Mixing it with the old boys. Rookie Philip Major begins final pre-season test in commanding fashion. Formula BMW Pre-Season Testing Day 1, Charlotte Motorsports Park, 29th April 2006 Philip Major's Day-Glo red and...
Mixing it with the old boys.
Rookie Philip Major begins final pre-season test in commanding fashion.
Formula BMW Pre-Season Testing Day 1, Charlotte Motorsports Park, 29th April 2006
Philip Major's Day-Glo red and white liveried car has been an eye-catcher throughout winter testing, but now resplendent in sponsor's logos and manufacturer's decals, his Formula BMW machine looked positively stunning during the opening day of final testing.
Although Major was justifiably proud of his ride's outward appearance, as a blue-blood racing driver he was more excited by what lay under the gleaming curves. The Atlantic racing team had fitted a new power-plant into the back of #49, giving Philip 140bhp to play with. "We just put it in today to make sure everything works before we actually have to race" explained the Ottawa youngster, "as a fail safe type of thing."
However, any new motor necessitates a 'breaking-in' period and Major was forced to take it comparatively easy during the morning session. "It's a bit frustrating" he admitted, "but it's a necessary evil."
More 'necessary evils' awaited the Canadian during session two; Major required to step away from the track and undertake promotional duties for the Formula BMW series organizers. He may not have enjoyed it as much as being on the circuit, but Philip knows how important these additional tasks are in a professional racing series, although he did not hide his delight at returning to the cockpit. "I definitely prefer driving to having my picture taken." he chuckled.
Despite the off-track diversions, Major remained focused on his driving and ended session two with a fantastic run that placed him eighth of the 26 competitors. Everyone in the Atlantic Racing Team was pleased with their driver's efforts, but Major still had more to offer in the final session.
"That last session was really good" he smiled that evening, following a stunning run to fifth overall, "I felt really confident in the car and I could make it do what I wanted it to do."
For a rookie to be mixing it with the seasoned players is an extraordinary feat. There now remains just one day of testing before the first race, and Major continues to establish himself at the sharp end.