Tech 1 Racing wins the championship!
What an achievement! Tech 1 Racing is the first team in the history of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series to win the championship 2 years running. Today will remain etched in the memory of the whole team for a long time. And the cherry on the cake is that Tech 1 Racing also won the Eurocup Megane Trophy for the third year running.
The final meeting on the Barcelona circuit was crucial for the Tech 1 Racing Team. Before the last 2 rounds of the season the Toulouse-based squad was in the lead in the Teams' classification. Simon Abadie and his men were out to conquer their second title on the trot, a first in the history of the championship.
Julien Jousse and Charles Pic worked hard during the collective test session. They were happy with their set-up without shodding new tyres. The 2 Tech 1 Racing drivers tackled the final qualifying session of the season in an up-beat frame of mind.
On Saturday morning it was raining. Practice got off to a bad start for Pic who went off on his out lap. His qualifying session was over and he had to start from the back of the grid. Jousse qualified for the Super Pole finishing fifth in his group.
The Super Pole took place in pouring rain. Jousse made a mistake and went off at the start of the session. Several other drivers did the same thing and Race Control was obliged to hang out the red flag. The grid line-up was established according to the classification of each group.
Jousse was on the 5th row for the first race and Pic was in last place. When the lights went out Julien made a good start and took advantage of a bit of pushing and shoving between a few drivers to slot into 3rd place by the end of lap 1. Charles also had a great 1st lap and moved from last to fifteenth. Jousse pulled in the first two Mikhail Aleshin and Marco Bonamoni. The Tech 1 driver moved up a place when Bonamoni literally took off after hitting the back of Aleshin's car as he was trying to overtake him. He then upped the pressure on the Russian and sliced past him on lap 16.
Jousse opened up a gap and drove on to his first victory of the season. This success put him into second spot in the drivers' title chase. This was the team from Toulouse's third win of the year and consolidated its lead in the teams' classification. Pic fought his way up to 8th place adding some more points to Tech 1's tally.
The next day Jousse and Pic were in 8th and 13th places on the grid. Jousse moved up a few positions to 6th spot not far behind the leaders. Pic also made a good getaway and got into the first 10 before his refuelling stop. They stopped at their pit on laps 7 and 8 and finished the race in 5th and 8th places bagging more points for the team.
This great performance gave Tech 1 Racing the 2008 teams' championship. It is a real feat, as the Toulouse-based team became the first one to win back-to-back Renault 3.5 Series championships. This success was consolidated by Julien Jousse's second place in the drivers' ratings in which Charles finished sixth.
Simon and Sarah Abadie were totally overwhelmed by emotion and were delighted with this exceptional result. "It's one of the greatest days of my life," laughed Simon. "We've won the teams' title in Formula Renault 3.5 Series and in the Eurocup Megane Trophy. It's a huge achievement even if after qualifying in Formula Renault 3.5 I thought we'd blown it!
"In the race it all went off without a hitch. Julien and Charles were great. Julien won the race by keeping a cool head even though he started from tenth spot. Charles began from last place and also scored. It was completely unexpected. Today, they both showed remarkable consistency and they did the job to win the title.
"Julien's had an incredible season. He's shown his potential; he's worked hard, upped his level and I sincerely hope that he'll get a good drive. He's got what it takes to be a real professional. Charles has also shown his talent this year. He should continue with us in 2009 so we can go for a third title on the trot and win back the drivers' one. Last year Alvaro Parente and this year Julien have set very high standards. Charles is made of the right stuff to take up this challenge."
The 2008 season finished on a high note in Barcelona, but Simon Abadie and his merry men are already thinking about 2009. "We're the first team to have won the Renault 3.5 Series title two years running. We've reinforced our credibility and our reputation. Now, we must redouble our efforts to win it for a third time next year. It's up to us to do the necessary, to be even stronger in 2009. To finish up I'd like to congratulate my whole team. We've made mistakes and we know where we can improve, but the passion and the professionalism of the people who back us up have to be underlined. Today, I'm thinking of Simon Bayle in particular. He was the first Tech 1 Racing employee. He was with us at the beginning when times were hard and we had to prove ourselves. He always pushed me to keep moving forward. He's decided to go on to other things and he's leaving us - we're going to miss him. Without him what we've experienced today wouldn't have been possible. I'd like to thank all ou r partners and all the people who've supported us. Together we're going to try and do even better next season!"
-credit: tech 1