Caldarelli and Bottas show their strength at Spa The pecking order for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 2008 season gradually revealed itself as these collective sessions unfolded. At Spa-Francorchamps, the Italian Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula)...
Caldarelli and Bottas show their strength at Spa
The pecking order for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 2008 season gradually revealed itself as these collective sessions unfolded. At Spa-Francorchamps, the Italian Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) came out on top ahead of Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy), Roberto Mehri (Epsilon Euskadi) and Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula). The anticipated big names for the start of the season did not fail to live up to expectations.
After Valencia and Barcelona, it was the turn of Spa-Francorchamps to welcome the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 field. It is on this very circuit that the season will get underway for real at the start of May.
On Wednesday, despite the wind and cold conditions, the track stayed dry. The Motopark Academy boys immediately took the chance to show what they are capable of, with the Finn Valtteri Bottas setting the fastest lap of the morning, ahead of his teammate Tobias Hegewald. Looking very comfortable on a track which is nothing new to their team, the two drivers confirmed their good form was no fluke in the second session. Valterri Bottas set the fastest lap of the day in 2'29''615, with Hegewald hanging back in fourth position. Andrea Caldarelli managed to slot into second place as the session drew to a close, moving ahead of Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (BVM Minardi Team), who was also looking very comfortable here. Michel Faccin (Jenzer Motorsport) was the other man to complete the top five. The other incident of note occurred when Anton Nebilitskyi (SG Formula) crashed out with his car suffering a fair amount of damage as a result. For understandable reasons, the incident put an early end to the Russian's involvement in this bout of collective testing.
On Thursday morning, the track was damp, with plenty of wet patches remaining on the surface, making the Spa Francorchamps circuit even more tricky than usual. At the close of a stop-start session, Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) had set the fastest time, ahead of this teammate Andrea Caldarelli. These two were followed by the Motopark Academy drivers, with Bottas ahead of Hegewald, then the two Jenzer Motorsport cars, with Siso Cunill ahead of Michele Faccin.
The track gradually dried out in the afternoon and the times started to come down accordingly as the session drew to a close. Andrea Caldarelli waited until the closing minutes to snatch the fastest time, with a lap in 2'19''384, ahead of Bottas, Mehri, Ricciardo and Quaife-Hobbs. The anticipated big hitters for the start of the season had duly taken up their positions at the top of the standings.
The next Eurocup Formula Renault collective testing sessions will be held at the Paul Ricard HTTT on April 20-21.