Kovalainen flies in EuroSpeedway-Lausitz practice Finnish hot shoe Heikki Kovalainen was the man to beat on the opening practice day for round five of the Superfund World Series by Nissan at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany. The Garbord ...
Kovalainen flies in EuroSpeedway-Lausitz practice
Finnish hot shoe Heikki Kovalainen was the man to beat on the opening practice day for round five of the Superfund World Series by Nissan at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany.
The Garbord Competicion driver put together a near perfect lap in last of the day's two sessions to out-pace the field by almost three tenths of a second. His lap of 1m32.157s establishes a new record for the V6-engined cars on their first visit to the infield course, and provides the benchmark by which tomorrow's qualification times will be judged.
Kovalainen said: "We changed the set-up of the car a lot from yesterday's test and it was much better the new tyres. I'm really happy as I feel the car is ready to take a strong position in qualifying."
The second fastest driver was KTR's Felix Porteiro, in his most competitive showing of the season. The team has gone back to basics on its set-up approach and its has paid dividends, with team-mate Paul Edwards also fast, although his best lap was not representative of his true pace.
In fact, Porteiro thought he could have been even quicker. "It was a good day and I had a perfect car. But we can even better tomorrow, it is possible to go two tenths quicker."
Former KTM driver Bas Leinders was third quickest for Racing Engineering, just ahead of team-mate Stephane Sarrazin - the pace setter in pre-weekend testing. Leinders has been beset by misfortune this season, but his hopeful his good showing will be the start of a change of luck.
The Belgian said: "It's much better than in testing, where we had completely the wrong set-up. We have made such a big step forward that I had to get used to my extra speed."
Championship leader Franck Montagny was fifth ahead of Carlin Motorsport's Narain Karthikeyan and Bruce Jouanny. Marc Gene was eighth for Adrian Campos Motorsport, just ahead of Epsilon Euskadi's Jean-Christophe Ravier with the Sauliner Racing entry of Bruno Besson completing a top 10 that was covered by less than one second.
There will be only 18 cars racing in this weekend's double-header. GD Racing has parted company with Mathieu Zangarelli, Zele Racing ran Tuka Rocha in the second session, but sponsorship problems means he will not race, while Ricardo Gonzalez failed to show up at the Vergani Formula.
Lausitz is also the second round of the new the World Series Lights championship. And after the three free practice sessions, Chilean Pablo Donoso headed the timesheets. The Vergani Racing driver was quickest in the first and third sessions and ended the day with an advantage of almost half a second on his rivals.
"It was a very good day with a beautiful car," he said. "When you get to know the car and the team you can really appreciate what a good track this is. We are really focussed towards keeping this position for tomorrow, but the level of opposition in the series is really high."
Frenchman Julien Vidot set the pace in the second session on his way to second fastest overall for the Epsilon by Graff team. Championship leader Adrian Valles was third overall for Escuela, just ahead of RC Motorsport's Ananda Mikola.
It was a tough day for Mathias Lauda. His Vergani car's electronic data box failed to work all day, leaving his without any means of analysing his performance, which left him in 10th overall.
<pre> WORLD SERIES RESULTS Heikki KOVALAINEN Gabord Competition 1'32.157 Felix PORTEIRO KTR 0.276 Bas LEINDERS Racing Engineering 0.340 Stephane SARRAZIN Racing Engineering 0.462 Franck MONTAGNY Gabord Competition 0.470 Narain KARTHIKEYAN Tata Team Calin 0.718 Bruce JOUANNY Carlin Motorsport 0.735 Marc GENÉ Adrián Campos Motorsport 0.810 Jean Christophe RAVIER Epsilon Euskadi 0.864 Bruno BESSON Saulnier Racing 0.868 Ander VILARIÑO Epsilon Euskadi 0.975 Polo VILLAAMIL RC Motorsport 1.274 Carlos PEREIRA RC Motorsport 1.398 Enrique BERNOLDI GD Racing 1.416 Didier ANDRE Saulnier Racing 1.565 Ángel BURGUEÑO Repsol RFS Vergani 1.620 Paul EDWARDS KTR 1.697 Norbert SIEDLER Superfund Zele Racing 2.216 Santiago PORTEIRO Adrián Campos Motorsport 2.349 Tuka ROCHA Superfund Zele Racing 2.351
WORLD SERIES LIGHT RESULTS Pablo DONOSO Vergani Racing 1'37.007 Julien VIDOT Epsilon by Graff 1'37.498 Adrián VALLES Escuela Lois Circuit 1'37.587 Aranda MIKOLA RC Motorsport 1'37.608 Milos PAVLOVIC Epsilon By Graff 1'37.645 Alvaro BARBA Escula Lois Circuit 1'38.075 Juan CRUZ ALVAREZ Reyco Motorsport 1.38.106 Mateo PELLEGRINO Rc Motorsport 1.38.268 Celso MIGUEZ Meycom 1.38.419 Mathias LAUDA Vergani Racing 1.38.504 Milka DUNO Vergani Racing 1.40.465 Chanoch NISSANY Szasz Motorsport 1.41.817