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TRS tests arming fired up Whitley for W Series Shootout



W Series hopeful Alexandra Whitley stepped up her on-track preparation for the selection final for the new FIA backed women only international single seater championship with the first of two test days aboard a Toyota Racing Series car at Hampton Downs this week.

Toowoomba born and bred but now living and racing in New Zealand, Whitley spent all of Monday in the Dayle ITM car driven by Brendon Leitch in this year's championship, transitioning from heavier V8 racing machinery to wings and slicks in preparation for the W Series' March shootout - which will see 28 drivers reduced to the final group.

That final group will enjoy a fully-funded season of international racing that will take them to some of the most famous tracks in Europe.

Whitley's first day of a two day test programme was overseen by TRS Category Manager Nico Caillol and included multiple ten lap runs as well as switch from old to new Michelin tyres. Off-track time was spent analysing data, lines and braking technique - all aspects of the Toyota that are quite different to the Holden V8 racing ute the 25 year old is used to, but very similar to the characteristics of the single seater car the W Series hopefuls will drive when they are put through their paces by a team of judges that includes former Formula One racers David Coulthard and Alex Wurz.

"The lines and braking are very different to what I am familiar with and it's definitely a recalibration exercise understanding what a high performance aero car like the Toyota FT-50 is capable of. Braking technique and distances were very different and once you get used to that and the aero effect, then you can start understanding the performance of the car and how to extract more from it.

"It was a fantastic experience and I can't wait to get back out and build on what I have learned so far. It's important for me to acknowledge that a lot of people have helped to get me this test. Lucas Oilsand Koba Batteriesthrough Logan Distribution, Dayle ITM, Fasttrack Automotive Compliance, Dreven Investments, GLMD and Wattbike all chipped in to make the test possible. It simply wouldn’t be happening without them all.

"Toyota and Hampton Downs have also been super helpful and there's even been support from the wider racing community with racer Chris Greaney setting up a Givealiitle page for me which allowed more than 30 others to make a contribution to the cause.

“Everyone who has helped know who they are and I'm massively appreciative. It's all meant I can do the tests properly under expert guidance and give myself a great shot when I head to Spain for the W Series final selection."

Whitley has been following a rigorous physical training programme above and beyond her normal fitness regime for months, as well as undertaking engineer-supported simulator sessions and even creating a mock-up of the W Series Tatuus steering wheel so that the controls and functions are second nature to her when she sits in the car for the first time next month.