Last Friday, Ocean Racing Technology completed its third and final testing day on the Paul Ricard circuit (France) where initial preparations for the 2009 GP2 Main Series, which will open its doors in Barcelona on May 9-10, were held. For Karun Chandhok and Álvaro Parente, this test was the first experience with Ocean Racing Technology's single-seater and technical team. Together the two drivers worked intensely in order to gather as much data as possible to help the team in its quest. Team manager Dave Ward is genuinely happy with the competitiveness and attitude from both drivers during a difficult task that consisted of finding the best set-up for tracks other than Paul Ricard, working by extrapolation. Ward does not hide the fact that the team still has a lot of parameters to fine tune before the first race of the season but remains optimistic:
"These three days have been very intense and we barely slept as there is not time to waste when you are preparing for your first season in the GP2 Main Series. We tried several solutions and gathered a lot of important data and we will keep working with might and main but we have already had a glimpse of our competitiveness. The track version was different every day, so was the set-up of the car, but we are on the right track."
Karun Chandhok focused on improving the car and worked tirelessly on finding the best set-up and balance. The Indian, who joined Ocean Racing Technology this year, guarantees the differences will be obvious in the next test session:
"These three days allowed us to collect a lot of data and I know we will be more competitive in Barcelona. Nevertheless, the Paul Ricard test was already very good in helping the team get to grips. My aim is to be fast right at the start of the season and I am pretty sure this will be the case."
Alvaro Parente also has a very positive outlook on the team's achievement in France. The Portuguese driver, who recently confirmed his signing for Ocean Racing Technology, took the opportunity to get to know the team and his new teammate, Karun Chandhok:
"We developed the car the right way. The rear is fine by me, but I still have to change a bit the front end as it is not as strong as I would like. I'm confident we will change this for the better in Barcelona and that I'll be able to come closer to the perfect set-up. It was my first experience working with Ocean Racing Technology and it's been really productive. The team gave me a warm welcome and I expect its involvement and its work to be fruitful in the near future. But one must not forget it is a new team which is still in its building up phase and which has yet to work to its full potential. The working base is good and I have total confidence in the team."
For the Portuguese team, the Paul Ricard test was also the occasion to run with its definitive new livery, which is mainly blue, for the first time. Ocean Racing Technology's preparation for the GP2 Main Series will come to an end in Barcelona (Spain), March 23-25.