30 September 2011
Leimer finishes fastest of all at Jerez test
Kevin Ceccon's fifth place on the morning timesheets confirmed the overall strength of the Coloni car. "The fifth quickest time of the two days is a good result, and we could have been even quicker," he said. "Then in the afternoon, with a lot of fuel, we were ninth which is again very good, considering that we were the only ones in the top pack not using new tyres."
"All our three drivers managed to extract top performances from the car, confirming both their skills and the competitiveness of our technical package," said a happy Paolo Coloni.
In the afternoon session, Jules Bianchi put in the fastest time ahead of the two Trident Racing cars of Sam Bird and Julian Leal. After a season with iSport and experiencing the Rapax car during the first day of testing on Wednesday, Bird was replacing Josef Kral in the Trident on the second day and said that he was impressed by how much grip he got from the Trident car right from the start.
"I really got along very well with the team, and I also think they experienced a good relation with me," he said. "I've been impressed by several aspects today, and I can assure that if Trident Racing will find the right driver pairing, they'll definitely aiming to battle for the 2011 championship."
Leal got to spent two days in the Trident car, although the first day had been affected by engine and gearbox issues: "Today we finally managed to put everything together, we used our full potential with a really good feedback," he said, overall much happier with his Thursday at the office. "I'm sorry for having ended up spinning in the closing laps of the second session, because I had already gone down some tenths of a second in that lap but I just wanted more!"
A lot of eyes were focussed on the appearance at Caterham Team AirAsia of US driver Alexander Rossi, whom many have tipped for a title chance in the series. It's his first time in the new GP2/11 car and he admitted it was a big change from his recent racing experiences.
"It's been a big adjustment for me to get used to the GP2 car: to say it's different from a World Series car is an understatement, but once we'd figured out the balance it was good fun," he said. "These cars are quicker than World Series, so as a driver you got to love that!
"This afternoon was much better than this morning," he continued. "We are missing a little time but I think that it will come. I like this track, it's difficult on tyres especially in these hot conditions but at the end of the day we came out looking quite good and I am looking forward to the next test in Barcelona."
"Alexander is a very gifted driver and very professional," said the team's chief race engineer Humphrey Corbett. "[He] adapted to the new GP2 car and Pirelli tyres well. He was not afraid to go for it and in the end he was sixth which is very promising, especially as we didn't manage do our quickest times when the track was at its best."
Rossi was paired for the day with Team Lotus test driver Ricardo Teixeira, the Portuguese-Angolan who drove in GP2 in 2009 but who was quick to admit that GP2 had moved on a lot since then.
Tagged as: Jerez , racing engineering , Trident , Alexander Rossi , coloni , ricardo teixeira , testing , Sam Bird , Fabio Leimer , Rupert Svendsen-Cook , Kevin Ceccon , Fabio Onidi
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