The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup has finally arrived for me and just as I had predicted, there would be good times and bad times during the season! I just didn’t know that it would all happen so soon!
I am currently sitting in the team tent of the NOVU MRS Racing Team in Barcelona after the official pre-season test that went for two days, and it has been nothing short of dramatic!
I arrived here and the first thing I was greeted with was a guy at the race track that saw the NOVU Medical Aesthetics Clinics in Barcelona, and then the car at the race track and immediately made the connection. That was pretty cool. Advertising does work! Of course it does, or there wouldn’t be any motor racing in the world because it isn’t a cheap sport as many of us motor racing fans and drivers are well aware of.
The morning drivers briefing was short and sweet, Supercup now led by the ex-boss of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia; the very tall, respectable and strong Olvier Schwab along with engineers and some drivers that I knew. It was nice to see many old faces, and lots of new ones too. It was definitely something special to be amongst Porsche's elite. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is arguably one of the most competitive championships on earth so of course I was excited to be here!
It was time to go out on circuit and right into it! Drivers briefing was at 815am. Driving started at 9am. It’s all racing here and the media stuff took a very short period of time in comparison to the Carrera Cup Asia. Not a good or bad thing but a difference in culture.
The first session went quite well. The fact that I had to learn some of the most challenging circuits in the world this season within a 30 minute practice session dawned on me. I always knew this would be the case but the fact that I was here in Spain learning the Barcelona circuit made it very real. The first thought was that I need more sponsors to be able to spend time in Europe to do testing on the circuits, or being competitive would be impossible. So if anyone out there reading this wants to sponsor a Singaporean driver in the greatest championship in the world with massive media coverage, please Facebook or Instagram me!
Focus and the mental demands of this sport have definitely been part of the last few days. Looking at these drivers around driving the wheels off their cars was a new commitment to racing that I had not seen so much of before. Sure we have some class acts in Asia such as Earl Bamber and Chris van der Drift in Asia but now, there is a whole grid full of them. It has definitely showed me that I need to be on my A game every second of everyday that I am on circuit here and if there is anything less, I am going to get killed out there!
Driving at full intensity on every lap is something that has been a real learning experience while also learning a new circuit. The first day of testing was very challenging and I had a few small things to tidy up though that made all of the difference. While the circuits we had in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia were difficult, one type of corner that we don’t have a lot of in Asia are long high speed Formula 1 corners and in a Porsche GT3 Cup car, that is a whole new technique. To dive into a corner that quickly and trail brake for so long at minimal pressure while the gradient was massively changing was something I was not so used to.
Day 2 was rather frustrating as I started off on great from in the morning and was going faster on 30 lap old tyres than I was on new tyres for day 1, so I made massive imporvements within the day. Though a rock went through my radiator on the fastest lap of the day, causing a radiator hose to leak and when I hit the brakes, the rear tyre locked up from the water and put the car into the wall. Not cool. And frankly nothing to do with me driving. Just bad luck!
The NOVU MRS Team did a fantastic job of putting the car back together and we put a new set of tyres on the car. I went another second quicker though the car had massive understeer, caused by the morning damage. I was livid; frustrated. But that’s racing.
I am super stoked to go into the first two race weekends next month at the Barcelona and Monaco GP, being the first Singaporean to race on one of the most epic circuits of all time! Join me on Instagram and Facebook to see how it goes!!!