DE JONG & MP MOTORSPORT ON SUPERB FORM AT HOCKENHEIM MP Motorsport's Daniel De Jong produced by far his most impressive performance of the 2010 pre-season during Formula Renault 2.0 NEC testing at Hockenheim this week, the Dutchman leading the...
DE JONG & MP MOTORSPORT ON SUPERB FORM AT HOCKENHEIM
MP Motorsport's Daniel De Jong produced by far his most impressive performance of the 2010 pre-season during Formula Renault 2.0 NEC testing at Hockenheim this week, the Dutchman leading the way during four of the 10 track sessions and never finishing outside the top eight.
During two very strong days for the Westmaas-based 17-year-old, he set a best lap of 1m38.605 seconds on Monday, 29th March, to lead the way by almost four 10ths of a second from his closest rival, experienced Formula Renault competitor Luciano Bacheta.
On Tuesday, 30th March, De Jong went on to post a quickest time of 1m38.633 seconds to follow on very well indeed from a series of consistent front-running performances during Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship testing in recent weeks.
Team-mate Karl-Oscar Liiv produced a consistent performance in Germany. Having recorded the 13th fastest time of 1m40.242 seconds on the opening day, just two 10ths of a second outside the top 10, the Estonian was 13th again on Tuesday, albeit with an improved lap of 1m39.321 seconds.
MP Motorsport's Finnish rookie Kalle Kulmanen, meanwhile, had a mixed outing at Hockenheim after being unable to run on day two due to illness. On Monday though, he produced a solid time of 1m41.562 seconds.
Speaking on his Hockenheim performance, front-runner De Jong said: "I'm very happy, it was great to be first on day one. During my new tyre run on Tuesday I was blocked, for sure I think I could have been fastest again on the second day. Hockenheim is a great circuit, the stadium is a nice part and I think it's a good place for racing with lots of slip-streaming and overtaking opportunities.
"All through practice in Eurocup and NEC we've been in the top 10 while last year I was battling to be in the top 20 so I've improved for sure. If we can start the season in the top 10 and then fight for the top five and, hopefully, the podium, I'll be happy."
MP Motorsport consistently competitive in Spain and France During Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 testing at the Motorland Aragon facility in Alcaniz, Spain, last week, De Jong was consistently inside the top six and headed the timing screens on day one with a best lap of 1m57.591 seconds. Improving by six 10ths of a second during the second day, he posted an overall quickest time of 1m56.942 seconds and ended the test ninth fastest on combined times.
Liiv and Kulmanen progressed well at Motorland and gained good experience, the former lapping in a very competitive 1m57.699 seconds. Kulmanen produced a best effort of 1m58.392 seconds during the final session on day two, the 18-year-old rookie continuing his steep learning curve.
Magny-Cours in France was the venue for official testing the week prior and De Jong led the way for MP Motorsport with the seventh fastest time overall, a lap of 1m37.471 seconds coming during the final afternoon. Liiv was just half a second shy of his team-mate, the 16-year-old lapping with a time of 1m37.926 seconds, while Kulmanen produced a quickest lap of 1m39.706 seconds.
Reflecting on MP Motorsport's recent test runs, team manager Sander Dorsman said: "We've had a good few weeks, very busy but quite successful too and especially so for Dani0x00ebl. He has been strong throughout and at Hockenheim this week he had good pace and he was quickest most of the time.
"Karl-Oscar was consistently good again this week and at Magny-Cours he was very close to Dani0x00ebl and showed good speed -- we're sure he'll be strong throughout the season. Unfortunately Kalle couldn't run on Tuesday as he had flu but he is improving for sure. He needs as much track time as possible to gain more experience but he's doing a good job and has fitted very well into our team."
Rounds one and two of the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship will take place just over two weeks from now, 17th/18th April, at Motorland Aragon in Spain.
-source: mp motorsport