Finlay Hutchison is to embark on the biggest challenge of his burgeoning motor racing career this coming Saturday, 18th November, when he lines up on the grid at Circuit Park Zandvoort with top Dutch team Equipe Verschuur for the eagerly awaited Zandvoort 500.
Dundee-based Hutchison, a multiple podium finisher in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup with Verschuur at the wheel of a McLaren 570s, will graduate to racing an extremely rapid Renaultsport R.S.01 – easily the most powerful machine he has driven in his brief two-year career.
Weighing less than 1,100kg and featuring a NISMO-tuned 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 Nissan engine which produces over 500hp, the R.S.01 is capable of a top speed in excess of 300km/h and boasts an incredible level of aerodynamic downforce.
Partnering Bernhard ten Brinke, who brings experience from circuit racing and the Dakar Rally, Hutchison is hoping to make a suitably strong impact at Zandvoort on his maiden outing in an R.S.01 as he casts an eye to the future and possible racing options for the 2018 season.
“I really can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the R.S.01 at the weekend, it’s a phenomenal car and easily the fastest I’ve ever driven”, said the 17-year-old Scottish ace, “Even though it’s a GT-style car, it’s much more like a single-seater from a driving perspective than the McLaren I’ve raced in GT4 so I’m looking forward to getting back to that.
“I’ve had a great year with the guys at Equipe Verschuur so it’s fantastic to be making the step-up from GT4 with them, hopefully we can have a good run and put together a strong race. It’s all about gaining experience and seat-time, so the four-hour race is a perfect opportunity.”
As well as a full campaign in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup this year, his maiden season of GT endurance racing after just one year in single-seaters prior to that in Formula Renault, Hutchison also gained vital experience in the sister Southern Cup with Equipe Verschuur.
Additionally, the In Home Displays, Fitbox Virtual, Evoson and Hutchison Technologies driver participated in three Audi Sport TT Cup events – securing a podium in only his second race in the category – and at the beginning of 2017 he achieved a notable class win at the Dubai 24 Hours.
“Overall I’m very happy with how my first season in endurance racing has gone, it all started well in the Dubai 24 Hours and we obviously had some good success in GT4”, he added, “We’re looking at a variety of options for next season, so the experience I’ll gain at Zandvoort over the weekend will be very useful in helping decide where my career goes next.”
Following testing at Zandvoort on Friday, 17th November, qualifying for the Zandvoort 500 will take place at 10.15 (local time) on Saturday, 18th November, with the race itself set to commence at 12.00 (local time).