Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Oliver Webb Pre-Daytona Interview

In my second interview with Oliver webb, he tells me about his move to sports car racing and his début in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Dominik Wilde: Last time we spoke you were getting ready to race in America in Indy Lights. This time you're off to the States again but for something a little different. Tell us how the opportunity to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona came about?

Oliver Webb: It came about after being given a test with Sebastien Loeb racing in Spain in the Oreca LMP2 car. After a very successful test and falling in love with the car, word spread that I might move from single seater racing into LMP racing. I soon got offers through and started to consider it as a new direction for my career. OAK is a great team and to compete in the opening round of the new USCC championship, at the historic Daytona Rolex 24 Hour race, was an opportunity not to be missed.

Dominik Wilde: With your recent podium in the Dubai 24 Hours, the Rolex 24 at Daytona won't be as much of an alien experience for you, mind you, it wasn't easy for you over there was it, especially in your final stint?

Oliver Webb: Yes I've now done the Spa 24hours, Dubai 24hours and soon to complete (hopefully) the Daytona 24hours so it won't be so alien. I had no problems at Spa and in Dubai the same till my last stint when I had a trapped tendon and it caused me some severe pain, this shouldn't happen in an LMP2 and I can't wait to get back out there.

Dominik Wilde: Unlike Dubai though, you'll be racing an LMP2 car, something a little different from the single seaters you've been used to over the last few years I imagine. How much of a change is this?

Oliver Webb: It's not too much of a change believe it or not, GT is actually much more different. LMP2 has the same downforce as, say, an F3 car so very single seater based, however yes a lot more to do in the cockpit and tactic wise in a race like this its very different.

Dominik Wilde: Of course though you've had some sports car experience already, racing in the British GT and FIA GT with Fortec at the end of last year. You were on the pace right away but when you were sat on the grid at Rockingham did you know it'd lead to doing something like the Daytona 24 Hours?

Oliver Webb: No I really didn't! Its a great honour to be talking about Daytona 24 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours and LMP racing with teams as I've always looked up to these drivers. I hope it will lead to a great 2014 with a good future in prototype racing. 

Dominik Wilde: With a lot of sports car races recently, is that the door closed on single seaters now or do you still have plans in that discipline? What's the plan going forward in 2014?

Oliver Webb: 2014 will be in a prototype but it just depends whether its in USCC, WEC or ELMS. Single seaters isn't closed off for me however its very unlikely to be returned to again unless I see a future in making money. I need to earn a career doing what I love as a minimum and that's what is possible in prototype racing.

Dominik Wilde: As well as racing, you've been keeping busy doing some work with BAC on the Mono. What's this been like? How has it complemented your racing?

Oliver Webb: Its been great to come back to the UK and to be able to keep sharp and work with a company like BAC, its great fun and provides good contacts as well as providing me with a race car on the road to keep the smile on my face! I get to meet some great new people and fly the flag of the BAC around the world.

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