Carlin Motorsport pair Oliver Turvey and Jaime Alguersuari opened up their 2009 World Series by Renault scorecard with a top five finish in the first race of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The British Formula 3 graduates marked their World Series debut at the Circuit de Catalunya as the top rookies in the opening race, the pair resuming their rivalry with a race-long battle for fourth and fifth.
Although Alguersuari finished the opening lap with the upper hand, it was Turvey in the Racing Steps Foundation liveried car that would eventually get the better of his team-mate as the race progressed.
“It was a good start to the championship,” the British driver said. “It was a good race and the longest race I've ever driven, which made it a bit of a challenge. The car felt very good and I think we showed we have good pace. It was quite hard to overtake because as soon as you got close in the high speed corners it was very difficult.
“I had to push hard to get past Jaime, he made a small mistake and I was able to get by at turn four. After that I was happy with the car and just concentrated on getting to the finish and collecting the points.”
Starting fifth and sixth for the second race, both Turvey and Alguersuari ran with the lead group early on, although it was the local driver who was prevailing to get up to third position before assuming the lead through the pit stop window.
However, his victory hopes were scuppered when rain began falling, benefiting those that hadn't already made a pit-stop. Dropping to sixth position, Alguersuari attempted to fight back but would eventually be forced to retire with a fuel pressure problem.
With Turvey finishing just outside the points in 11th, while race two didn't quite live up to expectations, team manager Trevor Carlin was impressed with the performance of his all-rookie driver line-up.
“It was immensely frustrating not to come away with a good result from the second race, as we were in such good shape for a win, and a possible podium. Jaime drove brilliantly in race two; he pushed hard and together with a great pit stop from the team, was able to pass the race leader. Unfortunately the rain conspired against us and both Jaime and Oli were left with a lot of work to do in the second half of the race.
“On a positive note, we've demonstrated that both drivers are extremely capable of running at the front, and that we have a quick car. Based on their performances this weekend, I think both Jaime and Oliver will be regularly challenging for race wins this season.”