Paul Petit faces the unique situation of living out lockdown at a race track, as the the European sports car rcing driver and his family have been confined to Circuit de Mornay in central France.
The 26-year-old Frenchman, who finished third in the European Le Mans Series LMP2 championship in 2018, has returned to his family’s home at the circuit which his father, Pierre, operates.
While mostly hosting track days and testing opportunities, the circuit, located near the town of Bonnat, has a fleet of vehicles ranging from karts, Formula Renaults to CN cars.
The Petit’s have been based at Mornay since 1995.
“I’m in the place where I grew up,” Petit told Endurance-Info. “When I left school, I went to the circuit to see my father. It is much better to be confined here in the countryside than in an apartment in the city. For me it’s a return to the fold.”
As has been the case with all non-essential businesses in France, the circuit has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a further extension of lockdown beyond the previously confirmed date of May 11.
“Of course, being on a circuit makes you want to race,” Petit said. “The playing field is in front of me but I am preparing myself differently. The setting is perfect for sports and I’m ready to start the season.”
After a season in GT3 machinery in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup, Petit will make the switch to the French FFSA GT Championship and is set to share an AKKA-ASP-run Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Thomas Drouet.
“I am waiting for the green button to be pressed,” Petit said. “I know I am in a team that can win. I’ll be taking this season very seriously by finding pleasure in driving. I’m in the right place with the right people.”
For now, Petit will continue his days at his his home, training in other ways than getting behind the wheel.
“I have space and I don’t see the place as a circuit, but as a part of my childhood,” he said. “It is the best place for me that can exist. I run, I mow the lawn… In fact, I do everything except drive.”
Laurent Mercier contributed to this report