The moment a lot of race fans looked forward to: Juan Manuel Correa’s comeback to competitive racing. The American completed his first race weekend back in the car in Barcelona and to top it off he scored a point. Here is how it felt to be back in the car again.
When you have been out of competitive racing for as long as Juan Manuel Correa has been and when you know the reasons why, it’s easy to think that the American needs some time to adapt. Especially those final couple of tenths in qualifying will take a while to find.
“So overall we had a very positive day on Friday. Obviously, I would have loved to be inside the top-twelve target after qualifying to take advantage of the reverse grid starting position for tomorrow, but we just missed out on that,” explained Correa. “The positives from that session were that I improved on all three sets of tires, I kind of put a complete lap together but not exactly 100% of that way I would have liked, and that we were only a couple of tenths away from the top-five. There is more than a couple of tenths where I can improve in driving and the car setup and we see that in the data. Positive qualifying session though and now we turn our focus to the race tomorrow with the target to finish inside the top-twelve to then get the reverse grid for race two and see if we can score some more points. A bit of an emotional day for me and mixed feelings but very positive.”
Correa finished his first race back in 15th. Race 2 however was different. He fought his way up to 10th and managed to hang on to that elusive first point. But competitive as the American is, he was not at all happy with his performance in Race 3 where he finished outside of the points.
“The race today (Sunday, ed.) was a little bit disappointing for me personally as I was hoping to have a little better race pace and to be able to stay with the pack to fight for a top-ten finish”, Correa said. “Unfortunately, that was not the case as I dropped back a little bit but not too bad. I was able to fend off the drivers from behind late in the race and at that time, the pace was similar to the drivers inside the top-five which was a positive. As a weekend in general, there were more positives than negatives, but we identified a few things that I need to work on. I achieved many of the objectives I set at the beginning of the weekend by competing all race laps, building experience and gaining knowledge of this race car which was great. I was hoping for more points, but the series is so competitive and that gives me even more motivation for the next rounds. As a driver you always want more but it was a good first step. Now we have a test this week where we will be able to try and fix and polish some of the rough points from this weekend and do more laps which is the main thing that I really need right now. After that, we will prepare for the next event at Paul Ricard.”