Le Mans: Series Thursday test notes

Marco Barba in between the drops Just a week after the Nurburgring leg, Formula Renault 3.5 Series is already in residence for the Le Mans weekend. And with the first day of collective testing marked by showery conditions, it's been ...

Marco Barba in between the drops

Just a week after the Nurburgring leg, Formula Renault 3.5 Series is already in residence for the Le Mans weekend. And with the first day of collective testing marked by showery conditions, it's been International Draco Racing's Marco Barba who has put in a strong showing. The Spanish driver finishes the day ahead of Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) and Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec).

The track was wet though the rain had stopped by the time the Formula Renault 3.5 Series competitors took to the track for the first session of collective testing. Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) was the first to put in a quick lap and climb to the top of the class.

The session was interrupted after just half an hour when Pablo Sanchez (Interwetten.com), Fairuz Fauzy (Fortec Motorsport) and Sergey Afanasiev (KTR) all lost their way through the <<Chicane Dunlop>>. You guessed it: the rain was back at the Bugatti circuit! At this point, Fabio Carbone had the best time, ahead of Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam), Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport), Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) and Pablo Sanchez (Interwetten.com Racing).

Eventually the rain gave in and with thirty five minutes to go before the chequered flag, Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) went on the attack with a 1'27''115 lap.

With the conditions now dry, most of the drivers got out on track to try their luck. The morning session ended with Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec) at the top of the standings. With a best lap time of 1'26''410, he had overtaken Marco Barba (International Draco Racing) and Mikhail Aleshin.

The drivers got down to serious work straight after lunch. Almost everyone was in action and putting in longer runs. Giedo Van der Garde, Bertrand Baguette, Marco Barba and Fabio Carbone fought for the leader spot until Robert Wickens took over, throwing in an impressive 1'26''397 lap time.

After a brief period under the red flag though, drivers got back in action and quickly upped the pace. Fabio Carbone, and then Giedo Van der Garde seemed to have the beating of the pack. But towards the end of the session, fortunes were to turn in favour of Marco Barba. The Spaniard was the first to drop below the 1'26 mark. With 1'25''743 then 1'25''710, he raced into the lead. Charles Pic improved his own time and took over second spot, ahead of Marco Bonanomi, Bertrand Baguette and Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com racing).

At this point, the rain once again descended from the heavens, ending hopes of any faster laps. So Marco Barba finished this first day's collective testing in the lead and well pleased with the day's events. <>

We can look forward to two more collective testing sessions programmed for tomorrow.

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Fabio Carbone , Fairuz Fauzy , Marco Bonanomi , Robert Wickens , Bertrand Baguette , Mikhail Aleshin , Miguel Molina , Marco Barba , Charles Pic , Pablo Sanchez
Teams Carlin