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Circuit Paul Ricard. 02 June 2020
April 08, 2013
Published on tags: Superleague


Philip Cullen speaks on the changes at Halcyon Racing that saw him hand over driving duties to Jamez Shepherd.
With Shepherd officially announced for Halcyon Racing, the man left on the side lines if the man who finished in third place in the Supercup last year, Philip Cullen.

Much was hoped for by the Irishman coming off a strong Supercup campaign. But early hopes were dashed with a disconnection in Australia followed by two retirements in Malaysia and Austria. He now hands the seat over to Supercup points leader Jamez Shepherd.

Cullen confirmed what team owner Adam Rouse had said in the press conference announcing the change, labeling the decision as a 'change that is best for all parties' and a move that was best for the future of team. He will not be filling the role as test and reserve driver, given scheduling conflicts with his work rosters.

"This kind of sucks in a way," Cullen said when speaking to journalists on the matter. "I don't regard myself as a quitter. I'd like to think that this isn't quitting - more like just trying to put my house in order. Nor am I going to go around and follow the rule of thumb others have followed and play software, hardware, plug-ins or my team-mate for this decision."

"Ultimately, things started to change in my life late last year. At best, I didn't think those changes were going to hold - but they did. I can't but my finger on specific element, more or a case of several pieces that all fell together at the same time."

"I can't complain about them, because the majority of them are positives, even if they have had a negative effect on my sim-racing commitment. Call it a sign of growing up and maturating. I guess it has to happen to us all some times!"

Cullen went on to dismiss the notion that his decision to step down due to an on-going romance.

"Not at all," laughed Philip to the question. "I think a number of guys know that yes, I am now in a relationship.. even if I'm sure some guys might not know what such a thing is like past their own hand! But most people know that because my girlfriend has actually watched the broadcasts and shockingly enough, has gotten involved in talking to people on the stream chats. She's been totally supportive and wants me to continue this stuff actually."

"End of the day, it comes down to this. Superleague requires a massive effort. I'm not the kind of driver who can show up, have ten laps practice and be quick. I need some serious lappage on a track to be happy. This is something I've seriously lacked."

"Not having this kind of time hurts you more at Superleague level when the car is always involving. The addition of weather elements, tyre compounds. You can't just walk in and be quick. And please, don't read that as a criticism of these elements - these are what has made things all the more intricate in the season and have my wholehearted support."

"You have to prepare for these things properly and I just haven't had the time to do it properly. In Sepang, despite running as much as I could in the wet, I was at sea when the deluge came down. I entered Austria having a handful of laps done on the primes tyres. I'm certain there are guys who put in more laps for a single race than I have managed since January in total."

"I just wasn't doing the role justice for a Superleague driver. Those who have worked with me before know of my need to give 110% all of the time. And if I can't give that, I will always look for someone who can do the job better than me. In Jamez, we have that man. I wish the best for him and hope he and Adam can really put it up there. Both are more than capable."

When asked about his immediate future, Philip remained coy on his options.

"I'd like to think I haven't turned in a shit driver. Last year I could at least stay on the coat-tails of the likes of Alex (Cooper) and Petter (Kaasa) so I'd like to think, on my day, I am capable of bringing my best talents to the table. I just can't do it now in this time frame and really, that seat is deserving of someone who can actually bring that to the table."

"Where I go from now, I honestly don't know. I guess returning to Supercup is always an option, but I'd be slightly concerned I'd get myself boxed into the same issues I am having right now with Superleague with having the appropriate preparation time. That and it isn't like there are any vacancies there either!"

"Looking at the long-game, perhaps my home is likely to be in something like the World GT, which races just the once a month and would cater for a driver on limited time to prepare adequately. We'll have to see."

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