Tech 1 Racing scores a brilliant one-two!
Tech 1 Racing has tackled the final rounds of the 2009 season in the best possible manner with a double at the Nurburgring in front of 90 000 spectators. Charles Pic won the second race of the weekend from his team-mate Brendon Hartley who had set pole. The last round will take place on the new Motorland Aragon circuit and the team's objective will be the same -- a couple more victories!
This year, the World Series by Renault restarted at the Nurburgring after the summer break. After winning a Formula 3 Euro Series race a few weeks earlier Brendon Hartley was back with the Tech 1 Racing team. Charles Pic and Hartley arrived in Germany fitter than ever and both had a single aim -- victory!
Collective testing went off without a hitch. On Friday morning on new tyres Brendon set the quickest time from Charles who was on used rubber. The whole team continued working in a calm frame of mind to find the perfect setup for the cars. When testing ended Brendon was fifth and Charles tenth; "We've got a good base setup," analysed Simon Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing team manager. "Since the start of the season we've had the quickest cars in the field. If you look at the qualifying statistics Charles has got the best ratio."
On Saturday morning it was time for qualifying. Hartley was in Group B, the first to go out. The New Zealander was stopped in his stride by the red flag and finished in fifth place qualifying for the SuperPole. In Group A, Charles was among the quickest right from the green light and his third place also gave him his ticket for the SuperPole shootout.
The two Tech 1 cars were among the 12 runners for the SuperPole - fifteen crucial minutes to decide the 2 grids for the weekend's races. Pic and Hartley waited till the end of the session to go for it. The New Zealander put in a stonking lap in 1m 45.581s to take provisional pole. His rivals fought back and it was his team-mate who came closest to knocking him off the number 1 spot, finally setting the second-quickest time giving the two Tech 1 drivers the front row on the grid for the long race. "I was a bit worried after the first part of qualifying," admitted Simon. "During the SuperPole both Brendon and Charles were perfect. Brendon had brake problems and his times did not appear on his dashboard. But he dialled in a stunning lap."
On Saturday, the grid was reversed and the Tech 1 drivers were on the fourth row. Their aim was to avoid any pushing and shoving on the opening lap and bag a large haul of points. Hartley, though, was punted into a spin in the first corner by another car and he dropped to the back of the field.
Pic was in the leading group. The Frenchman in the Renault Driver Development programme drove a great race. He started from seventh spot, fell back to ninth and saw the flag in sixth spot. This result put him in third place overall with the same number of points as Jaime Alguersuari, the works Toro Rosso F1 driver. "Charles did what was expected of him - score points. Brendon was punted off at the start. It wasn't his fault but it ruined his race," said Simon afterwards.
On Sunday, the front row was an all-Tech 1 Racing affair. When the lights went out Hartley made a good start but it was Pic who shot away like a bat out of hell and went to the front. He led first time round from the New Zealander. The 2 drivers were running nose to tail and opened up a gap over the rest of the field. Brendon was called in a lap earlier than the Frenchman for a tyre change. The positions stayed the same after the stops with Charles ahead of Brendon. The two Tech 1 Racing drivers crossed the finishing line in that order without ever being under pressure from their rivals. It was Pic's second victory of the season and Hartley's first podium finish in the WSR.
"It's a fantastic result. Charles and Brendon were irreproachable. When Charles leads from the green light, he's unbeatable. Brendon was as quick as him and the pits stops were impeccable. Today, we couldn't lose the race. It's been a good weekend for Charles as he leaves the Nurburgring in second place in the overall drivers' classification. Our aim will be to keep this place at Motorland Aragon. The easiest way to do so is to win again. I'm also very happy for Brendon. Since Monaco, he's been very quick and this weekend he's fulfilled all the hopes we placed in him. I think we all can't wait to be at Motorland to finish the season on a high note!"
Rendezvous at Motorland at the end of October for the season's final.
-credit: tech 1