'Insane' Supercar laps for Gasly, Ocon

29 Mar 2023
Alpine F1 stars tackle Castrol Ford Mustang
3 mins by James Pavey

BWT Alpine F1 Team stars Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have enjoyed their first taste of Supercar machinery at Calder Park.

Gasly and Ocon are in Melbourne for this weekend’s Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

The French duo joined Thomas Randle and Tickford Racing at Calder Park Raceway's Thunderdome on Wednesday.

Australian Formula 2 driver and BWT Alpine F1 Team test driver Jack Doohan also sampled Randle’s new Gen3 Supercar, which only made its racing debut three weeks ago.

Former Australian Rally Champion and new Castrol ambassador Molly Taylor was also on site.

It came after Alfa Romeo star Valtteri Bottas drove a Bathurst-winning Commodore Supercar at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival on Sunday.

Wednesday's closed-to-public event was part of a Castrol filming day, with drivers competing in some unique 'Australian’ challenges.

Gasly, who joined Alpine from Alpha Tauri this season, was impressed by the new Gen3 beast.

“That was insane! A really amazing experience the first time driving this beast,” Gasly beamed.

“It was actually my first time driving on an oval, it was incredible. Just too short – when I came back to stop here, I wanted to go for another 10 laps!

"It was a very impressive car, much different to what I’m used to driving so I definitely had a lot of fun.”

Ocon, who is entering his third season with the French team, felt a sense of responsibility given Randle will race the Ford on Thursday.

The laps came as showered peppered Melbourne and surrounds on Wednesday.


“It definitely felt great, it’s cool to have that experience as the car is racing tomorrow also, so we had a big responsibility,” Ocon said.

"I love to try and experience new categories and that definitely was a lot of fun,” said Ocon.

“It accelerates very fast, we were on an oval and it was a bit wet today, so we were on the wet tyres, but it definitely is a proper Supercar.

"I did race closed racing cockpits before but that was definitely the one of the top ones I have tested.

“I drive Bathurst a lot on the simulator and it is something else.

“Of course I would like to experience it in real life, I haven’t done so, but one day.”

It was the second straight year Randle handed his car over to F1 talent, with Fernando Alonso lapping Albert Park last April.

Doohan, who scored his maiden F2 feature win last year, was overwhelmed by the power in the Ford.

“It was very cool. It was surreal to come here and see this place for the first time, the banking is amazing,” Doohan said.

“It was unbelievable, a lot of power as well.

"I’d never driven the car before and for it to be in these conditions — slippery, greasy, a little bit wet and also on a track like this it was very cool.”

Supercars will hit the track at Albert Park on Thursday, with F1 action commencing on Friday.

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