Nurburgring: Series practice report

Walker dominates Ravaged by fire at the end of August, the P1 Motorsport team has had just a few days to rebuild its two cars and find all the equipment it needs to be ready for Nurburgring. Things got off to a perfect start for Roly Vincini and...

Walker dominates

Ravaged by fire at the end of August, the P1 Motorsport team has had just a few days to rebuild its two cars and find all the equipment it needs to be ready for Nurburgring. Things got off to a perfect start for Roly Vincini and his team when James Walker set the fastest time in collective testing.

The penultimate meeting of the season, Nurburgring started as usual with 2 one-hour collective testing sessions. The perfect occasion for Interwetten.com Racing's Salvador Duran, who returns to Formula Renault 3.5 Series this weekend, to reacquaint himself with a car he hasn't driven for over a year. Absent for a few races, Tech 1 Racing's Brendon Hartley and Comtec Racing's John Martin also returned to the FR3.5 hot-seat, while Epsilon Euskadi's Keisuke Kunimoto took his first steps in the class.

The first flying lap was set by RC Motorsport's Pasquale di Sabatino, with a time of 1'50"129. The Italian was soon dislodged from top-spot by Comtec Racing's Jon Lancaster, then by Salvador Duran who was straight on the attack. Approaching the halfway point of the session, Mofaz Fortec Motorsport's Fairuz Fauzy lapped in 1'48"062, setting a new fastest time.

It wasn't until the very end of the session that Fauzy's time was beaten. In his brand new single-seater, James Walker claimed the top slot on the timesheet in 1'47"998. It was now the turn of the Tech 1 drivers to shine. Charles Pic was the first to lead with a lap of 1'47"684, but it was Brendon Hartley who set the best performance of the morning with a time of 1'47"230. The New Zealander led Charles Pic, Epsilon Euskadi's Chris Van der Drift, ahead of Duran and Bertrand Baguette.

The afternoon belonged to Walker. With a flying lap of 1'47"481, the Briton held first place for the majority of the session, ahead of Mofaz Fortec Motorpsort's Sten Pentus and teammate Daniil Move. A little after half-way through the session, an accident for Bertrand Baguette forced the red flag to come out.

The session restarted and the drivers stepped up the pace as the chequered flag drew near. Chris Van der Drift shook walker off first place, before Jon Lancaster took his turn to hold court. With a lap of 1'47''126, the Comtec driver was the first driver to beat the time set by Brendon Hartley that morning. But it was Walker who had the last word. The P1 Motosport driver finished the day ahead of Bertrand Baguette, Jon Lancaster, Carlin Motorposrt's Oliver Turvey, and Chris Van der Drift.

Quote, unquote:

James Walker: "It's already an achievement just being here! The team has worked unbelievably hard since the fire. Now we need to put that behind us and make the most of the weekend. My fastest lap today has been a great motivator considering that we're using our cars for the first time. The title isn't just down to us, if Bertrand Baguette can get a clean break, he'll be hard to beat."

Brendon Hartley: "It's been over two months since I last drove a Formula Renault 3.5, I really had to go back to basics on the first few laps. My win in the F3 Euro Series has freed me up. Now I want to win the FR 3.5 Series. I'm not in the running for the championship, so I can drive without any pressure, I've nothing to lose."

Salvador Duran: "I've not driven this car since Barcelona 2008, but I've stayed in contact with Interwetten.com Racing. Our goal is to reach the top of our game here and at Motorland in order to put things in place for next season and really go after the title in 2010."

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Fairuz Fauzy , Salvador Duran , James Walker , Bertrand Baguette , Pasquale di Sabatino , Brendon Hartley , Sten Pentus , Oliver Turvey , John Martin , Daniil Move , Keisuke Kunimoto , Charles Pic , Jon Lancaster
Teams Carlin