In the top 5 for the first time ! Having arrived at the Nurburgring with six points in the teams championship, the Tech 1 Racing team left with a grand total of 15 ! Marco Bonanomi and Ryo Fukuda demonstrated the...
In the top 5 for the first time !
Having arrived at the Nurburgring with six points in the teams championship, the Tech 1 Racing team left with a grand total of 15 ! Marco Bonanomi and Ryo Fukuda demonstrated the potential of the young Toulouse-based team from the start. The Japanese driver was fifth in the race two -- his best result in this formula !
The teams and drivers arrived at the Nurburgring with their motivation at an all-time high, fresh from the race meeting at Spa less than a week earlier. From the first free practice sessions Marco Bonanomi distinguished himself once more, by setting seventh fastest time while he was still learning the circuit !
Just as team boss Simon Abadie had requested, Ryo Fukuda mounted a big attack during the second session in order to judge the final set-up established by the engineers. With a fifth fastest time already in the bag, the Tech 1 Racing team was looking forward to qualifying.
During Saturday morning's first qualifying session, Marco's chances were compromised by another competitor going off, which brought out the yellow flags. The young Italian could do no better than the eighth row, but things went better for Ryo. The Japanese driver put in his best performance of the season by qualifying on the sixth row.
>From the first lap, Ryo made up a place and was heading for the top 10. Unfortunately, he made a mistake two laps later that put him right at the back. But his loss was Marco's gain, who took over where his team mate had left off. The Italian made up another place by passing Ben Hanley, and scored the two points available for ninth place.
On Sunday morning, second qualifying took place on an extremely wet and slippery track. Once more Ryo drove well to put his car safely on the seventh row. Unfortunately Marco was forced to start at the back of the grid, as a tyre pressure problem prevented him from setting a competitive time.
The race start was particularly lively ¬-- especially for Marco, who clashed with Alvaro Parente on the third lap. Ryo was left in sole charge of Tech 1 Racing's fortunes -- and rose to the occasion magnificently. Having started 14th he was up to seventh by the end of the first lap. On lap 11, the former French F3 champion took the race lead !
He came into the pits for a tyre stop three laps later and came out holding an effective fifth place. Borja Garcia and Eric Salignon closed up to him when the safety car came out, but Ryo managed to defend fifth place until the chequered flag and took his best result in Formula Renault 3.5 !
" Since Istanbul we have been getting better and better, " said Simon Abadie at the finish. " Ryo seems to have found a new motivation since Marco arrived in the team. This weekend he delivered everything we asked of him. His performance, together with the progress made by the team, has allowed us to take fifth place fair and square. I think we are ready to challenge for a podium now. This will be our objective from now until the end the season ! "
Next race : Donington, 9--10 September
-credit: tech1 racing