Brand very pleased with first test at Imola. Swindon, UK, Monday 24th February 2003: Martin Kendrick, Team Principal of Brand Motorsports, has stated that the team's initial outing at the first F3000 test of the year at Imola last week to be a...
Brand very pleased with first test at Imola.
Swindon, UK, Monday 24th February 2003: Martin Kendrick, Team Principal of Brand Motorsports, has stated that the team's initial outing at the first F3000 test of the year at Imola last week to be a solid performance. The team sat out the first session choosing instead to spend time ensuring the cars were in an optimal condition before turning a wheel on the track. As German F3 champion, Gary Paffett, had not driven the latest specification Lola F3000 chassis before and also had not run at the Imola circuit and Ascar champion, Nicolas Minassian had not sat in a single seater car for two years, the team decided to concentrate on getting the drivers used to the car and track. The strategy was to do short race-simulated runs on scrubbed tyres and with heavy fuel loads to confirm the base set-up for the first race of the championship to be held at Imola in April. Even with a rising temperature and worn tyres the times came down and Nicolas was running second fastest and Gary fourth fastest for most of the final session on the Friday afternoon. As the final session entered the last 30 minutes and the air temperature was dropping the team along with many other teams decided to try and deliver some qualifying performance laps. Shod with new rubber, Gary and Nicolas took to the track eager to fulfil the boast of a one / two made by Martin Kendrick. The attempt was thwarted by a red flag when both drivers, running together, were on their flying laps. Looking at the data when they returned to the garage, both were well up on their previous first three corner times and a certain two drivers in the top three would have been the result.
Martin Kendrick , Team Principal:
"I am very pleased with this first test. The engineering side worked extremely well together against the clock to deliver fast, reliable and well set-up cars for the drivers. We managed to get all the data we needed for the first race set-up and also proved we had the speed to challenge for the front of the grid."
"What can I say about Nicolas, he can just get into anything with wheels and deliver on command. He is a genuine and talented driver with a wealth of experience".
"Gary has proven himself in every category he has competed in. He is very quick to learn new things (including the Lola gearbox) and it did not take him long to get the times down as the set-up was tuned to his needs and familiarity with the car and track developed. Gary has demonstrated a command of cars at all levels including recently in the Mclaren F1. The next test is in Jerez, a track that Gary knows well and I think there we will see him topping the times".
"Brand is out to take two podium places at as many events as possible and with the strong engineering team behind the cars and two high quality hungry drivers in the seats, this is a very realistic expectation. At Imola the FIA did not check minimum weights or other factors and the first real playing field when we will really see a true comparative performance, will be at the first race. Everyone can expect this season to realise that this rookie team means business and we are out to win".