FORMULA MASTER VICE-CHAMPION CLAIMS GP2 PRIZE
Formula Master Vice-Champion Fabio Leimer made his mark on the GP2 Series by setting the fastest rookie time yesterday morning at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. The 19-year-old Swiss took part in the test with team Trident Racing as a prize for finishing runner-up in the 2008 Formula Master Series.
Despite being his first experience in a GP2 car, Leimer was fastest with only a few minutes left of the wet morning session. As the track began to dry however, the young Swiss was demoted to tenth place with a best lap of 1:23.844.
Wet weather conditions made the afternoon more difficult, although Leimer still improved his time and posted a fastest lap of 1:18.353 despite heavy traffic, raking him 21st overall.
"It was great to be fastest for a few minutes in the morning," said Leimer who claimed seven podium finishes in his rookie Formula Master season, including three wins. "It rained again for most of the afternoon but I was always in traffic so I couldn't set a fast time.
"It was really nice to test a GP2 car in any case. The main difference for me between the Formula Master car and GP2 was the amount of throttle you could use when exiting corners. I had to be more careful than I would in Formula Master as the track was slippery and it was easy to wheel-spin.
"The power of the car was not a problem though, the step from Formula Master is not overwhelming, which is good, and it was the same in the Indy Lights test last week in America. I've learnt a lot over the past few weeks and I'd like to thank Formula Master for both experiences."
Leimer on track at Paul Ricard*
Leimer was joined by Formula Master driver Marcello Puglisi who tested with Durango and 2007 Formula Master Champion Jérôme D'Ambrosio who was seventh fastest overall for DAMS. Puglisi will test with Trident today as a prize for winning the Formula Master Italia Series.
Formula Master's has delivered some of Europe's best racing since its debut in 2007 with the Series' concept of offering young, aspiring drivers the chance to establish themselves on an international stage proving a great success already.
· Two events with Formula 1
· Six event with WTCC
· Only series to partner two FIA world championships for all its rounds
· Eight events - 16 races
· Eight European destinations
· Both races broadcast on the Eurosport platform with Sunday races live on Eurosport International
· Test with the Honda Racing F1 team for the winner
N.Technology race car
· Formula Master Honda K20A engine (250 HP)
· Light-weight body (560 kg including driver)
· Magneti Marelli hydraulic gearbox control system with gearbox and clutch paddles
· Magneti Marelli ECU Marvel 8 (version 2008), which includes data acquisition
· First car in the world to secure 2008 FIA F3 homologation
· Control tyres by Yokohama
· 684,000 attending spectators
· 66 drivers - 23 countries
· Inaugural race at Valencia, Spain on 19 May 2007
· Youngest race winner Pablo Sanchez Lopez (MEX), Alan Racing
· 2007 Champion Jérôme D'Ambrosio (BEL), Cram Competition
· 2008 Champion Chris van der Drift (NZL), JD Motorsport