26 drivers were on hand at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in sweltering conditions, for day two of the Renault Sport Trophy collective tests.
Steijn Schothorst early in the morning
The early moments of the session were very busy with Bas Schothorst, David Fumanelli and Steijn Schothorst taking turns at the sharp end of the order as they battled for best time. Bas Schothorst was on top but his cousin set a session best 1:29.473 in the second hour. Indy Dontje (ART Junior Team) and Alan Hellmeister (Oregon Team) completed the top five. In “Prestige”, Philip Forsman was fastest, followed by Richard Gonda and Diederik Sitjhoff.
Bas Schothorst answers again
With temperatures in excess of 40°, Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team) braved the conditions for the installation laps. His team mate, Richard Gonda set the opening reference time, before Nicky Pastorelli (V8 Racing) went quicker. José Manuel Pérez-Aicart (Monlau Competición) and Bas Schothorst both went faster in the waning minutes. The Dutchman’s time of 1:31.144 put him ahead of the Spaniard, Steijn Schothorst, Nicky Pastorelli and Vittorio Ghirelli (Zele Racing). Niccoló Nalio led from Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team) and Philip Forsman in the “Prestige” category.
David Fumanelli : “It was an unusual day as our running was limited due to the hot weather. I was able to do a qualifying simulation this morning and finished third, 1/10ths of a second off the best time. It is a good result because there was a red flag during my run and we are satisfied with the progress we’ve made with the car. Afterwards, my team-mate had a small off and we decided to save the tyres for tomorrow. The front end of this car is very reactive. It has very limited roll and the brakes are amazing. It is really fun to drive. You have to adapt to the ABS and the weight, but it is very similar to an open-wheel car. There are some good drivers, but the team and I are doing what is needed to be up front at Spa-Francorchamps.”
José Manuel Pérez-Aicart : “It was a difficult day with the high temperatures, but I am satisfied to have put in such a fast time after all the work we’ve done with the team. I am really surprised how fast this car is in the corners and the stopping power of the brakes. Compared to other GTs, it handles a lot like an open-wheel car and that is what is most impressive about it !”
Philip Forsman : “With 27 laps, I didn’t run very much today. The day went well, despite the traffic and the red flag when I switched to new tyres. I couldn’t use them like I would have wanted. The afternoon didn’t go as well. I still have to get used to the car and its aerodynamics. It has been six years since I last drove an open-wheel car and nine months since my last race. I am a bit rusty ! I really like this car. The downforce and brakes are impressive. You can step on the brake pedal as hard as you can and longer than your brain tells you ! Everything is getting better and better, and I hope to compete this season.”
Richard Gonda : “We did our best to get the most out of the car in these very hot conditions. It is a good thing to have these conditions, we will use them to better prepare for the future. A few problems stopped our programme, but I hope to recuperate this mileage tomorrow. It is an enjoyable car to drive with powerful brakes and good balance. The biggest adjustments for me are the roof over the head, but more importantly the weight and the associated handling. I am getting the hang of it and look forward to taking it to victory with this professional team that is the ART Junior Team. I am going to give it all I’ve got to achieve a successful season and shine in this major motor racing event that is the World Series by Renault.”