Usain Bolt samples Porsche 911 race car
The world’s fastest man, retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, was this week behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car at a private test at Winton Motor Raceway.
The 31-year-old eight-time Olympic gold medallist drove the 2014-spec 911 GT3 Cup car raced in the 2017 Carrera Cup season by experienced driver Cam McConville, who took the 460hp race car to victory in March’s Albert Park round.
Fellow former Olympic sprinter John Steffensen, who has confirmed his entry into the 2018 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia season, was present at the Monday test and was pleased Bolt’s progress throughout the day.
“Usain did a great job for his first time in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He loves motorsport and he really enjoyed the experience of driving the race-bred Porsche at Winton,” said Steffensen.
“He honestly did a great job. There’s a fair bit to absorb in that situation and he really did impress with his ability to get up to speed and, in the end, was turning some respectable lap times.”
23Red Racing Team Principal, Cam McConville, echoed Steffensen’s thoughts on Bolt’s on-track performance.
“Usain was eager to get into a race car and it was great to be able to facilitate this earlier in the week at Winton. He didn’t put a foot wrong all day and didn’t go off the road at all. He absolutely loved the experience,” said McConville.
“I took him around for five laps in the Porsche before I sat with him for two five-lap runs. He then took John for five more laps and then did a 10-lap run by himself.
“He got down to lap times in the 1:30s, which is competitive. Given a couple more days in the car and I think he would be on the pace.
“I was actually surprised by how well he did, but like any athlete of that calibre, he has tremendous reflexes and hand-eye coordination so it’s just a matter of teaching him the feel of the race car.
“We were thrilled to have Usain along for the day, but he was equally as appreciative for the opportunity to drive in the 911 GT3 Cup car.”