Tech 1 Racing still in contention After the summer break the Formula Renault 3.5 Series got under way again on the Nurburgring in Germany this weekend. The Tech 1 Racing team again showed its speed by setting the fastest lap of the meeting.
Tech 1 Racing still in contention
After the summer break the Formula Renault 3.5 Series got under way again on the Nurburgring in Germany this weekend. The Tech 1 Racing team again showed its speed by setting the fastest lap of the meeting. Julien Jousse's second place on Sunday will boost his confidence for the next round on the Le Mans Bugatti track.
The Formula Renault 3.5 Series tackled one of the mythic circuits on the calendar, the Nurburgring, after a few weeks' holidays. The layout is very technical with a multitude of different corners and finding the best set-up is a very challenging task.
The weekend began with two days of collective testing. Julien's Thursday was upset by a few technical glitches that were ironed out for Friday when the car ran perfectly. Both machines were pretty quick so Julien and his team-mate Charles Pic approached qualifying full of confidence.
The two Tech Racing drivers were in the same group. Julien went to the top of the time sheets right from the start, and finished in first place with a lap in 1m 44.298s, a time that remained unbeaten all weekend. Charles set the fourth-fastest lap and both qualified for the SuperPole.
Things didn't go off as well as expected. Charles had an accelerometer problem and was unable to accelerate 100%. This prevented him from getting the most out of his car and he finished in twelfth place. Julien made a good start to the session, but was unable to repeat his morning's performance and set the seventh-best time.
Fine sunny weather greeted the spectators on Saturday afternoon and some 90 000 people flocked to the Nurburging over the weekend. The start on this circuit is always very tricky with a long burst of acceleration followed by a tight right-hander. Charles was unlucky enough to pick up the stray wing of another car, which jammed under his wheels. He could no longer control his machine and ran into Marco Bonanomi putting him out on the spot.
Julien had a less hectic start. From seventh on the grid he was up in third place by the end of lap 1. Unfortunately, his race came to a premature end as he made a mistake and ended up in the gravel trap.
On Sunday, Charles started from last place on the grid while Julien lined up in sixth spot. Pic fought his way up to twelfth, which was a great performance, as his team manager Simon Abadie, emphasized. "Maybe it wasn't obvious but Charles drove one of his best races today. He was consistent and quick and he managed his race very well. It's very encouraging or the rest of the season. If he continues to drive like he did today he'll win again," concluded Simon.
Things also went well for Julien. He was running seventh in a very compact leading group when the team decided to call him in on lap 7. "I'd like to congratulate the guys as the pit stop was very fast," said Simon. Julien rejoined in third place. He then reeled off a string of quick laps setting the fastest time of the day, and began, to threaten the second-placed driver, Miguel Molina from Spain. Julien decided it wasn't worth taking unnecessary risks and controlled the end of the race fending off another Spaniard, Alvaro Barba. In fact, Julien inherited second place when the winner Salvador Duran was disqualified.
This was his third second place so far this year and helps him consolidate his second place in the championship. "Julien put on a great performance. He was very quick and drove an intelligent race, which has helped him tighten his grip on second place in the drivers' championship. In the teams' ratings we're only nineteen points behind the leader, and our main aim is still to win the teams' title. We can do it! Today, we again proved how quick we are; now we have to convert our potential into results. For the next three races Le Mans, Estoril and Barcelona everything must be perfect. This way we'll win races and we'll fight for the title right till the very end," summed up Simon.
The next meeting will be on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit this coming weekend. The Tech 1 Racing team will be out to shine in front of its home crowd in the French round of the World Series by Renault.
-credit: tech 1