Atech GRS GP opened its 2012 form book in solid style in the team’s first pre-season GP3 test at Estoril last week. Tamas Pal Kiss continued his good form from last year’s post-season outing to run consistently in the top six on Tuesday and Wednesday, while series newcomer Ethan Ringel continued to improve throughout the two days, closing the gap to just one second adrift of his team-mate.
Hungarian Pal Kiss, making a return to the team with whom he contested the British Formula Renault Series, started the opening day with the fifth fastest time in the morning session despite completing just seven laps. Thereafter the 21 year-old ran solidly in sixth place in two of the remaining three sessions, as the Leicestershire-based team completed a comprehensive test programme ahead of an assault on the 2012 GP3 Series.
Young American Ringel, in only his second season in car racing, steadily improved over the course of the test, setting competitive lap times to close the gap to his more experienced rivals and finish just one second adrift of Pal Kiss on his way to 18th.David Hayle, Team Principal: “The test was predominantly good. Ethan made huge progress, finishing just one second adrift of Tamas. He was like a different person, more focused and determined and continues to learn all the time so we’re very happy with his result. Tamas was generally fifth or sixth and never far off time wise. On the second day his run on new tyres was interrupted by a red flag otherwise I’m confident he could have been P1. So all in all a really good test leaving everyone happy.”Tamas Pal Kiss: “It was a very good test for me, I was consistently fast from the start and it’s good that we had a strong base to start from following last year’s tests. We spent much of the time working on suspension set-up and learnt a lot. I feel I still have some learning to do with the set-up to allow me give the best feedback to the team, but overall I was able to close the gap down over the course of the two days so it was a positive outcome.”Ethan Ringel: “We are very pleased with the test. I showed huge improvement on my driving style and the team is now I think feeling happy with my progress. I’m starting to get used to the GP3 car and I think that is reflected in the times. We are still testing on and off the track to get better and better and start shaving off time to the front of the field. Hopefully we will be able to start earning points by the second half of the season!”