Scorpio Motorsport bounced back from a frustrating opening weekend in the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship to take the top two places in this weeks official test at Snetterton 200.
Ivan Taranov, who dramatically crashed out of the opening race at Donington Park two weeks ago, topped the time-sheets for the 2008 and 2009 title-winning outfit with a best time of 1m 11.444 seconds.
The Russian finished the day 0,213s ahead of his Brazilian team-mate Henrique Baptista, who was forced to sit out of the opening weekend.
“Ivan was faultless today really, he was pretty much there from the start and popped in a good time on old rubber early on,” explained Scorpio team principal Jon Pettitt, “We sat out the session for quite a bit after that but nobody seemed to be challenging the time that much, then we went on new tyres but could have found more time – we should have found more time really.
“Henrique did a great job, we didn’t know what to expect as he’s had a tough time of it lately with misfortune in pre-season testing at Silverstone and then his engine going at Donington. He didn’t put his best sectors together otherwise it could have ended the other way round with him quickest. All in all, it’s been a pretty good day for us and a very enjoyable test.”
Best of the rest was championship leader Chris Middlehurst, the Round 1 winner producing a best time of 1min 11.844s, finishing up ahead of Escuderia Telmez-backed drivers Diego Menchaca and Jorge Cevallos.
Also impressing was Pietro Fittipaldi, the 16 year old impressing with a top six finish, and Formula Renault newcomer Jesse Anttila, the Finn delivering a strong showing to finish in eleventh position on his maiden outing in a FR 2.0 car with the returning Cliff Dempsey Racing squad.
“I’m quite happy with how Jesse went today, he’s never driven slicks and wings before and was up against guys with two or three years’ experience,” said CDR team principal Cliff Dempsey, “He’s almost had a year out from racing actually, he did a little bit of Duratec [Formula Ford] back home in Finland but other than that nothing and he’s missed all of testing so he’s playing catch-up.
“The plan is to be out for the next round at Snetterton, I love Protyre Formula Renault and ideally we’d like to be back with two cars – we’re working on trying to make that happen. These are still the best cars ever made, I don’t understand why some people say it’s an old car as you can still go out and buy a brand new one if you wanted to!”