IMSA Spotlight: Fred Makowiecki
Driver: No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR
How has your season in the WeatherTech Championship gone so far?
“I love the spirit of the championship. It’s a nice fight here with only factory cars. This also makes it really tough on the track, and hard to keep your place on the track.
“The tracks are amazing, they’re more old school, more challenging compared to what we have in Europe. The new regulations in Europe really focus on safety and that’s really positive, but sometimes we lose the spirit of motorsport because of that.
“The new tracks don’t have any challenging corners anymore because of the run off everywhere. It’s a little bit sad. That’s why I really love the tracks in North America and the atmosphere over here.”
Are you satisfied with the results you’ve gotten so far?
“First of all I would like to say that I’m really proud about the teamwork. Except for Long Beach, we’ve not been on the pace in any race to get good results. Most of the time we’re close to being the slowest manufacturer.
“But the team always does a really good job to achieve a perfect strategy, good pit stops, optimize all details.
“I’m quite sure the future will be really better for us, because with team work like this we will be right there when we pick up some pace. Since the beginning of the season we’re missing too much pace to fight for the win. We are there for the podium, in three of the five races.”
It is your first full season racing in the U.S. and everything is new for you. How is your relationship with your teammate(s) and how do they help you out?
“I’m lucky. I have one of the strongest teammates out there. Earl (Bamber) is really quick and young. He has the spirit from the past, sharing everything and we’re close together.
“We give the same feedback and we want the same thing for the car. This helps me a lot for sure. I love to be close to the people I work with and on that front it couldn’t have been better.”
It’s been a difficult season so far, with the car struggling for pace against the newer cars. Porsche is currently busy developing a new car. Have you been involved in the testing so far and what are you most looking forward to?
“For sure we’re looking forward to the new car. I already drove it but we’ll only find out how good it is the first time we will race against our competition.
“When you are alone, it’s always difficult to judge on all the details. Having a good feeling is one thing, but in the end it’s the lap time that decides where you end up.
“We didn’t expect to have the quicker car this year against all the new ones, but at some tracks, like Watkins Glen or Mosport, we are too far away to have a decent fighting chance.
“In the long distance races over 12 or 24 hours, you can compensate the lack of performance with a strong performance of the team as a whole. Long Beach was an exception this season so far.”
Looking forward to the next race at Lime Rock, do you expect the situation to be any better over there?
“No. But it’s difficult to have expectations. At Long Beach we didn’t expect to be so quick. For Watkins Glen and Mosport we were sure to be lacking pace. Maybe at Road America and Road Atlanta it will be OK.
“In general it’s hard to have a clear expectation. One thing that is really positive is that IMSA’s BoP works well. The relationship they try to build with the manufacturers is really nice, the way they go about the BoP, to have something more fair, having open discussions is really important.
“At the moment we’re missing out because we have an older car and also because it’s quite sensitive.”