2006 British F3 Champion Enjoys 'Awesome' Honda F1 Test
A rookie season of GP2 Series competition with Super Nova and selection for the Honda Young Driver Programme kept 2006 Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series Champion Mike Conway busy throughout the year. When he wasn't testing or racing his Super Nova GP2 car, he was often carrying out duties for Honda including a visit to the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Conway finished his season with the best Christmas present a young racing driver can have - the chance to test a Formula One race car with a top team. Driving a Honda F1 car was a highlight for Conway and one which he valued highly. Conway has been part of the Honda Young Driver Programme throughout the season and culminated with two days of testing, one at Barcelona and one in Jerez.
Conway says of driving the car, "It was a privilege to drive a Honda F1 car and an awesome experience. The car was very well balanced and more powerful than the GP2 car I'm used to and it was a real pleasure to drive. After the first test I just wanted to be back in the car again, so it was great to have another day in Jerez last week. Being more familiar with the car gave me a chance to make progress and improve my lap times over the course of the session. I would like to thank Honda for these tests - it really was the perfect end to 2007 for me and I hope that there will be further opportunities with the team in the future."
A rookie season of GP2 produced mixed results for Conway. On his debut in Bahrain he scored his first championship points with a fifth place finish. A front row start for the Feature race at the British Grand Prix round, was capped by a podium finish and a fifth place at his home event. He recorded another strong fifth place at the challenging Spa Francorchamps circuit towards the end of the season. However, the season also features retirements from mechanical issues and accidents which hampered his chances of challenging for the top honours.
The immediate goal for Conway is to secure a seat in the 2008 GP2 Series. Tests with a number of prospective teams at the beginning of November produced good results for the Kent driver and he is now reviewing his options for the forthcoming season.
He says, "My focus now is to finalise a seat with a GP2 team for next year and my goal will be to take the championship title. After my rookie season I have the experience of the tracks, although with a new car being introduced none of us have yet driven the 2008 racer. Testing starts at the end of February, so I hope that I'll be behind the wheel of one of them ahead of the new season. In the meantime, I'm concentrating on my fitness training and preparing for the challenges that 2008 will bring."