Spanish GP2 Series outfit Racing Engineering have started their final three day test on a positive note as their debutant driver, Christian Vietoris set the third fastest times in both sessions of the opening days 3 day Barcelona test.
The team who will run cars for returning Spaniard Dani Clos and rookie German Vietoris, had a busy day during the first of three days testing in Barcelona, which ended on a positive note.
The opening day saw all the teams face cool temperatures and winds as they look to prepare their cars ahead of the opening rounds of the season, which will take place at the same venue, alongside the first FIA Formula One World Championship race in Europe of the 2010 season.
During the first part of the day there was limited track action, giving Vietoris a chance to learn more about the car and learn the first sector at Barcelona. He soon found form and started to set the fastest lap times of the session, before ending the morning as the third fastest competitor.
The afternoon session took place in changeable weather conditions. Vietoris spent his time trying out different set ups and practicing pit stops with the team. Even with the set up changes and variable weather, the young German driver was still setting competitive times and finished the session a tenth of a second off Pastor Maldonado, who set the best time of the session.
For team mate Clos, the Circuit of CataluÃ±a is his home track, and he continued the work which he started in France, at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit. The day was a fruitful one for Clos, as well as finishing eleventh in the days combined timings, the Spaniard was also able to work on set ups for Barcelona.
Speaking after the first day of the 3 day test, Clos said: “We had a positive test day. We tried many things on the car and verified some things from Paul Ricard. Tomorrow we continue with our test program. Things are going quite well as we have one car at the top. I think we are working into the right direction.”
Vietoris summed up his day: “This was a pretty good test day, which already started well in the morning. Although I initially had to learn the first sector, I was able to adapt quickly. The car felt good from the first lap on. We were testing several things on the car and most of them were quite positive. When it started raining a bit in the afternoon, we had a short break and tested pit-stops. At the end of the session I went out on new tyres and managed to have a pretty good lap.”
The teams Sporting Director, Thomas Couyotopoulo remarked on the day's proceedings: “Christian did a great job today. He came to Barcelona without knowing a crucial part of the track and nevertheless managed to finish both sessions in a top position. Our planning for the day has been slightly affected by the weather conditions, but we pretty much managed to follow out testing plan. In the afternoon, when the track was a bit damp, we adapted the plan and Christian did some pit-stop training. Generally, we had a trouble-free test day where different set-up solutions could be tested in order to prepare ourselves for the Barcelona race weekend.”
The team will spend the next two days at Barcelona, before the season opening rounds on the 8/9 May, alongside the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix.
Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service