Caldarelli takes maiden F.Renault win at Nogaro Andrea Caldarelli had a dream 2008 season start in the first race of the newborn F.Renault West European Championship at Nogaro. On the Easter weekend, the 18- year-old Italian driver made his way...
Caldarelli takes maiden F.Renault win at Nogaro
Andrea Caldarelli had a dream 2008 season start in the first race of the newborn F.Renault West European Championship at Nogaro. On the Easter weekend, the 18- year-old Italian driver made his way back to racing action with French team SG Formula, after impressing in the series' collective tests held at the racetrack during this week. Back with the Toyota Drivers Program, Caldarelli took fourth place in the first qualifying session, held with wet weather, and then cruised to front row in the second one, running on dry condi- tions. On Race 1, he took first place at turn 1 thanks to a great start, but had to surrender to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the opening lap. He kept second place until the finish, securing a positive start after a disappointing 2007 season.
On Race 2, started under heavy rain, Caldarelli took once again the lead at the start, but never looked back and scored a top-clas win despite the track's tough conditions. He clocked the fastest lap of the race on lap 3 and 4, building a 4-second advantage. Roberto Mehri had the chance to recover in the closing stages, thanks to lapped traffic, but Caldarelli drove his way perfectly to cross the line with no concerns.
"Having a win and a second place in the first round of the season is better than I ever expec- ted. I'm also leading the WEC, although I know that we just got underway and it'll be a long and tough road to the end. I really enjoyed working with SG Formula over the winter, and even in the pre-race collective tests I ended up at the top of the charts. I had a great start on Race 1, moving through the inside and cruising to the lead. Then Ricciardo past me; I even tried to keep his pace, but he was a couple of tenths per lap faster, so I acted smart and settled for second. On Race 2, we started with rainy weather, and once again I found myself on top. I pushed really hard, scoring my personal best laps and managing to open up a reasonable gap on Mehri. Despite the lapped cars I had to pass on the final stages, I controlled him until the checkered flag. Now I'll be heading towards Barcelona, for this week's collective Eurocup tests, then I'll move to Spa-Francorchamps to get further track time."
-credit: andrea caldarelli