Racing Engineering's Ricardo Mauricio sets pace in Estoril and gets both pole positions! Round four of the 2003 Spanish Formula 3 Championship is taking place this weekend at the circuit of Estoril (Portugal), a track where Racing Engineering...
Racing Engineering's Ricardo Mauricio sets pace in Estoril and gets both pole positions!
Round four of the 2003 Spanish Formula 3 Championship is taking place this weekend at the circuit of Estoril (Portugal), a track where Racing Engineering can look back to very good results from the previous years. And for tomorrow's races expectations are high with Ricardo Mauricio going into both races from pole position. Pedro Barral starts into the first race from fifth place, into the second from eleventh place. Juan Antonio del Pino leaves from ninth and fourth position. Lourenço da Veiga has been penalized and goes into the first race from the end of the grid and starts the second race fourteenth.
Ricardo Mauricio has been the dominating man of the first qualifying session. From the very beginning he was in first position and set his fastest time at 1'35.743 in lap nine. The runner up positions changed a lot throughout the qualifying session but permanently saw Racing Engineering's Pedro Barral in a very promising position for tomorrow's race. Pedro will start fifth from the starting grid laping a time of 1'36.425. Juan Antonio Del Pino, who joined Racing Engineering this Friday, had to adjust his driving style to the Dallara F300 Toyota, but already proved his talent when marking his best time in lap ten at 1'36.841. He goes into tomorrow's first race from ninth position.
Lourenço Da Veiga finished the qualifying eighth, but has been penalized and goes into the race from last position as he had not seen the sign that obliges him to do a weight check when he entered the pits for new tyres.
Also the second qualifying session was led by Ricardo Mauricio. Ricardo once more set the fastest times from the very beginning although he mentioned a lack of grip in the front of his car compared to the morning session. Nevertheless the young Brazilian set the pole time at 1'35.713 without much effort.
Juan Antonio del Pino showed his potential when receiving his new tyres and marked his fastest time in lap twelve. Juan Antonio will go into the second race from fourth position. Pedro Barral, after a very good first qualifying decided not too change much on his car like the other Racing Engineering drivers. However he also felt a lack of grip and therefore only finished eleventh (1'36.568).
Lourenço, having already lost a chance for the first race will go into tomorrow's race from fourteenth position.
Ricardo, after marking both fastest lap times of the day stated, "From the moment we arrived here the sessions have been very competitive between the top three drivers in the championship. For the first qualifying I had a very good set up and an advantage over the other drivers, as I had the best package and everything worked well -- driver, car, team and weather. Everything was perfect and I have the pole position. Then we didn't touch the car for the second qualifying. With the old tyres the handling of the car was very good. But then the wind totally changed and I lost front grip due to that. The second qualifying therefore was harder than the first one. I am very happy with the two pole positions, so until now my job is done."
After the two qualifyings Pedro announced, "I started the first session with old tyres and later switched to news ones. I finished the first session fifth, which is not bad. In the second qualifying I also started on old tyres and after I changed to new ones, but the car didn't feel the same and I therefore finished eleventh."
Juan Antonio after his first days with Racing Engineering says, "In the first qualifying the car was pretty good, but I still had a problem finding the exact breaking point. I spent a lot of time with my engineer and also in front of the computer analyzing the data with him. I also spoke to Ricardo, who gave me some advices. Then I put all this into practice and it was really good. I will start fourth and am happy with the car and the team. I learn a lot with Racing Engineering and many things of importance I didn't know about before. The team is doing a great job and want to say a special thanks to my engineer and mechanics. "
Alfonso de Orleans stated "Ricardo, as usual is on top, he is a real talent. As for de Pino, what a great young driver, I think that he will really show us some great racing tomorrow. As for the team, they did a great job. The boys have prepared the cars just right for this track. Well done to all of them."