Together with Lucas Ordoñez, Andy Soucek is one of the most well-known Spanish GT drivers of the current generation. The Bentley Boy is very happy that the Blancpain GT Series has its season finale at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona and predicts some very exciting races at the Festival de la Velocidad.
Andy, there are not so many Spanish GT drivers active on the international scene, but things are improving. Is the Festival de la Velocidad the next step?
“GT racing is growing all over the world. In Spain people used to think that Formula 1 is everything. But now other categories are becoming more popular, and GT racing is one of them. There are plenty of reasons for that: GT racing is exciting to watch, has a lot of overtaking, and there are a lot of different cars involved, doing some close racing. And there are plenty of good drivers as well. Just take a look at the entry list: almost all of the Pro drivers are top notch drivers, guys who have a successful career. Many of them decided to become a professional driver outside of F1, and that is a good move. Making a living out of driving great cars, defending the colours of a factory team, is a dream come true for many of us. The Festival de la Velocidad will give the fans the opportunity to see for themselves how good the Blancpain GT Series is. My friends, who have been with me for the whole of my career, have discovered a new world when I started driving here. Now I would like to convince more people in Spain to watch GT racing. Not only next weekend in Barcelona, but also all through the season. I think the TV coverage of the Blancpain GT Series is among the best, so for a racing fan this is excellent.”
Is Barcelona a good track for GT racing?
“Well, to start with: it is a very abrasive track. So even though we are going there with the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and change tyres after half an hour, it can be very hard to keep your tyres alive. And it’s very challenging as well, with a lot of fast corners, like turns three and ten, together with some third gear corners. And a hairpin, at the start of the stadium section. That used to be a longer corner, but now is rather sharp, which means it is a good opportunity to overtake. The Barcelona track has a bit of everything, which is also the reason why so many F1 teams go and test there. Finding the right set-up for each of the sectors is not the easiest thing to do, that’s for sure.”
What do you think of your season so far?
“We missed a bit of luck, didn’t we? If you consider that we were leading in Paul Ricard, were leading in Spa, and in each of the races something happened at the end. Without that points loss, we would have taken the endurance title before the last round even started, for sure. But if you ask me if we are happy about the season, I have to say yes. Last year, we were never in contention for a win. This year, we started very well in Misano, which was a result of a thorough analysis of 2015. We looked at what we could improve and we did.”
What’s the secret to perform well in a sprint meeting like Barcelona ?
“The main thing is to have a good qualifying and to start at the front, followed by a clean race, without any mistakes. That is the best way to do it. We know the pace is there, as long as it’s dry, so we should be able to fight for the win.”
Provisional Timetable Barcelona
Saturday October 1st
09:00 – 09:40 Free Practice 1 for Bronze & Silver Drivers
09:40 – 10:20 Free Practice 1
12:30 – 13:50 Free Practice 2
15:30 – 16:25 Qualifying
Sunday October 2nd
09:15 – 10:15 Qualifying Race
14:10 – 15:10 Main Race
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