Under the Lid – Javier Morcillo

News | September 21, 2023

Last year, E2P Racing took 991 Teams’ ‘Europe’ honours after a solid recovery drive to 2nd in-class at the Hankook 24H BARCELONA. Earlier in the year, the Spanish team celebrated a similarly impressive comeback drive at the Hockenheimring, one that secured E2P its first class win in the 24H SERIES. 

We’ve dug through our archives to find our ‘Under the Lid’ interview with E2P Group CEO Javier Morcillo, who explains how important teamwork is to a successful endurance race, why attempting to imitate future Formula 1 driver Marc Gené didn’t go particularly well for him in 1993, and the unusual impact F1’s ‘unluckiest’ driver – Chris Amon – was on his racing career.


Images – Petr Frýba / Nico Mombaerts


“Javier Morcillo.”

Age? You can lie about that if you want…

“I am old enough that I probably do need to lie about my age, but I won’t! I’m 46.”*


* Javier Morcillo was speaking with Jorick van Veenendaal and James Gent at the 2022 Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING.

Where and when was your first ever car race, and how old were you?

“Well, the first in my life was in a go-kart that had no brakes, which obviously ended, as you would expect, not very well at the first corner. And my first full car racing season was in Formula Ford [1600 Española] in 1993* [with Gluckman Racing], and I crashed out of that as well! Trying to imitate Marc Gené, who was the best driver at the time in Formula Ford, and it did not go to plan!”


*After an impressive one-off race with Gluckman Racing in 1992, Javier was signed up for the full campaign in 1993, and finished the year as overall championship runner-up.

What is the best moment of your racing career so far?

“I’m lucky enough to have had plenty of very good moments in GTs and single seaters, and I’ve won a few championships. But probably the most rewarding was winning at the 24H SILVERSTONE in 2010.” – Alongside compatriot Manuel Cintrano, Javier finished 3rd overall and helped Neil Garner Motorsport seal Class 3 victory at the event with a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup. – “It was a big team effort and it was a very difficult race, so I’m probably proudest of that.”

Apart from the Nürburgring, which is your favourite circuit and why?

“Not Nürburgring, definitely!”

Wait… really?!

“I am one of those strange drivers who doesn’t like the Nürburgring. It’s more like a rally stage, and I don’t have the back for it! Definitely my favourite circuit is Spa. The area, the corners – every corner is amazing – the history there, everything! I love Spa!”

Describe the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a motor race …

“Oh there have been plenty!” [Laughs] “Probably the strangest one was when I had to do a full, 1.5-hour stint in a 24-hour race with a big, big fly inside the cockpit. It was flying around and getting in my nose. It was [distracting] as hell!


“Another one, at Silverstone… I can’t remember when year it was, but we had a problem with the windshield. Water kept coming in, it was misting up really badly, and we couldn’t see. So [the mechanics] had to fit a pole with a [cloth], which we stuck to the gear lever. Every time we were on the straight, we had to clean the windshield” – Javier mimes driving with his right hand, and using a cloth on a pole to de-mist the windshield with his left. – “EVERY lap! That was pretty strange.”

Describe your helmet design to us, and what it signifies…

“It’s very significant to me because it’s always been the same design. It’s got the Spanish flag on top, which is the same shape as Chris Amon. He was a famous Formula 1 driver in the 1960s, and I really liked that design. It’s a bit like [Emerson] Fittipaldi as well.


“I designed it like that so that it was very easy to recognize the top of the helmet. In a GT or a single seater, it’s easy to spot if it’s me driving or not.”

What is your greatest strength?

“Probably experience and car control. I’ve been doing this for many years, professionally, and experience helps a lot. I am surely not the fastest driver but I’m fast enough, and I have enough experience to be able to set a car up and drive it properly, and [react] to situations on-track.”

If Hollywood made a movie about you, who would play you and why?

“Obviously, because he looks exactly like me, The Rock! That’s very obvious!” [Laughs]

What would you like to achieve before retiring?

“I’d love to have one of the drivers I train win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I am too old now to do it myself I think, but that would be my absolute dream.”

Tell us a random fact about yourself that your fans might not know…

[Laughs] “My dogs – Jaco and Luna – sleep with me in my bed. That’s probably my biggest secret!” 

Finally, what do you enjoy most about competing in the 24H SERIES?

“It’s a series that really promotes teamwork. Long-distance racing, and 24-hour racing, relies on a team more than it relies on a driver. A driver can only lose the race. As a driver, in [endurance] racing, you can only be an idiot, you cannot be a hero. In sprint racing, the driver has to do a lot by themselves. But across 24 hours, every person in the team plays a big role in the result. The longer the race, the more the team plays its part in the result, and if it’s a proper team effort, the result will be good. That’s how the [24H SERIES] works, and I really enjoy that.”

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