Atech CRS GP continued its strong form in post-season GP3 testing with the third fastest time in the final session in Valenica last week. Hungarian racer Tamas Pal Kiss, who returned to the team in Barcelona in October, followed up his impressive performance there with a confident pace in the two-day test at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo on Wednesday and Thursday.
Joining the 2011 race winner in the Leicestershire-based team’s line-up was new signing Ethan Ringel, from Florida. The 17 year-old rookie who had his first taste of GP3 power last month, has just one season of circuit racing under his belt but has halved the deficit between himself and the front running drivers as he continues to learn the tracks and the car.
Cementing the work they did last time out, Atech continues to work through its programme of development work and continued along the same path with Chief Engineer James Carter happy with the results of the penultimate test before the winter break.
James Carter: “After the very positive text we had in Barcelona last time out, we came to Valencia with the aim to continue along the same path, while trying a few different concepts. Everything went to plan, Tamas once again offered superb feedback which allowed us to push forward and continue a good pace although we didn’t necessarily always get the best out of the tyres due to several on-track incidents for other drivers. Despite that, we’re very happy with the outcome and hope to continue to be on the pace with him in Jerez.
“Ethan continues to improve, there has been a marked improvement in his driving technique which allowed him to reduce the gap to the leaders from the last test to this one by half, which if he continues at the same pace, will see him considerably further up the grid by the next session.”
Tamas Pal Kiss: “It proved a very successful test in Valencia and we basically carried over the programme from Barcelona. On the first day I was eighth or ninth on one set of tyres as we chose to save them for day two. I wasn’t entirely happy with the set-up and made a few significant changes to the suspension, which lost me a little track time, but put me fourth fastest. On new tyres I was fastest, but only for a lap when the others also changed to new tyres, but overall I’m very happy as I know we haven’t reached our full potential yet and I know exactly where we can make that time up. It’s very close up at the front and I estimate we’re only at around 90% of our true pace and I’m confident of moving forwards from this into the final test where I hope we can finish the season in a strong position.”
Ethan Ringel: “It proved a successful test for me as we’ve reduced the gap considerably so we’re definitely moving in the right direction. I feel we need to find just a couple of tenths on each corner, which hopefully we can continue to work towards this week. I think the biggest factor is finding the confidence in the car, it’s finding the balance to know how hard to push and that will come with more track time and experience. After we finish GP3 testing, I will continue to drive the Formula Renault to get as much track time as possible. If I can close the gap down to just over a second in Jerez I’ll be happy.”
The final two-day post season test will take place at Jerez, Spain this Thursday and Friday 1st/2nd December.