Incredible first day of testing here at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The term “testing” in motorsport covers a number of things, such as testing of new parts, testing of new car set ups, sometimes testing of new drivers, or even the driver testing the team itself. Essentially, most other sports refer to testing as practice sessions. The testing here in Barcelona is a mix of all of these things, with a selection of many of the best young drivers in the world all in the same place to do so.
Most of the drivers here are racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship which at the moment is the stepping stone to F1, and whilst in F3 cars also, their different engines and aero specs give them a good couple of second advantage. The team I am testing with, Fortec Motorsport, have 3 cars here from the Euroformula Championship with Petru Florescu from Romania, Yves Baltas from America (who have both already signed with the team for 2018) and myself. All of us are on different plans at different times, for example practicing qualifying runs or practicing race runs of longer stints. For me it is a bit of everything, with the opportunity to test myself at an international level, as well as start my preparations for next year assuming everything continues to progress well off the track.
Amongst this company, I am so pleased to have today put in laps that placed me second quickest amongst the Fortec drivers, and certainly not far away from Petru who have driven here many times and raced for the team in 2017. Today I also used only 1 set of new tyres with the other two drivers used multiple whilst I become accustomed to the track and the car. Team Boss Mick Kouros also explained how it is a case of learning how to use this particular new tyre (Michelin) also, which I am looking forward to building on tomorrow.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is amazing, and unlike anything I have ever driven before. Many high speed courners, long laps, and a great deal of high G forces on my neck for a high proportion of the lap. In total today I completed 91 laps, which equates to around 420kms, or one and half Grand Prix! Previously the most I have completed in an F3 car was around 225km in a day on a track with less high G force corners.
Tomorrow I have 3 sets of new tyres to use, and I can’t wait to develop a couple of aspects of my driving here that I am working on with Mick, and my engineer Tom Toovey. Five more 40 minute sessions again and likely to complete a similar number of laps!
Thank you as always to my sponsors Rosehill Waters, ES2, High Energy Service, The Wealth Designers, Grand Toyota Wangara, Inspired Insurance Service, Edith Cowan University (ECU), Kingsway Community Bank Branch, Rvend Vending Machines, Truck Dealers Australia, Fullworks Fire Safety, Focused Recruitment, Walker Wayland WA, Signarama Joondalup ,F45 Training Hillarys and Trizone Fitness, along with my Calan Williams Racing Pty Ltd Board.