Pepe Massot is setting his sights on nothing less than race victory at Donington Park National Circuit this coming weekend, 19th/20th April, when the second race meeting of the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup season takes place.
Underlining his championship credentials during officially timed testing at Thruxton last week, where he posted the second fastest lap of the day, the Spaniard – ominously for his chief rivals – went on to declare there was also much more to come.
Happy with the handling and performance of his Ginetta G55 at the Hampshire track, 18-year-old Massot remained on old tyres for the entirety of the opening session and was therefore pleased to end the run fourth fastest with a time of 1m16.605 seconds (110.71mph).
Experiencing problems with fuel surge, and with the three cars ahead of him having the benefit of running on fresh Michelin rubber, the session one performance was especially noteworthy for the JHR Developments driver.
Taking new tyres during the afternoon outing, Massot sliced a full second off his previous best with a lap of 1m15.645 seconds (112.12mph) to leap into the top two overall for the day. As well as having to back-off on his fastest lap of the session due to a slower car, Massot also ran with a much heavier G55 than normal after carrying 70 litres of fuel to try and quell the fuel surge.
With Thruxton being an especially abrasive circuit, only one truly rapid lap is possible on a new tyre run before the performance begins to drop away. Bearing that in mind, the Sheffield-based driver’s pace was all the more impressive considering his quickest time was posted several laps into the run.
“In the first session I had very old tyres unlike the guys ahead and we were still P4, even with the fuel surge problems, so that was OK”, he commented, “In session two I missed the window for my quickest lap as I had to back-off because of another car, plus we had the extra weight of the added fuel to try and stop the fuel surge.
“So, being second quickest was a really good effort. Overall I was really happy with the car and the handling, the team did a great job as always with the set-up. I’m looking forward to going back to Thruxton but first it’s Donington this weekend.”
While the season curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago didn’t go entirely according to plan for Massot, he still proved his pace by qualifying within just 0.1 seconds of pole position. Having won at Donington last season, his first campaign in the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, the Spaniard is confident of trying to repeat the same level of performance in Leicestershire just a few days from now.
“Donington is a very good circuit, I like it a lot, the car should be good there and I’m hoping to fight for pole position in qualifying and then try to take all three wins”, added Massot.
Following pre-event testing on Thursday, 17th April, qualifying for round four of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup is scheduled to start at 09.30 on Saturday, 19th April, with the first race of the weekend beginning at 14.45. On Easter Sunday, 20th April, round five will take place at 09.25 with round six expected to start at 15.05.
Source. Marc Orme