Young American racer and GP3 Series race winner Conor Daly has been chosen by the Sahara Force India F1 Team to conduct aero testing for the squad this week at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire, the team has announced this morning.
The test will take place on Thursday, and will be the 20 year old Indiana native’s first taste of Formula 1 machinery.
“Conor visited the team’s Silverstone headquarters on Tuesday for a seat-fit and to familiarise himself with the systems on the car. It was a chance to meet his engineering crew and run through the functions on a Formula One steering wheel,” the team’s website stated.
“The programme on Thursday is one of the full-size aerodynamic tests that teams are allowed to complete during the course of the season. The focus is to measure aerodynamic forces to correlate with wind tunnel data.”
Conor, son of former F1 racer Derek Daly, arrived in Europe just last year as the 2010 Star Mazda champion. After a year learning the European circuits racing for Carlin in GP3, he was chosen by the hugely successful ART squad, for 2012 renamed “Lotus”, to head up their assault on the 2012 GP3 Series in which the team is aiming for a third consecutive driver and team championship. Daly got the team’s season off to the best possible start, winning the second race of the opening round of the season in Barcelona and sits second in the championship as GP3 moves next to Monaco.
The news comes just a matter of days after a big weekend for emerging US driver talent on the path to F1. Along with Daly’s GP3 series win, current Formula Renault 3.5 racer Alexander Rossi became the first American driver to take part in a Formula 1 session for five years when he drove in FP1 for Caterham in Barcelona on Friday. Today’s news means that America’s best positioned and most successful single seater racers in Europe now both have an association with a Formula 1 team, links which could prove pivotal in returning an American driver to the Formula 1 grid fulltime.