Pietro Fittipaldi headed an incredibly tight top three during the annual Media Day and official pre-season test at Rockingham.
Second year Protyre Formula Renault Championship racer Pietro Fittipaldi (Camberley) headed an incredibly tight top three during the annual Media Day and official pre-season test at Rockingham today, Wednesday, 19th March – just 0.087 seconds splitting the pace-setting trio.
Times improved throughout the three cold and dry sessions with the final afternoon run easily the fastest of the day, Brazilian driver Fittipaldi posting a best of 1m17.254 seconds (90.40mph) for MGR Motorsport to just shade Scorpio Motorsport’s Piers Hickin (Knaphill) by a mere 0.030 seconds.
Hickin, who led the way by some margin during the morning’s opening session, ended up with a quickest lap of 1m17.284 seconds (90.36mph) from session three. Italian racer Matteo Ferrer (Colchester), meanwhile, rounded off a strong showing for reigning champions MGR with a time of 1m17.341 seconds (90.30mph) in the final run.
“It was tough in the beginning, we have a new [Michelin] tyre this year so we’re still working on getting the car right”, said 17-year-old Fittipaldi, “We made a couple of changes throughout the day, some improved things, some didn’t work, but in the last session we put it all together. Quickest is good but we have to continue to work on it – there’s still a lot to come with these tyres.
“It’s always going to be competitive in a championship like this, you can never underestimate your opponents. You have to do your best, work the best you can with your team, and then you can be right there challenging. Today has been a good start.”
Fortec Motorsport’s lead driver Alex Gill (Doncaster) was fourth fastest for the day with a best lap of 1m17.869 seconds (89.68mph) coming in session three, having earlier headed the timesheets during the second session.
Belgium’s Wolfgang Reip, a product of the Nissan Playstation GT Academy, placed fifth overall for Fortec just 0.069 seconds ahead of MGR’s Colin Noble Jnr (Penicuik, Midlothian) – both competitors making their respective ‘official’ category debuts.
Greek racer Dimitris Papanastasiou (London), another Protyre Formula Renault newcomer, was seventh for 2010 championship winners Hillspeed while the top eight was rounded out by Cliff Dempsey Racing’s young American rookie Travis ‘TJ’ Fischer.
Rockingham’s International Super Sports Car Circuit will host the opening three races of the 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship season over the weekend 5th/6th April.
Along with headline sponsor Protyre, Formula Renault is additionally supported by Michelin.
Formula Renault 2.0