Hartley hankers for Hungary! 01/06/07 - Magny-Cours -- Collective Testing -- The tricky weather conditions ruined the working schedules of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Teams who made the trip to Magny-Cours for their only test session before...
Hartley hankers for Hungary!
01/06/07 - Magny-Cours -- Collective Testing -- The tricky weather conditions ruined the working schedules of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Teams who made the trip to Magny-Cours for their only test session before they travel to Hungary in mid July. Brendon Hartley (Red Bull Epsilon) set the fastest timed lap ahead of Henki Waldschmidt (Prema Power Team) and Franck Kechele (Motopark Academy).
The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 teams were set for two days of action at the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit, but the tricky weather conditions ruined the first day of testing.
The night before the test started it rained in the Nevers, but the track appeared to be dry when the first Formula Renault 2.0 cars lined up. However, Fabio Onidi lost control of his Motopark Academy car after the final chicane. It was a big crash but the 19 year-old Italian driver was unhurt.
Roberto Mehri (Jenzer Motorsport) set the fastest time in the morning, 1.39.800, ahead of Charles Pic (SG Formula) and Mika MÃ¤ki (Epsilon Red Bull Team). The top three drivers finished within three tenths of a second of each other, while the RDD driver Nelson Panciatici (SG Formula) closed the list of drivers with a gap of 1 second in 18th position! None of the top teams used fresh tyres as the heavy rain was to ruin the afternoon session. Mehri put in some consistent laps, topping the timing screens, but he was unable to improve on his best lap time from the morning: "I had a very good feeling with the car throughout. During the morning session I managed to put in at least 4 or 5 good laps, but it was a little bit slippery and I didn't want to take any risks. I knew the circuit because I tested here during the winter together with some French outfits"
Pic and SG Formula are in great form. The French rookie won the last Eurocup race at the Nurburgring, and he made it onto the podium in the second race of his national championship in Dijon. What is more, SG Formula put in a great performance in the last meeting of the French Season in Magny-Cours, so they hope to do well tomorrow, as announced by Team manager Stephane Guerin: "Both Pic and Marsoin did a great job today. We know where we are on this track and we knew the day was going to be ruined by the changing weather conditions, so we saved our energy for tomorrow!
The South African GT driver Marc Auby has been testing with Carlin Motorsport in place of Alex Khateeb. Auby finished his first day of testing in the top 5.
Most of the drivers took advantage of the dry track conditions to get in some laps with a fresh set of tyres. Henki Waldschmidt (Prema Power Team) was the first driver to set a time below 1.39 (1.38.692), followed by Mihai Marinescu (District Racing) and Charles Pic. Waldschmidt's best lap time was unbeaten because there was a heavy storm before the lunch break but the new paving on the Magny-Cours Circuit allowed the track to dry up as soon as the rain cleared, and the teams took advantage of the opportunity to use another set of new tyres.
Brendon Hartley was the quickest driver overall, setting the fastest lap in 1.38.672, and he looks in good form for the rest of the season: "Yeah! It's a good feeling with the Team and I'm looking forward to racing in Hungary. I do not know the track but I had my hand protection taken off last weekend, so it's much easier for me to drive now!"
In the afternoon session, Hartley was followed by Frank Kechele (Motopark Academy) and Alexandre Marsoin (SG Formula).
Michel Lecomte was happy to see three of his drivers in the top 10 positions: "It has been a difficult test for everyone due to the changing weather conditions and to be honest we were not going to focus on performance! It's the last test of the season that we made apart, and it's easier to work calmly, but it should be okay when we race here at the end of September."