Kyle Kirkwood: Ready as can be

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Feature, Kyle Kirkwood

Published on November 04, 2016 with No Comments

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, England — We arrived at Silverstone on Wednesday morning. I always get a good feeling when entering through the gates of a race track…and especially this one. Knowing we’re on the same track that F1 races on, which is every open-wheel driver’s ultimate goal and dream, is amazing. The week has gone smoothly so far. All of Cliff Dempsey Racing’s cars are quick and I think tomorrow we will all be towards the top of the charts. We have had a good mix of wet and dry weather so I don’t think we could be more prepared for the weekend.

Wednesday was the best test day we had by far. Conditions couldn’t have been better with clear skies, great air and track temperatures in the prime for our cars. There were two three-hour sessions which Cliff split up into 20 minutes on track, followed by 20 minutes going over data and deciding what change we would try next. Both Oliver and I were within three tenths of the track record, despite not using new tires or having a draft I may add. I ended up with well over 100 laps on Wednesday without traffic, which is why I believe it was the best test day we had.

Thursday would have been just as good if it wasn’t for a driver in my group dumping oil all over the track each time during our three 25-minute test sessions. But I look at it as a learning curve, because there is always a high chance that the same thing will happen in one of my races or even qualifying first thing tomorrow morning. Knock-on-wood that doesn’t happen but now I have plenty of experience if it does happen… Because of the oil, it caused me to push the car and the tires’ limit right out of the pits in order to post a fast time. Although it was frustrating that the conditions made me slower than the other groups, in reality it wasn’t possible to compare each of the four groups because of the variances in the conditions. So overall I was pleased with the day and I believe it is always good to have a ‘curve ball’ thrown at you during practice.

Today, which was our last test day, ended up being quite short. There was only two 25-minute sessions and in the first session the same person from yesterday ended up laying down a solid line of oil in throughout the last sector of the track. This time the officials threw the red flag, so we only completed two full laps. With both sessions being wet, I had my fingers crossed that my final session would be clean. Fortunately, it was and we learned plenty in the wet around Silverstone. We can now keep that in our arsenal if some rain arrives during the weekend.

I now have my eyes set on the weekend and I am determined to take the top spot. We have put tons of effort in and have proven our dedication to make sure everything is as perfect as can be. I know this weekend won’t be easy and will most likely we even more tough than the Formula Ford Festival but I know we are ready for it. Everyone at Cliff Dempsey Racing has put an immense amount of work into this week and I have never felt more prepared in my whole career.

Hopefully we can do you all back home in the U.S.A proud!

Kyle Kirkwood

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