Tom Sharp has launched his maiden Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign with a hard-fought points finish during a competitive showing in the opening meeting of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this past weekend (13/14 May).
The iconic Spanish circuit would play host to the opening two races of the campaign as Sharp took his place on the most competitive one-make championship grid in the world with his family IDL Racing team.
The Camberley racer gained some crucial experience of the circuit during April’s official two-day pre-season test, however the race weekend would present a fresh challenge as he and the team learnt how to adapt their car set-up to suit constantly evolving track conditions.
After posting the nineteenth fastest time during free practice on Friday, Sharp would see his efforts to improve upon that in Saturday’s qualifying session hampered by traffic during his second run, putting him further down the grid than deserved with P21 and P20 for the two races.
The opening encounter on Saturday evening would also prove to be a difficult affair for the 25 year old as struggles with the balance of the car limited him to a twentieth place finish, but he was able to make a big step forward in race two the following morning.
Competing in front of a huge trackside crowd, a promising performance started with Sharp impressively gaining five positions on the opening lap alone, before he produced competitive lap times throughout the remainder of the race on his way to a fourteenth place finish.
After getting off the mark with that points result, Sharp’s first season of international racing continues next weekend (27/28 May) when he and the IDL team will head to the south of France to race as part of one of the most prestigious events in motorsport, the Monaco Grand Prix.
Tom Sharp: “I knew what we were walking into, this is the toughest one-make series in the world and you can’t just turn up and win. For me and the team, the first round was always going to be a steep learning curve and honestly, we weren’t quite where we wanted to be straight away.
“I’m massively proud of the team for the gains we made across the weekend though. Everyone worked incredibly hard to push ourselves forwards and it came together in race two as we showed we could overtake cars and enjoy a decent finishing position.
“My objective for the season was to be a regular top ten finisher and following everything we learnt in Barcelona, I definitely think that’s achievable going forwards. Next up we’re racing in Monaco and I couldn’t be more excited about that.”
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Porsche AG/Hoch Zwei