After a very good night’s rest, Day 2 of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya began on a moderately wet circuit as a result of overnight rain, giving me a bit of damp-track experience.
The first run we ran on wet tyres and the main aim was for me to get a feel for how the car and track surface change in different conditions. While the session was halted with a couple red flags as a result of drivers going off into the gravel, I still managed to get a good enough feel of the wet conditions.
The second session was an interesting and very changeable run starting with a damp circuit, which dried out toward the end. The first half of the session we ran on wet tyres again, before coming in and getting the slick tyres fitted – giving me an opportunity to compare the difference between the two tyres and understand when the change is needed.
The third session was a key one for me as all three Fortec drivers were running two sets of brand new slick tyres, with the same plan and on the same track conditions. The track was dry, but still slightly slippery due to a lack of track temperature. In the sessions we did two short runs, allowing me to experience qualifying conditions, such as practicing the correct way to warm the tyres, and when the best time to push for a quick lap is before the tyres start to lose their peak. I was very pleased to be the quickest of the drivers for most of the session before Petru Florescu also put in a lap of 1:40.1 which was the same as my quickest lap. The team was very pleased with this, as I was new to the track and only on my second and third sets of brand new Michelin tyres which do take a bit to learn.
The fourth session was similar again, but instead we only used the one set of new tyres, and I was once again pleased to match my pace from the previous session.
The fifth session we ran for most of the 40-minute session without stopping in order to simulate a race run and how to manage the tyres over such a long period of time. I was happy with my consistency with this session closing out with 10 laps in a row all within 4 tenths of a second of my quickest time for the run.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my first taste at this level, feel very pleased with how I performed and it was great having the opportunity to drive on such an incredible circuit with such a professional team.
Thank you to Fortec Motorsport, and my amazing team of sponsors – Lazersafe, Grand Toyota Wangara and Inspired Insurance Services who provided special assistance for this test, along with Rosehill Waters, ES2, High Energy Services, The Wealth Designers, Edith Cowan University (ECU), Kingsway Community Bank Branch, Rvend Vending Machines, Truck Dealers Australia, Fullworks Fire Safety, Focused Recruitment, Walker Wayland, Signarama Joondalup, Online Logistics Solutions, F45 Training Hillarys and Trizone Fitness. Thanks also for the overwhelming support I received from home online during the week, I really appreciate it.