Summer break over for Van der Garde! After letting the Prema Powerteam drivers steal the show yesterday, Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) made sure things returned to normal today. Fastest in both of today's sessions, he lived up to his status ...
Summer break over for Van der Garde!
After letting the Prema Powerteam drivers steal the show yesterday, Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) made sure things returned to normal today. Fastest in both of today's sessions, he lived up to his status of leader and looks like he's raring to go this weekend as racing resumes after the summer break.
The weather was very different from Thursday, meaning the track was declared wet as the Formula Renault 3.5 cars made their way onto the track for the day's first 45-minute session. The vast majority of the drivers opted to start with slicks since the racing line appeared, on the whole, to be dry.
Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) and Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) set the pace at the start of the session. Van der Garde then grabbed the top time before Marco Barba (International Draco Racing) and Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) went quicker still.
Off the pace on Thursday, Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing) showed off some good form to take the best time. "Yesterday morning, the track was very dirty so I didn't complete many laps. I only had used tyres", explained the Tech 1 Racing driver. "Then I had a problem with the starter and something wasn't quite right in the gearbox. The first day wasn't great. Today, things went better. We changed the setup, but we can still find a still a few tenths. It's a very particular track, with a lot of different types of corner. There are no extremely difficult sections, just lots of tricky little bits which can catch you out and quickly lose you time."
As the session drew to a close, once again Giedo Van der Garde lived up to his status of leader and went on the attack. He improved his best time on consecutive laps and ended the session with a lap of 1'45''040, the fastest of the weekend so far.
In the afternoon, Van der Garde set the pace again. Just before the session's halfway point, Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam) took the lead but was still way short of the time set by the Dutch driver this morning.
Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com Racing) kicked off the final series of fast times. He was quickly overtaken, however, by Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) and then by Giedo Van der Garde, who once again had the final word.
"We had a rather unusual day yesterday: we changed the engine and had a few problems which we weren't able to resolve until late last night", explained Giedo Van der Garde. "Today, the car drove very well. I set my fastest time this morning on new tyres. This afternoon, we completed some laps with a lot of fuel in the car to prepare for the race. I then put on a set of new tyres, but I think the track was a bit slower. I feel good, the car is running well and we're much more on the pace than we were in Budapest. My goal for this weekend? I want to win races but it's not really up to me to take risks. Sometimes, you have to be content to just take the points!"
Esteban Guerrieri (Ultimate Signature), second-fastest this afternoon, also seemed to be pleased with his performance. "We have put in a lot of work to obtain a perfectly balanced car, although we have yet to find the right solution. But I'm confident about tomorrow all the same. There's still some work to do, but we should be able to adjust the car to my driving style."
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