Atech CRS GP signed off a successful 2011 GP3 Series season with the completion of two days of post-season testing in Jerez, over 1/2 December. The Leicestershire-based team was among the 26-car field that stayed in Spain following two days in Valencia the previous week, making the most of the opportunity to continue it’s development programme ahead of the 2012 season.
The team had enjoyed two successful sessions in Spain, with Tamas Pal Kiss firmly establishing himself among the pacesetters in both Barcelona in October and Valencia. The team’s focus for Jerez lie in helping to build on the Hungarian’s pace while ensuring that new signing Ethan Ringel¸ who comes into the GP3 series in only his first season in car racing, benefited from valuable track time.
Day one proved a positive continuation of the development programme for both drivers but, after a steady opening day, the Atech CRS GP duo were left frustrated by red flags and changeable track conditions. Nevertheless, with solid foundations further built upon, the team remain optimistic ahead of the next test in February and the start of the 2012 pre-season programme.
James Carter: ““The programme for Tamas was to develop the car with his feed back, which was clear and easy to relate to and which enabled us to work in a positive manner. Ethan naturally has far less experience than Tamas so we just continued with the driver development, which I’m happy to say is improving, not necessarily in lap times but certainly in his technique. He needs to completely change his driving style, and he’s starting to do that, thankfully he’s listening to what we say, with Tamas we have a good benchmark to work from, which I think will help Ethan a lot. He just needs to keep chipping away.”
Tamas Pal Kiss: “Overall I think we’ve had three very good tests in Spain and I feel we’ve leant a lot at each of the sessions. I think there was room for improvement at Jerez . On my second flying lap on the first day there was a red flag, which brought the session to a finish. On day two the track conditions changed considerably and we perhaps didn’t make the best use of the changes we made to the car, so that is something we need to look into. We thought that the rain would bring an end to the session. It did dry out with an hour to go, but unfortunately everyone went out and we struggled to get any clear laps.
“Despite that, though, I’m very happy at the end of three very positive sessions with the team. I’d like to thank David (Hayle) and everyone at Atech CRS GP, who once again all did a great job. It feels good to be back with the team, there is mutual trust and respect there and I’m sure that is a big factor in how well things have gone. I am looking forward to continuing the development of the car in February and to working together in 2012.”
Ethan Ringel: “As a newcomer to the team, testing in Spain was about getting used to the car and my new surroundings. I learned a lot of valuable things, but we have come to a point in the learning process where I know I have to adapt my driving style to suit the tyres, so that’s going to take some getting used to. My main problem is rushing into the corner too fast and not being able to pick up the required exit speed. We are getting there, but my aim is to learn a bit quicker to enable me to be competitive by the start of the season.
“Compared to karting, the GP3 cars have so much power that you need to get them turned in first before applying the gas. Thankfully the Atech team has been fantastic, spending a lot of time helping me and so I must thank them all.”