Conor Daly has expressed praise for the Jerez circuit after returning to the Spanish track and turning his first laps ahead of this weekend’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final.
The track, located in southern Spain near Seville, is primarily used for motorbikes and serves as a mainstay on the MotoGP and Superbike World Championship calendars.
As a result, it’s rarely used for car racing nowadays, meaning few drivers taking part in this weekend’s World Final have prior experience of the 2.7-mile circuit.
Daly is one of few drivers who have driven the track before, having visited it for a GP3 Series test eight years ago.
This weekend, he’ll share a Precision Performance Motorsports car with title hopeful Brandon Gdovic, who sits second in the North America Pro championship standings.
“I was here a long time ago,” Daly told Sportscar365. “I don’t know for how many days, but it was GP3, their pre-season testing was here.
“It was definitely my first test with ART at the end of 2011, so a long time ago.
“Visually, it’s all the same. It really hasn’t changed. Everything is still blue and white, everything is still pretty high quality.
“I think they’ve added a little bit of that green pavement on some of the exits, that we might not have had back then. It is a track that I wasn’t totally blind on, for sure.”
Daly, who competed in GP3 and GP2 for four seasons before his move to IndyCar, is impressed by the quality of the asphalt at Jerez, which is something that he says sets it apart from the tracks on the remainder of the Super Trofeo North America schedule.
“It’s a little narrow but it’s super smooth, and it’s just really nice,” he explained. “It’s a typical European circuit because when it’s MotoGP or F1 quality, it’s just really nice. Everything looks proper.
“The only thing is, there are not a lot of reference points. On a lot of American tracks, they have a lot of history to them, so there are big trees you look at or random buildings, stuff like that.
“This is very open and there are brake markers and that’s it. But I like it, it’s nice to be on a really smooth surface, it’s the smoothest of the year, by far, which is cool. I think the car works well here too.”
As a narrow circuit with a number of fast, sweeping corners, overtaking opportunities may be limited but Daly believes there are still a few possibilities.
“Hopefully, at the end of the back straight, I would hope there because it’s a super heavy brake zone,” he said.
“Realistically, it just depends on how much aero wash you get behind a car through that corner before the long straight. If people mess up, [you can pass at] the last corner. You want to have a run up through Turn 1.
“Other than that, I don’t see it being very easy to pass anywhere else but these cars have always been hard to overtake, so you’ve got to find any space anywhere and just take advantage of people’s mistakes.”