Clean sweep for DAMS! The DAMS team tested on the Paul Ricard circuit on 25th-26th September. Kamui Kobayashi dominated his rivals and topped the times in all 4 half-day sessions. Two weeks after the end of the 2008 GP2 Series Championship,...
Clean sweep for DAMS!
The DAMS team tested on the Paul Ricard circuit on 25th-26th September. Kamui Kobayashi dominated his rivals and topped the times in all 4 half-day sessions.
Two weeks after the end of the 2008 GP2 Series Championship, DAMS began preparing for the coming season with a 2-day test session on the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France. The team brought along 2 cars: one was entrusted to Kamui Kobayashi for both days, and British drivers Sam Bird and James Jakes shared the other.
The Japanese, who raced for DAMS during the whole 2008 season, gave a stunning display of his talent and set the fastest time in every one of the 4 sessions.
Sam Bird showed striking maturity and exceptional speed on his first outing in the new GP2 car. The 21-year-old Englishman, who has raced in the F3 Euroseries, set the 5th-quickest time on the first half day, and was 4th-quickest on the second morning. He then handed over to James Jakes, also 21 and anothe r F3 Euroseries driver, for the final afternoon's practice. Unfortunately, the poor weather conditions did not allow James to show his pace as it started to rain after just 2 hours' running.
The next GP2 Series test session will take place on October 29-30 in Jerez, Spain. The team will now prepare the travel to Shanghai, China for the opening of the second year of the GP2 Asia. A two-day session is scheduled a week prior the first race, on October 8-9.
Eric Boullier, team manager: "At last we've set the best time on the Paul Ricard circuit, and we did it in style as nobody beat us over the two days. Bravo to Kamui who was exceptional throughout. We tested Sam for the first time and he made a big impression on us as he showed both speed and consistency. What's more, he established an excellent relationship with the team right from the start. Unfortunately, the weather spoiled James's run. However, he proved that he has what it take s and his driving is very promising."
Kamui Kobayashi: "In GP2 experience pays off and I think we've showed that during this test session. I know the circuit, the car and the team. My engineers and me have our own reflexes and our way of working. This translated itself into four quickest times on the trot and it's not down to luck. It bodes well for the coming season and it boosts the whole team's morale."
Sam Bird: "I'd never driven this GP2 car before and I think I found my marks very quickly. I had a great contact with the DAMS team; we were on the same wavelength straight away, and after one day it was as if we'd already done a whole championship together. I would like to thank all the team for the great job done during these two days. This session's shown me that I have the potential to race in the GP2 Series and that's what I'll be working towards in the coming weeks."
James Jakes: "I really wanted to see where I stood with this ve ry quick car, but the rain interfered with our programme and the session didn't turn out as I'd hoped. I want put this disappointment behind me quickly and have another opportunity very soon."