The top two finishers in this year's British F3 Championship lead the list of contenders for Carlin Racing's two seats in the World Series by Renault, the team has revealed.
Both Jaime Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey joined the British squad as winter testing got underway at Paul Ricard last week, and Carlin is keen to see the pair graduate from its F3 line-up, although both are also exploring options in the GP2 Series for 2009.
Carlin also tried out top Formula Renault Eurocup racer Daniel Ricciardo, and were impressed with the Australian's quick acclimatisation as, despite the steep learning curve facing him, he soon got to grips with the 3.5-litre Dallara, setting the quickest rookie time and the fourth fastest time overall on the opening day.
Having guided 18-year old Alguersuari to becoming the youngest-ever British F3 champion, despite late-season pressure from Turvey and third team-mate Brendon Hartley, Carlin was pleased to see the Spaniard - who has historical family ties with the World Series in both Nissan and Renault forms - make an immediate impact on the Ricard test. Mixed conditions on day two gave all drivers experience on a dry and wet track, with Alguersuari third fastest in the rain-affected afternoon session.
Turvey, meanwhile, clocked up the seventh fastest time in the dry, and completed one further day with Carlin on Friday, again in changeable conditions, repeating his position.
“I'm delighted to be able to give Oliver and Jaime the opportunity to test the World Series cars," team principal Trevor Carlin admitted, "We know from this season in British F3 what talented drivers they are, and it was great to see them adapt well to the larger, more powerful machines.
"At the moment, we've still got two seats to fill, and, of course, it would be nice to take our drivers from British F3 into World Series. Following their success this season,
both Jaime and Oliver have various options open to them for next season, so we're still looking to firm up our driver line-up for 2009.”
Having helped Sebastian Vettel, amongst others, on their way up the ladder, Carlin ran Robert Wickens and Mikhail Aleshin in 2008, finishing this year on a high with three podiums at the last round in Barcelona.