With the season now rapidly approaching I have just been out testing at both Oulton Park (last week) and Donnington (yesterday). Getting back in the car after lockdown has been nothing short of a fantastic feeling – a sense of getting back to what is a different but new normality finally beginning to open up. Working in a simulator for the past four months has been valuable but does not carry the pressure of driving a real car. It was over 30 degrees at Oulton and I can’t guess what temperature it reached inside the car. Donington was dry but overcast all day which was a relief to say the least. Anyway, don’t want to complain about the weather, just having the chance to drive again was awesome.
Great news is that both days went really well. Both Gus (Gus Bowers) and I drove well and set representative lap times that keep both us and the team in a strongly positive mindset for the season. We also managed to do a lot of set-up testing, fine tuning the car so that we both felt comfortable with its handling in low speed and high speed corners. We have more work to do and are expecting to be out testing again mid July, before arriving at Oulton on Friday the 31st July for the official Friday test leading into the first race weekend.
The car has now been re-wrapped to include sponsorship logos and strengthen the colour markings and is looking great. We did not have number panels on it this last week but those will be on soon. I also took delivery of my new race suit recently which is similarly branded and ready to go for the season. Many thanks again to my sponsors that are supporting me this year.
Finally, some exciting and great news for motor racing enthusiasts. It has been announced this week that day visitors/spectators will be able to attend race meetings at the first five meetings (initially announced, but I am anticipating that this will be extended to include the finale meeting also). The venues being initially opened for spectators with a reduced capacity, and a range of hygiene and social distance measures in place to ensure that visits are safe and enjoyable. Overnight stays at the tracks and access to the paddock and pit areas are likely to be restricted initially but are subject to continual review. It is also suggested that spectators should purchase tickets in advance to guarantee admission. All re-openings will of course remain subject to the continued management of Covid-19. Having spectators at the meetings is going to make a massive difference to the overall experience and I can’t wait to get out there now!
Race dates and venues this year are now:
- Aug 1/2 – Oulton Park
- Aug 15/16 – Donington Park
- Aug 29/30 – Brands Hatch
- Sep 19/20 – Donington Park
- Oct 3/4 – Snetterton
- Nov 7/8 – Silverstone