Practice day today at Paul Ricard, which commenced with a 3 hour session in the morning.
Straight away I felt confident in the car, and our pace for both Fortec cars was very strong. For the majority of the session I was holding down one of the top two spots of the 21 car field.
All went to plan, and we achieved what we wanted to out of the session. One thing which was very pleasing was that the gains I had made through the third sector of the circuit in the simulator sessions last week translated over really well to my lap times today.
At the end of the session my time was in P3, but I had my last new tyre run to go. There was an interruption through a red flag during the process of warming my tyres, which meant I would have just the one flying lap before the session ended. I managed to deliver personal bests for sectors 1 and 2, however as they did here last year, the field was pulled in to the pits before being able to complete their final lap.
However, we know we have the pace, and P3 for the session is very solid.
In the afternoon session we worked on race runs. This was valuable as we have identified opportunities specifically for me around tyre management. At the end of the session we had a run at a lap time in which I dropped in to the 1:58’s which is good. I did however make a mistake in the final sector where I had generally been strong all day. My time was enough for P7 for that session.
The car is amazing and I can’t thank the team enough. Great working with my engineer Mick Kouros today and looking forward to further improvements and good pace during the 3 practice sessions tomorrow.