Porsche Supercup: Dino Zamparelli talks to GT Porsche
Porsche’s Carrera Cup series that runs in various markets across the world showcases the best up-and-coming Porsche drivers, each clamouring to take the next step up in motor racing. All of these leagues are naturally hard-fought, none more so than Porsche Carrera Cup GB, in which victory often comes by just tenths of seconds.
When the natural progression to the Porsche Carrera Cup, the European Porsche Supercup, came to Silverstone on the Formula 1 race weekend on July 8th-10th there were seven wildcard entries from the domestic league. One such driver was GT Marques driver, Dino Zamparelli who currently lies second in the GB championship.
GT Porsche caught up with Dino to ask him his thoughts about his weekend at Silverstone.
GT Porsche: Dino, what was it like to race on the British GP circuit on F1 day?
Dino Zamparelli: Racing on an F1 weekend is always special. I used to race in GP3, which is also on the F1 package, and so there were no great surprises or shocks. But being away from the paddock for the last two years and then going back to it has certainly made me realise just how cool it was being on the F1 package. BTCC crowds hold their own, though, and still boast tens of thousands of fans over the weekend. As racing drivers we tend to block out the crowds when we’re racing and only focus on the job in hand. But the British Grand Prix is such an amazing weekend and the fans love the racing – to be a British driver there over the weekend was a great experience.
GT Porsche: How did the changeable conditions affect your race – changes to race plan?
Dino Zampirelli: Well we had the plan ready to go for dry conditions for the race. I needed to make ground up from a dodgy qualifying session having qualified in 13th! I knew we had a good setup and that I could be challenging for the top six places with a strong start. However, the rain came down on the formation lap and the race then got delayed. From there, it was a scramble to put wet tyres and a half wet/half dry setup before we were told to get going again. Unfortunately for us, as a team, our setup wasn’t quite right and after four laps I was a sitting duck. The balance just was not there and I therefore couldn’t challenge or do any attacking. In the end, I had to just defend my places, and even that became impossible after a while! 15th place doesn’t do justice to our pace, but that’s how racing goes sometimes.
GT Porsche: With the alterations to the car to meet the regulations – added ballast and straight-through exhaust – how different did the car feel to normal?
Dino Zamparelli: I definitely felt a difference between the GB car and the European version – on Friday, it was a bit of a shock. It’s effectively the same car, but the straight-through pipes on the Supercup Porsche make it sound so much cooler! However, I could feel the difference in the chassis balance and rotation phase. I had to get used to it and I don’t think this helped as our advantage gained with experience in the GB championship was gone. Nonetheless, it was a good learning process and useful for future reference in the Supercup championship.
GT Porsche: Did the Carrera Cup GB’s tight field help you and the other wildcard drivers compete more effectively within the Supercup’s equally competitive environment?
Dino Zamparelli: (Carrera Cup) GB this year is definitely one of the most competitive years – but I’m used to tight qualifying sessions through my single seater career. I wasn’t particularly focused on this; I was just going in to do my job and hopefully showcase our speed. However, unfortunately qualifying just didn’t play out and we started 11th. We were quick in the GB round several months prior to this race, but again, I feel we got slightly caught out with the car’s balance.
GT Porsche: What are your main takeaways from the weekend’s meeting that you’ll use in the pursuit of the Carrera Cup GB title?
Dino Zamparelli: There are a few interesting ideas that we at GT Marques have taken away from the weekend. We’ve certainly learned a great deal about wet setup and we know we can be really fast in the wet; I’ve shown that in my wet Friday free practice sessions! But being fast over a long period of time is different than being fast for one lap! So overall we’ve picked up some useful tips. However, I don’t feel any of it will negatively impact or directly contribute to the GB championship. The car is slightly different and therefore we’ll reset and go to Snetterton with a fresh mind – ready to attack the second half of the season!
Rounds nine and 10 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB take place at Snetterton on Sunday 31 July at 09.15 and 15.25 respectively. With championship leader, Dan Cammish (Redline Racing) on 152 points, and Dino Zamparelli just three points behind on 149 points, it’s all to play for. Stay tuned to the GT Porsche website and follow us on Twitter – @GTPorsche – for a full preview and review of the action. You can also follow Dino on @DinoZamparelli.