The last snapshot we have from COTA is one of James Calado on the top step of the podium with Alessandro Pier Guidi. It was 2017 and the pair – who took the world title that season – had secured a well-deserved win, jeopardised only by a puncture with four laps to go. The British driver, on the eve of his return to the Texas track, talked about the difficulties posed by the Circuit of the Americas: “I think it’s one of the most tricky tracks that we have on the calendar. There is a lot of elevation. It’s very up and down. Turn 1 is always a really big challenge because it’s blind. Then we go to a really high speed section where you need to be very brave and precise. The car setup there is extremely important, and it’s important that is good in the corners as well as the straights. It’s a bit of a compromise. It’s one of my favourite tracks to drive. We had success in the past, in 2017 Alessandro and I won the race. So, good experience and I’m looking forward to coming back”.
The successful appeal against disqualification at the 4 Hours of Shanghai puts the British driver and Alessandro Pier Guidi back in the fight for the title, 15 lengths behind the provisional leaders. Although the first part of the season was positive overall, the world champion still has one or two regrets. “The first part of the season obviously is out of the way. It has been a bit unfortunate. We’ve been a little bit unlucky in respect of results, but I think we have got great speed, the car is working well. Going forward, I’m confident that we can get a good result and continue this high form going forward. So looking forward to getting back in the car starting obviously at COTA and just doing a good job for the team and get the best result we can”.