2015 Formula Renault 3.5 series regular Tom Dillmann has admitted he is still eyeing a potential drive in its new look Formula 3.5 V8 championship for 2016.
The former Carlin driver was at the helm of an AVF challenger on Thursday, partnering confirmed 2016 racer Alfonso Celis Jr at the Spanish outfit, replacing Beitske Visser. Despite not participating in the first week of testing at Jerez in October, Dillmann confirmed that talks to rejoin the championship are ongoing.
“I felt good in the car straightaway thanks to a good baseline set-up, we were immediately quick and we could spend the day just spend the day making adjustments,” he said. “It was a good day and the Formula 3.5 V8 is still an option for next year.”
The Frenchman led both the morning and afternoon sessions during Thursday testing for the RPM-endorsed championship just days after securing a début World Endurance Championship race win in Shanghai last week. His renewed confidence, coupled with two podiums with Carlin in 2015, helped the 26-year-old command a younger field predominately containing F3.5 V8 rookies.
“A small problem prevented me from running yesterday but it did allow me to get some rest after Shanghai,” he continued after a victorious day at Aragon. “After leading the morning with a nice gap, we concentrated on race set-up in the afternoon before putting on a new set of tyres.”
Dillmann faced strong opposition from Egor Orudzhev during afternoon running with the Russian settling for second in his Arden Motorsport challenger. The two drivers are familiar with one another having fought for third place in the 2015 FR3.5 standings, ultimately losing out to Nyck de Vries. Orudzhev's two wins and Dillmann's two podiums saw them regularly competing against each other for podium positions.
Previously racing for Carlin with the help of Indonesian title sponsors Jagonya Ayam, the two have not been linked together since the end of the season, suggesting that another team could be on the cards for 2016.