Busy test day for Full Speed Racing Full Speed Racing was out in force at the Official FIA GT test day at Paul Ricard this week, with all six of the team's drivers at the wheel of the squad's pair of Saleen S7Rs. The team concentrated mainly...
Busy test day for Full Speed Racing
Full Speed Racing was out in force at the Official FIA GT test day at Paul Ricard this week, with all six of the team's drivers at the wheel of the squad's pair of Saleen S7Rs.
The team concentrated mainly on set-up work ahead of the opening round at Silverstone on Sunday 3 May and worked closely with tyre supplier Pirelli. The recently confirmed Ferdinando Monfardini and Luke Hines both sampled their cars for the first time alongside 2009 FIA GT Championship team mates Stephane Lemeret and Michel Orts, while test driver Johnny Mowlem and American Emerson Newton-John also got crucial track time.
"It was my first time in the car and I was surprised at just how good it was," admitted British racer Hines, who will share the #11 car with Belgian Stephane Lemeret this season. "Stephane and I got through a big workload and the test was excellent preparation for Silverstone."
Italian Monfardini, who will share the #13 car with Orts, was also delighted with his first run in the American-built muscle car. "I'm very happy and the test was full of positives. Michel and I worked well together and in the third session we did some long, race simulations and tyre tests and ran without any significant problems."
Monfardini and Orts are set for a further test at Donington Park before the season begins next month, where they will work on more set-up and the team will get some crucial pit stop practice under their belts.
Meanwhile, Newton-John continued to acquaint himself with the Saleen and is confident that he will make his Le Mans Series debut this season after the team were forced to miss the opening round in Barcelona.
The former NASCAR and Japanese F3 racer, is hoping to return to the cockpit after a seven-year absence and is targeting the second round of the LMS at Spa-Francorchamps next month.
"The test went really well and I've got a great feeling with the car," he said. "I'm now returning to the US where I will meet with a sponsor and I'm very hopeful that we'll have the budget in place to go racing in the LMS at Spa."
Experienced sportscar star Johnny Mowlem was Full Speed Racing's sixth driver in attendance at Paul Ricard, working closely with Pirelli on tyre testing.
"Everything ran very smoothly," explained Team Manager Graham Nash. "Our drivers all were competitive even though our main focus was on set-up and tyre testing rather than chasing lap times. The test bodes well for the new season and the entire team is looking forward to Silverstone.
"We're also delighted that Emerson is closing in on a new deal with his sponsor and relish the opportunity of running dual campaigns in the Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship."