Guillaume Moreau's hectic weekend! Like last year Guillaume Moreau had a very busy weekend at Monza shared between the KTR team's Formula Renault 3.5 and Luc Alphand Adventures' Corvette C6.R, as he was involved in two programmes the same ...
Guillaume Moreau's hectic weekend!
Like last year Guillaume Moreau had a very busy weekend at Monza shared between the KTR team's Formula Renault 3.5 and Luc Alphand Adventures' Corvette C6.R, as he was involved in two programmes the same weekend.
After the Barcelona 1000kms the Le Mans Series arrived at Monza for the second round of the season. As in 2007, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series Championship began at the same meeting, so Moreau, who is competing in both, knew he had a busy weekend ahead of him.
He had been severely handicapped by various technical issues during the 3-day collective test on the Barcelona circuit, and he was all set to take full advantage of the 6 hours free practice to sort out his FR 3.5's set-up. Unfortunately, he again ran into technical glitches. "I did hardly any running due to a double problem with the gearbox and brakes. The team spared no effort to try and fix them, but I also missed free practice on Friday and qualifying! Not until Friday evening were the problems identified and solved."
Guillaume was on the last row for Race 1 and was ready to charge! "The Masked Avenger closed his visor! I knew that at Monza it was possible to claw my way up through the field by taking risks. On lap one, I passed ten cars! After that it was a no-holds-barred battle with some great moves. I was not among the quickest speedwise due to our lack of running, but I was able to compensate thanks to the push-to-pass system. The final laps were pretty nail biting, and I managed to slip past Charles Pic to take a totally unexpected eighth place."
For the Sunday race Moreau was in 14th place on the grid. Once again he took off like a bat out of hell and came into the first corner in 10th place. It was a repeat of the previous day's scenario. He fought like a lion and pulled off a few spectacular overtaking manoeuvres to finish sixth.
His 8 points over the weekend put him in 7th place in the championship. "I reckon I managed to do a pretty good job. As I didn't take part in qualifying I thought my weekend was ruined. But it's in difficult situations like this that you show what you're made off. The team and me never gave up and we put our all into the battle. At the same time some of the potential title winners didn't score any points, so I was very happy with our ability to perform so well in such a difficult context."
As soon as the second Formula Renault 3.5 race was over Guillaume joined the Luc Alphand Adventures team's pit before the start of the Monza 1000kms. "It wasn't all that easy to handle two programmes at the same time. Luc Alphand wasn't present for the race as he was competing in the Central European Rally with Mitsubishi. He was replaced by Olivier Beretta, an excellent choice, as he's been a works Corvette driver for several seasons. I learned a lot from him and thanks to him I did as little running as possible in practice. The reason? I wanted to avoid losing my bearings by jumping from the C6.R to the Renault 3.5 during the weekend. I did only about ten laps in free practice but I was on the pace right away."
Beretta set pole in LM GT1, did the first stint and stayed in the lead despite intense pressure from Tomas Enge's Aston Martin. Then Guillaume took over the wheel for a long 28-lap stint. "The opening laps were rather difficult as I had to find the right rhythm and get the best out of the new tyres. Overall, it went off well as I was able to stay in front of the Aston before handing over to Patrice Goueslard."
The British car got in front of the American one during Goueslard's stint, but the team wasn't too bothered. "Philippe Poincloux had established a strategy that should have allowed Olivier Beretta -- who was to do the final stint -- to retake the lead thanks to a very short pit stop. Unfortunately, the safety car came out after Stephane Ortelli's terrifying accident. We'd just refuelled and our rivals were able to pit at that very moment. Finally, we finished second in the category only twelve seconds behind the winning Aston," explained Guillaume.
The Corvette C6.R still leads in LM GT1. "The Aston Martin was quicker than in Barcelona, which confirms the overall interest in the GT1 category battle. Things are still as good as ever in the team and I'm very happy to have worked with Olivier. I'm looking forward to a great race at Spa!"
Spa Francorchamps will be the theatre of Guillaume's next exploits. The Formula Renault 3.5 Series will be racing there this coming weekend (3rd-4th May) in the World Series by Renault meeting. A week later it'll be the turn of the Le Mans Series to invade the Belgian paddock for the 3rd round of the season (10th-11th May), which the teams will also use to prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours (14th-15th June).
-credit: guillaume moreau