WSbR Bonanomi sets the tempo

Collective testing - Barcelona - Day 1

For the second time this season, Formula Renault 3.5 teams met up today to move forward with the job of getting the best out of their new package. Italian Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Comtec) was to snatch the best time just before the end of the session, ahead of Marco Barba (Draco Racing) and Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport). Testing will proceed tomorrow and Thursday at the Barcelona circuit.

Conditions were ideal for this second wave of collective testing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. For the first time this season, all 13 teams signed up for the competition had both single-seaters out on track. So for some teams the day began with what was effectively a running-in session. Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) got off to an inauspicious start, with a badly tightened oil coupling causing his car to catch fire.  The Brazilian was however able to get back on track again at the end of the day.

Giedo van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) was the first driver out , though the first significant lap times were a while coming. For the first hour, the name at the top of the standings changed with alarming regularity. Eventually Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam) took charge of the situation, with Marco Bonanomi, Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam), Giedo van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) and Robert Wickens in pursuit. Lapping on 1'35''858, Van der Garde took over the lead.

As we so often see, everything was to change in the last hour. Van der Garde wrested the leadership once again with a 1'35''229 lap. Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) moved into second place and Russian driver Daniil Move (KTR) took over in third ahead of Alvaro Barba and Pablo Sanchez (Interwetten.com).

Lap times were considerably bettered in the course of the afternoon session. Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) was the first to oust Van der Garde from the top spot. But as in the morning, it was the same drivers that stood out: Wickens, Van der Garde and Bonanomi. Belgian Bertrand Baguette (Draco Racing) and his teammate Marco Barba, Alvaro's brother, also muscled their way up into the fight.

Shortly before the final assault of the last hour, Marco Barba grabbed the best provisional time, with 1'33''745. Only to see Marco Bonanomi then take the best time of the day, in 1'33''478. «It's really important to get into a good rhythm. I have good feelings with this car, even if I'm not yet completely at ease with the brakes. We should be quicker tomorrow, but I can only take part in the morning session, as I have to head off to compete in the last GP2 Asia race in Dubai. The main thing is to be ready for Monza.»

Runner up Marco Barba is also pleased to be up in the leading pack. «The behaviour of the car is very good. It's good to be on the pace today, very encouraging for the season ahead». Third place went to Robert Wickens ahead of Bertrand Baguette and Pablo Sanchez.

POS NUMBER DRIVER TEAM LAP TIME GAP_FIRST KPH LAPS 

1 21 Giedo Van Der GARDE P1 MOTORSPORT 35 1:35.229 - 176.0 38   2 2 Charles PIC TECH 1 RACING 42 1:35.234 +0.005 176.0 44   3 16 Daniil MOVE KTR 34 1:35.465 +0.236 175.5 34   4 10 Alvaro BARBA PREMA POWERTEAM 40 1:35.634 +0.405 175.2 43   5 20 Pablo SANCHEZ INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 37 1:35.642 +0.413 175.2 41   6 9 Miguel MOLINA PREMA POWERTEAM 22 1:35.675 +0.446 175.2 35   7 3 Bertrand BAGUETTE INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 32 1:35.684 +0.455 175.1 35   8 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN MOTORSPORT 18 1:35.894 +0.665 174.8 24   9 4 Marco BARBA INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 14 1:36.008 +0.779 174.5 29   10 5 Mikhail ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 21 1:36.101 +0.872 174.4 27   11 25 Marco BONANOMI RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 39 1:36.108 +0.879 174.4 41   12 15 Marcos MARTINEZ PONS RACING 22 1:36.443 +1.214 173.8 27   13 12 Borja GARCIA RC MOTORSPORT 26 1:36.756 +1.527 173.2 40   14 8 Alexandre MARSOIN EPSILON-EUSKADI 8 1:37.140 +1.911 172.5 34   15 23 James WALKER FORTEC MOTORSPORT 32 1:37.185 +1.956 172.4 38   16 14 Maximo CORTES PONS RACING 27 1:37.251 +2.022 172.3 37   17 27 Fabio CARBONE ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 4 1:37.612 +2.383 171.7 5   18 19 Salvador DURAN INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 7 1:37.676 +2.447 171.6 7   19 26 Pasquale DiSABATINO RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 14 1:37.855 +2.626 171.3 29   20 11 Aleix ALCARAZ RC MOTORSPORT 42 1:38.000 +2.771 171.0 43   21 1 Julien JOUSSE TECH 1 RACING 8 1:38.049 +2.820 170.9 24   22 28 Claudio CANTELLI ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 17 1:39.083 +3.854 169.1 22   23 7 Mario ROMANCINI EPSILON-EUSKADI 20 1:39.306 +4.077 168.8 21   24 22 Pippa MANN P1 MOTORSPORT 5 1:41.472 +6.243 165.1 5   25 17 Guillaume MOREAU KTR 5 1:48.384 +13.155 154.6 6  

POS NUMBER DRIVER TEAM LAP TIME GAP_FIRST KPH LAPS 

1 25 Marco BONANOMI RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 21 1:33.478 - 179.3 25   2 4 Marco BARBA INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 16 1:33.745 +0.267 178.8 19   3 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN MOTORSPORT 14 1:33.798 +0.320 178.7 22   4 3 Bertrand BAGUETTE INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 10 1:34.026 +0.548 178.2 17   5 20 Pablo SANCHEZ INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 18 1:34.138 +0.660 178.0 19   6 12 Borja GARCIA RC MOTORSPORT 18 1:34.368 +0.890 177.6 26   7 5 Mikhail ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 13 1:34.374 +0.896 177.6 28   8 23 James WALKER FORTEC MOTORSPORT 31 1:34.462 +0.984 177.4 40   9 10 Alvaro BARBA PREMA POWERTEAM 22 1:34.506 +1.028 177.3 27   10 1 Julien JOUSSE TECH 1 RACING 41 1:34.537 +1.059 177.3 54   11 2 Charles PIC TECH 1 RACING 16 1:34.865 +1.387 176.7 20   12 21 Giedo Van Der GARDE P1 MOTORSPORT 9 1:34.938 +1.460 176.5 23   13 16 Daniil MOVE KTR 23 1:34.973 +1.495 176.5 29   14 8 Alexandre MARSOIN EPSILON-EUSKADI 23 1:35.007 +1.529 176.4 29   15 14 Maximo CORTES PONS RACING 22 1:35.020 +1.542 176.4 23   16 11 Aleix ALCARAZ RC MOTORSPORT 36 1:35.446 +1.968 175.6 41   17 28 Claudio CANTELLI ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 31 1:35.687 +2.209 175.1 35   18 27 Fabio CARBONE ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 14 1:35.775 +2.297 175.0 14   19 15 Marcos MARTINEZ PONS RACING 15 1:36.152 +2.674 174.3 24   20 22 Pippa MANN P1 MOTORSPORT 17 1:36.328 +2.850 174.0 27   21 9 Miguel MOLINA PREMA POWERTEAM 15 1:36.417 +2.939 173.8 38   22 7 Mario ROMANCINI EPSILON-EUSKADI 19 1:36.582 +3.104 173.5 21   23 26 Pasquale DiSABATINO RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 6 1:37.446 +3.968 172.0 10   24 17 Guillaume MOREAU KTR 17 1:39.687 +6.209 168.1 18   25 19 Salvador DURAN INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 0       0