Driver Spotlight: James French
Driver, No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09
You’ve been in a PC car, off and on, for a number of years now. How much more comfortable are you knowing you have a full season set?
“It makes it a lot easier to get comfortable to know you’re going to be in for the rest of the season. You get used to the people you’re working with. You just have more time to adapt to the car, that makes it a lot more comfortable. You also get to build on each race as it goes as you don’t have to wait two or three months between each one. It’s a lot easier to build.”
You’ve driven a lot of different cars already at a young age. How does a PC car compare to some of the formula cars you’ve driven?
“I would say that under braking it’s very similar. They both have carbon brakes. In that respect, you have to treat them the same way. They have to come up to temperature right. It’s the same with cornering. This [PC] car has a ton of grip, with the big floor and splitter. It’s very similar in driving style. It has a heavier feel to it, but other than that, it’s pretty similar.”
How do you think Detroit will be this weekend?
“Like Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Detroit will also be a new experience for me. I’ve never been on a street course before. So it will be a lot of learning very quickly. But I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
What do you like about the TUDOR Championship and the atmosphere here?
“My favorite thing has been the mix of cars and people. You never know what to expect. There’s so many variables that can happen with yellow flags and inter-class racing. It’s almost chaos. That’s the best part about it.”
What are some of your hobbies when you’re away from the track?
“Over the winter, I kind of get my nerd on and race r/c cars two or three times a week, which is fun. I go to school for motorsports engineering, so that takes up quite a bit of time. During the summer, I like to go surfing and kite boarding, and wake boarding… Pretty much anything on a board.”