One of the hardest working drivers in the GP2
field at Jerez
was Giedo van der Garde, who put in a mighty 96 laps during the third and final day of testing in Spain this week.
"After 96 laps I am feeling good, that's the most I have ever done in one day," said the Dutch driver entering his fourth season of GP2
competition in 2012. "I am happy I feel physically well prepared!"
As well as the endurance aspect, van der Garde was also looking good on raw pace, topping the timesheets early on before a lengthy hour-long delay to proceedings while track officials made repairs to a damaged section of curbing, and still only missing out on the lead time of the day by a slender 0.175s.
"This morning we tested both hard and medium tyres. Both runs were red flagged so we did not get the optimum use out of the new tyres and we are still figuring out the characteristics," he explained. "We did no performance running today but we've been testing to see what works and what doesn't and I think we know which direction we want to go now.
From a team perspective, team manager Phil Spencer said that he was "very pleased with how things have gone here this week in Jerez," adding: "We know Giedo is very experienced and he has been strong from the word go."
Spencer pointed out that they had been glitch-free for the first shakedown test of the year. "The reliability of the cars has been absolutely excellent and both drivers have lived up to expectations," he said.
That was an aspect particularly appreciated by the team's technical director, Humphrey Corbett. "I must thank the guys for giving us a very reliable car, it ran faultlessly and this makes our jobs as engineers a lot more easy. We have done a great deal of work here and I am very pleased with the outcome.
"Both drivers seem happy," Corbett continued. "They have put in a lot of work and a lot of laps and they are both feeling good, so I have no concerns about their physical fitness. We have a couple of good drivers and I am sure we can have a competitive season
Spencer admitted that they still had a way to go to get their new second driver, Rodolfo Gonzalez, up to speed in time for the start of the season later this month.