Lancaster makes his mark A late starter this season, Comtec Racing's Jon Lancaster didn't take long to get to grips with Formula Renault 3.5. The British driver gave the best performance in collective testing at Le Mans, ahead of Tech...
Lancaster makes his mark
A late starter this season, Comtec Racing's Jon Lancaster didn't take long to get to grips with Formula Renault 3.5. The British driver gave the best performance in collective testing at Le Mans, ahead of Tech 1 Racing's Edoardo Mortara and Mofaz Fortec Motorsport's Fairuz Fauzy. During the afternoon, rain prevented drivers from going one better.
There have been several changes to the list of Formula Renault 3.5 Series competitors. At Tech 1 Racing, Edoardo Mortara replaces Brendon Hartley and Mihai Marinescu, absent from Silverstone, takes up arms once more as he rejoins Interwetten.com Racing. South African Cristiano Morgado makes his debut in the discipline at Le Mans for Comtec Racing, while Spain's Dani Clos joins forces with Epsilon Euskadi at Le Mans and then Portimao.
Two collective testing sessions were on the programme for the first day at Le Mans. The Mofaz Fortec Motorsport drivers put on a show at the start of the session, with Sten Pentus and Fairuz Fauzy leading Tech 1 Racing's Charles Pic only for the session to be immediately interrupted when KMP Group/SG Formula's Anton Nebylitskiy left the track.
At the restart, the times just kept getting faster. Ultimate Motorsport's Miguel Molina set the ball rolling, then Bertrand Baguette for International Draco Racing took matters in hand to lead Fauzy and Pic before the session was interrupted by the red flag once more as Marinescu crashed out. The final ten minutes really shook up the leaderboard as Edoardo Mortara, on new tyres, showed his stuff, taking control of the session. But it was Jon Lancaster who dislodged him from top spot, lapping in 1'27"620. The Briton finished the session in first place ahead of Mortara, Fauzy and Baguette when a new red flag was shown when Pons Racing's Federico Leo crashed out in the dying seconds.
Bertand Baguette and Marco Barba for International Draco Racing led the action in the afternoon ahead of Brits Jon Lancaster and Oliver Turvey driving for Carlin Motorsport, but a downpour stopped the drivers in their tracks. The treaded tyres went on and wet-weather setups were adopted for the end of the session. The drivers now had no hope of beating the times already set during the morning.
Jon Lancaster: "To start with, I drove pretty well this morning on old tyres. Then I put on fresher ones and that worked very well. Since I started in FR 3.5 Series, I've been on the pace, but I need a little success to win. I'm hoping this weekend's going to be a good one. My aim is to qualify for the SuperPole, after that, anything is possible!"
Edoardo Mortara: "It's never easy winning a series which has already begun, with talented guys who are driving well. We made second fastest lap on new tyres, but I'm going to have to go faster for a really top result. I'm still not quite there. It's a shame the rain stopped the second session."
James Walker: "At dinner last night I got some food stuck in my throat. I had to undergo surgery, so I couldn't drive this morning. This afternoon it was going well near the start of the session, but I came in as it had started raining and I wasn't feeling too good. I'm hoping that with a good night's sleep things will be better tomorrow."