FR3.5 » 1 January 1901
Merhi in the wet and dry.
The second day of World Series by Renault testing at Paul Ricard belonged to newcomer Roberto Merhi as he topped the timesheets in both wet and dry conditions.
The Spaniard, who finished fourth in the Formula Renault Eurocup standings this year, spent the day driving for Epsilon-Euskadi, champions back in 2005 with BMW F1 driver Robert Kubica.
He beat some impressive drivers to be quickest as well, edging two-time winner and possible title favourite in 2009, Charles Pic, who drove his regular Tech 1 Racing machine. Max Chilton was another newcomer to cause a stir in third place, the British Formula 3 driver having a run out with Comtec Racing.
Experienced racers Miguel Molina, driving a second Epsilon-Euskadi car, Marco Barba (Draco) and James Walker (Ultimate Signature) were also up there in fourth, fifth and sixth.
After a curtailed first day of running, Turvey was a strong seventh quickest in the Carlin car, three positions higher than the man that beat him to the British Formula 3 title, Jaime Alguersuari. Claudio Cantelli (Pons) and Anton Nebylitskiy (Comtec) separated them.
The wetter afternoon session saw no improvements in times, but Merhi was still the driver to beat, going six tenths better than Cantelli. Alguersuari improved to third, ahead of Russian Nebylitskiy.
Riki Christodoulou, one of the pace setters on day one, returned with Fortec to go fifth, ahead of Chilton, Pic, Molina, Walker and Omar Leal, the Colombian getting a run out with Draco Racing.
“It was a very positive day,” Merhi said. “I built up my speed this morning, as the team asked of me. In the rain, it worked just as well. This year we have done a lot of Formula Renault 2.0 driving in the rain. It paid off today.”
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