Encouraging two-day test for Panciatici at Barcelona
Nelson Panciatici enjoyed a productive maiden Formula Renault 3.5 test for his new Junior Lotus Racing squad at Barcelona this week, as his preparations for the 2010 season continue to gather pace.
The Frenchman was particularly impressive during his first day's running in Spain, spending Thursday morning re-familiarising himself with the car on his way to fifth-fastest time. By the end of the afternoon's running however, he had improved by nearly a second, recording a best time of 1m33.975s to top the timesheets by a quarter of a second.
Friday's morning session meanwhile was a complete washout, with both Junior Lotus drivers electing to stay firmly parked in the garage while those around them had accidents in the treacherous conditions.
By the afternoon though, Thursday's sun had returned, and Panciatici posted the eighth fastest time of the session despite not running while track conditions were at their optimum.
Nelson: "I am delighted with my first test with the team. The two days went really well and we proved we could run at the front. Out of the three sessions I drove, I ended up first, fifth and eighth which is good. I'm looking forward to the Jerez test where we will work more on the set-up of the car. I would like to thank the team for their work and I look forward to the next test."
Technical Director Alex Somerset was impressed with the 21-year-old's debut for the team.
Somerset: "He adapted to the car really well and didn't demand anything. He changed his style to suit the car and just worked through a structured programme in a very disciplined manner, producing the sort of performance we thought he would, given his earlier testing pace with other teams. He was quicker on old tyres than a lot of drivers on new rubber, while his position in today's order is purely down to the fact that he wasn't out on the track at the best time.
"It all points towards further proving my theory that he can be champion this year. He could, potentially, be the first rookie to win it. He's got the right head and the right temperament, works well with his engineer and has really become an established part of the team."
Formula Renault 3.5 testing continues at Jerez next Saturday and Sunday (March 13/14).
-source: nelson pancia