Catalan catastrophe Stuck in midfield at Barcelona, Guillaume Moreau has strong reasons to believe in better days: a GP2 test will take place on Wednesday October 4, and next week, he'll be back at the wheel of his Dallara-Mercedes for his home...
Stuck in midfield at Barcelona, Guillaume Moreau has strong reasons to believe in better days: a GP2 test will take place on Wednesday October 4, and next week, he'll be back at the wheel of his Dallara-Mercedes for his home race in F3 Euro Series at Le Mans.
"I felt immediately at ease here" Guillaume said at the end of the Barcelona meeting. "I like the two fast double right-handers particularly. The problem is that when you drive close behind another car, you lose down force at the front, but it is possible to overtake at the end of the two long straights."
Most of the competitors had never raced at the Spanish venue before. On Thursday, Signature-Plus team tested a range of set-ups on used tyres, saving the new ones for Friday's practice session. But the weather turned to rain. Guillaume went off and couldn't take advantage of better track conditions at the end of the session.
"The car was OK, but the marshals just didn't want to let me start again. I have had to get out of the car to explain, and I lost 15 precious minutes in the process." Guillaume consequently struggled in qualifying and was 11th fastest on the time sheet. On Saturday, pouring rain turned the circuit into a swimming pool.
"It was a bit like driving with my eyes shut. We were waiting for a crash to happen, wondering when it was time to brake. It was something special." Fortunately, no crash occurred and Guillaume showed inspired enough to join the pack battling for 6th position.
"In early stages, I was in trouble due to tyre pressure, but I managed to recover 8th, and this meant that I was to start from pole position on Sunday, thanks to the reversed grid system. The race was nearly finished when the race direction decided to stop it short before the normal time. As a result of the presentation of the red flag, the previous lap's classification was ratified. I was still 9th at that time, so I dropped back 9th on Sunday's grid."
At the start of Race 2, Guillaume was trapped on the outside line, while wheels, wings and side-pods came together alongside him. "I was nearly forced to stop to stay out of trouble. When I started again, there were just two cars behind!" A safety-car procedure followed and when racing resumed, Guillaume put two F3 Euro Series front runners under early pressure and could find a way past Van der Garde and Guerrieri. Then he challenged team-mate Tim Sandler for 7th but the latter resisted firmly.
"He zigzagged in the straight so I had no choice but to turn to the outside. I could outbrake him all the same but he blocked wheels." Three drivers, including Van der Garde and Guerrieri, got past the Signature driver who eventually took 10th place despite a raging rush in closing stages.
The time has come now to have a look at the planning. The driver from Limoges will be driving an ART Grand Prix GP2 Series car on the 4th of October for a test session at "High Tech Test Track" in the South of France. "It is good news for me, I am pleased and honoured to be given the opportunity to discover the category in the championship winning team. GP2 is right under F1 in the hierarchy of Motor Sport, and the car is a lot more powerful than an F3. There will be a lot to learn, including the circuit."
Guillaume is also looking forward to race in France next week (October 14/15) at Le Mans, where he won his last Formula Renault race back in 2004.