Paul Ricard circuit: Dams on top on rain too !
The DAMS team was back in France for a 2-day test session on the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit on 11th-12th November after their Spanish interlude in Jerez. Kamui Kobayashi, the quickest driver in the previous sessions, kept up his dominant form at the top of the time sheets.
Two weeks after a fruitful session on the Jerez de la Frontera circuit from which the DAMS team emerged quickest, the French squad was back at Paul Ricard for another test. The 2 cars were entrusted to their usual drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Jérôme d’Ambrosio.
The Japanese again made a big impression and on Tuesday afternoon laid down a marker with the quickest time in 1m 15.434s, 3/10 sec quicker than his nearest rival. On Wednesday, he was second fastest.
His Belgian team-mate also put on a noteworthy display with the second- best time on Tuesday morning and the seventh in the afternoon. The next day got off to a good start for him (6th fastest in the morning) but Jérôme’s afternoon was spoilt by a collision, which cost him around one-and-a-half-hours’ running time due to repairs.
The 2 days were spoilt by rain on the Provençal circuit, which began on Tuesday morning, and scattered showers continued throughout the rest of the test session. Although DAMS’s programme was upset by the weather the French squad was pretty happy overall with the work done over the 2 days. The team’s next rendezvous is the second round of the Asian GP2 Series Championship on the Dubai circuit on 5th-6th December.
Eric Boullier, team manager; “Although it didn’t rain continuously during the two-day test the track was damp all the time. This meant that we had to change our programme and work on wet weather set-ups. It’s a pity we were unable to continue our dry set-up development, but we still managed to validate various options for wet conditions. The drivers’ performances show that we’re in good shape in this configuration and we did some interesting work.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “We didn’t really want to do our testing on a damp track, but we had to adapt to it. The car felt good during the sessions and we were able to run through several set-ups. Looking at the times it’s encouraging to see that we’re among the quickest in these conditions.”
Jérôme d’Ambrosio: “Overall I’m pretty happy with this test- for the first three sessions anyway. My times matched those of the front-runners and on Wednesday morning I was sixth only one-tenth behind the third-fastest driver. The afternoon’s accident immobilised us for one-and-a-half hours and ruined the final session. It’s a pity; all the more so as I felt good in the car in the wet and I could have set a quick time.”