Back in April I organised a questions and answers session to take place on the British Touring Car Talk group on Facebook, which I am no longer a part of, with Tristan Charpentier who used to race Ginetta Juniors for Tollbar Racing back in the beginning of the season. Here are some of the questions fan asked him and the replies he gave:

Q: How did you find your first race weekend in ginettas went
A:  Well it was my first race in cars so it was a bit new for me , the second round I was 9th and 3rd rookie I did a mistake and went back to 15th and I had a black flag cause of my start

Q:How hard is a Ginetta to drive?
A:  I have only been driving a ginetta so it’s hard to tell but It’s a very good car to learn with I think

Q:how does the Ginetta differ from a go kart? Are there any similarities between the two?
A:  No the ginetta is very different from karting you have the weight transfer and also the suspension

Q: Who is your favourite motorsport driver and why?
A: My favorite motorsport driver is Niki Lauda because he was also a very good mechanic and he knew what he was doing on his car

Q: Why did you start racing a kart?
A: I started to do go karting because I saw a race and I wanted to try it

Q:What do you want to be racing in, in the future?
A:In the future I would like to be a racing driver hopefully in DTM or WTCC but I will see the opportunity I will have

Q: What is your favourite track?
A:The problem is I just started car racing so I only know Brands Hatch for the moment

Q: How do you prepare for a race weekend?
A: I do running and prepare physically for my race week end , I do yoga …

Q: Mercedes, Audi or BMW???
A: BMW will be my favourite car

Q: What are your racing plans in the future?
A:I want to do 2 years in Ginetta’s and then do the Porsche Cup and hopefully get a seat in BTCC but I need sponsorship for that

Q:Do you have a fave colour on the car? Ferrari red, Mclaren silver?
A: Yes, my favorite color is orange fluo

Q: What are your aims for this season?
A:My aims for the season is to enjoy and be at list in the top 3 of the rookies and of course win races

Q:How did it feel at the legendary brands hatch track??
A: It was very nice to race on such a legendary track and it is never calm it’s corners after corners

Q:What were your thoughts while on the warm up lap of your first race at the weekend?
A: I was just thinking that I was very lucky to be doing what I like to do ( racing ) so I was just saying to myself enjoy yourself

Q:The ‘Matt Neal Shuffle’ that Ant Whorton-Eales did at Clearways. Is that on or not?
A: No I think you have to race properly and overtake properly because if you win but you know you are not suposed to be winning you won only by doing a illegal think to another competitor

Q: But if it’s the only place on a track and it’s all or nothing.
A:I will see where I will be racing with but i’m not there yet so I will decided when it will be the moment to choose

Q: You sound like a REAL racing driver!
A:I think I will go for it like any driver will because you are on a race track to win not to be friends with the other drivers

Q: What track are you most looking forward to driving?
A:  Thruxton and Donigton and also Rockingham I like the fast tracks

Q; How did you become interested in motorsport?
A: Just by going to a race when I was 6 and I just started karting at 6 years old and that’s it I’m here now

Q: What was your favourite part of last weekend?
A:The  2nd round was my very favourite part

Q: Are you aiming for any wins?
A:Yeah of course like everyone

Q: Do you think its achievable?
A:Yes of course otherwise I would not be racing

Q:What was your favourite part of karting from when you first started to your most recent race?
A:The World Championship last year in my country ( France )

Q: How hard is it to get into Ginetta’s Jr’s? Do you need to do karting before you join?
A: I think karting will help you for cars but if you have a lot of car experience you can get in Ginetta Juniors

Unfortunately, Tristan only managed to race at Brands Hatch and then one race at Donington. He then got a 30 day ban from Ginetta which meant he had to miss the second race and also got disqualified from the race one results after having an altercation with another competitor post race. This also means Tristan missed the Thruxton round, which as above you can see he was looking forward to those two rounds. Since then Tristan has not been able to get the budget together to return and compete in the other rounds in the first half of the season. The season kicks back off on the 8th and 9th of August at Snetterton.

© Fay Tilley 2nd August 2015.

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