Interview with Seikel Motorsport driver Philip Collin. June 2007

Q: Philip, this is your 4th Le Mans in a row. Your goals, your ambitions, your feeling for this race…..

PC: Yes, my 4 th Le Mans. It’s really a beautiful feeling. Racing at Le Mans is so emotional. My goal is: to FINISH, FINISH and FINISH. I feel very good in the team. As for my team mates, I did some excellent racing with the Father and Son Felbermayrs during the 2005 season, even lead the LMS championship for a short while so I feel very comfortable with them. We are driving with the brain, racing consistency, without faults. I think that the smoothness makes the distance….

Q: What about your contenders, this year?

PC: I think the Ferraris’ are very strong this year. Teams like Risi or Scuderia Ecosse. And the F430 is definitely a very good car. As Spyker or Panoz. All are very good and I think that the ACO found a good balance between the cars. As for my Porsche, it is a very reliable car and particularly a 24hrs car. It is comfortable to drive. We hope to get a good balance for the race.

Q: This will be the last race for Seikel Motorsport…..

PC: Yes, unfortunately. We really are a family team. The organisation so far was superb. All the details had been seen. Everyone is calm and organised, they all know what they have to do and there is never a problem. The feeling is that everyone is smarter than me in this team, this I like as it’s good to surround yourself with bright people. I consider the Seikel team as a real motorsport team. Peter and the guys have 40 years of working together. They are so strong… My wish for this year is to bring the car to the finish. That would be the best gift possible for their last race.

Q: You said that being at Le Mans is so emotional. Why ?

PC: Le Mans is a fantastic race. I remember having watched the movie ( Le Mans with Steve McQueen) in 1978. Then, when I started racing, in the early ‘90s, the 24hrs of Le Mans was outside of the reality for me. A lot of people that I was racing against were speaking about Le Mans. The best of them were going there….That’s why I feel so emotional with this race today.

Q: Which are the drivers that have most impressed you at Le Mans ?

PC: Tom Kristensen and Jacky Ickx. Then Alex Caffi, as he was the first F1 transcendent that I came to know. In 1979, I met Brian Redman, the great endurance driver at a vintage race event in Chicago. We took a picture together, that I’ve kept as a very precious souvenir. One of my emotional moments in racing came in 1997 during what was my first test for the Daytona 24hrs, there standing next to me was Brian Redman watching as I jumped in the car for my first laps, he had been a guest of the team I was testing with... So, Brian is one of those that have impressed me a lot at Le Mans or elsewhere in the motorsport field and on the human side.

Q: How are your physical preparations for the race?

PC: Next to motorsport I love cycling. I used to ride and race a lot especially when I was young and lived at Gent in Belgium as on the Cote d’Azur, in France. By the way, I’m a big fan of le Tour de France. So, I’m doing everyday a minimum of 2 hours of riding, in the Chicago area. That keeps me fit mentally and physically.

Questions by Lucian Sonea. June 2007

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