Tech 1 Racing finishes 2007 on top
The World Series by Renault teams did three days' testing on the Valencia circuit last week. On what was the final outing for the 3.5-litre Formula Renault cars Tech 1 Racing confirmed its status as the yardstick in the category with Charles Pic setting a new record for the Spanish track.
No let up! Simon Abadie's orders to his men were clear for the last three days' practice of the year on what was the final opportunity to test set-ups and acquire data before the change to the new car in 2008.
Charles Pic had the no.32 Renault for the whole test while no.31 was shared between two driver, Englishman Oliver Oakes who joined the team for the first two days, and Julien Jousse who took over for the final one.
Tech 1 Racing was not out to set the best time on a track that was systematically quicker in the morning than in the afternoon. However, at the end of the three days Charles Pic topped the time sheets with a lap in 1m 21.391s shattering the previous record set by Miguel Molina in 2006. Simon Abadie was delighted with this performance. "Charles took full advantage of the three days to make a big step forward. He made no mistakes - no blocked wheels, no spins. His capacity to absorb and immediately apply our instructions is mind-boggling! Changing from the 2.0 Formula Renault to the 3.5-litre car isn't that easy but Charles took it in his stride. He's ready to move up to this level."
After testing with another team on the Paul Ricard circuit Oliver Oakes pursued his apprenticeship with Tech 1 Racing. The 2005 Karting World Champion covered almost 200 laps in two days and made steady progress. "Oliver's had a difficult season. Even if he finished all the Eurocup races he didn't make it onto the rostrum. He was a bit disappointed with his times but we felt that he was gaining confidence over the runs. Every time he went out he improved. We appreciated his collaboration very much," emphasized Simon.
Julien Jousse, who is fully involved in preparing for the 2008 season, took over Oliver's car. By the late afternoon he was up among the quickest and confirmed his role as a title challenger. "It was very important for Julien to rack up track time and not to remain inactive. He's doing a very big physical fitness programme at the moment, but there's nothing better than 100 laps behind a steering wheel! He did a good job and the data showed us that once again he was among the quickest in the field," Simon summed up.
Now it's time to decide on the 2008 driver line-up. The team from Toulouse is out to defend its Teams, Drivers, Juniors and Megane Eurocup Trophy titles, and it will run four cars. Concerning the 3.5-litre Formula Renault Simon Abadie is concluding the discussions with the candidates: "We'll announce the names once the final details have been sorted out, but it's not that difficult to see the direction in which we're heading!"