Chris Wesemael: British GT testing report
Race Hut sponsored British GT driver Chris Wesemael has been using his simulator a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic, its kept him on top of his game while all race tracks in the UK have been closed. Now that restrictions have been lifted, Chris has been putting his HHC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 through its paces and he’s been kind enough to give us an inside look into a British GT test day.
“With the season now rapidly approaching and with lockdown finally starting to loosen, I have been testing at Oulton Park and Donnington. Getting back in the car after such a long break has been nothing short of fantastic – a sense of getting back to what is different but new normality finally beginning to open up!
“Having been in lockdown for the last four months, I have done a huge amount of prep work to get ready for the season. Working in the simulator has been really valuable, keeping me sharp while I wasn’t able to get in the car – it’s a great platform to work on technique while we all waited for the restrictions to start to lift. I have also been pushing my fitness like never before, It’s not often I get the opportunity to have four months of uninterrupted training leading into any race season, and I’m feeling more ready than ever to get started!
“It was over 30 degrees at Oulton and I can’t guess what temperature it reached inside the car! The aircon was trying its best but wasn’t really doing a lot, so it was difficult to stay cool. Meanwhile, Donnington was dry but overcast all day which was a relief to say the least! Anyway, I don’t want to complain about the weather as just having the chance to drive again was worth the discomfort.
“The great news is that both days went really well, both my teammate, Gus (Gus Bowers) and I drove well and set really strong lap times that have both us and the team feeling really positive about the first race! 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 both the low speed and high-speed corners. Finding something that works well for both of us was tricky, but I’m really happy with where it ended up. Simulator work has really helped me to give better feedback to the team, being able to tweak cars on my own while in lockdown. We still have more work to do and I’m expecting to be out testing again this month, before arriving at Oulton on Friday 31st July for the official Friday test and 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 added in the coming days to complete the look. I have also received this year’s race suit to match the car! Many thanks again to The Race Hut for supporting me this year.
“We’re really looking forward to the season ahead, we appear to have a really strong package leading into the first round but unfortunately, it’s impossible to be sure until we turn up for quali at round one! Balance of performance (BoP) is also something that we need to bear in mind, we have been deliberately trying to run the car as heavy as possible so that it only gets better with BoP adjustments. Also, because of how late the season will now run I think we are likely to see quite a few wet races. This is a real strength of the McLaren and I love racing in the wet, so hopefully this will play into our hands! At this point, I just can’t wait to get started!”
Revised 2020 British GT race dates:
- 1 & 2 August – Oulton Park
- 15 & 16 August – Donnington Park
- 29 & 30 August – Brands Hatch
- 19 & 20 September – Donnington Park
- 3 & 4 October – Snetterton
- 7 & 8 November – Silverstone
We’re all really excited for the British GT 2020 season to get underway and everyone at The Race Hut will be cheering Chris on every step of the way!