Tom Sharp is taking the positives from an encouraging performance in the second meeting of the 2018 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup this past weekend (24-27 May), having shown promising pace around the iconic Monaco street circuit for a second year in succession.
Monaco was the scene of arguably Sharp’s strongest all-round meeting last season, with his best qualifying result of the year in thirteenth and a great race performance that saw him battling for the top ten before he was innocently caught up in another driver’s incident.
The Surrey based racer got straight back into the groove around the streets of the principality during free practice on Thursday evening, with some impressive lap times in his IDL Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car putting him eleventh fastest overall.
Qualifying the following morning wouldn’t quite go his way however as he found it difficult to get a clear lap on the board as 27 identical Porsche’s battled for track position around the tight two mile circuit, with his best effort of 1m 35.891s putting him fourteenth overall.
Following a day off on Saturday, the 26 year old returned to the track in determined mood for the morning race. A strong start saw him gain a position to thirteenth, which he maintained over the first half of the race as he sat in the middle of a close-fought battle.
Unfortunately the racer would see his race come to a premature end when a suspension turret suddenly broke and sent him into the unforgiving Monaco barriers.
Tom Sharp: “Monaco is a truly special place to go racing and I still have to pinch myself that I get to race around such a legendary circuit. While it didn’t go my way in the race, it was still a memorable weekend for myself and the whole IDL Racing team.
“Getting back onto the Monaco track on Thursday was a daunting prospect, there’s never a dull moment around this circuit and it’s a real challenge to get that perfect lap, but fortunately we were right on the pace and it was great to be so close to the top ten.
“I was confident that we could improve upon eleventh come qualifying on Friday, however it just didn’t go my way. It was difficult to find space for a clear lap on circuit, and when I did I unfortunately made a mistake under braking.
“It was disappointing on my half not to deliver what we could have achieved in qualifying, especially as it’s notoriously difficult to overtake around Monaco. I was running well in thirteenth in the race though and it’s disappointing that I didn’t get that result due to a mechanical failure.
“There have been plenty of positives to take away from the opening two rounds of the season and we’ll be working hard over the five week break to get ourselves in the best position possible for two meetings that hold plenty of potential for us.”
The 2018 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup returns to action on 30 June/01 July at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, before heading to Silverstone a week later for Sharp’s home event, as he prepares to race in support of the British F1 Grand Prix for a fourth year in a row.
Source. Simon Paice Media/Photo. Porsche AG/Hoch Zwei