Dan Shows Impressive Pace in F3.5 V8 and GT Debut
Hong Kong Racing Driver Dan Wells was invited by Renault to test the Formula 3.5 V8 car in Motorland Aragon, Spain, with the Spirit of Race team last Wednesday morning, before heading off immediately to Sepang, Malaysia for Round 2 of the Asian Le Mans Series with the KCMG team to race the Porsche Cup car in the GT AM class with co-drivers Paul Ip and Christian Ried.
As a prize for winning the 2015 Asian Formula Renault Series in such dominant fashion, Dan sampled his first taste of the F3.5 V8 car, a main feeder series for Formula One. With speeds of 190mph, powered by the 530bhp V8 engine, this was a big step up from his previous racing experience. Although Dan had just 27 flying laps and one set of new tyres in the morning session of the 3 day winter test, he lapped within 0.5s of the 2015 Series Vice Champion and Lotus F1 Development Driver Matthieu Vaxiviere, and beat the times of European Formula Renault Champions, race winners and current F3.5 V8 drivers.
Dan commented, "The car is an absolute joy to drive, and although it was my first time at the Motorland Circuit, I really enjoyed the flowing rhythm of the track. I settled in very quickly and am happy with my performance in the morning. I'd like thank the Spirit of Race Team and Renault for their support, and I hope to join them in their program next season. A special thank you also to my gym sponsors Pinnacle Performance, for it was their training program that ensured I was able to perform without any physical problems which drivers making this sort of step up normally endure. I was fit as a fiddle!"
After the test, Dan flew to the Sepang F1 Circuit in Malaysia for his debut in sportscar racing, when he joined the KCMG team for Round 2 of the Asian Le Mans Series, racing alongside team boss Paul Ip and experienced Porsche driver Christian Ried in the GT AM class. Wells comments, "GT racing is very different to what I have been used to in my career so far, but I really enjoyed the dynamics involved in having two team mates, with pit stops, driver changes, and refueling. It's great to make it officially 11 consecutive victories in my 2015 season, and would like to thank Paul Ip, John O'Hara and the whole KCMG team for the opportunity to make my GT debut. I'd love to come back in the future!"
John O'Hara, Team Manager for KCMG, commented: "We were delighted to be able to give Dan his debut in GT racing, and he did not disappoint. Although he knew the track well, it is still tough to jump into a new type of car with the different styles involved in endurance racing, but Dan rose to the challenge and showed impressive pace. We hope to continue our partnership into 2016."
This officially brings the 2015 racing season to an end, and Dan now faces a winter of physical training and meetings to secure his sponsorship and race seat for the 2016 season. Dan emphasises; "I'd like to thank all of my sponsors, supporters and race teams for their backing this year, it's been an incredible journey. I am now looking forward to an even better 2016, with options open in Formula 3.5 V8, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia or Japan, and Formula 3. We'll see what the future brings!"