The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda Young Driver Programme continued in Valencia this week. The trio of James Rossiter, Alan van der Merwe and Adam Carroll joined the team for a three-day event which gave them a further chance to show their ability and...
The Lucky Strike B*A*R Honda Young Driver Programme continued in Valencia this week. The trio of James Rossiter, Alan van der Merwe and Adam Carroll joined the team for a three-day event which gave them a further chance to show their ability and progress. Following their first runs in a Formula One car in Jerez at the beginning of December, the three drivers each had a further two half-day sessions in the B*A*R Honda 006 car this week.
Since the start of the programme in December, the trio have been working hard on their fitness with B*A*R Honda physio Karl Bickley and in regular contact with project leader Jock Clear to develop their plans for the 2005 season. B*A*R Honda have the three drivers under contract until after the February event when their future involvement with the team will be determined.
First to drive on Wednesday morning was James Rossiter who completed 37 laps in chassis 006-06. Alan van der Merwe took over in the afternoon session completing a total of 46 laps. Adam Carroll had his chance in the car on Thursday morning completing 47 laps.
James had his second run on Thursday afternoon session and acquitted himself well, setting some encouraging lap times over 25 laps. Unfortunately his afternoon was brought to an early conclusion due to a transmission problem. Alan van der Merwe completed his final session on Friday morning completing seven runs for a total of 52 laps. Adam Carroll ran in this afternoon's session. He completed 26 laps in total setting a respectable lap time.
Jock Clear, Young Driver Programme Leader:
"For these young drivers to have a second chance in the car at this busy time for the team shows the level of commitment that B*A*R Honda has made to this programme. With that in mind it is especially satisfying to see all three of them doing such a solid job both in and out of the car. They are clearly very committed to making the most of the opportunity and are working well with the engineers and mechanics."
"Their lap times have shown good progression and the outright pace has been very respectable. The Young Driver Programme will now focus on developing their talent as they continue with their 2005 racing season in other formulae."
"The event has been a good experience for all of us and it went very well. It was my first drive at Valencia so I spent much of the first session acclimatising myself with the car and the circuit. I felt very comfortable in the car and although I lost some running time due to a technical problem in the second session, I am happy with what I achieved this week."
Alan van der Merwe:
"I'm pretty happy with what I achieved in Valencia this week. I definitely improved over the two sessions in the car and felt much more comfortable in my second session this morning. The brakes are the biggest challenge as it is such a step-up from what we are used to and there is a lot of time to be found there. I would like to have done a better job on the new tyres today but overall the three days went well and it was great to get another chance in the car."
"It's been an enjoyable three days out in Valencia and we have benefited from the chance to run the car in dry conditions. It is a totally different experience to Jerez in December which was very wet and the car is so much faster."