Q&A with Ho-Pin Tung
Superleague Formula: Estoril (5-6 October) is going to be your first round with Galatasaray. Is this make any change for you?
Ho-Ping Tung: Yes, it will be a completely new experience for me. Different racing team, different people and club. The time to prepare and adapt is really short but I am confident we will be able to catch up with the rest of the field and score a good result.
SF: You drove in different circuit series like GP2, A1 GP. Can you please tell us what you think of Superleague Formula?
H.P.Tung: It’s a really nice series. The cars are great fun to drive! They are very powerful (750bhp) and have a fantastic sound. Also the grip level is really high which makes the cornering speed very fast. There is a relaxed environment in the series, good contact between the drivers but with a healthy rivalry of course! The level of drivers is really high!
SF: In Zolder, with Atletico Madrid car, you were on the podium. All GS fans and the team are waiting from you again this success. Are these expectations making any pressure on you?
H.P.Tung: No, not at all. I know it has been a difficult racing season so far for GS but I know the team has the potential to be a frontrunner. Sometimes people forget that being successful in racing is a team effort! All the puzzle pieces have to fit together in order to get a good result, little bad luck can also ruin a great result. But I am very confident I will be able to do a good job for the team. I’ve scored a 2nd place in Zolder for Atletico Madrid, now I want to win for Galatarasay!
SF: Can you please tell us your 2009 Superleague Formula season until now?
H.P.Tung: Only few days before the first race I got the seat for the Atletico Madrid car so didn’t know exactly what to expect. But it’s been going rather well. In every race I have been quick and that paid off with a second place in Zolder, the first ever podium finish of Atletico Madrid since the series started. Obviously I was very happy with that and so were the team. We should have got more good results like this but have been quite unlucky as well in a number of races and didn’t finish these but still made it in the top 10 of the championship so far.
SF: Have you already received feedback from the fans of Galatasaray?
H.P.Tung: Yes I did! I was very surprised! The same day that it was announced that I would race for Galatasaray some GS fans added me on Facebook and wished me good luck. It was very nice to receive those supports and although I always try to get the best possible results it’s definitely an extra boost for me.
SF: In Turkey, 2009-2010 football season has just started. Are you following the GS football team?
H.P.Tung: Yes! I currently live in Holland and GS has a Dutch coach, Frank Rijkaard so there were quite some articles in the newspapers about GS and him. I’ve been in Istanbul few times for GP2 Series races but never been to the football stadium. I hope to be able to visit it soon, hopefully with a trophy!
SF: You are a Chinese driver who lives in Holland and drives Turkish football club GS’s car. And the team is English... You have been in many different countries during the races. Is this the enjoyable or the difficult part of your job?
H.P.Tung: It’s one of the nice parts about racing and a link between football as well. Different people with different backgrounds trying to reach one goal, winning. Travelling a lot is sometimes difficult because I am always away from family and friends, spend a lot of time on my own in hotel rooms. But luckily there are internet, Skype and normal phone which help me to stay in touch!
SF: What would you like to be if you are not a race driver?
H.P.Tung: Difficult question but probably try to set up some own business. Or maybe go back to school. I went to University and studied Law and Economics but couldn’t combine it with my racing career so had to quit. Perhaps I would continue with it in the future.
SF: Superleague Formula is called one of the steps to the Formula 1. Do you agree with this? What is your future plan for your motorsport career?
H.P.Tung: Superleague Formula cars are really powerful and quick, close to Formula 1. The competition is very strong with drivers from all over the world and having raced in different series, even F1. For me Formula 1 is still my goal, I have good hope and will try my best to succeed in reaching my goal in the near future.