Picture © JEP/ ELMS
LM GTE - 09/05/2020 - Jeff CARTER
Since winning the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Italia title Matteo has been supported by Porsche first as a Porsche Junior and then as part of the German manufacturers Young Professionals programme.
In 2019 Matteo Cairoli took the LMGTE pole position for the 4 Hours of Monza and stood on the top step of the podium alongside his teammates Riccardo Pera and Christian Ried after crossing the finish line in the no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR nearly 25 seconds ahead of the no66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F488 GTE EVO.
We caught up with Matteo Cairoli to find out what makes Monza so special to him as an Italian racing driver.
Q: As an Italian driver what is it like to race, and to win, at Monza?
“It’s special for me, just half an hour away from the circuit so it is totally my home track. I remember around 20 years ago going to the Autodromo to watch cars racing and so on, so Monza has a lot of good memories for me. So, the first time I won there it was an amazing feeling. I had been waiting for that moment for quite a while.”
Q: When was your first race at Monza and in what series / car?
“My first race at Monza was in 2014 in the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia, which was the first time I had driven a Porsche and I was 17 at the time. It was a good weekend with two podiums. I didn’t win but I finished P2 and P3, so there are some good memories. Since then I enjoy racing at Monza because most of the time I am on the podium.”
Q: What makes Monza special for you?
“Of course it is the track itself, it is such a historic track and it is such a pleasure to drive. Every time I race there I feel the support from the fans and from the people because a few people know me there and every time I get to the track it is a pleasure to spend time with them. It is something special that I can enjoy Monza that much.”
Q: What is your favourite corner at Monza?
“I really love the first chicane. You approach at really high speed; you have to slow the car down in the best way possible without locking the wheels and without losing too much speed at the exit. It looks easy because you go fully on the brakes and then full on power again, but we are talking about very small details to make it right.”
Q: You are too young to have raced on the old banked track but would you have liked to take on the challenge of racing on the banking?
“One hundred and twenty percent for sure. Yes, of course, I really admire the drivers from the past because they were, from my point of view, a little bit crazy. When you think about where they were racing and in which cars they were driving it is something incredible. I have been there more than a few times and to reach the top of the banking it takes a while as it is so steep. When I think about that they were running at 270kph over 50 years ago it gives me a good feeling to think about those historic moments.”
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