Hector Hurst is looking forward to some good results in the second half of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, starting at Croft this weekend. The Scorpio Motorsport driver has used the series' eight week break to prepare mentally and physically for the remaining six races of the season and is feeling confident of some strong performances.
The season started well for Hector in the opening rounds at Donington Park, with a fifth place finish in his debut car race, before he recovered from two drive through penalties to take twelfth in the next race. The next meeting at Brands Hatch produced his first retirement of the year, caused by a startline incident, before a solid run to thirteenth in Round Four. Last time out at Oulton Park, a strong opening race saw him up to fourth early on, before contact from a rival forced him to retire again, which he followed up with fourteenth in Round Six.
Reflecting on the season so far, Hector said: “I think that we started off well because there wasn't that much pressure. We'd been quick in testing and then we just went there to do the best we could, there was no comparison to anybody else. We had a good result the first race, then the next two races we didn't get at all what we wanted.
“This was for a number of reasons, mainly because I hadn't quite worked out the best way to prepare pre-qualifying and how to go about the qualifying sessions. Also the start of the races, in the first couple, gave us a bit of trouble. Since then I've been working with a really great mind coach and combined with Kieren [Clark] my driver coach, I'm ironing out most of those issues and putting all the bits of the puzzle together, so we can really use all the speed we have and stop having results that should have been, but weren't. We've learnt from everything, taken the positives and the negatives there's not much point in worrying about.”
The series has been out of action since the 28th May, a long break that has allowed Hurst to clear his head and get ready for the remaining races. The Lymington-based race commented: “I think a lot of people improve over the winter when you have a lengthy break, so to have a big break in the middle of the year, while it can be quite frustrating, it can be quite good because you can have that chance to think over everything and come back fresh again.”
While the break has proved beneficial in some respects, the eight week lull has also left Hector frustrated, as he has been unable to get out on circuit in his Formula Renault car. Instead Hector, who turned 19 this week, has been keeping busy keeping fit and building up sponsorship packages.
Hurst commented: “It's quite tricky in the summer as any sportsman would want to be out practising their particular field as much as possible, so it can be quite tough in Motorsport because running is very limited â€¦ especially in this championship. Therefore I've been doing lots of cycling, rowing and free weights, everything I've been doing normally to keep fit, but just harder and harder to bring me to a new level fitness wise.
“Also as I say, I've been working with my mind coach Gloria, who's been really excellent, while we've also been using the time to go out and talk to as many contacts and have as many meetings as possible, trying to put packages together for the winter and next year, which is obviously very important to ensure we're racing competitively next year.”
The driver from Hampshire did get some track time during the break however, when he made a one off appearance in the Mazda MX5 Championship to help him improve his racing license. He explains: “The series organisers have given all the BARC drivers a great opportunity by allowing us to enter the Masters by Formula 3 event in August. To be eligible for this you needed the full license and as this is my first year I didn't have that, so I chose to do some cheap racing to help get it.
“I did one round of the Mazda MX5 Championship at Oulton Park, which was actually huge amounts of fun, so thanks to Finish Line Racing for the great work they put in for that one off weekend. I helped them develop their car, because they hadn't had much running with the Mazda before that, so it was good to help out an up and coming team. The first race I climbed up onto the podium, then in the dry we weren't so fast, but overall it was a good weekend though.”
Looking ahead to the remaining six races of the season, Hector was quick not to make predictions about where he might perform well, concluding: “Previously I think I might have had a bit of a flaw where I've predicted results based on how fast we've been at those particular tracks, putting unnecessary pressure on myself. So I'm not going to say where we should be, but some good results are definitely on the cards. There is no reason why we can 't be running at the front as long as all the bits of the puzzle stay together.”