Le Mans: Series Friday test notes

Ultimate boys "rain" supreme! With the exception of the Monaco meeting, something of a case apart, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series competitors have hardly had the opportunity to test their skills in the rain this season. In wet conditions today,...

Ultimate boys "rain" supreme!

With the exception of the Monaco meeting, something of a case apart, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series competitors have hardly had the opportunity to test their skills in the rain this season. In wet conditions today, the Ultimate Signature drivers were the stand-out performers: Esteban Guerrieri clocked the best time of the morning session, while Fabio Carbone was the fastest driver this afternoon.

It's been a rainy old Friday here at Le Mans. Wet-tread tyres and wet-track setups were the order of the day for the twenty-six Formula Renault 3.5 cars in action.

All the drivers took to the track immediately for a trial run before heading back to the pits. James Walker (Fortec Motorsport) took the lead with a lap timed at 1'50''635, with Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec) and Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) just behind.

With the conditions getting no better as the session progressed, the drivers took no unnecessary risks, but Argentine driver Esteban Guerrieri (Ultimate Signature) still managed to take the lead midway through proceedings, before improving his time to 1'48''933.

As the end of the first session drew near, the chasing pack gradually chipped away at Guerrieri's lead. Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) grabbed second place, then improved his time to move into top spot.

Guerrieri, who looked in sterling form in the rain, soon bounced back with a time of 1'47''343, with Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam) sneaking in between him and Pic to claim second position. "It's the first time I've driven the car on wet-tread tyres,>> explained the Brazilian. "We quickly found a good setup and then improved on it. We were quick yesterday in the dry, so I really don't mind what the conditions are like this weekend!"

The conditions improved slightly in the afternoon, though the track remained very wet. Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com Racing) was the first to beat Guerrieri's time. Then the lead, having been held by an Argentine and a Mexican, passed to a Brazilian, as Fabio Carbone clocked a time of 1'46''230.

There was an action-packed end to the session, with performances improving constantly. The lead changed hands on a number of occasions, first to Charles Pic, then to Mikhail Aleshin and finally to Fabio Carbone, whose 1'44''823 would remain the best time of the session. "The car has excellent grip in the rain," said Carbone. "It really is performing well, and we quickly found a way to get the best out of it in these conditions. Whatever the conditions, we are competitive. We will do everything we can to get another win under our belts and make up some ground in the Championship. We couldn't have wished for a better start to the weekend."

Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) clocked the day's second-fastest time, ahead of Marco Bonanomi and Charles Pic.

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Fabio Carbone , Marco Bonanomi , Salvador Duran , James Walker , Mikhail Aleshin , Esteban Guerrieri , Miguel Molina , Charles Pic
Teams Carlin