- Supercup baptism continues with 16th in the Principality
Cameron Twynham faced his toughest challenge since switching to sportscar racing when the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup made its annual excursion to the iconic but hazardous barrier-lined streets of Monte Carlo as part of the Formula 1 support bill this weekend (May 21-24).
After scoring points on debut in Barcelona two weeks ago, the emphasis was very much on continuing the acclimatisation process while getting to grips with a street circuit for the first time in his career.
The combination of most competitive single-make GT category in the world, rivals with years of specialist Porsche experience and the most demanding circuit on the calendar added up to a 16th place finish in Sunday’s race.
Having spent practice finding his feet and then getting a little too close to the Tabac Armco during Friday’s qualifying session, the 19-year-old lined up for today’s 16-lap/30-minute race in 19th. A strong getaway – a hallmark of his single-seater days – initially helped the BRDC Rising Star move forward a couple of places before falling back after being hung out to dry around the tight Loews Hairpin.
With every lap a valuable lesson in street circuit racing, the MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX teenager was happy to follow in the wheel tracks of those ahead before capitalising on a three-car incident that required a Safety Car at half-distance.
And 17th became 16th just after the restart when Twynham again pounced on another driver’s mistake, this time courtesy of Alexander Toril.
While the Market Harborough resident didn’t pick up points on this occasion, the experience alone will prove of vital importance to his development aboard the Porsche this season.
“We were very realistic before the weekend and didn’t expect too much,” confirmed Twynham afterwards. “Saying that, I wasn’t completely happy with my performance in practice and qualifying and felt like I could have done more. There’s a lot to get your head around and just learning the nuances of Monaco is a real challenge. It’s only then that you can think about unlocking all the potential. So I was feeling a bit frustrated, albeit while loving every moment!
“I felt like I performed much better in the race today and could definitely see where we’d made progress since Thursday’s practice session. I was consistently lapping within four tenths of my best qualifying time and was in a good rhythm. Having that consistency is key around Monaco. The result was better than I expected too so overall I’m very happy with how it went.”
And what of racing around the world’s most iconic circuit?
“Incredible!” he added. “Words can’t do the place justice. It really is a case of one mistake and you’re in the barriers. You grow up watching it on TV and think you’ve got a pretty good grasp of what to expect, but you haven’t! Sitting in the car, threading the eye of the needle at those speeds: I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Twynham and the Porsche Supercup return to a more traditional style of circuit – the Red Bull Ring in Austria – when the championship continues on June 19-21.