Ocean Racing Technology finds an excellent foundation to work from
Ocean Racing Technology has just completed its first test session for the 2011 GP2 Asia Series, but although the week spent in Abu Dhabi was rich in learning experiences weather issues prevented better development for the new GP2 Series car, the Dallara Renault GP2/11.
The first day. rain and a very dusty track delayed the drivers from getting to the task of development, and on the second day they were greeted by thick fog which pushed back the start of the session by over an hour.
For this first test session of the year, Ocean Racing Technology's main objectives were to enable its drivers, Oliver Turvey and Andrea Caldarelli to get to know the team and their new equipment, and to lay down a solid technical foundation for the season to come with this new chassis and new tyres. From this point of view, the team's objective was achieved. "I am sincerely very happy with the work done by Oliver and Andrea," confirmed team principal Tiago Monteiro, "They tested a number of different settings enabled the entire team to understand how the new Pirelli tyres and the GP2/11 operate, since we only got a brief look at them during the shakedown at the end of the last year."
Ocean Racing Technology's only regret is that it was not able to turn its potential into pure performance due to an early session interruption following the shunt of a competitor, which luckily was not injured. After driving mainly on used/old tyres, Oliver Turvey and Andrea Caldarelli were getting ready to hit the track with new tyres when the red flags went up. Up until then, and despite the worn Pirellis, Andrea had long been in the top 6 for the day. His fastest lap did not include any of his fastest partial laps which, if placed end to end would have gained him a half second and placed him in the top 10 for the day. "It's a bit frustrating but it is better for this to happen now and not during a race weekend!" observes Tiago Monteiro, "We missed out on success, but the basic work was remarkable and I would like to congratulate the whole team and its new drivers, who enabled us to find effectiveness and peace of mind starting with the first tests of the year. Oliver could not show his true pace as his task was to work on some radical new test setups before he was stopped by the red flag."
The next GP2 Asia Series tests will take place in Abu Dhabi February 6 and 7, less than a week before the first races (February 10-12).