GP2 » 1 March 2013
Leimer and Leal turn out for Racing Engineering
The Racing Engineering team is sticking with Fabio Leimer for 2013, which gave them a chance to focus on bringing new signing Julian Leal up to speed at Jerez.
Slipping into the cockpit of the Racing Engineering car must be as welcome as pulling on a pair of cosy shoes for Fabio Leimer, who returns to the team for his second consecutive season with the Spanish squad in 2013.
It's a different matter for his new team mate Julian Leal, however, who is still getting used to his new surroundings having spent 2012 racing with Trident. As a result, Racing Engineering spent much of the first morning of this week's pre-season test at the Circuit de Jerez focusing on Leal and ensuring he was feeling properly at home in his new office.
"It was interesting to test the new Pirelli tyres and to get to know Julian on track as it was the first time he has driven our car," said Thomas Couyotopoulo, Racing Engineering's sporting director. "Generally, everything went really well, we had no issues on the cars and were able to work through our intense test plan."
Both drivers are confirmed with the team for the whole of the 22-race 2013 GP2 Series season, which gets underway in a little over three weeks time at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on March 22-23.
"At the very beginning we worked on different set ups of the car," concurred Leal. "Together with my engineer, we adapted the car more and more to my driving style. In the end we found a very good solution."
However, the freezing cold mornings throughout the three-day test together with a wet track on Thursday from overnight rain meant that none of the teams had the optimum conditions that they were really after for their first test opportunity of the year.
"The temperatures during these three days were low, especially compared to what we normally encounter during the season, but it was interesting to test the new Pirelli tyres," said Couyotopoulo. "Generally, everything went really well, we had no issues on the cars and were able to work through our intense test plan. There is a lot of work now to analyse the information obtained.
"Looking at the season, things look quite promising, even though the package of car and tyres will be challenging for everyone," he added.
Fabio Leimer said that he'd been "quite happy" with the way that the three days had gone overall.
"Today it was a little bit chilly in the morning as it rained during the night, so we only went out on the track in the afternoon," he said as the team packed up after the final day at Jerez. "Nevertheless we tried many different things today, but also in general during the three days, we gained a lot of interesting information about the car and tyres."
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