The 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season went by in a flash! This time last year, as we headed into the season finale in Shanghai, the top four in our championship fight was a mere seven points apart in the standings with all to play for.
This year is a little different unfortunately as we head into the season finale with no statistical chance to finish higher than 3rd in the championship Class B table, which is obviously the target!
It feels like just yesterday when the season was starting and we had a Class B championship to defend which was the target. Unfortunately, things got off to a horrific start, dropping points in five of the first six races, twice with me taking partial or full blame, and the other three mishaps with Bao Jin Long during the first few weekends of the season.
Although we had a few arguments about it all, though things are better and we are saying hi to each other again! So that’s a positive. Though what a different a few results can make. After dropping points across the first six races, I had found myself some sixty plus points off the championship lead which was not in an ideal position to be in. A race win is worth 20 and the different between positions is two points, so it was always going to be tough from that type of start.
Though things turned around in Australia and for four races on the trot, I have managed to finish on the podium which has also seen a big jump through the championship table, now two points clear in 3rd place which means at least some silverware along the way so a change in fortunes I must say was most welcome.
The 2015 and 2016 couldn’t be more different. I didn’t manage to win a race in 2015, the first year I hadn’t got a single win for several seasons. Though managed to amass enough points to take a title. Since that boxed was checked in 2015, the next step was to build on the speed, get my elbows out and try and drive a little harder. It hasn’t been easy but at least over the course of the 2016 season, I have consistently set my fastest laps of my career in each of the tracks with the same car and tyres as 2015 so that’s bloody good too! We are headed in the right direction.
I know that there’s a lot of education on driving fitness these days but even over the years, I have often overlooked the importance of absolute dedication to a fitness regime in order to improve our overall package performance with Team Jebsen and when I race. The fitness aspect of things is something that I have definitely stepped up over the last two seasons, especially 2016 as I have greatly increased the rate of intensity and mileage in order to over engineer the body for purpose.
This season, I have made it a point to work out at least 5 times a week with most sessions consisting of two activities between running, cycling and going to the gym. The running has been a good mixture of building up a little leg power, as well as massive amounts of cardio exercise. Cycling has been building upon running, though it seems that the cardio workout can be pretty intense if you are pushing hard and the calorie burn per unit of time is very effective! The gym has also been a great place of strength, building up parts of the body required to control a race car well including core strength, upper body like shoulders and arms, neck, chest and legs as well. It is a sport that pretty much uses the whole body, mixed some pretty crazy g force and vibration to take your energy faster than a running tap losing water in the middle of the Sahara!
Preparing for the season finale alongside the World Endurance Championship (WEC) has been high intensity planning to over engineer the body for the purpose, while using racing simulators and mental games to keep the mind exercised, just like the body! With the race weekend less than two weeks away, I’ll be training very hard to build strong elements in my performance and hopefully show everyone what can be done to cement our place in the Class B top 3!
Watch the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season finale LIVE on www.carreracupasia.com. It’s going to be epic! Nov 2-4th.