After the first test day at Brands Hatch, Geri Rácz will return to the legendary circuit this week before he continues his preparations for the 2022 British MINI CHALLENGE season at the location of the season opener at Donington Park. Between the first and second test days, he kept training and practicing on the simulator.
A look back to the first test day
What were your impressions after the first day of testing?
I woke up very excited. When I got to the track it was clear that I was sitting in a completely different car to the one I was used to at home. My coach Jiggy and the whole team were very welcoming. During the first four sessions, it was always obvious what we could improve on, but we still managed to improve even though we were on used tyres and Jiggy was sitting next to me. I was very happy with the test day and the fact that we got it right the first time, the aim is to continue from here.
There were a lot of new things in the car for you, can you recall some of them?
It’s much more powerful than the Suzuki, I’m not used to it yet, and we use slick tyres. The sequential gearbox is also different, much simpler than before, but the car itself is much more aggressive and harder to drive.
You started your preparation at the legendary venue of Brands Hatch, have you been touched a little by the atmosphere of the British motorsport culture?
It’s a classic location, and the people and cars make you feel like you’re in another world. I liked it from the first time and I look forward to more opportunities, and I hope we will continue to do so for a long time to come.
You did a lot of practice on a simulator before the test day, how did you find the track and how useful was this form of preparation?
The elevations were not at all reproduced by even the most professional simulator, but it was still perfect for learning the layout. The car was also different, but the team appreciated that I had practised my braking technique and that the simulator would be useful for refining my steering movements in the future.
What are your plans for the next test days?
I would like to continue where we left off, to develop with the same momentum, so that we can catch up with the leaders as soon as possible. Next time I’ll be driving the car on my own, and we’ll see how much I can get faster during the second day of testing.
Preparations in Lapland
After the first test day, Geri went to Lapland for a four-day training camp, where he improved his fitness with snowmobiling and ice karting in addition to traditional winter sports. He didn’t put his competitive spirit on the back burner either, setting a lap record at this year’s layout of Frozen Ring in Finland, beating the previous leader, former Ferrari F1 podium finisher Mika Salo.
Fun facts about Geri
“I inherited my love of motorsport from my father, who was also a rally driver and took me to every race when I was a child. However, when I told him that I wanted to race, he said no way! After that, I tried a lot of sports, including football because of my dad’s past as a professional player for Ferencváros, but eventually I just came back to racing.”