Progressing, despite some ups and downs
Eventful second day of testing for Fat Burner Racing Engineering at the Paul Ricard Circuit where Spanish driver Roldan Rodriguez saw his day hampered by a problem with his car's engine. Frenchman Charles Pic had a day of steady progress.
After yesterday's problems with the car driven by Christian Vietoris, the team worked until late night to change the engine and make sure that everything would be up and running for today's session with Roldan Rodriguez and Charles Pic.
The Spanish driver, at the wheel of the number 8 car, soon showed a very promising pace, but the gremlins returned. After setting the 8th best time of the morning, he had to sit out a good part of the afternoon session as the team was forced to change, once again, the V8 unit. Once the new engine was replaced, Rodriguez returned to the track, but several red flags and generally very little time left in the afternoon session, prevented him from making it to the very top of the timesheet. He had to settle for 6th, one tenth off P1.
For Frenchman Charles Pic, the session was a chance to continue adapting to GP2 while trying to impress the Fat Burner Racing Engineering crew. The rookie did a good job despite seeing his best time of the afternoon taken off as a result of running with a car declared underweight by 2 kilos. Charles ran on used tyres which had 47 laps and although the weight would not have had any effect on his performance, the Racing Engineering crew is very sorry that it's driver had his afternoon times erased. Charles would have been 13th on the final time sheet. His last laps were not regarded at that point, so he concluded the session without a time.
Fat Burner Racing Engineering will continue working on its 2010 program tomorrow. The last test day of the season will see Belgian Jerome d'Ambrosio and Englishman Sam Bird at the wheel of the Racing Engineering cars.
Roldan Rodriguez: I think this was a positive day. It's a shame we were so limited on running time due to the engine problems, especially in the afternoon. But I am less than a tenth off first. This is such a small difference which can be easily explained by having had little track time. We tried decent changes on the car, but the day was mainly characterized by us struggling to find the time we lost due to the engine change.
Charles Pic: It was very good today. In the afternoon we worked on the car's set up and found a good direction to follow. Before I came back for new tyres, on my last run, it felt like we made a good step. We then decided to come back to one of our morning set-ups. This was a pity, as we think the other would have worked better with new tyres.
Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, Team Principal: Before anything I would like to say a big thank you to our boys. They worked late into the night changing an engine and had to change it yet again this midday. This cost Roldan precious track time today, which would have allowed him to fine tune the car to his needs. However, he was very close to P1. We also know that the red flags towards the end of test sessions did not help. With some more laps, he would surely have been at the top. As for Charles, his time was disallowed, something we obviously accept without any discussion, as rules are the rules. Two kilos are not making any difference on the old tyres he was running on, and we have to say sorry to Charles for losing his official time. The team knows he made steady progress throughout the day and we hope he enjoyed this test day with us.