Newly signed Sainteloc Racing driver Finlay Hutchison says he is looking forward to the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS season like no other before, following a superbly competitive outing at Circuit Paul Ricard in France during two days of official pre-season testing.
Taking place this past Thursday, 25th March, and Friday, 26th March, with over 14 hours of running in total over the two days, the Dundee 21-year-old and Endurance Cup team-mate Frederic Vervisch prepared fantastically well for the new campaign in the No.26 Audi R8 LMS GT3.
Experienced Audi Sport ‘works’ driver Vervisch started the test perfectly by setting the quickest time of the opening morning, heading an impressive Sainteloc one-two at the top of the timesheets. In the afternoon, Hutchison marked his first outing with the French squad with a time which placed him just 0.3 seconds shy of the top three.
During Friday’s running, the Hutchison Technologies, Evoson and In-Home Displays No.26 Audi was fifth quickest during the morning. In the afternoon, an equally competitive best lap placed the team-mates a very strong third in the final session of the test.
Overall for the two-days, Vervisch’s best from Thursday morning was third quickest on the combined timesheets and the duo concluded an incredibly productive outing a mere seven hundredths of a second shy of the outright quickest.
“It’s been pretty much the perfect start really, I’m very happy”, said a delighted Hutchison, “There are a few changes to make, we know where we can gain more time, and the gap between Fred and I was actually quite small – only about four tenths of a second. That’s a big step forward for me over last year, which is fantastic. The Sainteloc guys are very professional, the car was so well prepared.”
Now, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star is looking forward to getting his main 2021 season underway with the first three-hour race of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup campaign taking place at Monza in Italy on Sunday, 18th April. There, of course, Hutchison and Vervisch will be joined by Audi Sport factory driver Markus Winkelhock.
“It’s amazing to be teaming-up with Fred and Markus this season in the Endurance Cup, Fred is the man right now in an Audi R8 and Markus is super-quick too and can really control a race”, added Hutchison, “They’re both going to help me so much, we’ve got an exciting year in store.”
The provisional timetable for round one of the season at Monza begins with free practice at 09.00 local time on Saturday, 17th April, followed by pre-qualifying at 14.05 local time.
On Sunday, 18th April, final qualifying will begin the action at 09.00 local time with the race itself following at 15.00 local time – live streaming will be carried at:
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. SRO Motorsports Group