Cumulative testing results:
6th Chris Van der Drift: 1:13.468;
20th Narain Karthikeyan: 1:13.862;
The GP2 Main Series was back on track just days after the final round of the 2008 season at Monza: on the French Paul Ricard racetrack all the teams had the chance to test new drivers and find the best 2009 package.
Trident Racing lined-up Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan, a former Formula One test driver, and Dutchman Chris Van Der Drift, currently leading the International Formula Master Championship. Karthikeyan worked hard during both days to increase his feeling with the series` Dallara Renault racecar, a so much different vehicle than the one he drove in 2008. Van Der Drift turned just a few laps on older tires on Day 1, but managed to complete all his tasks on Friday`s two sessions. Both drivers provided a great feedback, completing with no troubles all the work scheduled by the team.
At this point of the season, the GP2 activities will be split in two: next weekend, the GP2 Asia Staff will move towards Shanghai, to prepare for the season opener in the first collective tests. The Main Series will continue winter testing on October 29 and 30, at Jerez De La Frontera.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Managing Director
"These two days of testing were extremely positive for us: Trident Racing proved once again to have what it takes to bring its drivers at the top. Chris Van Der Drift, who only ran on Day 2, took 5th place in the morning session and ended up as the 2nd best rookie behind Sam Bird (who covered both days). Then he even improved in the afternoon, taking 4th place and showing an outstanding ability at his debut behind the wheel of a GP2 Series car. Chris is one of the brightest talents in motorsports, and we`ve been following him for a long time. We really hope to sign him for a full GP2 Main Series season: he`s working hard to find some good sponsors and come aboard sooner than possible. We hope his career will find some good supporters, since his 2008 season in the International Formula Master speaks by itself, with 6 pole positions in 7 events and an awesome race day score. I also think that having a guy like Chris running at the top in the GP2 Series would be a great promotion for the International Formula Master and fellow engine partner Honda.
"Narain Karthikeyan had a strong run too: his work was finalized to increase his feeling with a GP2 Series car, after spending two seasons in the A1 Grand Prix Of Nations and being used to deal with less downforce and steel brakes. On Day 1, he focused on learning how to brake with carbon rotors, and in finding the right confidence with our Michelin tires. On Day 2 he moved up the order, taking 8th place in the PM segment. We had been keeping an eye on him before, and he gave another confirmation he`d be a great driver to work with even in the imminent GP2 Asia Series season. We`re really looking forward to continue the relationship started at Paul Ricard".