Ricciardo rules again Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula), who has looked sharp since the start of this season's test programme, confirmed his recent good form to take the best time in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective tests. The Australian...
Ricciardo rules again
Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula), who has looked sharp since the start of this season's test programme, confirmed his recent good form to take the best time in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective tests. The Australian will however need to watch out for his fast-improving teammate, Andrea Caldarelli.
Just a few days after the first action of the season which saw Daniel Ricciardo and Andrea Caldarelli win one race each at the inaugural round of the WEC Formula Renault 2.0, the SG Formula teammates were once again at the top of the standings, this time in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective test sessions held on the Barcelona track.
And yet it was Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) and Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi 2) who were the first to make an impact on the opening morning. Caldarelli and Ricciardo were not however to be left out for long, coming into form by the end of the session to take the second and third best times respectively.
The afternoon was more of a stop-start affair -- several drivers ran into trouble, forcing the organizers to bring out the red flag on a number of occasions. It wasn't until the end of the day that the times improved. Albert Costa came to the fore with a lap of 1'45''208. "This morning we made a slow start, focussing on validating various things. My goal was to finish in the top 5, so I switched to fresh tyres fairly early on in the afternoon. And it paid off!" commented the Spaniard. Although all the drivers, or almost all, went after this time in the last few minutes, nobody seemed able to topple Costa. Nobody, that is, except Daniel Ricciardo, who in the dying moments of the session clocked the best time with a lap of 1'44''861. Roberto Mehri (Epsilon Euskadi 2) took third position, followed by Andrea Caldarelli, Pablo Montilla (Epsilon Euskadi 1) and Richard Campollo (Epsilon Euskadi 1).
Thursday also got off to a poor start for the Australian as he broke a suspension component at the start of the session. Meanwhile, his teammate hit top form. Andrea Caldarelli replaced Albert Costa at the top of the standings with a lap timed at 1''44'731. Just before the end of the second morning session, Daniel Ricciardo went back on the attack, his car having been repaired. The Australian was immediately back on the money, setting the test's best overall time with a lap of 1''44'623, to move ahead of Caldarelli. Norwegian driver Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport) moved up into third position, in front of Costa and British driver Dan Smith (Fortec Motorsport).
The afternoon session saw no changes in position as none of the drivers were able to improve their times. Caldarelli set the afternoon session's best time, ahead of Mathieu Arzeno (Epsilon Sport), but in the overall standings from these two days of testing, Daniel Ricciardo was clearly the top driver.
"I am very pleased with this result. But it looks as though it's going to be very tight in the team with Caldarelli, who is really quick. We are moving in the right direction with the SG Formula team, so everything is going very well for the moment", concluded the current form driver. Caldarelli finished second, ahead of Varhaug, Costa and Smith.
The next Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective test sessions will be held at Spa-Francorchamps on April 2-3.