Trident Racing rounded out the team's first GP3 Series test this week at Jerez. At the end of the 2-day session, the feedback and results have been extremely good in a sensational debut for the Italian squad which surpassed the early expectations. While the work plan of the two days was completed with no issues, the timesheets constantly featured at least one of the team's cars into the top-10.
After having received the three cars to be lined-up on-track just days before taking-off for Spain, Trident Racing accomplished the tough task of being at Jerez in the best possible shape. In addition to the new cars, the test at Jerez featured a new and revamped staff of highly-qualified professionals who had to work for the first time as a whole.
Following the many questions arisen in the days before the test, the third fastest mark overall clocked by Nigel Melker proved really rewarding for the team. Monaco-based 21-year-old racer Stéphane Richelmi also left a bold impression as he moved back from his GP2 Series ride for the occasion, and the same thing went for Michela Cerruti, who's making her first steps in open-wheel racing after a successful stint in touring cars.
Melker has been into the top-10 almost all the team, as he profited from his 2-year stint in the series. Nigel and Richelmi carried-on an huge amount of work and impressed the team's staff. Stéphane could have achieved a better top laptime but was forced to settle following to a red flag waived during the third session while he was on his last flying lap.
Trident Racing will be now enter its off-season transition, set to end with the first collective test on February the 21st and 22nd at Estoril, in Portugal.
"It hasn't been easy for the team to get on-track for the first time and challenge some squads which were there since the beginning, but they did a great job. Our testing program has been pretty intense but the progress made positively reflects the amount of work done. I believe that we could have asked even more in the AM session of Day 2 without some unlucky breaks. In the last session, held on a wet racetrack, the cars had a great balance as demonstrated by our laptimes"
“First thing I want to say is that the charts do not make justice to the huge work carried-on by the team in this test. We started from scratch, and for me it was the first time with a GP3 car as well, and we made a lot of progress each time we went out of the pits. On Day 2's morning I've been one of the many casualties of a lengthy red flag while I was off for my flying lap with new tires. On top of that, the goal for us wasn't to be just overall fast. In pack runs with old tires we kept constantly into the top-8".
“I continued in my approach with the GP3 Series car, the first open-wheel one I've driven. I finally managed to cut my gap to the top to less than three seconds and I think I could be 2.5" off the hypothetical pole position. For some it might seem an huge gap, and in fact it is. But for me it's been the proof that I keep progressing lap-by-lap. I still need to regain ground but I'm fully-committed and the progress is showing. The team's technical staff understood my needs immediately and they've been patient in guiding me. Overall, I feel pretty happy."