Minardi F1 Team drivers Jos Verstappen and Nicolas Kiesa had their first experience of driving a Days of Thunder race car at Rockingham on Saturday. The two F1 stars, who are both at the Rockingham circuit near Corby for the Minardi F1 team's ...
Minardi F1 Team drivers Jos Verstappen and Nicolas Kiesa had their first experience of driving a Days of Thunder race car at Rockingham on Saturday. The two F1 stars, who are both at the Rockingham circuit near Corby for the Minardi F1 team's Thunder At The Rock event this weekend, drove the Havoline Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo around the 1.5-mile banked oval.
Dutchman Verstappen drove for five laps and was impressed with 500bhp, V8- powered muscle car. "I really enjoyed it," he said. "It's a lot heavier than my Minardi F1 car. Whereas I can drive the F1 car quite easily, with this car I have to build up the speed. It's hard, you sit quite far back in the cockpit and visibility is less than in my F1 car but it was quite a good run. It's something new and it takes time to get used to it."
Nicolas Kiesa took over the reins and also enjoyed his laps on the oval. "It was great fun. I didn't get out of third gear and these guys never use anything but fourth. It was quite an experience."
Gavin Wills, team boss of Team West-Tec, said: "It was great to give these two F1 drivers an appreciation of what American-style oval racing is all about. They were both surprised at the level of grip the car has and how much there is involved in driving these cars."
For Kiesa it was also an opportunity to meet up with an old colleague from his British Formula Ford days. Paul Sims, crew chief at Team West-Tec, who helped Kiesa get prepared for his run in the Havoline Racing car, was formerly one of the Dane's mechanics at Hayward Racing during his British Formula Ford Championship-winning year in 1999.
The next 60-lap round of the Days of Thunder series takes place during the Trust presents Thunder At The Rock event at Rockingham on Sunday.