2021 Ginetta GT Academy GTA champion Toby Trice is currently making plans for the new season and when Porsche asked if he’d like to test the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at Silverstone, it was an offer the 30-year-old Kent-based driver couldn’t turn down.
EnduranceandGT editor Andy Lloyd caught up with Toby following the test to discuss his thoughts on the car and his plans for the 2022 season.
The Porsche test must have been an amazing experience. How did that opportunity come about?
“Porsche has been on my radar for a very long time. I’ve been a huge fan of the brand right all my life and I’ve been chatting to Porsche since my success in 2019. My championship win this year led to further conversations and Porsche felt I would be a good fit for them in the Carrera Cup paddock hence why they offered me a test drive, with the chance to bring my sponsors along. It gave me an opportunity to test the Carrera Cup car itself and get a taste for it with the goal to potentially join Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain grid next season.
“That was how it came about and it’s an absolute dream come true because, believe it or not, that’s the very first Porsche I’ve ever driven so it was a real baptism of fire!”
And this was the 2022 car, wasn’t it?
“Yes, the brand-new 992. What an honour to drive the next generation of 911 Carrera Cup car! Porsche has built a phenomenal machine and it drives pretty much, I’m told, like a GT3 car so it gives me a good platform to consider going into Carrera Cup next year as a solo driver.”
How much track time did you get at the test?
“I got about 12 laps with chance to be with the car and the Porsche team in the morning to get an understanding of how they operate. I went out in quite greasy conditions in the morning on a set of wet tyres so that was an experience as I’ve never been on wets or slicks before so I had a lot of learning to do.
“But it was nice to get the car pushed on quite early. I got comfortable with the car very quickly and the vehicle just felt so refined. And, if I’m honest, the jump from my Ginetta this season to the Porsche Carrera Cup car didn’t feel as big as I was expecting. I think that’s because the chassis, the tyres and the whole package is just so much more refined that I felt more in tune with the car than I did when I first drove the Academy car.
“I’m looking forward to spending more time in it if the budget comes together. That’s the focus now.”
What did you learn about the car?
“I learned that the car was phenomenal in every way I could ever imagine. Porsche has built a really good machine. It required a bit more trail braking, more than that which I’m used to in the Academy car.
“Obviously the balance, being rear-engined, made quite a difference but it suits my style as I’m happy to brake quite late into the corner. It was really nice to drive a car that suits that style and it felt like a very good fit.”
Do you feel that Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain is your destination for the 2022 season?
“It is one of the considerations but we’ve got other things on the cards that we want to consider. It’s certainly a strong consideration while I remain a solo driver. I’ve still got good ties with Ginetta and we’re still weighing up what is the right opportunity for us.”
Your work with Fertility Network UK is very important to you. How is that relationship growing and progressing?
“Our relationship has been incredible. We’ve just finished the Fertility Awareness Week and that went really well. We’ve done some activities in the Academy car, we’ve hosted an awareness day at Silverstone and we’ve shot a number of videos throughout the season all towards Racing For Fertility.
“They are extremely happy to have me on board as an ambassador and we’ve got a great relationship. The long-term objective is to continue driving the campaign for male fertility awareness and remove that stigma. They’re very much behind me and I’m excited to keep that campaign alive.”