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Pic fastest on first day in Valencia.

Charles Pic has reprised his form from the opening day of testing at Jerez, by topping the times on the tortuous Circuit Ricardo Tormo track outside Valencia.

The Tech 1 Racing driver grabbed first place at the end of the day, just as he did in Jerez, leaving Britons Oliver Turvey and James Walker to settle for second and third places with Carlin Motorsport and P1 Motorsport respectively.

Two days after the first group test of the season, the World Series ranks reassembled further north to continue their preparations for the forthcoming season, their number swollen by the addition of Tobias Hegewald, running with Interwetten Racing, and Alexandre Marsoin, with Comtec Racing.

Walker, clearly comfortable in the bosom of reigning champions P1, was first to make a show, the series veteran lead the early times ahead of Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing), rookie Turvey, fellow Brit Greg Mansell (USR) and Bertrand Baguette (Draco), with only Fairuz Fauzy - running with Walker's former team, Fortec - seemingly able to disrupt the order, as he vaulted into third place.

''In Jerez, things weren't going perfectly, but now we have finally worked out what direction we need to work in,'' Martinez admitted after staking a claim to the early pace, ''Things aren't bad, because we were on the pace straight away here. With this aerodynamic configuration, we are quicker on the straights - I shift into sixth gear before hitting the last bend, and that wasn't the case before.''

With teams limited to just three sets of new tyres for the two days of testing, most opted to devote the morning session to working with the new-for-2009 gearbox, while pit-stop simulations were also much in evidence. Towards the end of the session, however, Walker bolted on a set of new tyres and immediately improved his leading time to 1min 22.862secs, ensuring that he finished the morning at the head of the order, ahead of USR's Miguel Molina, the surprising Hegewald, Martinez and Fauzy.

''We hadn't used our full quota of tyres in Jerez, so I decided to fit new tyres this morning,'' Walker revealed, ''We've got a very good set-up, our car is really going well.''

After a quiet start to the afternoon, as the teams continued to explore the possibilities and reactions of the modified Dallara chassis, Turvey took up the cudgels to head the times, with Martinez taking over shortly afterwards.

This time, it was the rookies who took the new tyre initiative as the end of the session approached, with Turvey's Carlin team-mate Jaime Alguersuari and Mansell taking turns at the top. Experience told once again, however, as Marco Barba (Draco) laid down the gauntlet by putting in exactly the same time as Walker had managed at the end of the morning.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Charles Pic - Tech 1 Racing [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]
Charles Pic - Tech 1 Racing   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
Charles Pic - Tech 1 Racing   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM Racing media
Matthieu Vaxiviere - Photo credit: RPM Racing media
Mattias Ekstrom - Abt Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit Audi Sport]
Matthieu Vaxiviere - SMP Racing [pic credit FV8]
Matthieu Vaxiviere - SMP Racing [pic credit FV8]
Aurelien Panis - Tech 1 Racing [credit: Renault Sport Media]
Carlin Racing - Photo credit: Lorenzo Charlez / AS Media / Renault Sport Media
Photo: Strakka Racing team
Photo: Strakka Racing Team
Matthieu Vaxiviere celebrates at the Red Bull Ring   [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]
Roberto Merhi and Nicolas Latifi collide after the chequered flag in Austria   [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]
Oliver Rowland wins in Austria   [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]
Roberto Merhi - Pons   [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]
Matthieu Vaxiviere - Lotus   [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]

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