Usain Bolt becomes 23Red Racing’s honorary first driver with a secret Supercars test
World 100m and 200m record holder Usain Bolt became 23Red Racing’s honorary first driver with a secret test at Winton, in Victoria, Australia, earlier this week.
Bolt, who retired from athletics this year, drove the Porsche previously used by Aussie racer Cameron McConville as part of the development for freshly-formed 23Red Racing’s step into Supercars and Carrera Cup next season.
The test came about thanks to former Australian athletics star John Steffensen, a good friend of Bolt’s, who has been racing a Porsche in the second-tier GT3 Cup Challenge series down under.
Steffensen will step up to Carrera Cup with 23Red Racing next season, creating a link between the team and the famous Jamaican sprinting star.
McConville, Phil Munday and Lucas Dumbrell, who co-own 23Red, were also on hand for the day, coaching Bolt as he had his first ever drive of a fully-fledged racing car.
“He’s always wanted to have a go in a race car and we worked on it for three months to get the planets to align,” McConville told Supercars.com of Bolt.
“I took him around for five laps, then I sat with him for two five-lap runs. John – Steffensen, the Australian Olympic silver medallist – sat with him for five more and then he did his own 10-lap run.
“He got down to a very competitive 1:30s. He didn’t put a foot wrong or go off the road and he absolutely loved it.
“I was surprised by how well he did, but any world class athlete is elite with their reflexes and hand-eye co-ordination, it’s just a matter of teaching him the feel of the race car.
“With a couple of days in it, I’m sure he could be on the pace.