How did the first day of testing go?
The first day we had two cars that hadn’t turned a wheel before this season, that have been rebuilt. So in that respect they both have been rebuilt without any issues and performed as they should have. Aside of that we did some performance testing with Jake Hill and we were extremely happy with the lap times that he achieved. It was very positive in relation to the qualifying times from last year. Very competitive. All in all the first day was good. Conditions were a little mixed from wet to dry from the morning to the afternoon. But on the whole we were very pleased.
Everything seems to be going in the right direction. What comments and feedback did you get from the drivers?
Jake is the only one that has the comparison from last year to this year and he’s extremely positive about the changes that we have made. The areas of the car that were lacking have been addressed and for his first run on new tyres on the car his lap time compared very favourably to the qualifying times of last year. It would have put him very high up the grid, let’s put it that way!
As for the second day, it’s been wet and cold all day and changing with the amount of water, which has been quite tricky. So we’ve done some good work with the cars in the wet settings and made changes to make the car more suitable for the wet. We went through that programme with all three drivers here today (Bushell, Caine and Thompson) so that they have an understanding of what the car feels like in the wet and what changes we make and how it makes the car feel. The drivers all gave great feedback, which is what we need.
How have the Dunlop tyres shaped up particularly on the second day?
The second day has been cold and damp but never really completely wet. The wet Dunlop tyre is a quite a soft tyre so doesn’t have a lot of tolerance to a dry or drying track. But overall we have managed with the weather and the programme has worked out as well as expected really.
The fourth car is arriving on Friday 16th. Will it be ready for Media Day?
Yes the shell arrives back from the paint shop tomorrow so the guys have got a week or so to build this fourth car and of course the three cars already built are 90% right so we just need to attend to the last 10% before we get to Media Day with all four cars.
So we’re looking forward to Media Day and it’s looking good for the start of the season?
Yes it’s all very encouraging. We shouldn’t be too optimistic about racing but I think that we’re in a very good position and we’ll have to see what happens.
Photos: Andrea Hurcombe