ADDAX TEAM TAKE PART IN FIRST OFFICIAL TESTS IN THE NEW GP3 CLASS.
The first GP3 official testing took place at Le Castellet circuit (Paul Ricard). Addax Team have participated on both days with very satisfying results from their drivers, Pablo Sanchez, Mirko Bortolotti and Oliver Oakes. The Spanish team finished the two days positively and the new team has worked so well the three aforementioned drivers have all finished in the top half of the classification. The ten teams chosen to compete in this new event have presented the three cars they will be racing. It has been an important experience for the teams and the young drivers who were getting together for the first to test a recently finished car.
Pablo Sanchez, (Mexico) from the Escuderia Mejicana TELMEX programme for young drivers, has already been designated official driver for the Addax Team. He was the fastest of the three, working in perfect harmony with the team. He never stopped trying to find solutions with the set up, and there were moments that the car performed better and others where it seemed to lose stability. The team kept working hard at it and were picking up valuable information, to help with the development of the new car with their sights obviously set on making constant progress before the first race. He has progressively improved his times from the 1.24.581 in the first morning session to the 1.21.283 which he set in the afternoon. Today he set the fastest lap time with an impressive 1.20.844. The young Mexican driver can feel very happy not only with the results, but also with the amount of experience that he has accumulated in a car, which he hopes will be very competitive in this up and coming championship.
Mirko Bortolotti, (Italy) had difficulty adapting to the car in the early stages of the session. It was the first time he had seen the circuit and the car was completely different to anything he had raced before and obviously he needed time to get used to it. Nevertheless, he made steady progress and gradually improved on his lap times with each session, using new tyres to consolidate his adaptation to the car rather than look for a very quick lap. In the first morning session he finished in 1.24.585 and set a time of 1.22.240 in the afternoon. Today he improved yet further and finished with his fastest lap 1.21.284. Unfortunately, a damaged wheel which caused problems with the overall set up, cut short any attempt to improve on his best lap time.
Oliver Oakes, (Great Britain) had a lot of bad luck with the car and was the driver who has fared off worst in these first tests. Being a completely new car it had it's teething problems with the mechanics. Unfortunately he was hardly able to set any lap times on the first day. Oliver had problems with the seat which had not been mounted for him, which meant that he didn't have a car that could compete until the second day of testing. After a blank first session, he managed to set a time of 1.24.425 in the second. Today he has made significant progress, with a time of 1.21.810 in the morning and a an impressive 1.20.975 This time meant that he finished in the top ten, less than a second behind the fastest time.
The next official tests will take place at the same Paul Ricard circuit on the 31st March and the 1st April. The third and final series of tests will be at the Montmelo circuit, Barcelona on the 13th and 14th of April. The first races will be at the same circuit from the 7th -- 9th May, as part of the Spanish Formula 1 weekend.