Intense and fruitful work achieved for Spa and Monza.
A day for a lot productive work for all the Racing Engineering staff in the second day of testing for the GP2 Series teams at the French track of Paul Ricard. With yesterday’s practice scheduled on the 2A layout featuring the long Mistral straight and the quick Signes corner, the target for all the teams was to test, for the first time, the new 2008 GP2 Dallara in low drag aerodynamic conditions.
This is especially important to draw the first conclusions for the best setups to use at fast tracks like Monza and Spa, included in the second part of the season. This was the program focus for the two Racing Engineering drivers in the morning session, both Giorgio Pantano and Javier Villa were completing a lot of laps, amassing a huge amount of kilometers and doing near 100 laps while the engineers were analysing the high speed behaviour of the Repsol and Telefónica liveried cars.
In the afternoon the test also included several pit stop practice runs, a very important moment in the races, so the Spanish team carried them out many times with both cars simultaneously to better simulate real race conditions. The team also continued with the setup testing, not only focussing on wings but also on dampers, looking for an ideal balance between speed and handling which is so important on tracks like Spa and Monza, where they will be racing with setups based on those discovered today.
The team work was really satisfying, doing all the scheduled program and also setting good laptimes, with both Giorgio and Javi among the top ten of a really close time list with no less than 20 drivers lapping within a second, with the Italian driver of the Andalusia-based team third fastest in the afternoon.
After these two days of testing, the next date for Racing Engineering with the GP2 Series is at the French track of Magny Cours on 20th, 21st and 22nd of June, coinciding with the French Grand Prix.
Javier Villa (driver car 11): "It was all very good in the morning we did 51 laps, more than yesterday in the whole day. We worked a lot on the aerodynamics for Monza and Spa, and I think we got some good conclusions; we can do a lot of laps using the same tyres. In the afternoon we practised our pit stops which are important for the team and one point of the race that is also very important for me. Then we put some new tyres and I had a little spin and had a 'flat spot' in a tyre so we couldn't push more with these tyres. We were nineteenth which is not our true position, we can go faster, in the morning we were ninth which is not bad for a day like today, it was good for the aerodynamics, something we normally can't test."
Giorgio Pantano (driver car 12): "We did a lot of work during these two days of testing and I think we understand quite well how the car reacted. We now have to check in detail the things we tested and take the insights we’ve gained to Magny Cours."