WSbR Next stop: Monza

10/04/08 - Collective testing – Barcelona – Day 3

As the final dress rehearsal before the season gets underway for real, there was plenty of valuable information to be gleaned from these collective testing sessions in Barcelona. Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport) set the fastest time overall for the three days of testing, which should give him source of motivation for the first race of the season in Monza in a few weeks time.

The weather on Thursday morning was just perfect. Right from the word go, the drivers went straight into action. Some even opted to switch to a fresh set of tyres without any further delay. The in-form Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport) was the man to clock fastest. The Canadian driver put in a number of quick laps in succession. Then with a lap in 1'32''971, Wickens improved on the time to beat set on Tuesday by Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Comtec). Wickens did not participate in the remainder of the day's testing, as for him it was off to Shanghai, to take part in the penultimate round of A1 GP.

So at the end of the opening hour of the day's action, Robert Wickens was fastest ahead of his teammate Mikhail Aleshin. These two were followed by Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport), Marco Barba (International Draco) and Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam).

Bertrand Baguette (International Draco) took advantage of a moment with a bit less traffic out on track to move up into second position, with Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) doing likewise to improve to third. The teams then made the most of what was left of the morning session to fine-tune their setups, as Bertrand Baguette explains: «The conditions were ideal this morning, so we just had to switch to a fresh set of tyres. I made a slight error on my fastest lap but the results are promising. We have been up in the leading group since the start of the testing and that can only be a good sign. Now, we are going to switch the car to its Monza setup. The season gets underway with one of the big ones!''

Everyone kept on quietly forging ahead with their development programmes in the afternoon. Some teams, such as Prema Powerteam, even practised some pit-stops. Certain drivers still had some new tyres at their disposal, which they had been holding back for the closing minutes of collective testing, even though the track temperature was pretty much like the weather here in Barcelona: it just kept on getting hotter and hotter. In the meantime, the two Interwetten.com cars were heading up proceedings, with Pablo Sanchez ahead of Salvador Duran.

As expected, the drivers started to move onto fresh rubber as the day drew to a close. Lap after lap, Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing), Fabio Carbone and Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) took it in turns to improve on each other's times, without any of them being able to better the time set by Wickens in the morning.

This meant that it was Robert Wickens who produced the best performance over the course of the three days, ahead of Bertrand Baguette and Charles Pic, the best Rookie. «We have put in some good work over these three days» explains the young Frenchman. «We have gained a lot of experience by clocking up a fair amount of kilometres. Now we're really looking forward to the first race of the season to try and transform what we've learnt in testing into results. I'm not familiar with the track at Monza, so I'll have to learn fast. I can't wait.»

Everyone's mind will now be focussed on Monza for the launch of the 2008 season on the weekend of April 26-27.

