The DAMS team had a couple of days’ testing programmed on the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain. After his rostrum finish in the opening round of the 2008-09 Asian GP2 Series Championship, Kamui Kobayashi confirmed his status as the series front-runner on the Spanish circuit.
Two weeks after the first round of the Asian GP2 Series Championship on the Shanghai circuit where the DAMS team scored a second place just a few lengths behind the winner, Roldan Rodriguez, the French squad continued development work on its 2 cars driven by Kamui Kobayashi and Jérôme d’Ambrosio.
The Japanese driver put in a number of very fast laps. On Wednesday, he was hindered by traffic and set the fifth-quickest time in the morning session improving to third in the afternoon. Today, though, he was the pace setter in both the morning and afternoon sessions.
D’Ambrosio was having his first taste of the twisty Jerez circuit, and had to learn it on the first day before going quicker on the second. Like his team-mate he was the victim of mobile chicanes putting him in the top 10 on Thursday morning, when a place in the first 4 seemed well within his grasp. Jerome finally finished 6th on Friday afternoon.
DAMS was able to work in a calm methodical manner over the 2 days in cool sunny weather with temperatures of between 16 and 18°C. Rain spoilt the final half hour today. The next tests are on 11th-12th November at Paul Ricard followed by the second round of the Asian GP2 Championship on the Dubai circuit on 5th-6th December.
Eric Boullier, team manager: “We like the Jerez circuit as it allows us to work on different aspects compared to the Castellet track. The only problem was that with twenty-four cars on the track including a number of debutants, we hit traffic problems when we were going for a time. Without that Kamui would have been quickest on the first day. But the main aim was to work for the races. We ran through a large number of solutions and explored new directions based on major changes to the car. The result is positive as the speed is obviously there!”
Kamui Kobayashi: “These two days have been very interesting and productive for us. We were able to test a lot of different set-ups and optimise the car’s handling. Even if the traffic posed a problem for us, especially on Wednesday, our two quickest times today prove that we’re on the right track. We’ve still got work to do and I’m very happy with the car’s performance.
Jérôme d’Ambrosio: “It was my first time out on the Jerez circuit and we used the first day to find the right set-up. Today, I was trying to up my pace, but like Kamui I was hindered by traffic. This being said, I’m satisfied with the two days; they’ve been productive for the team and we’re going to improve.”