Ricciardo takes things in hand Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) got off to a flying start for the last weekend of the season by setting the fastest time in collective testing. The Australian is full of confidence for qualifying on Saturday ...
Ricciardo takes things in hand
Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) got off to a flying start for the last weekend of the season by setting the fastest time in collective testing. The Australian is full of confidence for qualifying on Saturday morning. His main rival, Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) was also on the pace this morning but his second session was upset when he ran into the gravel trap.
The Group 2 drivers set the ball rolling. Daniel Ricciardo, Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula and Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi) took control from the word go. With a lap of 1'46"223, Ricciardo claimed the top spot.
The Hitech Junior Team drivers were showing off their abilities during the second half of the session, as Richard Singleton and Ashley Walsh claimed third and fourth places. The competition's best efforts were brought to a halt by the red flag after Miguel Otegui (Iquick) crashed out. The session did not restart, which left Ricciardo on top ahead of Andrea Caldarelli.
In the afternoon, the session was interrupted straight away when Dino Butorac (RB Racing) crashed out. When the session restarted, Daniel Ricciardo continued his form clinching the fastest lap in 1'46"115.
The positions continued to change as the session drew to a close. Ricciardo stepped up the pace and was the first to break the 1'46 barrier. His time to beat was 1'45"335, then 1'45"221. Andrea Caldarelli improved his lap time but remained in second until Matthew Arzeno (TCS) made a splash. The Frenchman climbed up to third place, before improving his time again to steal second place on his final attempt.
It was the drivers from the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup who stood out at the start of the session when Bastien Borget (Epsilon Sport) took an early lead ahead of Tristan Vautier (SG Formula). Then Nico Muller (Jenzer Motorsport) improved his lap and took the lead. Valtteri Bottas waited until the end of the session to have his say. He set the fastest time of the morning in 1'46"138, ahead of Johan Jokinen (I Quick).
Bottas held his position in the afternoon, before ending up in the gravel trap. Anthony Tardieu (Pole Services) took the opportunity to steal first place, before Bastien Borget set off a wave of fastest laps. In spite of a car whose handling had been lightly modified when he briefly left the track, Bottas set the fastest lap in 1'45"611 ahead of Borget and Vautier.
Daniel Ricciardo: "For a few races now, we haven't done so well in collective testing. At Estoril, I took pole position with out really knowing if I had a car that suited me or not! We worked really hard there. I know my car is quick. Barcelona is a circuit I love, but I'll let you know if it's my favourite or not on Sunday!"
Valtteri Bottas: "I went out on old tyres at the start of the afternoon session. I went wide coming out the second bend and I did some serious damage to the car. The team fixed what it could. The steering wheel wasn't straight and the handling wasn't terrific. I managed to set a good time, but we aren't where we should be. I think that Ricciardo's time was within reach. It's going to be interesting tomorrow!"