GPX Racing will take advantage of the downtime caused by the global COVID-19 crisis to practice and improve aspects of its team ahead of the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season.
Team principal Pierre-Brice Mena says the team, which will run two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs with a semi-factory lineup in the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup, will take full advantage of the delayed start to racing.
The first three rounds – Monza, Brands Hatch and Silverstone – have all been canceled, pushing back the provisional start to the season to Circuit Paul Ricard at May 29-30.
“We’ll try and use this time to prepare for the season better, there are a lot of things we don’t have time to do during the season so it’s the right time to do it now,” Mena told Sportscar365.
“Basically, we’ll try to use this time for us to improve and become even better.
“I really want to work a lot on automation, the things that will help you win. We’re working a lot on that, and also on pit stops and things like this which are going to be crucial in the new championship this year.
“Everybody is training, and we’ll try and keep the drivers fit and we’ll probably do some fitness training if we can travel, but now it’s a bit of a mess. Basically, the main things are organization, automation and pit stops.”
Mena’s focus on “automation” includes updating and streamlining computer systems and Excel spreadsheets to improve data analysis and strategy decisions, and he’s hoping the unexpected opportunity to work on this will pay off when racing gets underway.
He says the pre-season test at Circuit Paul Ricard earlier this month was a good opportunity to get some running completed before it was too late.
“It was the first time we had our full lineup together, and we made a lot of developments during the two days of tests, and a lot of running,” the Frenchman explained.
“In terms of performance it was pretty good but you never know what the others are doing because there was no BoP to use so it’s difficult to know.
“The spirit was very good, it was very good to have all the drivers altogether, and everybody is very motivated to start the season so hopefully we can start really soon.”
Team All Based in Europe to Avoid Travel Restrictions
GPX Racing’s umbrella company GP Extreme is split between Europe and Dubai, with its main shop at Dubai Autodrome, although the GPX crew is based in Barcelona.
Mena himself lives in Dubai, but is staying within Europe for the time being to avoid any difficulties in traveling between the two bases amid travel restrictions imposed by the European Union.
“After Paul Ricard, I decided to stay in Europe, in France, because I didn’t want to get stuck, but now I’m stuck in France!” Mena explained.
“We have the workshop in Barcelona but right now I cannot go there. I’m just waiting. I don’t have anything else to do!
“Hopefully the situation will be better in a few weeks and we can start to travel again.
“GPX Racing is really based in Barcelona more than Dubai. The fact that [GP Extreme] is in Dubai doesn’t stop us too much because we are mostly in Europe for GPX Racing.”