The second 2008 GP2 series test session showed once again that Javier Villa is among the drivers that can aim for the top positions of the championship. The Spaniard was regularly running amongst the fastest drivers and only a badly timed...
The second 2008 GP2 series test session showed once again that Javier Villa is among the drivers that can aim for the top positions of the championship. The Spaniard was regularly running amongst the fastest drivers and only a badly timed puncture, just after fitting a set of fresh tyres, prevented him from improving his laptime and ending up higher than eight overall after the two days of practice sessions.
Javi and his team, Racing Engineering, arrived at Montmelo with positive feelings from last week's testing at Paul Ricard and were looking forward to seeing if they could also be as competitive on such a complex track as Barcelona. Any possible doubts were soon dissipated when the young Spaniard was, from the start, turning in some very good lap times, finishing sixth fastest in the Tuesday morning session and improving to third spot at the end of the first day of tests.
The second practice day was looking even better for Javi, who now had quite a good base setup on his new Dallara, but a slight off early in the morning meant he couldn't complete as many laps as expected in a session that was also shortened due to safety issues caused by a strong wind over the track.
In the afternoon, Javi was set for some better lap times and soon went below 1:27, again being on the top part of the timing sheets, however when he was about to have a go for an even better time, with new tyres, a puncture was detected and that prevented him from improving on his previous best. Therefore he had to settle for eighth place albeit just four tenths shy of his teammate Giorgio Pantano, who made good use of that last attempt on new rubber.
Nevertheless Javier was happy with the job done and was especially was sure of 'being there' with the best of the category. This was something that the data gathered confirmed to him at the debrief with the Racing Engineering's engineers when he saw how the new GP2 record set by his teammate was also within his reach. Now the target for driver and team is to work hard next week in the last test session held at Paul Ricard to allow them to fine-tune the car setup of the new chassis working mainly on the car handling in race trim.
Javier Villa's own words:
"We though that Barcelona could be harder for us than Paul Ricard as last year we really struggled a little bit here but everything has been fine and we were quick from the beginning. At the end of the first day we were third fastest and today we were even stronger but in the morning I couldn't run a lot because of a slight off and in the afternoon a puncture when we fitted fresh tyres prevented me from beating Giorgio's time. Anyway the most important thing is that we know that we are there, the telemetry data tells us that. Now we have got a fast car, next we need make it consistent for a whole race."