Rising GT talent Tom Oliphant is ready to make an immediate impact on the Porsche Carrera Cup GB as he makes his final preparations ahead of his championship debut at Brands Hatch this weekend (April 2/3).
Oliphant heads into the season in high spirits after following up his title-winning 2015 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup campaign with a hugely positive winter testing programme with his new team Redline Racing, the most successful outfit in Carrera Cup GB history.
An extensive schedule saw Oliphant visit Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Oulton Park and Rockingham in the UK as well as Guadix in Spain, getting crucial miles under his belt in his new 460bhp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car ahead of the new campaign.
That programme concluded at Silverstone this week, as Oliphant got the opportunity to size up the opposition on the Carrera Cup GB grid during the only timed pre-season test of the winter, which formed part of the official 2016 championship launch.
Taking to the track in his distinctive black, white and green liveried Porsche, Oliphant showed blistering pace around the short 1.64 mile National circuit, the venue for the penultimate meeting of the season in September.
Improving his lap times across each of the three sessions on track, Oliphant would go on to post a best time of 55.707 seconds late in the final session. That put him a superb second fastest at the end of the day, just five hundredths of a second shy of reigning champion Dan Cammish.
That test was followed by an untimed day of running around the full Grand Prix circuit, which hosts the second meeting of the season on April 16/17 as the Carrera Cup joins the support bill for the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The season kicks off though with a return to the scene of Oliphant’s triumphant Ginetta championship success six months ago, and the 25 year old heads to Kent confident of starting his Porsche career in positive fashion following his strong winter running.
Tom Oliphant: “I can’t wait for the season to start now. It’s been a very long winter and we have put everything into learning the new car. Now the final test is done, I just want to get onto the track at Brands Hatch.
“My aim is to fight for a podium on the opening weekend. There are some very quick drivers racing this year and there are still improvements to be made for us, but where I am at the moment with the car, I believe top three results are very achievable.”
The 2016 season kicks off with the official pre-event practice sessions on Friday (1st April), before the competitive action begins with the all-important qualifying at 11.25 on Saturday. Both races follow on Sunday, with Round One at 10.00 and Round Two, at 15.30.
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Richard Pardon/Porsche