French based GP2 series outfit DAMS have completed a successful 3 day test at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in the south of France.
The team, which features a new livery and a new driver line up spent 3 days alongside the rest of the GP2 Main Series teams, on 3 different configurations of the HTTT track.
Each day, a different configuration was used, so the team could practise set up's for different type of tracks, the first day saw a short track with down force levels similar to Barcelona, the second say saw a layout more akin to Spa-Francorchamps or Monza, with a long back straight and low down force while the final day was held on a tight, twisty track configuration.
The teams also had to use different tyres over the three days, both the soft and medium compounds were used.
With their new livery of yellow and black, akin to the Renault F1 team, DAMS ran Renault F1 test and reserve drivers, Belgian Jerome D'Ambrosio and Chinese youngster Ho Pin-Tung. During the opening 2 days, both drivers were regulars inside the top 5 times, thus pointing towards a successful season ahead for the French team.
Jerome D'Ambrosio said “We had ups and downs during the session. We set some good times, especially in the afternoon on the first day, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to fit all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together at the right time in the right place. The fact that we ran on different circuit layouts has helped us to prepare for the majority of circuits that we’ll race on this season. The extra three days in Barcelona will be very useful to help us continue our preparation.”
Ping-Tun said “I’m delighted to be back at the wheel of a GP2 car, especially in the colours of the Renault F1 Junior Team. I needed a little time to get used to this type of car again, as I hadn’t driven for quite some time. These three days were really constructive. We made a lot of changes on the second day and things improved a lot. It was also the case on the final day even if it’s not obvious from the times. I was very good on worn rubber but unfortunately a red flag ruined my run on new tyres. The most important thing is that we’ve found some interesting paths to follow. I can’t wait to continue testing in Barcelona.”
The next collective GP2 test is at the Barcelona track in Spain, over the 7th to 9th April, ahead of the first race of the 2010 GP2 Main Series At the same track alongside the first European race of the FIA Formula One World Championship, which takes place over the 8th and 9th May.
The general manager of DAMS, Loic David, said: “It’s the first run in preparation for a season that we’re tackling with high ambitions. We’ve got new colours and new faces, and it takes time to put it all together. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the first two days testing in very changeable track conditions. We worked on both the mechanical and aerodynamic aspects, and we’ve found a few avenues to explore that should help make us competitive. The final day, which was perturbed by several red flags, was less productive.”