Baptism of fire for Tech 1 Racing ! Toulouse-based team Tech 1 Racing embarked on its 2006 campaign at Barcelona last Wednesday and Thursday, for the first official tests of this year's World Series Formula Renault 3.5 ...
Baptism of fire for Tech 1 Racing !
Toulouse-based team Tech 1 Racing embarked on its 2006 campaign at Barcelona last Wednesday and Thursday, for the first official tests of this year's World Series Formula Renault 3.5 Championship. Drivers Ryo Fukuda and Jerome d'Ambrosio completed several laps of sustained running, allowing the team to gather precious data.
The famously strict World Series by Renault regulations do not allow private tests outside of the group sessions organised for all the participating teams. After a dozen or so shakedown laps at Nogaro, the Tech 1 Racing squad headed for Catalunya to join the other 14 teams that make up the class of 2006.
For this first test session, Simon Abadie's team had scheduled a busy programme of development in order to define the suspension, transmission and aerodynamic set-up of the Formula Renault 3.5.
With a season of this formula already under his belt, Ryo Fukuda became the team's benchmark. He ran consistently in the top half of the field, even setting a fastest time on Thursday morning.
" I'm very happy with the work that Ryo has completed, " said Simon Abadie at the end of the two days. " We weren't able to use our entire allocation of new tyres for him because of constant red flags, but I think he had the potential to be in the top six. In any case, it's not pure performance that interests us for the time being. We need to test a number of elements on the car in order to fight for a top 10 place in Zolder. "
Coming straight from a two-litre Formula Renault to a physically demanding 420 horsepower single-seater meant that Jerome d'Ambrosio took a while longer to settle in. But the young Belgian made no mistakes, and his learning curve was impressive.
" Jerome struggled to stay on the pace physically, but he is very determined in that area, " explained Simon. "Overlaying his data with that of Ryo, we noticed several interesting comparisons, particularly in the tight corners. He works solidly and has made no mistakes, which is essential. There's a good month left for him to build up his physical fitness. "
The entire team as a unit also made progress throughout the two days : a source of deep satisfaction for the youngest team manager in the World Series. " Wednesday was a bit tough, but we worked logically through one thing after another, " he said. " We've already got a good cohesion between those people that have been with the team for a while and those who have just joined us. There's still a mountain of work to do before the start of the season, but we're approaching it calmly. "
31. Jerôme d'Ambrosio 55 laps, 254 km in total Best lap : 1'29''305 (28th)
32. Ryo Fukuda 38 laps, 176 km in total Best lap : 1'27''575 (12th)
Next test : April 1--2, Le Mans (France)