Tom Oliphant is set to take on the best one-make Porsche drivers in the world on two occasions this season as he prepares to join the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for next month’s season opener in Barcelona, before then returning to the grid at Silverstone for a second consecutive season.
The Philips automotive lighting backed driver will be racing on one of the biggest platforms available in world motorsport as he competes on the support bill of the FIA Formula One World Championship for the Spanish Grand Prix (12-14 May) and the British Grand Prix (14-16 July).
Oliphant will be racing with reigning champions Lechner Racing, the team with whom he competed in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East over the winter months, whilst also utilising the same key engineering team he works with in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
The 26 year old made his Supercup debut last July, impressively fighting through the ultra-competitive field from twentieth on the grid to secure a twelfth place finish in front of over 100,000 fans at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’.
This year, the Leamington Spa racer is presented with a new challenge as he gets behind the wheel of the new-for-2017 second generation Porsche 911 (Type 991) GT3 Cup car, a more powerful evolution of the 911 he currently uses in the British series.
The Mulgari Automotive and Horizon Specialities supported racer got his first taste of the new four-litre, 485hp machinery last week during the championship’s official pre-season two-day test (17-18 April) at the Circuit de Catalunya.
On his first visit to the Barcelona circuit, Oliphant impressively lapped within the top fifteen across the two days, a performance that fills him with confidence ahead of his return to Barcelona for the season opening double-header in three weeks’ time.
Tom Oliphant: “I am delighted to announce my entry into the Barcelona and Silverstone rounds of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. I really enjoyed my debut last year and wanted to give myself another chance to compete in the toughest one-make series in the world.
“When I got presented with the opportunity by Walter Lechner, I knew it was one I couldn’t refuse, to race with the current championship winning team at two iconic tracks was too good to turn down, and it’s great to be continuing to work with Alex as my mechanic and Frank as my engineer.
“My aspirations for both race meetings are to finish inside the top ten and maybe push a little higher, but the key is to gain as much experience as possible in the new cars, as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is one of the options we’re assessing full-time for next year.
“I would like to thank my sponsors for supporting me through 2017, and also my family who have given me this opportunity. It is a dream come true to be racing on Formula One race meetings, and I can’t wait to get on track again in Barcelona.”
Sitting at the top of Porsche’s one-make racing pyramid, the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup brings together the elite drivers from their network of domestic Carrera Cup series, with an exciting eleven race calendar seeing them race solely on the Formula One support package.
Image from Porsche/Dan Bathie.