DPR Direxiv looks forward to Barcelona Following the recent second official test session at the HTTT Paul Ricard circuit on the 16th and 17th March, the British based DPR Direxiv team and its French/Monegasque driver pairing of Olivier Pla and...
DPR Direxiv looks forward to Barcelona
Following the recent second official test session at the HTTT Paul Ricard circuit on the 16th and 17th March, the British based DPR Direxiv team and its French/Monegasque driver pairing of Olivier Pla and Clivio Piccione now move onto Barcelona for the final stage of their pre-season preparations.
The visit to the fast, 4.7km (2.9 miles) Catalunyan track is the only time the GP2 circus tests outside France, and DPR is keen to take the lessons learnt at Paul Ricard forward into next week. After a difficult first test in February, mechanical reliability on the Dallara-Renault was greatly improved by mid March and 160+ laps were run over the two days without problem.
While both Pla and Piccione continued to learn how to get the best out of the new slick Bridgestone tyres, their times were extremely competitive on used tyres. Even on new tyres, the gap between the two DPR Direxiv drivers was only three-tenths of a second, and the gap between the Pla's best time and the top of the time sheets was less than a second. 2006 will be as fiercely competitive as the Series' inaugural year.
Olivier Pla, 24, from Toulouse in France says: "I love Barcelona, it was one of the best tracks we went to last year. It's really different to Le Castellet; high speed and with several very challenging corners, and I can't wait to be there. Last year the GP2 cars were already very quick there and this year will be quicker yet -- it's going to feel great in the car! Our reliability was much better at the last test, and we learnt a lot. Now we just need to make some small adjustments and I am very confident it will be a good test and an even better season."
The 22-year-old from Monaco, Clivio Piccione, is equally enthusiastic about his forthcoming trip to Spain: "Barcelona is one of the best places to go and test. There is a lot of work we can do there which will give us a base as to how hard you can go with the car. It's a quick track with a good level of grip so it gives you good feedback for high grip circuits. It's also a very physical track so you know where you are on your fitness. All we are lacking at the moment is getting the best out of our new tyres. On old tyres we are really competitive, so it's just a matter of getting that extra little bit. It will be completely different at Barcelona to our testing at Paul Ricard so I am really looking forward to it."