Lockie makes Formula One ‘debut’

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LEADING GT racing driver Calum Lockie has described the day he received a dream invitation to drive an F1 car as “an amazing opportunity.”

A British GT Champion Lockie jumped at the chance to drive a Lotus Renault GP F1 car at the Hungaroring circuit.

Lockie said: “It all started with a phone call from good friend David Mason OBE. He had been invited to go to the Hungaroring to drive the Lotus Renault GP F1 car and was inviting me as well. Needless to say I accepted instantly!

“We set off by chauffer-driven car for Heathrow to catch our first-class flights to Budapest. After checking into the five-star Corinthia Hotel we had time before supper to take a tour of Budapest.

“Over supper we met the team and discussed the following days programme. It was going to be a six o’clock start and we were praying for good weather to maximise the opportunity.

“Arriving at the Hungaroring we were met with the full Lotus Renault GP set up in glorious early morning sunshine. It was promising to be a hot one with 28 to 30 degrees expected.

“A quick breakfast was followed by detailed briefings. We were going to start by driving Formula Renault single seater race cars to learn the track. These nimble little cars run around 170 bhp but only weigh around 400 kgs so power to weight ratio is over 400 per ton. This went well and I posted a time a shade off the official test driver Romain Grosjean’s time in the same car. Things were looking good.

“After a fitting in the car and familiarisation of the controls and starting procedure it was time for the big one. The car had a V10 engine running 700 bhp with the car weighing in at 560 kgs. This gave a power to weight ratio of 1250 bhp per ton and I could really feel it.

“I have driven a number of very high-powered race cars including the 810 bhp/900 kg Nissan RC90CK Group C car, but this definitely beat them all.

“However, the real mind blower was the brakes. Flat in sixth down the main straight and holding off the brakes until 80 meters – the car stopped like it hit a brick wall! Later was certainly possible but a little caution would save a red face!”

Locdkie said of his “amazing experience” that there was a hint of a re-run next year at the Paul Ricard circuit, owned by Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 supremo, in southern France.”

Lockie expressed a huge thank you to David for this amazing opportunity and to Lotus Renault GP.