FR3.5 »

Panciatici paces Barcelona group test

Nelson Panciatici set the pace with a late lap on the opening day of group testing for World Series by Renault runners in Spain.

The 2010 World Series by Renault finally kicked into life as teams and drivers gathered at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya for the first group test of the season.

The line-up of 24 drivers augured well for a season of open racing, with the top 15 all within the same second as KMP Racing newcomer Victor Garcia produced the quickest performance of the morning, before being trumped by Nelson Panciatici and Lotus Junior Racing in the closing half hour.

Most drivers waited for the last hour to make a final assault on the stopwatch, each running on new tyres, but several red flag incidents were to interrupt the best laid plans, in particular a coming together between Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) and Draco's Nathanael Berthon. In the end, however, it was French GP2 refugee Panciatici who got the upper hand, raising the tempo and improving the overall best lap several times to end the day at 1min 33.975secs.

“This is my first real day's work with the Junior Lotus Racing team, so I'm very pleased to start off our collaboration with the quickest lap of the day," he noted, "It's very motivating for things to come as we weren't looking for performance. We were working on getting me installed in the car, so the signs are very good.”

Drivers took to the track in wet conditions in the early morning, but the sun quickly helped dry the racing line and, as soon as the drivers switched to slicks, the lap times started to come down.

Top spot kept changing hands and, in the last hour of the morning session, Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin), Berthon, Federico Leo (Pons Racing), Stefano Coletti (Comtec Racing), Keisuke Kunimoto (Epsilon Euskadi), Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing) and Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) all took their turns on top. As the chequered flag came down, however, it was Spanish driver Garcia who pipped everyone to the post with a final flying lap of 1min 34.455secs, offering KMP Racing an early taste of the top of the timesheets in its very first test. Berthon and Daniel Zampieri made up the top three in the session

“I signed up with KMP Racing last week for the whole season, and it's been a very good first day," Garcia commented, "The team is very young and everyone is very motivated and raring to go. At the end, I was checking the car out in its light aerodynamic configuration. It's pretty surprising at first, but still very effective. I'll have to learn to manage that.”

After a fairly quiet first hour in the afternoon, drivers opted to fit new rubber relatively early. First off, Kunimoto shot to top, but was quickly ousted by Vergne, before Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing) moved clear, the first driver to beat the time set by Garcia during the morning. The Spaniard, however, was quick to hit back, reclaiming his place with a 1min 34.236secs lap, before the alter flurry again shuffled the order.

The test welcomed several new recruits, with Vergne, Garcia and Zampieri being joined by other latecomers, including veteran Marcos Martinez (SG Formula), Jake Rosenzweig (Carlin), Sergio Canamasas (Fortec Motorsport) and Bruno Mendez (ISR).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nelson Panciatici - Durango Corse   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM Racing Media
Lotus Formula V8 3.5 team - Photo credit: RPM Racing Media
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM Media
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM Media
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM media
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM Racing media
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM Racing Media/Dutch Photo Agency
Roy Nissany, Lotus - Photo credit: RPM Racing Media/Dutch Photo Media
Photo credit: Foto Speedy/RPM media
Photo credit: Foto Speedy / Formula V8 3.5 media
Photo credit: Foto Speedy / Formula V8 3.5 media
Jake Hughes - Photo credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Carlin Motorsport Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency / LAT Photographic
Tom Dillmann - Photo credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
AVF - Photo credit: Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency / LAT Photographic / Renault Sport Media
Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency / LAT Photographic
Carlin Racing - Photo credit: Lorenzo Charlez / AS Media / Renault Sport Media

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.