Prema Powerteam in the swing

Nürburgring – Collective testing - Day 1

The Prema Powerteam drivers stood out from the crowd during this first day of collective testing. Miguel Molina, was the fastest in the morning, Alvaro Barba leading in the afternoon, the two men setting the rhythm. With sixteen drivers within a second of each other, the sixth meeting of the season is proving very close.

For the first session of the collective testing, two newcomers to Formula Renault 3.5 were getting to grips with the car. Siso Cunill (KTR) climbed on board the Belgian team's number 16 car. The young Spaniard started the season in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and is now trying his hand in the flagship category of World Series by Renault.

At RC Motorsport, the 2007 Italian Formula 3 Champion, Paolo Maria Nocera, took the place of Duncan Tappy. "Today's the first time that I've driven the car.» explained the Italian driver. "It felt really good, the car is very well balanced and you quickly gain confidence. I progressed steadily. I'm here to learn, I have a lot of things to figure out this weekend, but I'm hoping that little by little I can move nearer the leaders."

During the morning, the drivers first set about finding their bearings in order to get back in the groove after a few weeks of holidays. The leader of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) was the first to set a fastest lap.

However, the order changed constantly, and nearly everyone decided to stay out on track for longer, despite the session being interrupted five times. One after another, Alexandre Marsoin (Epsilon Euskadi), Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport), Mario Romancini (Epsilon Euskadi), Siso Cunill and Pippa Mann (P1 Motorsport) caused the red flag to be brought out. The P1 Motorsport team still went on to change Van der Garde's engine. An operation they had been planning as his engine was at the end of its life.

Lap after lap, Giedo Van der Garde, Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec), Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam) and Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) took it in turns to lead. In the end, Molina set the fastest lap of the morning with a time of 1'45''473, ahead of Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) and Fabio Carbone. «We've worked hard today, trying a lot of setups.» announced the Spanish driver at the end of the first day of testing. «Everything was going well this morning on fresh tyres. We had to fine-tune our setup again during the afternoon. My teammate, Alvaro Barba, set the best time this afternoon. That proves that we are going in the right direction. It's encouraging for the weekend ahead.»

During the second session, it was the turn of Alvaro Barba to show off his talent, setting the day's best time of 1'45''259, just ahead of Bertrand Baguette. The Belgian looked very happy to get back to business after the summer holidays. «It feels good to be back behind the wheel. The summer break was long and I was really keen to get back. The car is competitive. It's good for us to have plenty of time to drive in collective testing here as we needed to build up some data on the car, especially on new tyres.»

On Friday, two 45-minute sessions are on the programme, while qualifying and the first race take place on Saturday.

Pos Driver Team Time S1 Lap S1 Time S2 Lap S2 Time Gap First Gap Previous  1 Alvaro BARBA PREMA POWERTEAM 1:46.917 31 1:45.259 26 1:45.259       2 Bertrand BAGUETTE INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 1:47.191 25 1:45.381 23 1:45.381 +0.122 +0.122   3 James WALKER FORTEC MOTORSPORT 1:47.267 29 1:45.447 26 1:45.447 +0.188 +0.066   4 Marco BONANOMI RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 1:46.553 26 1:45.466 27 1:45.466 +0.207 +0.019   5 Miguel MOLINA PREMA POWERTEAM 1:45.473 26 1:45.878 11 1:45.473 +0.214 +0.007   6 Fairuz FAUZY FORTEC MOTORSPORT 1:48.038 17 1:45.496 27 1:45.496 +0.237 +0.023   7 Charles PIC TECH 1 RACING 1:47.824 17 1:45.553 21 1:45.553 +0.294 +0.057   8 Marco BARBA INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 1:52.576 9 1:45.593 22 1:45.593 +0.334 +0.040   9 Mikhail ALESHIN CARLIN MOTORSPORT 1:45.750 32 1:45.611 27 1:45.611 +0.352 +0.018   10 Esteban GUERRIERI ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 1:46.757 22 1:45.744 15 1:45.744 +0.485 +0.133   11 Fabio CARBONE ULTIMATE-SIGNATURE 1:46.066 26 1:45.814 19 1:45.814 +0.555 +0.070   12 Pasquale DiSABATINO RED DEVIL TEAM COMTEC 1:46.693 33 1:45.927 17 1:45.927 +0.668 +0.113   13 Pippa MANN P1 MOTORSPORT 1:48.268 27 1:46.007 38 1:46.007 +0.748 +0.080   14 Aleix ALCARAZ PONS RACING 1:47.629 27 1:46.099 17 1:46.099 +0.840 +0.092   15 Claudio CANTELLI RC MOTORSPORT 1:47.115 29 1:46.211 26 1:46.211 +0.952 +0.112   16 Pablo SANCHEZ INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 1:47.332 41 1:46.213 17 1:46.213 +0.954 +0.002   17 Alexandre MARSOIN EPSILON-EUSKADI 1:49.046 19 1:46.378 28 1:46.378 +1.119 +0.165   18 Marcos MARTINEZ PONS RACING 1:47.948 26 1:46.419 13 1:46.419 +1.160 +0.041   19 Salvador DURAN INTERWETTEN.COM RACING 1:47.094 29 1:46.555 9 1:46.555 +1.296 +0.136   20 Robert WICKENS CARLIN MOTORSPORT 1:47.983 22 1:46.657 13 1:46.657 +1.398 +0.102   21 Paolo Maria NOCERA RC MOTORSPORT 1:47.214 22 1:46.658 6 1:46.658 +1.399 +0.001   22 Mario ROMANCINI EPSILON-EUSKADI 1:47.801 28 1:46.969 13 1:46.969 +1.710 +0.311   23 Giedo Van Der GARDE P1 MOTORSPORT 1:47.058 7   0 1:47.058 +1.799 +0.089   24 Julien JOUSSE TECH 1 RACING 1:47.605 18 1:48.076 4 1:47.605 +2.346 +0.547   25 Siso CUNILL KTR 1:48.500 37 1:48.412 11 1:48.412 +3.153 +0.807