Walker in front, Martinez in F1 P1 Motorsport's James Walker is eager to win at home, and he got off to the best possible start by leading the collective testing sessions by a long margin at Silverstone. Walker finished ahead of Pons ...
Walker in front, Martinez in F1
P1 Motorsport's James Walker is eager to win at home, and he got off to the best possible start by leading the collective testing sessions by a long margin at Silverstone. Walker finished ahead of Pons Racing's Marcos Martinez, for whom this day will be a memorable one, he Spaniard taking his first tentative steps behind the wheel of the Renault F1 R28. He is set to give the ING Renault F1 Team exhibition on Saturday at the end of the afternoon.
Two 55-minute collective testing sessions were on the programme for this first day at Silverstone. Some drivers decided to take a reconnaissance lap on treaded tyres, but after looking at the evidence everyone decided to go out on slicks.
P1 Motorsport's Daniil Move, Mofaz Fortec Motorsport's Sten Pentus and Epsilon Euskadi's Adrian Valles dominated the start of the session. With a lap of 1'36"904, Valles occupied first place 10 minutes into collective testing. The learning curve was steep, as Mofaz Fortec Motorsport's Fairuz Fauzy proved. The Malayan driver climbed to the top of the leader board with an improved time 1'35"954.
Meanwhile, the Brits could be counted on at home-- Carlin Motorsport's Oliver Turvey knocked Fauzy off top spot, soon after that it was James Walker's turn to shine. The Jersey driver set the fastest lap, in 1'35"374. He further improved his time at the very end of the session and set the fastest lap of the morning in 1'34"519. At this point Walker was leading Turvey. Behind the two British drivers, the positions continued to change. It was International Dzaco Racing's Bertrand Baguette who occupied third position, ahead of Martinez and Marco Barba for International Draco Racing.
The British were once again on form for the second session. This time it was the turn of Jon Lancaster for Comtec Racing to show what he's made of by holding first place for a large part of the session. James Walker lost no time in reclaiming the lead however. Without being able to match his performance from the morning session, Walker set the fastest lap with a time of 1'34''983.
Ultimate Motorsport's Greg Mansell took his turn to show off by claiming second place twenty minutes from the chequered flag, just ahead of Martinez, Turvey and RC Motorsport's Pasquale diSabatino. But as is so often the case, the last ten minutes would make all the difference. Miguel Molina for Ultimate Motorsport, followed by Interwetten.com Racing's Adrian Zaugg snatched the fastest lap, before Martinez watched the competition disappearing in his mirrors, setting the fastest lap of the day, 1'34"344. Undaunted, James Walker replied two minutes from the end of the session with a lap of 1'34"003. He finishes the day in the lead, ahead of Martinez and Tech 1 Racing's Brendon Hartley.
James Walker: "After a disappointing meeting in Hungary, it's encouraging to be quick today. Most of all, we wanted to check that everything's OK with the car and it clearly is. It's undeniably a special weekend for me. There should be big crowds, I love it here. I've just got to win!"
Marcos Martinez: "Its not easy going from an F1 car to the FR 3.5, but it's incredible. My first taste of F1 wasn't easy as the track was a little damp. Everything went well and it was fantastic to drive that car. Now I have to jump between the two cars and try to concentrate as it's important to make a good impression in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. More than anything I need a win to break away from Bertrand Baguette. But one thing I know I'm in for is an unforgettable weekend!"