Tech 1 Racing on the up! One point in Istanbul, two at Misano, now three at Spa! Every World Series Formula Renault 3.5 meeting seems to provide an opportunity for the Tech 1 Racing team to increase its score. On his...
Tech 1 Racing on the up!
One point in Istanbul, two at Misano, now three at Spa! Every World Series Formula Renault 3.5 meeting seems to provide an opportunity for the Tech 1 Racing team to increase its score. On his first race with the French team, Marco Bonanomi drove to an impressive eighth place overall: a result that promises much for the future--
For just the second time this season, the Formula Renault 3.5 series took in a detour from the main World Series by Renault tour. Having set the scene for the Monaco Grand Prix, the Formula Renault 3.5 drivers now raised the curtain for the famous Spa 24 Hours. An excellent opportunity for the Toulouse-based Tech 1 Racing team to discover one of the most impressive and demanding race tracks in the world--
With just two 45-minute free practice sessions on Thursday, the team had little time to get to know its new driver, Marco Bonanomi. Friday was particularly frantic, with two qualifying sessions and the first race in the space of a few hours. During first qualifying, Marco Bonanomi stole the show by creeping into the top four early on. Unfortunately, the Italian then made a mistake on the following lap that stopped the session. The rules show no mercy in these cases: Marco was docked of his best time and dropped to the 13th row, just behind his team mate Ryo Fukuda.
The second session was mistake-free, but Marco could do no better than eighth, while Ryo had to settle for the 12th row. Team boss Simon Abadie commented: " It's pity that Marco wasn't quite able to give it everything during that session, as I think he had the potential to qualify right in front again. "
Weather conditions had been menacing since the start of the day, but they took a turn for a worse before the start of the first race -- which was run in soaking conditions. The action was characterised by several off-track excursions and three safety car periods! Marco almost reached a points-scoring place, but he was disqualified after the race for overtaking while the safety car was out. Ryo drove a sensible race to end up 12th at the end.
By Saturday lunchtime the sun was shining over the Ardennes once more. Having started 14th, Marco put in an excellent performance to finish eighth. Simon said: " It was a really good fightback, passing drivers with a lot more experience. He set times that were quicker than Hanley and Aleshin, which underlines his own potential and also that of the team. " Ryo Fukuda's weekend ended with a 14th place. Simon commented: " Ryo also staged a good comeback, but he started from too far back to have any real chance of finishing in the points. "
The team boss draws a positive conclusion from the sixth race of the season. " Marco integrated himself into the team very quickly, and he has already established a good partnership with Ryo. I hope we can continue this progress at the Nurburgring. Marco showed this weekend that we can be at the very front. While -- for the time being -- the top five are on a different planet, we are only a few tenths of a second behind those fighting for the major points. Now we need Ryo to be more incisive in free practice and qualifying so he can get the most benefit out of his attacking style during the races. Then we will have two cars capable of fighting for points. "