GP3 Series talks with Conor Daly
Reigning Formula Star Mazda champion, Conor Daly, completed his first two days of GP3 testing in Estoril, Portugal today with the tenth fastest time overall. He completed a total if 153 laps with Manor Motorsport over the course of two days in what he says is an "interesting and steep" learning curve.
|Conor Daly at Estoril listens intently|
"The car is very good with a lot of lateral grip in the corners. The biggest issue I have is being able to get the best out of new Pirelli tires. I just can't find that sweet spot on new tire runs yet", said a frustrated Daly. On used tires on day one, Daly was on top of the time sheets for most of Wednesday afternoon’s session. The top 18 cars on day two were covered by less than one second. Daly will do a further two days testing with the Status Grand Prix team in Jerez, Spain, October 19th & 20th.
GP3 Series: Firstly, what are your first impressions of the GP3 Series car?
Conor Daly: It has a lot of grip generated by the floor and it a new experience for me. I really like it because you get to go fast around the corners. It’s an interesting car – very technical. I can’t wait for the next test now so I can continue learning about it and going faster.
GP3 Series: There’s a lot of experience in the field, including a lot of drivers from Europe. Were you confident you could step up the challenge?
Conor Daly: I knew probably most if the people had been to the testing tracks before – I’ve been to most of the English tracks but I haven’t been to any in Europe, so it’s all a new experience for me: a new car, new tracks and I knew it would be tough to get in and go but I got a lot of experience in the last two years in America and I was able to come over and jump in fairly quickly get to a certain point, but the last two tenths is what experience in these cars brings. Once I get more experience and figure out how to use the car to its full potential, and work with the tires, that’s when I will start to get further up the time sheet. It was a good two days though, but it’s all about me trying to learn how to get the final two tenths out of the car.
GP3 Series: So is your plan for next season to race in Europe?
Conor Daly: I would love to race in Europe. My ultimate goal is Formula One, but it’s obviously big budgets in Europe so we have to work on that. You have to do European formula racing to get to Formula One: the Formula One paddock don’t really pay attention to racing in America, so as a driver you need to come over here and hopefully do well and get recognized. That’s what I want to do .
GP3 Series: Have you raced against any of the GP3 drivers before?
Josef and I grew up racing together for the first five or six years of our careers in go-karts. And the lower American formulas, I know a lot of the drivers because I pay attention to European racing. I’ve raced against Gabby Chaves once in 2008.
GP3 Series: Finally, what are your overall thoughts on the first season of GP3?
Conor Daly: It’s obviously a huge Series. Every race is with Formula One, that’s why I think it’s so popular – it’s hugely popular right now. There are so many drivers wanting to test just on these six days. It’s a really good Series. The cars a good, they could do with a slightly better sound, but other than that they are really great and running with the F1 races is why everyone wants to do it. It’s such a prestigious weekend to be part of. Hopefully I can do it next year.