Audi R8 racer Finlay Hutchison returns to track action for the first time in two months this week, when the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup resumes at Circuit Paul Ricard for round two of the campaign.
Hutchison, from Dundee in Scotland, is relishing the annual six-hour evening race in the south of France and especially as it was the venue where he achieved his maiden Silver Cup podium in the Endurance Cup back in 2019 with a second place finish.
Embarking on his first season with renowned multiple championship-winning Team WRT this year, the 22-year-old started off the 2022 campaign with an eighth place finish in the Silver class at Imola in Italy at the beginning of April and is determined to improve on that just a few days from now.
Teaming with fellow Scotsman Lewis Proctor and Mexican racer Diego Menchaca in the No.31 Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II, Hutchison is targeting strong preparation and a major push in qualifying to give the squad the best possible chance of challenging for silverware in the big race.
For this year’s Paul Ricard 1,000km, which will get underway at 18.00 local time on Saturday, 4th June, and conclude as the clock strikes midnight, a grid of 54 cars is expected – the biggest entry for the encounter since 2017.
“I always enjoy the ‘into the night’ race at Paul Ricard, it’s a great track and holds some good memories for us – an overall top 10 finish last year with Fred Vervisch and Markus Winkelhock and my first Endurance Cup podium as well a few years ago”, said Hutchison.
“While the first round at Imola didn’t bring the result we’d hoped for, our pace in the race was actually pretty good and the car felt well balanced. If we can nail qualifying on Saturday then I’m confident we can mount a challenge for the podium. Paul Ricard should definitely suit our overall package much better than Imola did, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Going into the second event of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup season, Hutchison, Menchaca and Proctor are eighth in the Silver Cup standings and just six points outside the class top five.
Free practice at Circuit Paul Ricard will get underway at 13.20 UK time on Friday, 3rd June, with pre-qualifying following at 18.20 UK time. On Saturday, 4th June, final qualifying will begin at 10.30 UK time with the race starting at 17.00 UK time.
Source. Marc Orme