Some surprising names featured at the head of the timesheets at both official pre-season test days for the F3 Euroseries in Barcelona and Valencia, as teams and drivers prepared for the start of the 2010 campaign at Paul Ricard in just over two weeks.
Rookies Carlos Muñoz (Mücke Motorsport), Daniel Juncadella (Prema Powerteam) and António Félix da Costa (Motopark Academy) all succeeded in delivering fastest times ahead of more seasoned campaigners. In five of the eight sessions - each of the four days of testing comprised a morning and an afternoon session - Portugal's da Costa made it into the top three, securing more top five positions than anybody else, but also failed to set a fastest outright time.
“I'm happy with the course of all four days of testing, and I think that we succeeded in preparing really well," da Costa commented, "The race simulation we executed at Valencia was also very good."
Colombia's Muñoz, on the other hand, proved to be the best in that area, three times setting the pace despite the closeness of the field. In both morning sessions at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the Mücke driver was just 0.005secs faster than the runner-up, with da Costa and Juncadella - who had been quickest in one of the sessions in his hometown of Barcelona - both giving chase.
“The tests ran really well, I'm truly happy with what we have achieved," Munoz reported, "I feel comfortable in the car and my team, Mücke Motorsport, is just great.”
The other fastest lap times were set by rookie Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Motopark Academy), Macau winner Edoardo Mortara (Signature), Marco Wittmann (Signature) and Euroseries newcomer Laurens Vanthoor (Signature), while the battle of the two engine manufacturers ended in a draw, with both Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen securing the top position on the time sheets in four sessions.