10 minutes with ART Grand Prix’s Andy Soucek

10 minutes with ART Grand Prix’s Andy Soucek

Andy Soucek is without doubt one of the very quickest drivers in the Blancpain Endurance Series this season. A brilliant start at Monza though is so far the only real highlight of a trying season in the ART Grand Prix McLaren MP4-12C. However the amiable Spaniard is aiming to finish on a high at Nürburgring next weekend. We spoke with him ahead of the final race.

It has been a bit of a roller-coaster for you this season, but mathematically, you can still win the series next weekend?

“Well we started so well in the series and that 2nd position at Monza does mean we actually could fight for the title but you have to say it is unlikely. If you look at our four races, in two of them we had technical issues and we could not finish the race, and one of them was at Spa,  which points wise is the most important one because we could have scored points at 6, 12 and 24 hours. So, you know it is difficult to win the title when you have a 50% rate of non-finish races.

“But for the other two (Monza and Paul Ricard), we scored points and our pace was good, so it is difficult to say! Personally, I am happy with my job to be honest but you will always have ups and downs.  At some races the car is more competitive, and some others the car is not so fast.  Obviously, our measurement scale is with official drivers like Alvaro Parente (Hexis), Adam Carroll, Rob Bell (both gulf) and if we compare our pace to them, we are pretty close, which means that we are doing a good job! In that sense, without looking too much at the results because of the problems, we are pretty happy so far.”

How are you looking forward to that final race of 6-hour next weekend?

“I am very excited. We could not really drive a lot in Spa because we had those technical issues and we could only race for one hour so it was very frustrating. The team, my teammates and I are all preparing well for this race. It won’t be easy. Six hours is double what we are used to in the Blancpain Endurance Series, so hopefully we can finish the race and score some good points for the championship and we will see where we finish.”

Any particular good memory racing at the Nürburgring?

“Yes, in World Series by Renault I got a podium there (in 2010). In GP2, I was in the Top five but then my engine blew which was not a very good memory. I think I am going to be pretty quick there because it is a track that I know well and that I really like. If the McLaren is good and we have a good BOP, why not aim for a podium again?”

“I know how the BOP works but it is always an expectation for each race to know how much weight we will get in the car! There is nothing we can do about it actually, it is a technical decision from the organisation and I believe that they do their best to try to have all the different cars at the same level. For me, when I get there, it does not matter whether the BOP is higher or lower, the matter is to do what we can with what we have. I know that all the McLarens have the same so that is why we are trying to be the best McLaren, rather than thinking about the other manufacturers. Sometimes the BMW is fast, sometimes the Mercedes, we never know! The battle is more with the other teams than with the other brands. So, the BOP is not an issue for me as a driver but considering that there are so many different cars in this series, I understand that the organisation tries to balance the cars.  For me, BOP is OK.”

don’t forget to get all the very latest live from the track next weekend at www.twitter.com/Blancpain.com use #BlingRing