It’s been just three years since Liam Talbot made his debut in racing, any racing. Finishing what he started last year, the Australian competed in his first full season of international competition in 2015, taking third place in the Blancpain Endurance Series Am Cup with a win and pole position in Monza and third place in the 24 hours of Spa, earning the praise of his co-drivers in the Kessel Racing triple one Ferrari.
“The season has been amazing,” the surfer turned racer says. “The Blancpain Endurance Series is so hard. The depth of talent is unbelievable, you gotta fight for every inch of track. It helps you learn, I’ve learned a lot this year.
“We’ve had some highs: win, pole position and podiums. But unfortunately we’ve had some bad luck also, but that’s what happens in a championship fight. We just need to eliminate those bad days, and then anything is possible.”
The toughest race of the Blancpain GT calendar is without a doubt the 24 hours of Spa. For Talbot the race got even tougher when he became ill in the run up to the twice round the clock. Still, the race was on for the gentleman driver, eventually finishing third.
“I was very, very ill. I couldn’t finish my first stint in the car, they had to pull me out of the car.
“Then I just fought back, I gave a 110-percent every lap for six out of the eighteen hours. We were ninth and then went up to third place. With a bit more luck we could’ve gotten second or first. But being so sick and fighting so hard, and still not feeling a 100-percent, to still getting on the podium…”
Talbot’s performance in 2015 didn’t go unnoticed. Moving on, however, isn’t on top of his list of priorities.
“There is some interest, but we’ll see what happens, it’s a big world.
“I’ve just lived an amazing year, driving a Ferrari with a Swiss-based Italian Ferrari team. What could be better than that?
“A win, pole position, podiums, third in the championship, great team mates. These guys are like family. Their pit stops are just so professional, they’re almost too fast, because we can’t do a drivers change that quickly. It’s unbelievable what these guys can put in. They’re a professional racing team and they’re my other family.”
After the 24 hours of Spa last July, Talbot was publicly praised by his team mates during the post-race press conference, saying his performance was essential to their podium result. The respect clearly goes both ways.
“The Doc [Stephen Earle] and Marco [Zanuttini] have been amazing team mates. I’ve actually learned a lot from them, both individually and as a group. It’s been fun working with the guys.
“It’s been new to me to be the faster one in the car and be able to pass on knowledge, because I’ve had such a short time in a race car.
“Together we’re a really good team and we’ve achieved a lot more than I thought we could, so it’s been a successful year.”