Chris van der Drift impressively quick at Formula Master test Monza -- Just before the Easter weekend, Chris van der Drift took part in the first two day official test of International Formula Master at the Italian circuit of Monza, in...
Chris van der Drift impressively quick at Formula Master test
Monza -- Just before the Easter weekend, Chris van der Drift took part in the first two day official test of International Formula Master at the Italian circuit of Monza, in preparation for the 2008 season. The 22 year old driver, now based in Rotterdam, began the first test day in the new for 2008 250hp engine and gearbox package, and promptly headed the timesheets by the end of the day in the JD Motorsport race-car. Also testing the new cars were Mike Conway, current F1 Honda test driver and 2008 GP2 driver and old Red Bull F1 test driver Michael Ammermuller, with Van der Drift opening the gap by the end of the second test day.
Van der Drift has good memories of this class which was first introduced in 2007. In spite of a number of technical problems during the season, he demonstrated to observers that he had proven abilities in a race-car. From sensational passing manoeuvres to two victories, a second placing and four third positions, the JD Motorsport driver was a strong title contender. It was however the technical problems at the beginning of the season which eventually took its toll and ultimately meant that winning the title was not possible. Van der Drift finally finished the season as runner-up.
After the successful GP2 tests of last winter with the Italian team of Trident Racing, Van der Drift once again took the wheel of an International Formula Master car. Van der Drift began the first test day quietly reacquainting himself with the car, now with a Honda K20A engine and Magneti Marelli hydraulic gearbox control system and data acquisition. After a gearbox hydraulic oil leak had been resolved in the morning session, he recorded the quickest time of the day in the afternoon session. During the session various set-ups were tested and the car proved to be very quick, also on older tyres. The testing continued on the second day, resulting in a time which was no less than two seconds faster than the pole position time for the race held at the circuit in October 2007. However the times in the afternoon session could not be improved upon due to a mysterious problem. The car consumed more oil and fuel than normal, and afterwards it was determined that a sensor was faulty. Despite this, Van der Drift looked back positively on his first test days of the 2008 season.
Chris van der Drift : "It's been a while since I sat in a race-car, but the testing went very well and it was great working with the team again. The car differed a great deal in comparison with last year. The new engine has more power and in the electronic area there are many improvements. Now we can look at the data in detail, whereas last year that was frequently not the case. Of course it was also nice to head up the times with the quickest lap of the day. There is another two day test at the beginning of April which I hope to attend, and then to take part in the championship. I am really looking forward to it!"