From Locos Engine we present a new interview, we have had the pleasure of making the Spanish Touring Car driver Pepe Oriola.
Only the pilot 20 years old will compete this season with a SEAT León Cup Race in a new Touring Car Championship, las TCR International Series. Oriola fulfills his dream hand Bamboo Craft Racing Team. It all started when he was 8 years and was started in karting, through its consecration in the WTCC (WTCC) where he became the youngest driver ever to win a race in the FIA 18 years old, Sebastian Vettel beating himself.
LdM: Pepper, Could you tell us briefly how it all started? What led you to become a pilot?
PO: I recalé in karting almost by chance, since he was drafted into the FC Barcelona hockey. A little attraction Formula 1 I decided to test the karts and I was hooked.
LdM: Why did you choose karting after passenger cars?
PO: Reach Formula 1 it is almost impossible for anyone. While in karting, they saw in me that he had capabilities for driving cars. I tried it and did not hesitate to follow my progression in motorsport. In touring car racing there is much contact and careers are shorter, but more intense. For the viewer is much nicer these competitions and for pilots also, since you have to give everything from scratch for speed your opponents, almost like the MotoGP.
LdM: How do you prepare for each race?
PO: Having a good sport in the gym is important to handle the stress you accumulate in each of the turns. But, often, circuits are new and try to memorize the layout, before you get there, sessions conducted in the simulator is the most realistic experience to be on track.
PO: The WTCC was, until today, an important benchmark for this specialty, but with the arrival of Citroën has completely changed the essence of the competition. The prices are exorbitant and compete against a brand like Citroën to reach the podium means a financial outlay that not all teams can take. Hence, the TCR International Series, competition that debuted this season, will mark the future internationally in cars. It is true that Spain is not well known championship, as to promote it is important that you relayed television. In Spain, you can only see from Eurosport which owns the WTCC and not all golf lovers have access to the channel. The key to popularize a championship is the possibility to give the viewer that can track openly. Regarding the format, It is very similar to the TCR International Series, and consisting of two points races in each of the meetings. To be more spectacular, in race one grid is formed according to the result obtained in the cronomentrada; while the second set is with the reverse grid 10 top finishers in the time trial.
LdM: Tell us feel to get your first win in Marrakech 2013 and become the youngest driver to win a race in the FIA.
PO: For me it was a dream that came chasing. Winning a World Championship race is the best we could hope for and succeeded, also, by becoming the youngest driver to achieve. The best conditions to achieve occurred and it is in those moments when you thank the support we've had, especially, your family and sponsors who have supported you season after season so he could continue to enjoy the sport. Something that has now become a profession.
LdM: And this year you will debut in the TCR International Series, Congratulations! How do you see the
championship? It looks very attractive truth.
PO: As I mentioned before, is the championship of future cars. Also, this inaugural season we are opening for Formula 1 in three Grand Prix: Malaysia, China and Singapore and is another attraction, especially, for sponsors. The format will be two races per event and reverse grid in the second race. But, also, in order to match the cars, took place on 9 and 10 March in Montmelo a performance test, denominada Balance of Perfomance test. This provides additional excitement in every race and especially, facing the viewer, you can enjoy the competition, as it tries to balance weighing each of the cars on track.
LdM: Will keep a SEAT LEON Cup Race. How did you feel at the wheel in the test?
PO: It is a car that I know very well, since it is an evolution of wearing makes two temoporadas in the World. Also, in Lukoil Bamboo Craft-team I have as a companion to Jordi Gené, has developed this car, and I will help a lot to have high aspirations this season. In the test, the feeling was very positive and now have to prove in each race.
LdM: What is your goal for this year in the Championship?
PO: I want to do well in each race and score some podium trust. The competition is very new to everyone, there are unknown circuits and I hope to show in my abilities as a pilot track. This is a team sport and the primary objective is to bring Bamboo Craft-Lukoil to the top of the team standings. For this, I'll have to fight individually.
LdM: In your opinion, Who is the best pilot of cars currently?
PO: For my youth, I have had the opportunity to compete with large touring car drivers as Gabriele Tarquini, Tom Coronel and Yvan Muller. They are pilots with experience and with whom you can continue learning every day. One, Jordi Gené, I will have as a partner this season Bamboo Craft-Lukoil, so I can not ask for more.
LdM: Is Formula 1 your greatest aspiration as a pilot?
PO: Much less. In the world of motorsport there are more categories than F1, where economic issue premium over the sport. Also, on my way to drive and, especially, for my height, because I measure 1.88 cm, I would be hard to be in F1. In passenger is where I feel much more comfortable and where I want to continue my career. For now, the TCR International Series are now my present and I hope my future for a long time.
Thank Pepe, and good luck on your new adventure!
Adrián Osés, Locos Engine.