CARLO VAN DAM FASTEST ROOKIE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP TEST AT PAUL RICARD!
LE BEAUSSET, 10 NOVEMBER 2006 -- Carlo van Dam has completed a successful test in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5. The S-T-A-R-T driver, who finished third last year, in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, was offered a test with Renault Sport France due to this outstanding performance. Van Dam made full use of this chance to race 30 full laps and finished the morning session with Comtec Racing as fastest rookie in the field! On Thursday, the Dutchman switched to the Italian Prema Power Team where he got to get a feeling for the 425hp V6 once again.
Next to the drivers who were already busy with their preparations for the 2007 season, 15 international drivers were offered the chance of a free test on the 3.841km HTTT-circuit. Van Dam took part in this with Comtec Racing, the team that won the 2006 title in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 with Alx Danielsson. Under ideal weather conditions Van Dam began his test program and drove some very fast laps with used tires immediately. With his second set of tires he could improve his lap times even more and advanced to the top of the field. Finishing as third overall, the British team was very fond of his presence. Especially Driver Development manager and ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Donelly was impressed by the performance. On top of it, Van Dam finished first amongst the rookies on the track with a time of 1:17.189.
With a good feeling, Carlo Van Dam switched to Prema Power Team the next day. The team was not new to him as he had been testing with them for the Formula 3 about 1 month ago. He immediately tried to take the car to its limits but had to realize that this car was of a different caliber than the one he had driven at Comtec Racing. After the set-up had been modified he entered the track again. With used tires he drove a 1:16.897. Shortly before he entered the track again with new tires he changed the set-u p again and this did not result in the desired effect. After 53 laps he finished in the middle of the field. Despite that Van Dam looked back on the tests with good feelings.
CARLO VAN DAM: "I learned a lot from the test on Paul Ricard. At Comtec the test went very well and I finished as no.1 in the rookie competition. The atmosphere in the team is really great and they have on of the best cars in the World Series currently. After my good experiences I switched to Prema Power team but their car just felt differently. The team changed the set-up a number of times but it never was perfect. The World Series Formula Renault 3.5 is a serious choice for me besides the Formula 3. I want to thank Renault Sport for this free test at Comtec and S-T-A-R-T and Legamaster for making my test with Prema Power team possible. Of course I hope that all my sponsors will stay with me next year and take the next step with me on the motor sport ladder. At the end of the month I will be back for some test in Formula 3 so that we can work on further improvements for the coming season."