//FORMULA BMW TEST
MERITUS GP, MALAYSIA
//29th – 30th October
Spending two days strapped into a Formula BMW, tearing around the Sepang F1 Circuit in Malaysia wasn’t an opportunity that I had expected for 2014. No need to pinch myself though… This was a REALITY!
My jaw dropped when I saw the car I would be driving for the first time in person. I was so excited to get a feel for the car and a taste of the downforce created by the wings, not to mention the speed, 0-100 in under 4 seconds and top speeds of 230km/h.
Thanks to Racecentre in Darling Harbour I could hit the ground running by getting in tune with the track using one of their simulators. The 5.4km Sepang F1 Circuit has huge straights, awesome high speed sections and some tough blind corners. Throw in 98% humidity and 50C in the cockpit and it makes for a real challenge!
Day 1. The car was brilliant to drive and felt like home even if she was snug! My times tumbled as I pushed harder and I improved every session. The rain came down in the afternoon to mix things up a little. My early swap to slicks made it tough to keep it on the slippery track, but the pace was good and the experience was going to make it easier in the dry!
Day 2. With the drivers who’ve been competing in the Asia Cup Series all year now on the circuit with me I could really gauge my performance. What better way to start the day than with a new PERSONAL BEST and not that far off the pace of the series front runners! The temperature during the second session skyrocketed, causing the performance of the cars to drop. The front runners even with newer tyres had dropped off their session 1 pace more than I had – we were separated by less than a second! After only one day’s experience, being this close to race winners was BRILLIANT and really impressed the team!!
Session 3 had to be called off due to a huge downpour, an inch deep river was flowing between our feet as I analysed data on the laptop with my engineer! It eased off a little by session 4 and I headed out – again impressing the team with my times in the wet which weren’t far off the guys who’ve being running all year.
It was incredible working with everyone in the Meritus GP Team, the experience taught me a great deal and will be a real asset for 2015. I've been asked to come back and race in the Asia Cup Series and it’s an option I’m now considering.
Thank you so much to my girlfriend for coming to Malaysia to support me trackside, my family for helping to make this possible and everyone who wished me success for the experience.
Stay tuned for the Gallery