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Silverstone: Series test notes 2008-06-06

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Silverstone: Series test notes 2008-06-06
Jun 7, 2008, 9:39 PM

Salvador Duran comes out on top After two days of collective testing, Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com Racing) clocked the best time overall, ahead of Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) and Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport). With seventeen ...

Salvador Duran comes out on top

After two days of collective testing, Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com Racing) clocked the best time overall, ahead of Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) and Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport). With seventeen cars separated by less than a second, it will be a hard-fought battle for pole position!

Today's two 45-minute sessions gave the drivers ample opportunity to build on the work they started yesterday. Giedo Van der Garde got off to a flyer. He quickly improved on the fastest time from yesterday, set by Robert Wickens of Carlin Motorsport, and continued to dominate throughout the early part of the session. With a lap timed at 1'33''239 and an average speed of almost 200kph, Van der Garde was in the lead when Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) crashed off, temporarily bringing the session to a halt.

By the time the action resumed, almost everyone had put on a fresh set of tyres. Guillaume Moreau (KTR) was the first driver to get close to Van der Garde's time. Fairuz Fauzy (Fortec Motorsport) then unseated Moreau from second place as Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil team Comtec) grabbed top spot in 1'33''216. Giedo Van der Garde wasted no time in bouncing back, however, reclaiming the lead shortly afterwards with a lap timed at 1'33''092, before the session was once again interrupted when Aleix Alcaraz (RC Motorsport) crashed off. At this stage, Marco Bonanomi and Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) were lying in second and third place respectively behind Van der Garde.

The standings would change again as the end of the session approached, with the Tech 1 Racing drivers working their way up the field. Charles Pic sneaked into second position between Giedo Van der Garde and Marco Bonanomi, while Julien Jousse climbed to fifth.

Today's second session of collective testing, the last before the weekend, saw the drivers make a cagy start before letting rip as the end drew near. Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam) was the first to get close to Van der Garde's time. He crashed off shortly afterwards, but he was the first of a number of drivers to embark upon a final charge to improve their times.

First, Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) took the lead with a time of 1'33''042, the fastest of the two days at that point. Just a few seconds later, Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com Racing) upped the ante, becoming the first driver at this meeting to break the 1'33 barrier, with a lap timed at 1'32''982. Some drivers missed out on a last chance to improve on their times when Alexandre Marsoin's gearshift problems sent oil spilling onto the track and the session was suspended.

Salvador Duran therefore claimed the fastest time overall over the two days of testing, followed by Marco Martinez, Giedo Van der Garde, Charles Pic and Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature). With very little to choose between the drivers, qualifying promises to be a thrilling affair.

Salvador Duran: "These tests have gone very well. We found a decent setup and I think we can still improve on two or three things, especially for the races. Qualifying will be very important, as we are all performing at a similar level."

Marcos Martinez: "This circuit is new to me, but things are going well. Yesterday I didn't drive brilliantly and the car didn't handle as I might have liked, but today it was great. I can't read too much into this result, as I know that a lot of drivers didn't switch to fresh tyres."

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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