The Meganes hit the track as well-- When the Tech 1 Racing team is not running its Formula Renault 3.5 single-seaters, there is plenty more action to be had. The team has just been testing its three Renault Megane Trophy...
The Meganes hit the track as well--
When the Tech 1 Racing team is not running its Formula Renault 3.5 single-seaters, there is plenty more action to be had. The team has just been testing its three Renault Megane Trophy cars at the Nurburgring. Matthieu Lahaye, Julien Piguet and Pierre Hirschi all put in some excellent performances on their return to racing...
The Megane Trophy cars have been in the workshop since last year, receiving an extensive revamp over the off-season that incorporates improvements to the clutch, electrics, suspension and exhaust. After an excellent end to the 2005 season, highlighted by a one-two for Simon Abadie and Matthieu Lahaye at Monza, the Toulouse-based team was impatient to get stuck into some serious on-track action.
Matthieu Lahaye is now team leader in the Tech 1 Megane line-up. The second car was driven by Julien Piguet at the Nurburgring, winner of the junior section of the French Clio Cup in 2005. Team manager Simon Abadie commented : " We would like to sign Julien for this season as we believe the partnership with Matthieu would work well, enabling us to have a shot at the junior title. But we still need to finalise our budgets. " Gentleman driver Pierre Hirschi returns to the team, and he is looking forward to a second season at the wheel of the Megane.
The two days of the German test were marked out by particularly variable conditions. On Monday the weather was positively wintry with temperatures close to zero, a biting wind and even some snow at the end of the morning. " These conditions allowed us to make some progress in the rain, " pointed out Simon. " I still think though that we have a lot of scope to improve in these tricky conditions. "
The weather was milder on Tuesday, particularly during the afternoon. Matthieu Lahaye finished the day with an excellent fourth-fastest time on used tyres. Simon explained : " It took us a while to understand why Matthieu was amongst the quickest through the first two sectors before losing 1.5 seconds on the last split. All our rivals were cutting a chicane, which gained them a lot of time. So I asked Matthieu to cut the chicane as well, in order to have a similar time as a reference. We know know that we are able to fight for a win. "
Julien Piguet showed himself to be extremely convincing throughout his first two days of testing in the Megane, ending up with 10th fastest time. Simon commented : " It's good for him to be only 5/10ths of a second off Mathieu in such a short space of time. Julien has worked very well with the team, without putting a foot wrong, and that only increases my desire to work with him this season. "
Pierre Hirschi ended his two days of testing in 24th, ahead of all the other gentlemen drivers. Simon reported : " Pierre has made a lot of progress and has enjoyed himself. Our goal is to accompany him on his learning mission. If he finds another second per lap, he will be able to fight for 15th to 20th place. "
The Tech 1 Racing team will remain at the Nurburgring for two days of official testing with its Formula Renault 3.5 cars before the start of the season.
12. Pierre Hirschi
102 laps, 525 km
Best lap : 2'11''219 (24th)
31. Julien Piguet
124 laps, 638 km
Best lap : 2'06''694 (10th)
32. Matthieu Lahaye
116 laps, 597 km
Best lap : 2'05''212 (4th)