I’ve just finished off a great week in at Fortec Motorsports, taking in everything I can to make sure I develop as quickly as I possibly can.
Wednesday was my first day back in there having arranged myself a road car to be able to commute up to Daventry (where Fortec is located) from the South West of the UK where I will be staying for the weekends that I am not on the track. After getting in the gym to do some cardio and core strength work, I sat down and spent some time with Mick Kouros and Adam Sirett to review everything in detail from Barcelona.
The main learning to come out of the test there was that I need to reduce my roll time between being off the brake and on the throttle to zero. We also established that I had been requiring some set up changes to compensate for a bit of roll which were not what I required to execute this technique correctly, so it was a very good lesson for me to understand what I need to do, and how I can have the car set up to enable me to do this. We also started to look ahead, and discuss the track at Paul Ricard where I will be racing later next week.
Thursday I was back in Fortec’s gym, and then spent some more time in Mick’s office going over Paul Ricard. Then I headed down into one of the workshops where one of the British F3 team Adam showed me over some parts of the cars and taught me how a gearbox is put together. After doing this he pulled it all apart, gave me all the bits and said “Go”! So I put it back together – I can now assemble an F3 gearbox!
Next was a solid session of nearly 2 hours on the state of the art simulator here going through 10 min sessions at Paul Ricard, and after each run analysing the data with Adam focusing in particular on reducing any roll time between brake release and throttle application to zero. I was very pleased to in actual fact get this in the end at times to a negative, so in effect there was a slight overlap between brake release and throttle application. I started to feel much more comfortable with the technique and I was noticing the changes in the handling which were to be expected from this change.
I have obviously never raced at Paul Ricard before, so this was a good opportunity to familiarise with the track. The first sector is flowing and fast, the second is a long straight with a chicane and the third is very technical with a few late apexes and very fast corners where you actually brake after turn in.
Friday I was back in the gym again, and then spent some more time with Mick going over Paul Ricard, asking lots of questions about managing tyre wear, any car adjustments which could be made for taking more kerb and anything I could think of. Then he gave me a tour around one of the other buildings here that I hadn’t been in before.
I was planning to head back in this morning (Saturday), but the team laughed at me! I guess it is the weekend.
So I am looking forward to a weekend in Bath now with Mum, and then I am going to head out to Thruxton circuit where Mick has some testing on Monday to see what else I can learn.