Rory Starts His Off-Season | Testing at Snetterton
Well it’s fair to say that the off season is in full swing, but we are still working hard behind the scenes in preparation for 2018. Last week I enjoyed a two day test with Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo at Snetterton Circuit in their Ford Focus BTCC car as part of its ongoing development.
The basis of the trial was to put some new engine and chassis modifications to the test, before they’re implemented for the 2018 season. Day one was focussed around the development of the chassis and we were lucky enough to enjoy some dry weather, although it was blooming freezing. The rear tyres do very little work on a front wheel drive car, so getting them up to temperature was difficult, making the rear very lively (a few moments were had)! On day 2 it rained in the morning and dried for the final hour in the afternoon. We developed a new throttle map to help deliver the power in both wet and dry conditions. Overall, a very positive couple of days for the team with a lot learned as we head into winter and it’s always nice as a racing driver to get extra seat time.
I was also invited down to Snetterton to provide coaching and support to three young racing drivers who were given the opportunity to test the BTCC Ford Focus by Dunlop Tyres and Motorbase Performance. Matt Hammond was victorious in the Mini Cooper Cup, Reece Barr was Vice Champion in the Mini JCW Class Championship and Jamie White took the BRSCC Ford Fiesta Championship in 2017. I tried to put myself in their shoes to help me understand how big a day this was for the three drivers, it truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity and you could feel that from each of them.
They all performed fantastically in what were very tricky conditions and they gelled with the team really well. I was very impressed with them all as they adapted to the extra power and grip of the BTCC car, especially young Reece Barr, who turned 17 just days before. He is definitely a star of the future!