A change of scene After the high-speed experience of Monza, our attention shifts to the twists and turns of the Nurburgring! Straight off the back of two days of testing in Magny-Cours, the World Series drivers will be heading for the Eifel ...
A change of scene
After the high-speed experience of Monza, our attention shifts to the twists and turns of the Nurburgring! Straight off the back of two days of testing in Magny-Cours, the World Series drivers will be heading for the Eifel mountains in Germany for their second showdown of the season. Alvaro Parente, the man who came away from Lombardy as the leader, (Tech 1 Racing) will be looking for a repeat of proceedings in 2006 when he took a victory here!
For the World Series Formula Renault 3.5, it will be the second time they have been to the Nurburgring this season after the two days of collective testing here at the end of March. Then, it was Alvaro Barba (Draco Racing) who set the fastest time ahead of Alvaro Parente and Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport).
While Barba is yet to confirm his good off-season form, Parente and Aleshin lived up to expectations in Monza. After taking the win in race one, Mikhail missed out on a superb set of results overall when he had to abandon on Sunday after attempting a somewhat optimistic manoeuvre to get past his teammate Vettel. As a result, the Russian threw away the points for fourth place which would have given him the lead in the Championship.
That left it down to none other than Parente to bag the points and move to the top of the overall standings. After finishing fifth in the Championship in 2006, the Portuguese driver is determined to make the title his this year. And to achieve this, the Tech 1 Racing team will be giving everything its got. Judging by the performances this week at Magny-Cours -- both Parente and his teammate Julien Jousse -- there can be no doubt they are on fine form.
While he may not have been fastest in Italy, Sebastian Vettel timed his run perfectly taking valuable points at the chequered flag to put him provisionally in third place overall. As the only German driver in the World Series, the man from Heppenheim would just love to take his first win of 2007 in front of his home crowd!
While Alvaro Barba may have looked superior to his teammate Milos Pavlovic in collective testing, the Serbian seems to have the edge when it comes to the race. He used his experience to his advantage to earn himself a podium spot in Monza. But he certainly wouldn't turn his nose up at a win after no less than 36 races in World Series Formula Renault 3.5!
RC Motorsport, another team which looked sharp at Magny-Cours, may also be in with a chance of victory with Marco Bonanomi -- who already finished on the podium in Barcelona -- and Clivio Piccione. The other team to watch has to be Interwetten.com, which took its first win in Monza with Salvador Duran. Even if he was handed a start from the front row thanks to the reverse grid system, the Mexican put in a performance well worthy of the reigning team title holders.
There were plenty of drivers who came away from Monza disappointed, among them Guillaume Moreau and Bertrand Baguette (KTR), Jaap van Lagen (Red Devil Comtec), Giedo van der Garde and Charlie Kimball (Victory Engineering), Ben Hanley (Prema Power Team), Fairuz Fauzy (Cram Competition), Filipe Albuquerque and Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon-Euskadi), Miguel Molina (Pons Racing) and Ricardo Risatti (GD Racing). Some (Moreau, Baguette, Van der Garde, Fauzy) showed they have what it takes to make it onto the podium. And others (Hanley, Albuquerque, Molina, Risatti) showed that they have made good progress in Magny-Cours. Even if the set-up used at the French circuit is significantly different to that used at the Nurburgring, it's always a morale-booster!
We also hope to see Richard Philippe (Fortec Motorsport) return to the track in the wake of the injury he suffered in Monza. In attendance at Magny-Cours, the Frenchman will know whether or not he will be able to take part in the meeting after free practice.