Guillaume Moreau's promising GP2 test "What a fantastic car!" said the driver from Limoges after he completed his inaugural test at the wheel of a Dallara-Renault GP2 at Paul Ricard circuit on the 4th of October. Guillaume was given the ...
Guillaume Moreau's promising GP2 test
"What a fantastic car!" said the driver from Limoges after he completed his inaugural test at the wheel of a Dallara-Renault GP2 at Paul Ricard circuit on the 4th of October. Guillaume was given the opportunity to practice with reigning GP2 champion team ART Grand Prix. Managed by Nicolas Todt (CEO) and Frederic Vasseur (General Director), the French stable took two drivers' titles in a row with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and also won the teams' crowd in 2005 and 2006.
"Contrary to the other rookies, I could only find the backing to test on the second day" Said Guillaume. "I had never driven at the HTTT before, neither with a 600hp-car. I also experienced left-foot braking for the first time. I found it pretty effective."
Indeed, it's a big leap between F3 and GP2. "The difference in engine power and brakes is significant. The car is much wilder and heavier than an F3 car. You have to accelerate gently to keep the car under control. High speed is also something you have to get used to, as the car nearly hits 300 km/h!" An uncommon mechanical problem stopped Guillaume during the morning session. "ART Grand Prix never experienced a water pump failure in two years of GP2 racing. It's a shame, because I had to sit out for the rest of the session, but fortunately the engine wasn't damaged." The team looked happy with Guillaume's early efforts. With a time of 1'16''5, he was ahead of drivers who had completed much more than 15 laps.
At the beginning of the afternoon session, Guillaume tested his first set of new tyres. "The team had planned a qualifying simulation for the end of the day. Before that, we worked hard with my engineer Gaetan Jego to improve my driving. With 25 laps-old tyres, I set a time of 1'15''6. That was promising for a good time on new tyres. They are two seconds faster, but for just two laps."
The team staff explained Guillaume how to warm up the tyres and carbon brakes, in order to score a flyer straight away. "With just 10 minutes to go, the red flag was displayed and I had to drive back to the pits. When the session resumed, there was logically a lot of traffic on the track, far too much for a flyer in my first lap but I talked to the team on the radio and they helped me to find a gap. Indeed, I was third fastest in sector 1 and ready for a "banzai lap". Next was the long "Mistral" straight, with "Signes" bend at the end of it. I had been told by the team that it was flat out through "Signes" on new tyres, so I did it. But this time I was really fast: the rev limiter started to kick in. I ran wide, jumped on the outside kerb and damaged the tyres on the "colgrip". I could make a final attempt after a short pitstop to check the pressure of the tyres, and improved under the flag. 1'15''169, and that was it."
How about Guillaume's feelings at the end of the day? "We were all a bit frustrated because I think I had the potential to be in the Top 10. So at first sight, the result looked like a defeat to me. But taking the circumstances into account, I proved I could adapt to a powerful and demanding car quickly and drive it fast."
Back to business: Guillaume will now concentrate on his home F3 Euro Series race at Le Mans, where he expects to get back on form after productive testing in September. Le Mans is also the place where Guillaume won from pole in Formula Renault, back in 2004.
-credit: future racing