Day 1 Practice Sessions at Estoril

Today was the first day of practice for the Euroformula Open F3, with 3 sessions across the day. the first would be the longest at 3 hours, followed by two hour-long sessions in the afternoon.

The first session started very wet, with quite heavy rain at times. I went out at the start of the session and all was progressing fine for my first time on the circuit. However after only 6 laps, I hit my braking point at the end of the straight at exactly the same time as I was going over a bump. As a result, the car aquaplaned and I went straight off the track and into the gravel run-off. Fortunately all was ok, however, this did mean that with the time taken to retrieve the car and check it over, I was only able to use the available time left in the session to “bed in” the brake pads that we will require across the rest of the event.

The track for the majority of the second session was dry. I was very pleased with my pace (given still learning the circuit) in the first half of the session on used tyres, and then pleased to improve my lap time further with a 1:35.8  on new tyres in the second half. This put me at 9th of the 16 drivers for the session and I would have had the opportunity to continue to put in quicker laps had rain not started reasonably early in my new tyre run.

The final session started very well for me on used tyres, and at the halfway point I was 5th on the timesheets when further rain started again bringing the session to a mid point stop. Once the sun came out however, the track quickly dried and almost all drivers were out on new tyres. With all of the traffic on track and with the lap times continually improving, we elected to wait a little longer before heading out. The rain came down again however 2 laps into my new tyre run, so effectively I wasn’t able to set a new tyre lap. Once again the track dried quickly, however, a red flag during the rain was to last for the remainder of the session.

 

A bit of fun at the end of the day with the official photos taken for the Euroformula Open Championship with all of the drivers. We really don’t interact with each other very much at all, so it was good to all be in the same place for the first time, at that I have experienced.

Feeling confident for the two offical practice sessions tomorrow, especially with a nice clear day forecast taking the guesswork out of it. Very happy with the car,  and happy with my pace whilst knowing there are areas I can still pick up time given my level of experience here.

 

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