The Jerez testing days couldn’t have a better start for Scuderia Coloni. In the first of the two days on the Spanish track, the Italian team not only completed the planned working plan but also confirmed its competitiveness, standing steadily in the top spots of the timesheet.
In the morning session, always the quickest one due to the lower track and air temperatures, the Italian team posted the second fastest time of the day with Luca Filippi (1’27”291, just 0”009 shy of first place) and the fifth best with Fabio Onidi: the Italian rookie boasted an amazing drive at his debut on the Dallara GP2/11 car, stopping the clock on a 1’27”587 that was the quickest lap of the day for a rookie.In the afternoon the track became hotter and slower, and so the team focused on race set-up and long runs, with both cars filled with large amounts of fuel: Kevin Ceccon jumped in the #18 car and posted a 1’28”996 without using new tyres, while Onidi’s time was a 1’28”648 achieved after working a lot on set-ups evaluations.Tomorrow all three drivers will get back on track: Ceccon and Onidi will drive in the morning looking for raw performance, while in the afternoon the team will focus on longer runs again, with Filippi again at the wheel.
Paolo Coloni: “We are really satisfied with a day that was fruitful from every point of view. Being on top again is a good feeling, especially considering that Filippi’s time could have been much quicker as he had to slow down in order to avoid a spinning car. Furthermore, with Luca we did a good development work, gathering info that will prove very useful. In the meantime Onidi was amazing on the other car, finding immediately the right feeling with the team, the car and the tyres. He held P1 for a long time and at the end of the day he was the quickest rookie, so we are both impressed and happy with the attitude he showed. In the afternoon, with a slower track, we preferred a race oriented working program and this prevented Fabio and Ceccon from posting quick times, but they will have their chance again tomorrow morning”.
Luca Filippi: “As soon as I got on track I felt that I was driving the same perfect car that allowed me to win in Monza, so the laptime came easily and could have been even better. Apart from this, we also did a good job on the technical side, trying some solutions that came to our mind during the season. It was really a great session, we are very happy with it”.
Fabio Onidi: “My first contact with the GP2/11 car was really fine, it’s a great car to drive and I felt immediately at ease. Even getting acquainted with the Pirelli tyres, with the way the grip evolves lap after lap wasn’t an issue, and the feeling with the car on new rubber, usually the hardest part when debuting on a new open wheeler, was easy to find. So the laptime came quite easily, and I was pleased to see that. In the afternoon we did a race-oriented job with more fuel and we tried different set-up solutions”.
Kevin Ceccon: “Driving in the afternoon and with a lot of fuel I wasn’t really looking for performance today. My aim was trying a lot of different set-ups with the team, something you never really get the chance to do during the season. Despite this I was pretty quick and my laptime could have been half a second quicker: unluckily I found Gonzalez proceeding slowly on the racing line. Anyway I will go for a flyer tomorrow morning, I have a very good feeling about that”.