In the five days of postseason testing at Alcaniz, the team had the chance to try 5 drivers...
The Lotus team completed an incredible 2015 season today at Alcaniz. After fighting for the Formula Renault 3.5 title, the Czech squad became one of the pillars of a new era for the series which will be run by Spanish promoter RPM under the Formula 3.5 V8 banner in 2016. Once again, even in a new form of competition, Lotus proved to be a major star.
In the five days of postseason testing, the team had the chance to try a young and promising prospect, Kevin Joerg. The 21-year-old Swissman was a brilliant runner in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and NEC championships, emerging as one of the best men in business. Once aboard a Lotus car, he constantly fought among the top-5 as he kept learning from the team’s advice. Lap after lap, he quickly perfected his driving stile by tailoring it around the series’ Formula Renault 3.5.
I tested on Wednesday with Lotus Team, just one day but enough to feel the power and aerodynamic force that the car has.
Alongside him, the team fielded Richard Gonda, who stayed under the Renault umbrella this season by running with the RS01 racecar. On-track, he fought for the Prestige championship until its latest stages. Gonda won the Copa class of the Formula 3 Open and entered selected events of the Formula A1 and Auto GP championships in the past. His first appearance with Lotus highlighted the potential of both the team and the driver. On a much quicker racetrack than in Jerez, albeit equally technical, Lotus also welcomed newly-crowned EuroFormula Open Champion Vitor Baptista. The 17-year-old Brazilian was at his first run on a 500+ horsepower beast like the Lotus-prepared Dallara-Gibson.
The work done with 39-year-old Guillaume Cunnington was really important too. The Frenchman won the Formula Renault Asian Series – Masters Category and starred in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship. Cunnington improved his familiarity with the car’s superior dimensions, power and downforce compared to the machinery he has driven so far, aiming to make himself ready for a move to prototype racing. The Lotus Charouz team has many future programs on the table and is looking forward to pursuit them with consistent and experienced driver like Guillaume.
Lotus also had the pleasure to work closely with Daniel De Jong. The GP2 Series driver chose the team to make his racing comeback after an heavy crash at Spa-Francorchamps last August. Daniel, who suffered a broken vertebra, completed a tough rehabilitation program at Formula Medicine and used the Lotus-fielded Dallara to test his physical conditions. The feedback was great both in terms of endurance and resistance, and the Dutchman also scored competitive laptimes as he looks forward to his competitive return.
“My experience with the World Series 3.5 was amazing. Everything happened really fast since the end of the championship of the EuroFormula Open. I tested on Wednesday with Lotus Team, just one day but enough to feel the power and aerodynamic force that the car has. I didn't know the car, not even the track so everything was new. I really enjoyed this opportunity, everybody from the team helped me and worked a lot to let everything on perfect conditions during the test. I hope to be in that car soon and let's work for it”.
“I’ve been very lucky to test with Lotus team this year in Formula 3.5 V8. I run here in Motorland last year with this car, but this time I improved my lap-time by 6 seconds, thanks to the great job from the whole team who supported and coached me with a very good car. I think I’ve room to improve from my side and I hope to be back and show my limit, this for sure is the right track for me to be competitive”.
Daniel De Jong
“I struggled a little bit at the start, because the Formula 3.5 V8 is a really different car compared to GP2. Physically, I didn’t have a problem, I’m fully recovered and ready to be back in action. We didn’t have a single problem and that’s a good indication of how professional and high-level the team is. Of course, I also tried to set a good laptime and push really hard. The race simulation went really well and I would have liked to improve even more on a single lap”.
“It was a very good test day with Lotus in Jerez. To work with such a professional team was a great experience for me and I had very positive feeling throughout the whole day. It wasn´t so easy to switch to such a powerful car after driving the whole season in an RS01. But I tried to adapt as fast as I could and I enjoyed all the mileage I logged on track. It was a really nice feeling to come back to single seaters with the Lotus junior team. We did some good stints and I think we did a good job together“.
“It’s been a phenomenal experience! For me, the car was new but I really merged well with the team right from Jerez. At Alcaniz, things went even better because we regularly stayed on top both in terms of qualifying simulations and race pace. Of course, my confidence kept improving and the results got progressively better lap after lap up the second place scored in the final session. It was a further confirmation of our consistent improvement”.
Lotus World Series