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Rob Barff on 2013

Rob Barff was an integral part of the Von Ryan Racing team in 2012, leading the teams push in the Pro-Am category with team mates Leon Price and Jordan Groger. The trio stay on board the #88 Von Ryan McLaren MP4-12C this season and we caught up with Rob as he prepared for a test in Spain with the team next week.

Rob, we know the McLaren factory has been busy over the winter, what changes can we expect to see on the car in 2013?

“It certainly has been a busy winter for the McLaren guys and I am sure there will be big benefits for all the teams this year. The update package is extensive with several safety and performance based developments for 2013. Expect to see improved mechanical and aerodynamic upgrades for the model this season. We are testing in Spain next week and there will be a lot of running to work on the new developments ahead of Monza in April.”

The continuity of you, Jordan and Leon staying together must be a real boost heading in to the season?

“Yes it most definitely is. You gain great satisfaction from having a tight knit team like there is at Von Ryan Racing. Leon and Jordan started to really develop last season. It wasn’t easy at times as it was essentially a brand new package but with the excellent engineers, mechanics and team leadership from Davey (Ryan) then it gives you great satisfaction to go racing in that manner.

“The strength in depth that we have in the team is really impressive. Davey is quite hands-on and still has that great mechanics quality of leading by example from all his experience in the sport.

How will the team approach a second full season of Blancpain Endurance Series?

“We are focused on improving the overall package and with the strength in depth that we have on the engineering side we are in as good a shape as any team out there. We have guys like ‘Bicks’ (Ian Bickerton), Charles Hodge, Warren Briggs and Brad Fincham, all superb engineers with an amazing amount of experience. The tam is settled and I expect some really strong results for us in 2013.”

How do you enjoy working with the less experienced guys, Jordan and Leon, in the team?

“It is satisfying because you are able to concentrate on the team as a whole and you are very conscious of really analysing and digesting the data because the other guys are relying on you to lead the way forward. I only get a small amount of time in the cockpit so I have to focus on finding time for Leon and Jordan through their data and working with the engineers towards making the car as fast as possible for them too.

How do you view racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series for another season?

“There is a very strong case to suggest that in terms of the quality and quantity that it is the best sports car series in the world. We race on legendary tracks with some of the best cars in the world and some of the best quality drivers. The format is terrific and the balance of the GT cars against each other works very well indeed. The addition of the Nurburgring 1000kms is a boost and with the jewel in the crown of the series being the 24 Hours of Spa, you would struggle to argue against it being one of the strongest series in the world.”

Blancpain Endurance Series PR