Heikki Kovalainen Reigns in Valencia
Cheste, 18th of June 2004 -- Heikki Kovalainen put in an impressive flying lap in the first of the Free Practice sessions of the World Series by Nissan held in Valencia. Kovalainen was one second faster than his team mate, Adrian Valles, who took second place. Everything looks under control for the Finn: "I was very quick but I can still improve some tenths. I didn't use any new tyres yesterday so I guess now we know everything we must know about the car. In the afternoon I did my best lap with a puncture in my rear left tyre!"
Monteiro did an over rev in the afternoon's session but the Team worked very well and he managed to finish in third position, and complete some laps in the last minutes.
Jean Christophe Ravier was slightly quicker than Olivier Pla, who made a driving mistake, finishing fifth. Ravier wasn't very happy: "The car is okay but I'm convinced that we can be at least 4 or 5 tenths of a second faster." Vilariño used a different set-up and he didn't find any improvement with new tyres. Front runners like Enrique Bernoldi and Narain Kartikheyan struggled quite a lot in finding the right set up and they were far from Kovalainen.
Felix Porteiro had a real nightmare yesterday after the morning session. After a problem with the engine and working all the afternoon, the team discovered that the new engine had a crack on it so--they were back again on duty to work on the replacement . Porteiro set a good lap time in his home track finishing sixth.
Finally a bit of hope in the garage of Meycom Motorsport, the wining team in the World Series Light 2003, which has managed to top the list of times with its only driver, the Spaniard Celso Miguez: "The team really deserves this result but I can still grab some tenths tomorrow, which is the important day! Bastien Briere was the quickest driver in the second session and second fastest in the combined sessions, leaving Simon Abadie in third place. Both Epsilon Sport drivers declared that to test in such conditions had been very hard: It was almost 48º C in the track!
In the Junior category Michael Herck, currently second in the standings, put in the strongest drive becoming the fastest driver of all three timed sessions. The Formula Junior was the only category that did not take part in the Collective Test yesterday so the youngest drivers spent the day preparing for tomorrow's qualifying. The time difference between the drivers gave us an idea of what we could expect from the youngest drivers of the World Series by Nissan competition ladder. Llobell finished second in the combined classification, only 0.284 seconds behind the Belgian ace. Giacomo Ricci, who will also be contesting the races, was the third quickest.