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Ahead of his first season racing as part of the W2R team, we caught up with driver Michael Crees to see how his preparations are going.
Tell us a bit about how you got into racing
I got into racing when I was a kid and my brother started karting, he progressed into cars but unfortunately lost his sponsorship. Four years ago I decided to take up some hire kart racing just for a bit of fun but found I was winning races and then championships, I then entered the Sodi world finals, qualified for the last 3 years and won back to back British titles. In the world finals at one point I was on pole position but finished up 4th.
How have you found the step up from go-kart racing to motor racing so far?
The step up is great. I have a lot to learn but my determination is really helping me progress fast. I’m forever watching YouTube now, which I can’t seem to stop but on the whole its going really well. I’m very lucky that my sponsor PCS Premier Contract Supplies give me the budget to go testing as the car is a hard car to drive and it’s challenging learning new techniques like heel and toe etc.
How did you come to join the W2R team?
After the world finals I joined the competition and made it to the finals. Ben Hyland contacted me after the event and said he was impressed but the lad who won it had more experience than me when it came to track time. I then entered the Henry Surtees Foundation at Buckmore Park in Kent and raced against the like of Jake Dennis, Ben Barnicoat and Calum Bradshaw. I was 7kg heavier than my competitors so qualifying was tough and I ended up 21st out of 25 but I knew my race pace would have been stronger than a 1 lap qualifying. I drove really well and finished 2nd overall and won my class and also got the fastest lap by 4 tenths of a second. Ben had seen this and got in touch and told me there was a spare seat in the team and I jumped at the chance.
Tell us about the Ginetta GRDC+ and how testing has been going.
GRDC + is shaping up to be the toughest season to date with a lot of good drivers signed up already. I think I am the only novice on the grid so far so I will have a big challenge in front of me, but I am more than up for it. Testing has been fantastic so far. I had two runs which were both wet at Snetterton and Donnington, so we decided to do some winter testing out in Spain so that I could get to grips with the Avon tyres. Doing this played a massive part in my progression. We also had a professional race driver out there with us who is in the top 100 of British drivers and races Porches. I ended up faster at one point which was a big boost in confidence.
What are your thoughts on the new W2R livery?
Our new race livery looks great, the decision to go matte in colour looks fantastic and when lined up with the other want2race cars it really stands out.
Any challenges, worries or concerns ahead of your first race season?
I wouldn’t say worries but everyone has to remember this is my first year in cars so I don’t want too much pressure. Having said that, I’m targeting the top 6 and a podium would be outstanding. As of challengers, I hear that my team mate Jack Oliphant is going to be hard to beat along with Sean Fleming who has been racing in the GRDC for 3 years and of course Want2race champion Phil Ingram who learnt lots from the team and won every round last year in GRDC.
What are you looking forward to the most?
The Taste of the Champagne!! Haha. To be fair I am really looking forward to getting on the grid in my 1st race and to work with all my sponsors as they’re are the ones who have made this happen.
Have you been given any top tips from other drivers?
Yes I have been working with my brother as he is an ARDS instructor at Brands Hatch, but I’ve also been working with Tom Oliphant and taken good advice from Jake Hill.
Do you have a lucky charm/ritual before a race?
Lucky charm, no, but ritual, yes. I get ready in a certain way, left leg first, then right, left arm then right, left glove then right glove. I know it seems silly but just a small thing that I do to get focused.
Everyone here at Reforma wishes Michael the best of luck for the new season!!