Ultimate Karting Champions Louis Harvey and Daniel Armstrong enjoyed their first taste of GB4 machinery at Bedford Autodrome today (Wednesday).
Both received the prize drive, offered by Scorpio Motorsport, as a result of winning their respective categories in the UKC. Harvey claimed this year’s Senior Rotax Championship whilst Armstrong was the winner of the National Rotax Trophy in September.
The duo therefore enjoyed plenty of mileage in the Tatuus MSV-022 GB4 car at Bedford Autodrome, with the day starting off in tricky damp conditions before it dried out in the afternoon, allowing both drivers to sample the car in a range of operating windows and with treaded and then slick Pirelli tyres.
Whilst it wasn’t Harvey’s first taste of slicks and wings, it did provide his first experience of dry running.
“It’s been really good, my first time with slick running and a dry track” he said. “It was just so different compared to the wet as you could carry a lot more speed, brake later, and it was all about learning the weight transfer. In karting you can slide into the corner and turn, so you still get it rotated and some transfer, but you don’t have suspension. So the learning curve today has been mega.”
“I’d love to do something like this [next year]. Today has been so much fun and I imagine racing them would be even more enjoyable. It all depends on sponsorship for next year, if we can raise the sponsorship then 100% I’d love to do something like this.”
Unlike Harvey, this was Armstrong’s first taste of motorsport outside of karting.
“It’s definitely been different to karts” he said. “It’s a new challenge and definitely fun getting to grips with it.
“We had some wet running which was interesting. We also had some slicks and some wet and dry, but it’s been fun all the way through. It’s not been terribly hard to adapt to it all and it’s been a chance to learn something new.
“We’re looking to try and move into cars, we’re not too sure what yet, we’re having a look at different avenues but we’ll see if we can progress and test a few different cars. This has definitely been a good thing to test!
Scorpio Motorsport Team Principal Jon Pettit was impressed with the performances of both contenders.
“A fantastic day, it went really well and we couldn’t have asked for much better,” he commented. “Both lads acquitted themselves very well in mixed condition, and it’s always good to give them an opportunity to experience the car in both wet and dry, as well as times when it was dry with damp bits in places. The times came down all the way through and there weren’t any particular areas to worry about, so it was really encouraging.
“Louis had only been in an F4 car briefly before, and this was Daniel’s first time. So it’s great to have given them this opportunity and a nice opportunity for the team and the championship to get out there into the karting scene. Sometimes you need to be able to give these opportunities so people to see what it’s all about and to open the doors so they can make the right choices.
“Both drivers did an exceptional job - it’s always difficult when it’s their first time with a new car and a new track with lots to learn and take on board. We tried to split the sessions in a way that ensured they got time to go away and evaluate what they’ve been doing and have a think about it. Every time they came back they went quicker, so that’s really the objective of the day, and trying to make sure they go away feeling like this could be a possible option for them.”