Heading directly to world-famous Spa-Francorchamps from Zandvoort in neighbouring Holland, where he contested last weekend’s GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup races with Attempto Racing, Hutchison impressed across two very packed days of track action featuring 50 cars.
Joined by regular Attempto team-mates Nicolas Scholl, Alex Aka and 2019 team-mate Kim-Luis Schramm, the Hutchison Technologies, Evoson and In-Home Displays supported driver experienced the full complement of conditions with dry, damp and fully wet running.
Starting out with a wet track on Tuesday, 29th September, in the opening three-hour session, the first dry running of the test followed in the afternoon ahead of the crucial night-time session which ran until 22.00 local time.
Lapping with a best time of the day in the drier run of 2m19.717 seconds, the Audi was fourth in the Silver Cup and just outside the overall top 20. During the night-time session, a lap of 2m21.397 seconds placed the No.55 entry a superb second in class.
For this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, which takes place across the weekend 24th/25th October, there will be significantly more running in the dark with the race being contested almost three months later in the year than it usually would – due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the race coincides with the clocks changing and so will actually run over 25 hours, the first time in the history of the blue riband GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup event this has ever occurred.
On Wednesday, 30th September, rain was more of a factor with 20-year-old Hutchison and his Audi team-mates sharing driving duties during two further sessions. In the damp morning outing, which dried towards the conclusion, the No.55 Audi was seventh in the Silver Cup and during the rain-hit afternoon they placed fourth in class and an excellent 18th overall.
“We were strong right from the start and I feel we have the car in a great place”, said the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star, “As always with test days like these, things will only be properly unveiled in Q1 on the race weekend itself. Everyone tends to play games in testing, you don’t really know who is running what tyres, fuel loads and that sort of thing.
“Even over two days, with four drivers sharing the car you don’t get a huge amount of track time – certainly not as much as you’d think – and then we had the weather always changing. It’s been good though and I’m delighted with how things were, the car was great and we’re all feeling confident.”
Motorsport’s biggest and most popular GT3 race in the world, the Total 24 Hours of Spa, will take place over the weekend 24th/25th October at Spa-Francorchamps. Before then, Hutchison will be back in action in the European Le Mans Series with JMW Motorsport for round four of the season at Monza in Italy on 10th/11th October.