Andy Wallace dream job as Bugatti test driver
When Andy Wallace gets into a new Chiron, he first adjusts the seat and steering wheel to fit him, then he presses the start button on the steering wheel. The Chiron needs about five minutes to warm up properly. The tyres only offer optimum traction when they reach 25 degrees. “It’s the only way we can get full grip and transfer the 1,600 newton metres of torque to the road.”
And Wallace should know – he’s been testing Bugatti cars and taking customers to the limits of driving physics since 2011. “I make sure the first drive in the car is absolutely safe, that customers feel comfortable right from the outset,” he says.
A thoroughbred professional
He came into contact with engine manufacturer Volkswagen in Formula 3 back in 1986 and later drove Audi and Bentley racing cars at Le Mans and on other race circuits. When Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. was looking for an official test driver back in 2011, former race engineers remembered Andy Wallace, that reliable, reserved, precise driver. “Actually, when my racing career ended I thought that would be the end of me sitting in powerful cars. But then Bugatti came up with an offer I couldn’t refuse,” smiles Andy Wallace.
Feb 03, 2020 at 15:24