Carlin Motorsport's World Series by Renault pairing of Colin Fleming and Mikhail Aleshin both impressed in the first official pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya, running quickly enough that the team decided to leave early and save tyres for the next outing, at Le Mans, next month.
The British-based team, which will be backed by drinks giant Red Bull this season, came away from the two-day test with American Fleming quickest overall and Russian rookie Aleshin an impressive seventh fastest.
"Both our boys showed great potential in the tests we did before Christmas, so we knew they were quick, but it's very pleasing for the team's engineers and mechanics to see that all the hard work over the winter months have made our cars and drivers even quicker
," a clearly delighted Trevor Carlin reported.
"It's Colin's second year in the championship, and he is showing great determination and maturity, which will also help his younger team-mate to achieve good results. I'm also sure that Mikhail has surprised a few people with his speed so far, and we will work hard to keep both drivers on the pace this season."
Fleming admitted that the Barcelona test was particularly pleasing for him, but insisted that he was not expecting to turn up at Le Mans, or the first round at Zolder, and find himself at the top of the speed charts.
"I'm obviously very pleased with the results from this test - who wouldn't be?" the American smiled, "The Carlin team has helped me find a set-up that works really well here at the Circuit de Catalunya and everything has fallen into place. However, this is no time to be complacent, we must keep working hard to stay on top and that's what we intend to do. But, for now, I'm a very happy boy returning to England!"
Aleshin graduated to the World Series after mixed results in the Formula Renault Eurocup last season, but appeared immediately at home in the more powerful WS Dallara.
"Being a rookie, my learning curve is very steep in all areas, but it's also very enjoyable," he confirmed, "I am very fortunate to have ended up in a good team and with a good team-mate. Testing has so far gone very well but, as Colin said, there is no time to rest."