Back to work!
The World Series by Renault 2006 winter test is due to be held in Valencia this week over two days (November 22-23). Some of the drivers taking part in this test are going to get their first taste of what its like behind the wheel of a Formula Renault 3.5 car, whilst the more experienced drivers will be lining up for different teams. This test will be the perfect warm--up for the forthcoming season and will be followed by another two days at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit (December 5-6).
The Eastern side of the Spanish Peninsula is going to be a hive of activity this week. The Valencia circuit will welcome 14 trucks from the 15 official teams ranging from 2005's wining Team, Epsilon Euskadi, to the very last to enter the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 category, Comtec Team United Kingdom. Saulnier Racing will be the only absentee, as both their test drivers will be busy elsewhere on the test days.
Looking at the provisional list of test drivers (it is too early to make any official announcements) a few 0xbbecd0x0ba1mes can be recognized, like Pastor Maldonado -- he looks set to be one of the busiest men at the test, as he is listed in both the Epsilon Euskadi and Draco Multiracing USA teams. US driver Colin Fleming will line up for Carlin Motorsport with former Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 driver, Mihail Aleshin, from Russia.J Some of the 2005 drivers hope to stay with their former teams. This is the case for Ryan Sharp (Jenzer Motorsport), Ben Hanley (Cram Competition), Carlos Iaconelli (Interwetten.com) and Giovanni Tedeschi (RC Motorsport).
But for some reason, it would seem that Eric Salignon, Thomas Kostka, Giorgio Mondini, Matteo Meneghello, Danilo Dirani and Fernando Rees want to add a new page to their World Series by Renault CV. They are all looking for a new chance and will be driving for a different team in 2006.
As usual, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will become an important driver feeder for the 425bhp category of the World Series by Renault. Michael Ammerm0x00fcller, Xavier Maasen, Jer0x00f4me D'Ambrosio and David Oberle are all looking at this test as a real step forward in their racing programmes.
The winner of the 2005 World Series Formula Renault 3.5, Robert Kubica, will complete a few laps with his former team Epsilon Euskadi. But he'll be taking it easy, only as a warm-up for his test with Renault F1 Team on December 1st in Barcelona.
New kids on the block for 2006: 2005 F3 Spanish Champion, Andy Soucek, tests for Interwetten.com, F3 Euro Series driver Giedo Van de Garde (Pons Racing), Davide Valsecchi (Cram Competition), Alvaro Barba (Pons Racing), Sean McIntosh (A1 GP) and Susie Stoddart (British F3) tests for Comtec.