It’s been a good couple of weeks for Olli Caldwell both on and off track. Last time out at Imola Olli took his first official win of the season along with two podiums bringing him closer to retaking third place in the standings. Off track Olli was shortlisted for that Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award and confirmed a partnership with Hildon Water. Now he returns to the track this weekend to make his debut at Catalunya.
As mentioned Olli’s first official win in the series came last time out at Imola and was long overdue. Having taken six podiums and been just inches away from victory at the Hungaororing Olli’s Valliant efforts were final rewarded in Imola’s fourth race, a re-run of a cancelled third race at Vallelunga. The result sees Olli move to fourth in the standings now just 22 points behind Igor Fraga in third.
Catalunya becomes the second circuit on this year’s calendar where Olli will make his debut, earlier this season Olli raced at the Hungaroring for the first time taking two third place finishes and a third. There’s no question he can adapt quickly and it’s fair to say the two tracks do bare similar resemblances.
Like Hungaroring, Catalunya is a very tough circuit to overtake on so qualifying is going to be crucial this weekend. Tyre wear will also come in to effect over the course of the weekend with the 4.6km circuit including lots of long high speed corners which will have a severe effect on the tyre.
Over the sixteen corners there are only two major overtaking spots in formula racing and they are at turns one and ten. Both heavy braking zones they will give Olli his chances to move up the field if he is required to do so.
Throughout the rest of the circuit it will be a case of doing the best he can to stay close in the dirty air or on the flip side maximising that opportunity to get some distance between himself and the drivers behind.
However, there could be a lot more than that to deal with this weekend as conditions look set to play a part. Currently, conditions are set to be bone dry both Friday and Sunday but that does not appear to be the case on Saturday with heavy thunderstorms forecast to be appear throughout the day, particularly in the morning.
This gives a strong possibility of wet conditions for qualifying and Saturday’s first race, with things potentially dry in time for the later race two. It could be a huge factory into who stands in the podium in all three races and will require Olli to be at his absolute best!
The championship will be back supporting the International GT Open this weekend with all three races streamed on the championship website and social media channels.
All three races will be streamed live on - http://www.f3regional.com/STREAMING
Timetable (local time):
Free Practice 1 - 09:00 (40 mins)
Free Practice 2 - 13:50
Qualifying Practice - 09:00 (2x 15 minute sessions)
Race One - 13:05 (28 mins + 1 lap)
Race Two - 19:25
Race Three - 11:30