Temperatures rise on the Costas In the first session of collective testing on his home circuit, Albert Costa of Epsilon Euskadi has shown he is the one to watch in this weekend. The Catalan set the fastest lap of the day, ahead of ...
Temperatures rise on the Costas
In the first session of collective testing on his home circuit, Albert Costa of Epsilon Euskadi has shown he is the one to watch in this weekend. The Catalan set the fastest lap of the day, ahead of Motopark Academy's Antonio Felix da Costa. Jenzer Motorsport's Nico Muller showed off his talent, setting the fastest lap of the afternoon, although he could not improve on the time set by Costa that morning.
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 has the honour of getting the ball rolling at the Barcelona circuit, for the first World Series by Renault meeting of the season. The day's programme included two 40-minute collective testing sessions. Last-minute changes to the list of competitors saw Oliver Webb and James Calado join the ranks at Fortec Motorsport. The Pole Services team was also present in Spain, with a car for Benjamin Lariche.
The first session of collective testing got under way with exciting action from Motopark Academy's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Antonio Felix da Costa and Kevin Magnussen. The Briton took control of the session after a quarter of an hour, with a lap of 1'45"609. At home, Albert Costa lost no time in heading the still entirely provisional timesheet. By the mid-point of the session, he was leading things with a time of 1'44"878, ahead of Quaife-Hobbs, Antonio Felix da Costa and Magnussen. Albert Costa improved the reference time over several laps, while Antonio Felix da Costa took second place. Jean-Eric Vergne also stepped up the pace to claim third ahead of Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. Iquick Valencia's Patrick Kronenberger and Fortec Motorsport's James Calado got themselves noticed, when they claimed 5th and 6th place respectively. The situation did change slightly in the closing minutes. Costa remained the clear leader ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa. However, Muller took third place on the line, followed by Epsilon Euskadi's Nathaniel Berthon and Fortec Motorsport's James Calado.
In the afternoon, the sun shone on Barcelona and the track temperature was much higher. The start of the session was dedicated to race set-ups. Epsilon Sport's Luchiano Bacheta took the lead followed by Carlos Munos for Epsilon Euskadi and Fabien Thuner for Jenzer Motorsport. Motopark Academy's Marco Sorenson launched the first wave of improvements, immediately followed by Albert Costa, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Muller. The drivers were interrupted in their efforts when the red flag came out after Fabien Thuner ran into a gravel trap. The positions would not change and Nico Muller claimed the fastest time of the afternoon.
Albert Costa: "This morning we were straight down to business. It shows that we have been working hard over the winter. It was hot and the track changed this afternoon, particularly with a lot of rubber deposits. I was on form, but I never really tried to set the best time. I've some work to do for qualifying; we're not really sure what conditions the others have been working in. Today's rankings don't really say a great deal."
Nico Muller: "It's been a good day for us. We had a few minor problems with the brakes, but we quickly got them fixed. We've got what it takes to good season and to put pressure on the favourites. The Jenzer Motorsport team is very competitive and I'm really happy with the car. Last year was my first season in the single-seater racing. It feels very different this season. I understand the car better and I can get much closer to the limit. I'm really ready to go!"