Racing Engineering completes two days of successful testing at Silverstone.
All the teams competing in the 2011 GP2 Series have been taking part in the official pre-season testing held on the Silverstone circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Spain’s Racing Engineering welcomed Christian Vietoris back to the driver’s seat, the German driver had not competed in the 2011 GP2 Asia Series and he was looking forward to his first drive in the new 2011 Dallara with its Pirelli tyres. Dani Clos, who won the final round of the 2011 GP2 Asia Series, was in the other car and his experience in the Asian Series would be invaluable in developing a suitable set-up for the car.
Tuesday morning proved to be cold, wet and windy and it gave all the 26 drivers a chance to test the new Pirelli wet weather tyres. Times were understandably some 15 seconds away from a dry lap time as all the drivers learnt about driving the new Dallara in the testing conditions. At the end of the session Dani Clos was 9th and Christian Vietoris 13th.
The weather had improved for the afternoon and the drivers were able to put on slick tyres as the track began to dry out. Christian Vietoris quickly showed that his lack of experience with the new car was not slowing him down and was able to set the 6th fastest time, less than a second away from the quickest time. Dani Clos was a little further back in 16th place but many drivers were prevented from setting their fastest lap when the session was stopped eight minutes early due to an accident. Once again the competitiveness of the 2011 GP2 Series was clear as only 0.8 seconds separated Vietoris in 6th to Razia in 19th.
Wednesday morning saw the sun start to appear and times were faster again as the teams and drivers found more speed in their set-ups. At the end of another very competitive session Christian Vietoris and the Racing Engineering team showed that all their hard work was paying off as the German driver finished the session top of the timing sheets. Dani Clos was equally competitive finishing in 4th spot just over 0.3 seconds behind Vietoris.
The afternoon session proved similarly rewarding for both Racing Engineering drivers with Vietoris in 4th and Clos in 11th with the first fourteen cars less than a second apart. The combined times for the four sessions saw Vietoris in second and Clos in fourth. The two days of testing have been very productive for Racing Engineering as they continue to add to their knowledge of the new Dallara and its Pirelli tyres whilst both Vietoris and Clos have shown that they are amongst the fastest drivers competing in the 2011 GP2 series and both men can be considered to be favourites for the Championship.
Dani Clos: We had two very productive days where we were able to get a lot of data. We leave from here with both positive and negative information, which we will have to study now. The next test is in Barcelona and we will be very eager to continue our work. We still have a bit to do and need to always be working at 100%.
Chris Vietoris: The first meters in the new car were really exciting, especially as we had wet conditions. It was Monza 2010 since I was last in a GP2 car, so I needed to get used to it. But it went well and the first day finished with a little qualifying, as everyone put slicks on when the track was drying up at the end of the day. I feel very well in the car and today we adapted it even further to my needs. We also tried different things and have a lot of data to study now.
Alfonso de Orleáns-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering: These two test days have been very positive and were able to gather a lot of information, which has been our objective, I think we are on the right path. We need to analyze the data obtained and prepare the last test of the season in Barcelona, before the season kicks off at the beginning of May. As usual, everyone has done a great job during these two days of testing.
-source: racing engineering