|In temperatures exceeding 40 degrees, Luke Wright kept his cool to take a superb 2nd place in the second round of the Spanish Open championship, last Sunday (22 June).|
Despite never having raced at the Cartaya circuit before, Luke quickly got to grips with the track and the hot conditions – recording the 3rd fastest time during qualifying.
In his first heat, he finished 2nd - and followed it with 5th in the second race, despite being forced off the circuit at one point by French professional racer, Armand Convers.
Starting the pre-final from 6th place on the grid, the 15-year old from Dorset drove a canny race to save his tyres and finish in 5th place – giving him the vital inside line for the start of the main final.
“I started from 5th and that gave me the (racing) line into the first corner. I got a wicked start and was straight into 3rd. I managed to slip into 2nd but couldn’t quite take Convers.”
Describing the conditions, Luke said, “It was ridiculous – seriously hot! We were also running special tyres, called Vega Whites, which are monumentally grippy. The two finals were both run over 22 laps, so towards the end they did get quite physically draining. You have to make sure that your driving is very precise and as smooth as possible.”
With the temperatures forcing mechanics to empty bottles of water down the back of drivers’ suits to keep them cool, Luke explained that his training regime gave him the edge.
“The key was fitness – big time. I’ve been training a lot with a personal trainer and sports psychologist, going to my local gym and getting up stupidly early – at 5:30am – with my school swimming team to swim for 3km and do different exercises.”
This and the fact that he’s been competing in races throughout Europe is now paying dividends, he says -“I’m making good progress in the various Championships I’m competing in (Italian Open Masters, Spanish Open and Winning Series Karting) and gaining lots of experience. I’m in good shape, mentally and physically, so it’s all coming together at the right time.”
Luke and his JRP team are now concentrating on testing in preparation for the European Championship qualifying race at Alcaniz in Spain on 13 July.
Visit Luke’s brand new website - www.lukewrightracing.com - to follow his fortunes throughout the rest of the 2008 season.