Renault WS » 15 April 2009
USR eyeing strong start to new season
USR are confident they will be in contention for the 2009 World Series by Renault title ahead of the opening round of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya.
After finishing as runners-up in their maiden season with the driver combination of Fabio Carbone and Esteban Guerrieri, an all-new line-up in 2009 will comprise of Miguel Molina and Greg Mansell.
Molina, in particular, arrives at the opening round as one of the title favourites having won four races during two full seasons in the category, one of which coming from his home round at the Circuit de Catalunya, the venue for his USR debut.
“We've done a good job in pre season testing and we are ready to start the championship this weekend,” said Molina, who has been a pace setter in testing. “It is very positive for me to start the season at my home track at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, a track that I know very well. I am very optimistic that we will have a very good weekend and a good season.
“I am enjoying working with my new team Ultimate Motorsport. It is a good team to work with, with good people and, most importantly, the team want to win. This is my objective this season and I'm sure we can do this together."
Mansell, meanwhile, brings a globally recognised name to the series and after a tough season of racing in America, he is looking forward to a European return.
"Pre season testing has gone very well. I'm happy that we're making progress, nibbling away at the time sheets, getting closer and closer. I think the amazing thing with the World Series is, with such powerful cars, how close the grid is. In Barcelona, just one second covered the whole field.
“The relationship with the team is fantastic; it's nice to have a team completely behind you. I learnt a lot spending time in America last year but it is good to be working with a European team once again. I've tested at Barcelona, which went very well, but I've never raced there. It's a very technical circuit and I'm really looking forward to the first race this weekend."
Team manager Colin Morgan, meanwhile, is confident USR can step up to be the team to beat in 2009 after finishing second to Tech 1 Racing last season.
“Last year we achieved a lot in our first season in the World Series; now we've got to build on that success and with Miguel and Greg I believe we can win in 2009. At the pre-season tests Miguel was consistently in the top five, setting the fastest time in both session of day two in Jerez, and will certainly be a contender this year.
“Greg has got to grips with the car very quickly and this is shown in his test times where he has consistently lapped within a second of Miguel at every test. I have no doubt he'll be at the sharp end of the grid in 2009.”
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