks up a lap, this year especially, they can be where Charles [Rainford] is. It’s not just because he’s better than us, though he is quick, but I know I can do it. It’s just taking me a bit of time have the confidence to do it. It’s all part of the game, you learn and then you get faster and faster and faster.
It was enjoyable racing at Assen, but it should be without any pressure, and I think I was putting pressure on myself when I shouldn’t have been. When I was running in the top six in the second race it was like ‘this is what you can do.’ That’s the confidence booster. It was an extended test session and bum in seat time. What we went out to do, we did. We learned and we built a lot of confidence, which is what we’ve got to keep doing and bring it into the GB championship which will make us quicker, hopefully. I just have to get in the right headspace.
I’d love to race in the Porsche Supercup. That and trying to make a career out of it. I know you can never say ‘yes, I want to do this,’ because you can’t. It’s not a sport where you can say, ‘100% this is what I want to do,’ because you never know if you’re going to make money out of it. I’d love to do Porsche Supercup and that’s probably the dream: winning Porsche Supercup if it ever becomes possible. Becoming a factory Porsche driver would be like getting to the top of the mountain for me.