Susie Wolff calls test “fantastic experience”

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Williams’ reserve driver Susie Wolff has called today’s test a “fantastic experience” as she took a step towards gaining her FIA superlicense required to race in Formula One.

Wolff completed 89 laps in the FW35 car today, posting a fastest time of 1:35.093 that was good enough to see her finish 9th of out sixteen runners at Silverstone. However, she did admit that the test was physically challenging.

“It was fantastic today,” Wolff explained in a team statement. “The team did a great job getting me through the day, talking me through everything step by step.

“Physically it wasn’t easy, but it was what I was expecting. I was well prepared so it was completely manageable.”

On the whole, Wolff was delighted to have completed the test for Williams.

“It was a fantastic experience.”

Williams’ chief engineer Xevi Pujolar was full of praise for Wolff following her work today.

“Susie did a great job for us today,” Pujolar said. “Overall we have had a successful test, gathering lots of data to take back to the wind tunnel and have some experience to know what to expect from the tyres in Budapest.”

Wolff’s test also marks an important step forward for women in motorsport as she looks to become the first full-time female driver in the sport.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.