RAGUES GETS TO GRIPS WITH FORMULA MASTER AT MONZA Up and coming French driver Pierre Ragues has had his first taste of the Formula Master car run by Euronova that he will use to contest the inaugural Formula Master championship this season. The...
RAGUES GETS TO GRIPS WITH FORMULA MASTER AT MONZA
Up and coming French driver Pierre Ragues has had his first taste of the Formula Master car run by Euronova that he will use to contest the inaugural Formula Master championship this season. The 22 year-old from Caen drove for two days at Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix.
The brand-new championship, which will follow 10 meetings of the prestigious World Touring Car series this year, uses identical Honda-powered single-seaters with performances comparable to those of a GP2 car.
The car is still brand new, so the Monza shakedown test was vital for Pierre and his team mates to become accustomed to the Formula and to iron out any potential problems. The Italian circuit is well-known for its technical nature, so it was the perfect venue to highlight the car's strengths and weaknesses.
On the first day of running, in a brand new car, Pierre set an excellent fifth-quickest time out of 25 runners. This was despite having relatively limited time in the car, as he had to share it with his team mate.
Pierre said: "I'm really pleased with my first two days driving the Masters car. We had a few technical problems, like most teams, but I still managed to complete about 50 laps. The car is really nice to drive and responds well to set-up changes so it has been very rewarding to work with my engineers and we are really starting to understand the car. I didn't push too hard for a time but instead focused on developing the car and getting to know the team. As we just have one car for now -- the others are still to come -- I wanted to be fair to my team mate and make sure he had the chance to drive, so there were really no risks from me. To come away with fifth-fastest time on the first day, despite so little experience, is very encouraging."
Next week, Ragues and Euronova will continue their preparation for the opening round of the Formula Master
Championship with a private test at Vallelunga. The first double-header race will take place at Valencia in Spain from May 19-20, and both races will be transmitted live on Eurosport -- Europe's largest television channel.