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The highs and lows of a Porsche champion's season

Porsche GB Junior and reigning Carrera Cup GB champion Adam Smalley reviews his season and looks ahead to what’s next

Adam Smalley

I would say that 2023 has been the best season of my life for numerous reasons. Being the Porsche GB Junior driver for the past two years has been a real privilege and, without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I had a fantastic first season in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, finishing runner-up in 2022, and that left one clear goal in mind for the second season, which was to go one step higher and win the championship.

This season, with Porsche and Team Parker Racing, I’ve had the right people around me to mature and develop as a person and as a driver. Winning the championship a round early at Silverstone was a dream come true, and to finish off the year with a win signed off a perfect season. We had 16 races and I had 14 podiums with a worst finish of fourth, so I’m forever grateful for everyone that made it possible.

Insight: How TOCA's support classes were won in 2023

Consistency was key and I kept a cool, level head all year. I knew we had the car to do the job, Team Parker has been fantastic, and Joe, my mechanic, and Will, my engineer, have worked tirelessly all year and put so much effort in to give me the best package, so it was nice to reward them with the results.

We took it race by race every single time. There was never any objective other than to try and win each race. You could see that at Silverstone in race one with the changing conditions, as it would have been very easy to settle for a lower finish, but I pushed all the way to the end for second place.

It’s been a real privilege to be a BRDC SuperStar this year. It’s something you look up to as a racing driver, seeing who’s been on the programme. There are some amazing names that have been part of it, so when I got the phone call at the start of this season, saying I’d been selected, was amazing.

It’s helped me this season, with the support of everyone, but also being in constant contact with lots of the other drivers has been a massive benefit to me. We get a small bursary, which I used for some performance and nutritional areas and which is another small thing that helps add up to a successful year.

It was really cool to be on the main stage on the Formula 1 weekend at Silverstone with the SuperStars. It’s so nice that the British Racing Drivers’ Club showcases the drivers and gives them the spotlight at somewhere like the British Grand Prix. It’s something I won’t forget.

Competing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was a highlight of Smalley's season

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Competing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was a highlight of Smalley's season

This season, I’ve had so much time in the car. I raced at Silverstone in the Porsche Supercup, and we had a great showing there. Unfortunately, I made a mistake off the line, dropped down, but then fought back through to a solid finish in the end. Competing on a world stage in front of a home crowd was amazing.

I also did Carrera Cup Deutschland, which was definitely a challenge. We were very unlucky with what happened but, nevertheless, it was still a really good experience to go out there, work closely with Proton Competition – a very well-respected team – drive on some amazing tracks, and gain a lot of experience that helped me in my Carrera Cup GB campaign.

Through the Porsche Junior programme, I was able to compete at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, winning my class and getting a medal, and then racing at the Goodwood Revival. I’ve done some incredible things this year and I probably should sit down and look back at it all!

"I have a few opportunities, but it’s about seeing what is the best fit not only for myself but for my sponsors as well" Adam Smalley

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB organisation put me forward for the Supercup Junior shootout, which was an incredible experience. It was over three days, so it’s quite intense, there’s a lot of stuff going on. On the first day, it was all just media interviews, medical checks, mental checks, and knowledge tests, so there was a lot we needed to know. Then the second and third day was in-car assessments.

It was a really cool event. I don’t know how I did but I gave it my all. It was amazing to see so many champions from so many different Carrera Cups around the world all in one place, all fighting for the same thing. It’s definitely an event that I’ll remember, and we should find out this week who was successful. There’s a one in 12 chance of getting it but we’ll just have to see the outcome.

I don’t know what the future holds and it’s a strange feeling. The Porsche Junior programme is over, and those two years have absolutely flown by. Now it’s a case of weighing up the best options. I’m still a Silver-ranked driver, which is useful. I have a few opportunities, but it’s about seeing what is the best fit not only for myself but for my sponsors as well. It’s probably the most important few weeks of my life, to be honest, because whatever route I pick will define where my career is going to go.

PCCGB championship is in the pocket, but what comes next for Smalley?

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey Photography

PCCGB championship is in the pocket, but what comes next for Smalley?

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