Tech 1 Racing has named a strong pairing with which it hopes to retain the World Series by Renault titles won with Alvaro Parente in 2007, although team boss Simon Abadie admits that he expects competition to be tough once again.
While few expected the second year team to snatch both crowns, there will be fewer daring to discount either Julien Jousse or promising rookie Charles Pic when the season opens. Abadie, however, insists that the main target in 2008 will be holding on to the teams' title.
“It's up to us to work hard and provide our drivers with reliable and competitive cars," he commented, "The main objective is the teams' title, but we'll be up against quick, skilled rivals once again, and we have to give ourselves the weapons to beat them. It's clear that we're also aiming for the drivers' title, but it's more difficult and luck plays a bigger part, although we'll do our best to win it. It all depends on carrying out in-depth testing so that we arrive at the first race in 100 per cent competitive form.
"We've got a stable and solid team that we've beefed up even more. We're very confident in our choice of drivers and Julien has matured a lot with us. He had three rostrum finishes showing just how quick he is, and he made a big contribution to our success in the teams' title. As for Charles, his winter testing has been very promising and, provided he knuckles down to the work in hand, he should soon be among the frontrunners.”
Jousse remains at the team for a second season, aiming to build on all that he learned as Parente's team-mate in 2007.
“He's now living the life of a professional racing driver and we dovetail perfectly," Abadie said of the 22-year old, "Julien has integrated the team without problems, and the fact that he's living in Toulouse enables us to work together efficiently on a daily basis. Our guys are doing their best to put him on the right track. He had a great first season and was one of the best debutants so, logically speaking, he has what it takes to succeed Alvaro Parente. Julien will spearhead our attack and he's ready to race at the front. What's more we're delighted to see that during winter testing Julien and Charles enjoyed working together. Julien's experience and maturity will be a big help to Charles in his rookie year.”
Pic made an immediate impact on the World Series when he topped testing repeatedly at Paul Ricard, but Abadie is playing down expectations of the soon-to-be 18-year old.
“Charles will have to get down to some serious winter testing basing himself on his team-mate's experience, as well as taking advantage of all the help the team can give him," the boss said, "He mustn't be impatient and want to win immediately. It's a long season and you have to know how to pace yourself and pick up points when the opportunity arises. He'll have to listen and learn without putting himself under too much pressure. For sure, Charles has what it takes to fight it out at the front, and we're counting on him as a potential title contender.”
Tech 1 will get the chance to begin its on-track preparations when the first test with the new-spec World Series Dallara gets underway on 5-6 March in Valencia.