POS NUM DRIVER TEAM LAP TIME GAP_FIRST KPH LAPS 

1 15 Marcos MARTINEZ PONS RACING 35 1:33.710 - 178.8 37   2 19 Salvador DURAN INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 24 1:33.826 +0.116 178.6 26   3 1 Julien JOUSSE TECH 1 RACING 22 1:33.980 +0.270 178.3 26   4 27 Fabio CARBONE ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 36 1:33.991 +0.281 178.3 38   5 4 Marco BARBA INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACIN 15 1:34.070 +0.360 178.1 19   6 2 Charles PIC TECH 1 RACING 29 1:34.178 +0.468 177.9 33   7 9 Miguel MOLINA PREMA POWERTEAM 13 1:34.227 +0.517 177.8 16   8 10 Alvaro BARBA PREMA POWERTEAM 40 1:34.236 +0.526 177.8 44   9 7 Mario ROMANCINI EPSILON-EUSKADI 28 1:34.283 +0.573 177.7 30   10 23 James WALKER FORTEC MOTORSPORT 22 1:34.416 +0.706 177.5 25   11 20 Pablo SANCHEZ INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 25 1:34.427 +0.717 177.5 34   12 26 Pasquale Di SABATINO RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 33 1:34.560 +0.850 177.2 40   13 16 Daniil MOVE KTR 40 1:34.585 +0.875 177.2 42   14 11 Aleix ALCARAZ RC MOTORSPORT 33 1:34.742 +1.032 176.9 37   15 14 Maximo CORTES PONS RACING 23 1:34.768 +1.058 176.8 24   16 8 Alexandre MARSOIN EPSILON-EUSKADI 24 1:34.843 +1.133 176.7 29   17 28 Claudio CANTELLI ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 39 1:35.149 +1.439 176.1 43   18 5 Mikhail ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 24 1:35.219 +1.509 176.0 25   19 21 Giedo Van Der GARDE P1 MOTORSPORT 4 1:35.549 +1.839 175.4 26   20 22 Pippa MANN P1 MOTORSPORT 7 1:35.701 +1.991 175.1 10   21 3 Bertrand BAGUETTE INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 19 1:35.959 +2.249 174.6 21   22 17 Guillaume MOREAU KTR 6 1:36.030 +2.320 174.5 8   23 12 Borja GARCIA RC MOTORSPORT 4 1:36.261 +2.551 174.1 6   24 24 Julian THEOBALD FORTEC MOTORSPORT 42 1:36.473 +2.763 173.7 49   25 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN MOTORSPORT 0       0  

POS NUMBER DRIVER TEAM LAP TIME GAP_FIRST KPH LAPS 

1 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN MOTORSPORT 10 1:32.971 - 180.2 35   2 3 Bertrand BAGUETTE INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 25 1:33.330 +0.359 179.6 30   3 2 Charles PIC TECH 1 RACING 28 1:33.396 +0.425 179.4 51   4 21 Giedo Van Der GARDE P1 MOTORSPORT 25 1:33.467 +0.496 179.3 40   5 5 Mikhail ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 14 1:33.480 +0.509 179.3 31   6 9 Miguel MOLINA PREMA POWERTEAM 24 1:33.551 +0.580 179.1 36   7 4 Marco BARBA INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACIN 9 1:33.843 +0.872 178.6 25   8 19 Salvador DURAN INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 12 1:33.962 +0.991 178.3 30   9 27 Fabio CARBONE ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 20 1:33.985 +1.014 178.3 30   10 15 Marcos MARTINEZ PONS RACING 10 1:34.064 +1.093 178.2 16   11 10 Alvaro BARBA PREMA POWERTEAM 26 1:34.064 +1.093 178.2 28   12 7 Mario ROMANCINI EPSILON-EUSKADI 19 1:34.065 +1.094 178.2 46   13 12 Borja GARCIA RC MOTORSPORT 29 1:34.142 +1.171 178.0 32   14 8 Alexandre MARSOIN EPSILON-EUSKADI 24 1:34.149 +1.178 178.0 47   15 26 Pasquale Di SABATINO RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 20 1:34.155 +1.184 178.0 48   16 28 Claudio CANTELLI ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 32 1:34.356 +1.385 177.6 45   17 17 Guillaume MOREAU KTR 8 1:34.396 +1.425 177.5 32   18 14 Maximo CORTES PONS RACING 18 1:34.471 +1.500 177.4 28   19 22 Pippa MANN P1 MOTORSPORT 30 1:34.529 +1.558 177.3 35   20 11 Aleix ALCARAZ RC MOTORSPORT 20 1:34.585 +1.614 177.2 35   21 1 Julien JOUSSE TECH 1 RACING 31 1:34.611 +1.640 177.1 32   22 23 James WALKER FORTEC MOTORSPORT 8 1:35.214 +2.243 176.0 25   23 20 Pablo SANCHEZ INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 11 1:35.818 +2.847 174.9 17   24 16 Daniil MOVE KTR 41 1:35.966 +2.995 174.6 48   25 24 Julian THEOBALD FORTEC MOTORSPORT 31 1:37.459 +4.488 171.9 39   26 25 Marco BONANOMI RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 0       0