I have recently returned from England, where I had a meeting with a well-established and highly regarded racing team, Fortec Motorsports. The aim of the meeting was to understand more about Fortec as a team, and to discuss the possibility of racing with them for 2018 in a European Formula 3 racing series, known as Euroformula Open.
Upon arrival, I was given a tour of their workshop, consisting of three buildings which house 20 cars (over 6 different series) and 5 trucks used for transport. It was immediately apparent that this was a very professional organisation with the cars, facilities, organisation and amazing pristine cleanliness.
I was then given a presentation on how they would look to improve my racing from both a physical and mental point of view, stressing the importance of both on performance and how each affects the other. There was also a great deal of conversation about the importance of being able to live well away from home, including how to look after my own nutrition and manage my own meal preparation.
Following this, I was taken to see their gym and simulator. In their gym, I was given some exercises best suited for being ‘race-fit’, mostly consisting of neck exercises to help me be prepared for some of the high G-force corners which Europe has to offer! We also did some reaction building work which was really valuable to learn.
Their simulator was absolutely incredible, made out of a large curved screen and the chassis of a real car. The pedals and steering were made to be very true-to-life and it was an amazing set up they had. The sim was also equipped with data analysis software, allowing you to compare things such as your brake trace, corner speed, brake points and steering angle with that of another driver who had used the sim. Very much like we do in the real world! Following this, I was given some pointers on how to improve, and then put them into action on the sim.
Overall, it was very impressive to see the facilities they have, and their commitment to young driver development is incredible. I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity and I really appreciate the support and interest that Mick Kouros and the team have shown in me. Whilst there is a massive effort still to come from all of us over coming months to progress to this level, I am very happy that this is one step closer to my ultimate dream that I have had ever since I was just six years old!
In the meantime, my preparations are very much underway for a very important Round 4 of the Australian Formula 3 Premier Series at Phillip Island. The neck exercises which I learnt at Fortec in particular are a big part of this preparation given the high speeds and G Forces I will experience there!