Thursday 16 March saw the Classic Racing School test, starting its 2023 season, with the traditional test day at the Charade circuit. Relive this momentous event as if you were there with us.
It’s 8am when the sun rises in the sky for the Classic Racing School test. In the pitlane of Charade, the Classic Racing School team is already busy. The weather conditions will be favourable on this late winter day, so not a minute must be wasted.
In the pits, the mechanics take the cars out to the pitlane. Our Crosslé 90Fs receive the final checks before their first laps on a circuit since November. The engines are warming up, the tanks are filling up and the last nuts are tightened on the wheels. Over a hot coffee, the rest of the team is briefed on the day’s programme: the morning will be devoted to a photo shoot on the starting grid and to the first adjustments on the cars.
Under a big blue sky that we haven’t seen for weeks, it’s time to position the cars to take pictures. Joris Clerc, our photographer for the day, as well as Pierre, our communication manager, lead the operations. On the Charade circuit, which has been privatized for the occasion, the Classic Racing School team poses for the first portraits of the season. With BRETT glasses on their noses and Yema watches on their wrists, our faithful partners are not missing the Classic Racing School test.
Taking pictures is good. But driving is even better! Once the pictures have been taken, the whole team chooses a single-seater to drive. For some, it is their first time at Charade, while others can’t count the number of laps they have driven because they are so familiar with the track. The instructors and mechanics, for whom the Crosslé 90Fs hold no secrets, take advantage of these first laps of the year to break in the engines, check the position in the car or balance the brakes. After months of maintenance, overhaul and repair work in the workshop, their feedback is essential to ensure an optimal driving experience for our first customers.
After the first laps, it’s time for the lunch break. Coraline and Léo, in charge of the operations all year long, are in the kitchen. The whole team meets at the table for a warm and friendly moment, after several months without seeing certain faces.
But the afternoon is busy, there is no time to lose! The holders of the BPJEPS (the instructors’ diploma) go to the control tower of the circuit. New this year: the safety on the track during our racing experiences will be entirely managed by the Classic Racing School. The team members will learn how the cameras, signals and sound level meters work.
In the pitlane, the cars are ready to take to the track. The cones are placed on the track before Julien (founder of the Classic Racing School) and Malivaï (instructor and driver) hit the track, equipped with their onboard cameras. These will allow us to produce a virtual Driver’s Guide, which will be sent to all our customers before their visit to Charade. Right trajectories, gear changes, braking points, mistakes to avoid: everything is there so that the future drivers of our Crosslé 90F feel at ease from the very first corners. The Classic Racing School test aims to make sure our future drivers will enjoy the best possible experience.
Meanwhile, the other instructors and drivers are busy working on the best possible settings. From suspensions to brakes, from understeer management to tyre pressure, no parameter is left to chance. The laps are stacked up and Joris shoots the cars with his camera. While the cars turn at a moderate pace, our photographer can choose new points of view, inaccessible during a training date, thus offering unique shots.
One last mission awaits us at the end of the day, and not the least: the travelings. These pictures are crucial during the Classic Racing School test, as they convey all the sensations of driving, in particular the speed thanks to the artistic blur around the single-seaters.
But how are the dollies made? Two members of the team, Julien and Malivaï, take the wheel of two Crosslé 90Fs. Victor, a sales manager, drives the car usually used for track reconnaissance, while Joris and Pierre strap themselves into the boot and back seat to capture the cars in motion.
With the light of the end of the day and the clear sky, this session allows us to take breathtaking pictures, between the setting sun in the starting line and the plain of Limagne below Champeaux.
A final lap of the circuit is planned, and not the least acrobatic. In order to shoot the cars for on-board photos, Joris attaches himself to the roll bar of a Crosslé 90F and balances himself on the engine while the car is running. At slow speeds, the photographer slides his camera behind the driver’s helmet, to take pictures as if you were in the car.
This last session of the Classic Racing School test was the end of a day full of work, both on track and behind the scenes. After this long day of work (but above all of pleasure!), the historic single-seaters are now ready to welcome the customers for the first driving experiences on April 15th. The website and social networks of the Classic Racing School will be updated with new and unpublished shots thanks to the work of Joris.