It wasn’t being back at the site of his first-ever win on American soil that made this weeks test session extra special for Kiwi racer Hunter McElrea, or the fact that he blitzed all of the Indy Pro 2000 drivers taking part; instead, it was the fact that he was back in a real car.
After weeks spent in the artificial environment of a simulator, the 20-year-old could once again feel real g-forces and every undulation of the Road America circuit, “I posted the quickest time of the day, against my main rival from last year and my quick teammate Colin. It was such an awesome feeling to be back driving in real life, the forces and the feelings you get from the car that can’t be replicated in a simulator are really one of a kind. “
More than anything, the return to the feelings of being at pace on a real track has remained with McElrea, who was runner-up in the US F2000 series in 2019, just how much he loves to race. “I am absolutely chomping at the bit to race again, it has been such a long time since my last race at Laguna Seca. I have been given this incredible opportunity so I can’t wait to make the most of it.”
While the rest of the Motorsport world is still warming up their engines, McElrea who emulated his father Andy by becoming a Formula Ford Champ, admits he is lucky to be in a position to race again. “It’s definitely crazy times right now, everyone has some uncertainty but at the end of the day, we all just want to get on track and race. I feel very lucky that the series has allowed us to get our season in, and my loyal sponsors have stuck by me in this difficult time for everyone.”
McElrea is already focused on staying on top of next week's second test session at Mid-Ohio, “I was quite happy with my pace, we were the quickest car all day against my rivals so it was great to see all the hard work from myself and the team paying off. I never just expect to be fast, but I know that we have what it takes to obviously be at the front. There is still more hard work to be done.”
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