Renault WS » 14 April 2005
Porteiro smashes record in Valencia WS test.
Lap records continued to tumble in World Series by Renault testing, as Felix Porteiro topped 28 other entries by obliterating the previous fastest time at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
The Spaniard, driving for expected frontrunners Epsilon Euskadi, set a lap of 1min 20.352secs during the morning session, slicing 2.6secs off the previous record, set in the World Series Dallara-Nissan car by Ander Vilarino. To make things even better for the Basque team, Porteiro's Robert Kubica claimed a share of second place with Tristan Gommendy.
"It's our first test with both cars, and I must admit that it has been a good start," smiled team principal Joan Villadelprat, "There are a lot of new faces in our team this year and it is important to work together, for us to get to know each other - drivers, technicians and mechanics. With Felix on top and Robert setting the second fastest lap, I think that we are in with a good chance of being successful in the forthcoming season."
Porteiro's achievement marks him out as one to watch in the race for the title, but the gap between the Spaniard and the other drivers, continues to be extremely narrow. With twelve drivers packed into one second, and seven different teams featured in the top ten, picking a likely champion remains difficult.
Carlin's Andreas Zuber topped the timesheets at the end of the afternoon session, where he was followed by Renault Development scheme member Pastor Maldonado. Gommendy, meanwhile, continued his consistent form, taking his KTR entry to another top three time.
Zuber was good for fourth overall on the day, placing the German ahead of countryman Markus Winkelhock (Draco) and Milos Pavlovic (GD). Adrian Valles, who returned Pons Racing to top spor at the previous test, completed the top seven, from Eric Salignon, Christian Montanari and winter pacesetter Will Power.
“We worked very hard, and we are making progress," Winkelhock reported, "I'm quite pleased with my times, but I could have made much better without the red flags. However, I'm optimist, we expect a strong challenge, our cars are nearly perfect and we have an other test to complete our work before Zolder.”
To date, 29 drivers are confirmed to take part in the series, with Avelon yet to confirm its second pilot. An unnamed Brazilian driver is due to test with the team at Paul Ricard before the season opens on 1 May.
Leading performances (13 April) - Valencia:
Felix Porteiro Epsilon Euskadi 1min 20.352secs 131 laps
Robert Kubica Epsilon Euskadi 1min 20.669secs 150 laps
Tristan Gommendy KTR 1min 20.669secs 96 laps
Andreas Zuber Carlin 1min 20.787secs 174 laps
Markus Winkelhock Draco 1min 20.934secs 109 laps
Milos Pavlovic GD 1min 20.951secs 135 laps
Adrian Valles Pons 1min 21.117secs 133 laps
Eric Salignon Cram 1min 21.132secs 130 laps
Christian Montanari Draco 1min 21.160secs 101 laps
Will Power Carlin 1min 21.253secs 155 laps
Damien Pasini Cram 1min 21.331secs 172 laps
Pastor Maldonado DAMS 1min 21.344secs 140 laps
Jaap van Lagen KTR 1min 21.447secs 106 laps
Simon Pagenaud Saulnier 1min 21.535secs 89 laps
Alx Danielsson DAMS 1min 21.559secs 139 laps
Patrick Pilet Jenzer 1min 21.578secs 153 laps
Daniel la Rosa Interwetten 1min 21.659secs 120 laps
Colin Flaming Jenzer 1min 21.738secs 138 laps
Giovanni Tedeschi RC 1min 21.744secs 173 laps
Ryo Fukuda Saulnier 1min 21.842secs 81 laps
Karun Chandhok RC 1min 21.857secs 126 laps
Celso Miguez Pons 1min 22.059secs 78 laps
Giorgio Mondini Eurointernational 1min 22.096secs 136 laps
Enrico Toccacelo Victory 1min 22.186secs 163 laps
Tomas Kostka Victory 1min 22.264secs 128 laps
Stefano Proetto Interwetten 1min 22.265secs 125 laps
Matteo Meneghello Eurointernational 1min 22.629secs 142 laps
Ivamn Bellarosa Avelon 1min 23.000secs 134 laps
Parthiva Sureshwaren GD 1min 23.970secs 74 laps
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