Interview with Matteo Cairoli - Porsche GT driver in FIA WEC and ELMS

By Matteo Milani (

Matteo Cairoli is about to have a very busy season with the Porsche brand in GT racing. The Italian ace will be competing for Proton Competition in FIA World Endurance Championship (GTE-Am) and European Le Mans Series (GTE) with the last-gen Porsche 911 RSR.

We had a chat with Matteo Cairoli at Monza, home of the official FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue, about the upcoming WEC and ELMS seasons, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and more.

Matteo, after the 24 Hours of Dubai and Daytona, you will be racing again in the European Le Mans Series and you will be debuting in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Yes, actually it's a different style of racing compared to last year (Porsche Supercup), because I was used to "sprint races", making "full attacks" for half an hour.

This year, it will be totally different. First you have to learn multiple techniques, including tire management and adapt to traffic, especially with the LMP1 cars.

I also have to learn many new tracks and I'm very happy to do it with Proton Competition. I competed with them last year in two ELMS races and they are very professional.

We will be competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.

It's the greatest race in the world and next June I will be there to compete in it. For me it's a huge step forward. It was my dream since I was a child, and it's becoming true.

How was your first day in Prologue?

It was certainly a good start, it was my first contact with the car. We do not know what the opponents are hiding, but that's part of the game.

On what did you work?

We did not focus on pure performance, but on the machine's components, including the setup.

What do you think about your WEC team-mates?

La line-up è ottima. Siamo due giovani, io e Marvin Dienst, insieme al patron del team, Christian Ried, il quale dispone di una vasta esperienza nonostante sia un gentleman, ma che in realtà risulta più rapido rispetto a questi ultimi.

How different are the Dunlops in GTE compared the Michelins in Porsche Supercup?

In Supercup (with Michelins) it's up to the driver to level up the tires's temperatures in the best possible way without compromise. Here (in WEC with Dunlops) we are allowed to use heaters and it's obviously more practical and easier.

Are you going to race in VLN and the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring?

I will race in the second round of the VLN, the qualifying race and 24 Hours of the Nürburgring with Manthey Racing.

What do you think about Gianmaria Bruni move to Porsche?

I am happy for that. He will start racing with Porsche at Watkins Glen in July. I think that Gimmi is a true GT master, I can only learn from him.

Are you going to test the new Porsche 911 RSR?

Yes, I will test it.

Where and when?

I can't say more about that at the moment.

Who will be the favourite the clinch the Porsche Supercup title this year?

I hope see the Italians in the first places like Mattia Drudi and Daniele Di Amato in what I consider as one of toughest single-make series in the world

The Italian inteview with Matteo Cairoli can be read at right here.

Photos: Porsche