Commute for Europe is first race for Daly
Before Conor Daly can record his first laps around the famed Long Beach Grand Prix street circuit, he'll have to rack up some more frequent flier miles by racing nearly halfway around the globe.
Daly, who is competing in a limited schedule of Firestone Indy Lights road/street course races for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, has been "commuting" between Europe and the U.S., as he prepares to compete in GP3 this season.
"It hasn't really been too bad, so far," said Daly, whose itinerary since the St. Petersburg season opener has included GP3 tests in England and France, the Firestone Indy Lights race in Birmingham, Ala., and another GP3 test in Spain. "If I keep up with a bid of sleep and get some nutrients in me, I think I'll be all right."
After racing at Barber Motorsports Park on April 10, Daly left Alabama for three days of testing at Catalunya near Barcelona, Spain.
On April 14, he'll leave Spain for Los Angeles and arrive on the following day, where he hopes to jump behind the wheel of his No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car for the day's only practice session at Long Beach.
"If the airlines mess up, then I might miss the first practice, so I'm hoping they don't mess up," said Daly, who joked that he may have gotten rid of his bad travel luck by arriving in Barcelona without his luggage.
"I'd really like to be there for the first practice. If I'm not, I'm not that worried because I have good teammates and I'll have plenty of data to look at and some video to watch. I love street courses, anyway, so I think we'll get to pace quickly either way."
But the main issue out of the car for Daly is rest and recovery.
Most experienced travelers need about a day of recovery per time zone crossed. The 19-year-old Daly said he hasn't really tried to stay on European time or U.S. time over the last month.
"I'm trying to sleep whenever I can, and after that, we'll sort out what time it is," Daly said.
"I think going over (to Europe) is not as hard as it is when you come back home. When I come back (to the U.S.), I seem to be more jet lagged. We'll see have to see how that works out this week at Long Beach."