Hutchison Relishing Being Back On Track As 2020 Action Prepares To Resume With ELMS Testing

Dundee racer Finlay Hutchison ready to hit the track at Paul Ricard with JMW Ferrari
July 8, 2020

Hutchison Relishing Being Back On Track As 2020 Action Prepares To Resume With ELMS Testing

Dundee racer Finlay Hutchison ready to hit the track at Paul Ricard with JMW Ferrari

Talented young Scottish racing driver Finlay Hutchison will be making his long-awaited return to track action next week, when official testing ahead of the rescheduled opening round of the 2020 European Le Mans Series takes place at Paul Ricard in France.

Dundee-based Hutchison, who is racing with the highly successful JMW Motorsport squad for his maiden season in the prestigious ELMS this year, cannot wait for his maiden run at the wheel of the Ferrari F488 GTE EVO in the all-action LMGTE category.

It will be an all-British driver line-up too at JMW, with Silver graded driver Hutchison joined by former LMGTE Champion Jody Fannin – returning to the team he won the 2017 crown with – and Hunter Abbott.  

The opening four-hour race of the campaign was, of course, originally set to take place at the beginning of April in Spain, but will now be contested on Sunday, 19th July, at Paul Ricard. Before then, Hutchison will test at the Le Castellet track next Tuesday, 14th July, and Wednesday, 15th July.

“I really can’t wait to be back”, said Hutchison, “It’s been so long since I was on track, but the lockdown has obviously been the right thing to do. The last few months have been quite frustrating in one sense, with all racing halted, but now I’m looking forward to getting out there with the JMW guys and finally getting 2020 properly underway.

“The Ferrari will be something different for me, since I moved out of Formula Renault into GT racing I’ve only ever driven cars with ABS [Anti-lock Braking System] and the GTE Ferrari doesn’t have that so it’ll be something to get used to. I’m quite excited by the prospect of racing the Ferrari, it’s a fantastic car and JMW are always there or thereabouts – one of the very best teams in the ELMS.”

The revised post-lockdown calendar for the European Le Mans Series will take place over five weekends. After Paul Ricard the championship will visit Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Barcelona in Spain and Monza in Italy ahead of the finale at Portimao in Portugal on Sunday, 1st November.

Featuring three classes, two for ‘prototype’ cars – LMP2 and LMP3 – and the LMGTE class in which 20-year-old Hutchison will compete, the European Le Mans Series is one of the biggest and most competitive endurance racing categories on the globe.

“It’s going to be good experiencing what it’s like to race around the LMP cars, the GTEs are pretty much as quick as the LMP3 cars on the straights but the prototypes have the advantage around the corners with the aerodynamics”, he added, “It’s always great to have new challenges.”

Hutchison dovetailing ELMS season with GT World Challenge Endurance Cup

Alongside his ELMS commitments, Hutchison was also set to dovetail a campaign in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup this season. Now, with so many revisions to race calendars as a result of the COVID-19 situation, he will instead contest the sister GT World Challenge Endurance Cup.

The Scotsman had originally signed, back in March, with the Black Falcon team but since then the squad has stepped away from its factory GT3 programme. Filling the void, though, is the newly established Haupt Racing Team headed by entrepreneur Hubert Haupt – who formerly raced with Black Falcon.

Hutchison will drive a factory-supported Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the ‘Sliver Cup’ class of the four-race GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup as team-mate to German driver Haupt and a yet-to-be-determined team-mate. That season begins over the weekend 25th/26th July at Imola in Italy.

Of course, the Hutchison Technologies, Evoson and In-Home Displays backed racer competed in the Endurance Cup last year and so has good experience of the championship. In 2019 he raced an Audi R8 in both the Endurance and Sprint Cup disciplines.

“It’s fantastic to be able to keep a programme going in GT World Challenge as well, and I’m looking forward to now doing the Endurance Cup again”, said Hutchison, “We didn’t know what would happen with Black Falcon pulling out, but HRT has taken over the Mercedes-AMGs so nothing much has changed. I can’t wait to team-up with Hubert, it should be a great season.”

2020 European Le Mans Series Calendar

Official Testing – Paul Ricard, France – 14th/15th July

Rd1 – Paul Ricard, France – 18th/19th July

Rd2 – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 8th/9th August

Rd3 – Barcelona, Spain – 28th/29th August

Rd4 – Monza, Italy – 10th/11th October

Rd5 – Portimao, Portugal – 31st October/1st November

2020 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup Calendar

Rd1 – Imola, Italy – 25th/26th July

Rd2 – Nurburgring, Germany – 5th/6th September

Official Testing – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 29th/30th September

Rd3 – Total 24 Hours of Spa, Belgium – 24th/25th October

Rd4 – Paul Ricard, France – 14th/15th November

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