Barcelona Collective test report 2006-03-30

Busy in Barcelona The first two days of collective testing in Barcelona provided some initial indications about the 2006 line-up. The competition looks as though it will be even tighter than last year, with the new recruits determined not to let...

Busy in Barcelona

The first two days of collective testing in Barcelona provided some initial indications about the 2006 line-up. The competition looks as though it will be even tighter than last year, with the new recruits determined not to let the "old hands" get the better of them! This weekend the Formula Renault 3.5 cars will be in Le Mans for more testing, where teams are sure to be just as busy.

Addicted to the track
The thirty Formula Renault 3.5 cars completed 2,224 laps of the Barcelona track over two days, which equates to more than 10,000km! The hardest working driver was Patrick Pilet. The GD Racing driver completed a staggering 133 laps. The only other driver to complete more than 100 laps was Alessandro Boneti (Jenzer Motorsport), who managed an impressive total of 123.

Even contest
After two days of testing, there were twelve different teams among the thirteen top times! Carlin Motorsport was the only team to place two drivers in the top half of the field, as Colin Fleming finished top of the time sheets while Michael Aleshin clocked the 7th best time.

New kids on the block
Having acquired the services of experienced drivers Alx Danielsson (8th), Christian Montanari (10th) and Ryo Fukuda (12th), FR3.5 newcomers Comtec Racing, Prema Power Team and Tech 1 Racing immediately set times that were right up with the best. No chance, then, of the new guys being intimidated by the more experienced big guns!

Where are they from?
Eleven of the 2006 field took part in World Series Formula Renault 3.5 last year: Fleming, Maldonado, Danielsson, Montanari, Pilet, Pavlovic, Kostka, Salignon, Meneghello and Miguez. Eight drivers have switched from F3: Valsecchi, Soucek, Parente, Rossiter, Kane, Barba, Franchi and Kochem. Finally, four drivers have made the leap from Formula Renault 2.0: Hanley, Aleshin, McIntosh and d'Ambrosio.

On to Le Mans
The fifteen teams are preparing to take over the Bugatti circuit on Saturday and Sunday for the second of their three pre-season test sessions. Le Mans will be the venue for the penultimate round of the 2006 World Series by Renault from September 29 to October 1. It is highly likely that the upcoming tests will take place in very similar climatic conditions to those the teams will find when they return in the autumn.

Lapping it up on the Nurburgring
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 competitors are currently taking part in their second session of collective testing on the German track. Next Monday and Tuesday it will be the turn of the Megane Trophy cars. And then on Wednesday and Thursday, the Formula Renault 3.5 cars will take to the track for the last time before the season curtain-raiser at Zolder.

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Ryo Fukuda , Colin Fleming , Christian Montanari , Patrick Pilet
Teams Carlin , Jenzer Motorsport