Tech 1 Racing underlines its pace

Having set third-fastest time during testing at Barcelona, Alvaro Parente and the Tech 1 Racing team have continued to improve by claiming the second-fastest time at the Nurburgring. With just two weeks to go before the season starts in Monza, hopes are high at the Toulouse-based team--

With two days of testing at Barcelona behind them, the World Series Formula 3.5 squads headed for Germany and another official test session at the Nurburgring. The German circuit had been covered in snow just a week earlier, but thankfully sunshine brought warmer conditions that allowed the teams to get on with some serious work.

Tech 1 Racing continued its development programme with drivers Alvaro Parente and Julien Jousse. Two busy days allowed the team to collect a lot of useful data, as team principal Simon Abadie explained. " We're working a lot to understand how the tyres behave and the way that the wear rate evolves. We have also tried several different suspension set-ups. We're aiming to build up as comprehensive a data bank as possible, in order to know how to adapt our cars to every possible track condition. "

As was the case in Barcelona, all this hard work was certainly worth the effort. On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Alvaro Parente ended the two sessions with fastest time ! The Portuguese driver -- who won a race at the Nurburgring last year -- was upbeat about the work completed with Tech 1 to date. " The car suits me very well and we have made a lot of progress together, " he said. " I think we will be able to fight for wins from the very start of the season. The title is now my objective -- more than ever. "

On Wednesday afternoon, only Alvaro Barba (Draco) was able to go quicker than the Tech 1 Racing driver -- by just 51 hundredths of a second--.

Julien Jousse came to the Nurburgring with a severe lack of seat time, having missed out on a lot of running in Barcelona. On the German circuit, he was able to cover three times the distance he could manage in Spain. The Frenchman was 11th quickest on Wednesday, just eight-tenths of a second off Alvaro, which was a good confidence-booster heading into his first season at this level. " I was able to carry out some longer runs in Germany and I feel that I'm improving with more time in the car, " he said. " I also did several practice pit stops, which is a completely new thing for me. At Monza, the biggest difficulty for me will be to get the best out of a set of new tyres during qualifying. "

After these four final days of testing the team is next in action at the first race meeting of the season, in Monza from April 14-15. " To tell the truth, I'm a bit apprehensive about the first race as unlike the other teams we have no experience of the circuit at all, " said Simon Abadie. " However, we've got some free practice sessions on Thursday to adapt the set-up of our Formula Renault 3.5 cars to the demands of this very specialised track. The promising times set by Alvaro only increases the motivation of everybody in the team tenfold. "

-credit: tech1