Australian racing driver Caitlin Wood will return to W Series racing action for the first time since the 2019 season-ending race in Brands Hatch this weekend as the series joins Formula One in Hungary. Caitlin, who is now based in the UK is of the reserve drivers for the W Series this season and will race for the Puma W Series team at the Hungaroring, a track that she has plenty of experience at having raced here during her time in the European GT4 Championship and speaking ahead of the weekend’s action she said:
It’s great to be back and the Hungaroring is one of my favourite circuits having raced there in 2016 in the European GT4 Series. The circuit is quite technical so you have to know where to position the car to get the most out of it, but the rhythm is really cool. It’s going to be tricky because I haven’t had the three rounds of seat time that everyone else has had. The fact that I know the circuit helps, but I’ll need to be smart and focus on myself. There is pressure because I want to perform. I’m preparing myself well and working with the right people to set myself up to do a good job. Hopefully that rewards me with more drives this season because I’m loving being here and I want to be in the seat.
“I’ve been at every round so far this season watching and learning from the other drivers and I know I need to work as hard or harder than all of them. After the disappointment of just missing out on automatic qualification at the end of season one, I have a very refreshed outlook for 2021 and I feel comfortable and confident in my ability to do a good job. Every setback is a chance to be better and I’ve tried to learn and improve on 2019. I did well at the pre-season test in Wales and that’s given me this chance to get back in the car. It’s amazing to be supporting Formula 1 and now I want to show my pace and enjoy a good weekend in Hungary.
Wood isn’t the only driver who has experience racing at the Hungaroring as Emma Kimilainen has also raced here before and speaking ahead of the event this weekend she said:
Fans from Finland have always flocked to Budapest for the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, and I’ll be trying hard, alongside my compatriots Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen, to give them lots to cheer about this weekend. I am the most experienced driver on the W Series grid at 32, but Kimi is 10 years older than me and watching him perform consistently at the highest level is so inspiring.
“The Hungaroring is a twisty, technical circuit and, with overtaking chances limited, the W Series qualifying session will be crucial. As a driver who relies on feel and instinct, I often find my rhythm early in the weekend’s running so that suits me.
W Series Racing Director Dave Ryan commented saying:
“Going from fast and flowing Silverstone to the tight and twisty Hungaroring will pose the drivers with a very different challenge and one that will be good for their development. Hungary is a very technical track which can take some time to learn, so it’s almost certainly a big advantage for a few of the drivers who have raced there before and added pressure for those who haven’t, so all the ingredients for an interesting race weekend are there. It’s also great to be able to give Caitlin Wood seat time in the PUMA W Series Team’s car this weekend. She had a good pre-season test in Wales and has been at every round of the season so far working hard for us, so she deserves the opportunity. But there is no question that it will be tough for her – the other drivers have three races behind them so she is definitely up against it.”