In the first running of the Renault Sport R.S. 01 at Circuit Bugatti Le Mans, David Fumanelli (Oregon Team) was the quickest at the conclusion of the Renault Sport Trophy collective tests. The leader in the Endurance classification, along with partner Dario Capitanio, clocked the best lap of the day in 1:33.467 to lead from Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) and Pieter Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur). In Prestige, Niccolò Nalio (Oregon Team) was the fastest on Friday ahead of Diederik Sijthoff (V8 Racing) and Max Braams (V8 Racing).
Oregon begins with a one-two
Luciano Bacheta (Oregon Team) set the early pace, before Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team) and David Fumanelli went quicker with the Briton answering each time to go on for a time of 1:34.143 just before the mid-way point of the session. His best lap stood up, just 0.004s quicker than David Fumanelli. Pieter Schothorst, Steijn Schothorst and Indy Dontje (ART Junior Team) complete the top five ahead of two fastest Prestige drivers, Max Braams and Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team).
Fumanelli hits hard
The afternoon session was dominated by David Fumanelli, who led from the seventh minute. The Italian driver, who can clinch the Endurance title tomorrow with his team mate Dario Capitanio, was the first to beat the time set by Luciano Bacheta. After several improvements, his best effort at 1:33.467 saw him to the sharp end of the order, followed by Steijn Schothorst and Pieter Schothorst. Indy Dontje and Bas Schothorst (Zele Racing) joined the top five ahead of the quickest in Prestige this afternoon, Niccolò Nalio.
David Fumanelli: “I had never driven here before and it was a positive day. I had to learn the track this morning, but we were very competitive. The team did a good job in giving us the right set-ups for us to work on. In the afternoon, I put in an impressive time and I was the most surprised to see it because we were on old tyres! Keeping this position tomorrow will be important for this weekend. We know a win with Dario will bring us the title, but I also want to give it my all in Elite. The gap is big to Steijn, but we can still catch up!”
Christian Klien: “It is a really nice car to drive! It has a lot of grip and downforce for a GT, but it also has excellent brakes and good balance. I enjoyed it as it is relatively easy to get used to, although the limit – as always- is hard to reach. We had to do as many laps as possible to get comfortable with the Renault Sport R.S. 01 and I am satisfied to be only eight/tenths off the fastest lap. I look forward to running on new tyres in qualifying! I don’t have an objective, but I should be up to speed for the Elite Sprint race.”
Bas Schothorst: “We can be satisfied with today. We have a new driver in the team, Christian Klien. He brings a lot of experience. I am still a half-second too slow, but we know what tyres our rivals used. We are heading in the right direction and I also need to improve, but we could have a good weekend!”