February is traditionally the time when we go slightly mad without racing and try to finalise our plans for the season ahead, many seasons in our case as we devour multiple bodacious disciplines of motor racing.
And GP3 Series is one of them, with the first official test session in March (in Estoril, where else?) looming large on the horizon.
Now, there was a period a few years ago when the stellar American driver Conor Daly used to rock GP3 both on and off the track.
Needless to say, Conor has since then moved on and across to the U.S. of A. to race Indy cars for @AJFoytRacing, a wise decision. We think it’s rather excellent and he needs to hold station.
Back in 2013, we were sent to Estoril to interview Conor in the course of GP3 testing (also, the series would spend triumphant full three days at the Portuguese track instead of only two days in 2017) and naturally there was a might cock-up with Conor’s name, something he’s probably used to: on the cover of the magazine his name was spelt “Connor”. Ouch! Not even “Laudar in the Farrari” from Autosport comes close to this; we only find solace and comfort in the fact that his French ART mécanos called him “Cônòr”.
The interview with CD went smoothly and the phrase “then he grabs an apple and bites noisily into it, smacking his lips unselfconsciously as he demolishes it, blissfully unaware of how rude it will sound when the interview tape is played back later” could at no point in the conversation be applied to him.
We’ve always felt attacted to the outstanding American talent in Europe: why would anyone trade NASCAR’s megabucks for Europe’s classic tale of misery where the priorities are so obviously wrong? The heinous wheeler-dealing in empty paddocks means that budgets are out of control. Or are they?
An American driver in Europe is as exotic as Hemingway’s characters in The Sun Also Rises: you can almost picture a Parisian coffee shop with (dunno) Santino Ferrucci in it indulging in absinthe (not really) after visiting Jim Morrison’s grave (don’t think so). The accent, the slang, the big baseball cap and the Starbucks plastic cup in hand with the name “Connor” scribbled on it by some unrivaled French barista?
Whether we’ll hear an American prayer in Estoril next month remains to be seen… Hey, you guys!