In the aftermath of the inaugural season, the Renault Sport Trophy was back on the Circuito de Jerez this Monday for a day of testing. 18 drivers were on hand, including ten invited by Renault Sport technologies. Figuring among the invitees, Dennis Olsen (ART Junior Team) posted the best time of the day in 1:40.341. The Norwegian was followed by former F1 driver and 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion, Giedo van der Garde (Equipe Verschuur) and Fran Rueda (Monlau Competición).
On a drying track, the first session of the day saw Kevin Korjus (Equipe Verschuur) and Giedo van der Garde swap the top spot several times. The Dutch driver got the upper hand with a time of 1:47.339 while Martin Kodrić (ART Junior Team) was sandwiched between the two. Andrés Mendez (Zele Racing) and Peter Hoevenaars (V8 Racing) completed the top five.
The conditions continued to improve at mi-day. Martin Kodrić made the most of them to lower the reference time to 1:41.782. The Croat lead from Kevin Korjus and Giedo van der Garde, who replicated in session three with a lap clocked in 1:40.546. The Dutchman went 4/10ths of a second quicker than Raoul Owens (Oregon Team). Dennis Olsen, Martin Kodrić and Andrés Mendez followed the Brit.
The final session saw Dennis Olsen put in the best lap of the day in 1:40.341. Despite not running in the final hour of testing, Giedo van der Garde held onto second place when Fran Rueda wasn’t able to go quicker. Martin Kodrić, Alexandre Jouannem (Zele Racing) and Tanart Sathienthirakul (V8 Racing) joined the lead group of five.
Dennis Olsen: “I am really happy with my day. I had a lot of fun behind the wheel of the Renault Sport R.S. 01. It handles like an open-wheel car and the driving remains more or less the same. I think that showed because I was in the lead after just my third lap. Martin Kodrić also showed that coming from the Formula Renault 2.0, you can be quickly be on pace as have Andrea and Steijn. You just have to get used to the ABS and the carbon brakes. With the downforce this car is a little like a GT. The package is really impressive.”
Giedo van der Garde: “I have to keep myself sharp and thanks to McGregor I had the opportunity to test the Renault Sport R.S. 01. It is a gorgeous piece and a great car, very agreeable and fun to drive. Its downforce level is surprising and the power is relatively high, which makes it a lot of fun to drive.”