Hitech continues front running success at Oulton Park Test
British F3 champions Hitech Racing topped the times in the penultimate pre-season test at Oulton Park yesterday with rising British star Max Chilton pipping Marcus Ericsson by nearly three tenths of a second in the morning session. Max's team-mate rapid Austrian Walter Grubmuller was a superb third just four hundredths of a second off second place.
However when the session resumed after lunch, the Buckingham-based team were left frustrated by an abundance of red flags that interrupted the flying laps of both drivers, preventing them from a repeat performance. Despite that, Team Principal David Hayle was delighted with another strong showing from the two teenagers and confident that both would have otherwise been in the top three.
"We had another fantastic session in the morning with both drivers really on it and looking for a repeat in the afternoon. However it ended up very frustrating with a number of red flag situations preventing them both from capitalising on fresh tyres.
"The other drivers took new tyres around 3.30ish in perfect conditions whilst we were doing data simulations runs, unfortunately when we put the two guys on new tyres with an hour to go we had nothing but disruption. Despite that though I'm very happy overall with the outcome. Everyone else was gaining over a second on new tyres and even on our older ones we weren't that much off and with a second gained the way everyone else did, we would have easily been right up at the front again, so I'm very happy."
The team will now have just over a week to re-prepare the Dallara F308 Mercedes HWAs in preparation for the final official pre-season test at Oulton Park next Friday before the crucial qualifying on Saturday morning.
Walter Grubmuller: "The morning was great, we had a good test and I'm very happy with how it went although I knew there was more to come. So in the afternoon it was very frustrating to be denied the chance of going quicker. In the space of one hour, when I was on new tyres, I think there were four red flags and I got just seven laps in. But still we know the reason we weren't higher up and it was overall a very positive day so I'm feeling pretty confident about next week and the event."
Max Chilton: "I'm very happy with the day, especially the morning as it was damp and dry and I was quickest in both conditions. In the afternoon we spent a bit of time trying some new things but then couldn't get a clear run later due to all the red flags. However, overall it was a good day, my first time running at Oulton in an F3 and the first time for a while. I'm feeling confident ahead of next week's final test."