Tom Sharp is gearing up to get his maiden Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season underway in Barcelona next month after officially launching his 2017 challenger last week (7th April) at the Brooklands Circuit in Surrey.
The world’s first purpose-built racing circuit served as the host venue as the IDL Racing team unveiled the eye-catching Union Jack inspired liveries that Sharp and his team-mate Mark Radcliffe will carry this season as they take on the world’s best one-make Porsche drivers across Europe and beyond.
Bringing together a stunning blend of motorsport heritage and the latest cutting-edge GT racing machinery, the launch saw Sharp showcase his brand-new, second-generation Porsche 911 (Type 991) GT3 Cup car to the gathered crowd at one of the most historic motorsport venues in the UK.
The launch was part of a hugely exciting week for Sharp, who was also given a special invitation to go to Westminster as the government announced new laws that open the door for more motorsport events in England to incorporate the use of closed public roads.
As one of only two representatives of British motorsport at the announcement, Sharp got the opportunity to show transport minister Andrew Jones MP around his IDL Racing Porsche, which would go on to be featured in a number of national media outlets including the BBC and The Sun.
Tom Sharp: “It was fantastic to be able to launch our car for the 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the iconic Brooklands Circuit. I’d like to thank the Brooklands Museum team for allowing us to use the venue, and everyone who was able to attend for helping make it a great event.
“I was delighted to be invited to Westminster as well. To have the opportunity to play a part in something quite revolutionary for our sport is special. These new laws offer a new and exciting way of making motorsport more accessible in the future.”
Sharp’s focus is now back on the race track though, with the Surrey racer preparing for an official two-day test at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain next week (17/18 April), which will allow him to size up the opposition for the first time ahead of the opening rounds of the season at the same circuit next month (12-14 May).
The 25 year old has already enjoyed two productive testing outings last month, with a couple of days at Paul Ricard and then a two day test at Spa-Francorchamps allowing him to get to grips with his new 911, which is a more powerful evolution of the car he raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in the last two years.
Sharp: “I have been really impressed with the new second generation cup car. The introduction of the 4.0L engine has increased power output quite considerably and we have already seen lap times fall by two seconds.
“Our first test days have already made me feel very comfortable in the car and performance seems to be very competitive in comparison to the competition, but as with all forms of motorsport, you never can quite tell how you stack up until qualifying at round one of the season.”
The 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season will see Sharp and the IDL Racing team race in support of the FIA Formula One World Championship at seven European Grand Prix’s including Monaco, Silverstone and Monza, before the season comes to a close with an exciting outing in Mexico in October.
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. James Davey Photography