After the first round of tests at Jerez last week in which Davide Valsecchi set the quickest time every day, the French team had another big challenge ahead of it on the Catalonian circuit. Which it overcame successfully as DAMS's leader was among the front-runners on all three days.
But as at Jerez, the main aim was to do a good job: on the cars, first of all, to define the best setup choices, and then with the staff to fine-tune the coordination between the drivers, engineers and mechanics who have only known one another for a short time. All this was validated by Valsecchi's performance, fourth-quickest time on Wednesday (in the same tenth as the fastest) and second on Thursday, as well as by Felipe Nasr's improvement. Now the team heads on to Malaysia for the eagerly-awaited first round.
François Sicard, General manager: "Overall, the second week of pre-season testing has gone off pretty well. It's confirmed the excellent job we did at Jerez. The understanding between the drivers and engineers has got even better, and we were able to run though all our programmes to define the best setup for the car. Davide again showed that he's ready to fight for the title and Felipe made a big step forward, especially on the final day. We can't wait for the season to begin!"
Davide Valsecchi: "It's another good week's work. We've continued to set competitive times and we've progressed in all areas. Our race simulation proved that we're on the pace; now the hardest thing is waiting for the first race!"
Felipe Nasr: "I'm feeling pretty happy after the second week. I was able to learn new things about the car and its handling even if the time was short. I know that the opening races will be a big challenge for me, but I've got absolute confidence in the team and in myself to improve rapidly and to be fighting at the front very soon."
First race in the 2012 GP2 Championship on the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, 23-25 March.
- Day 1
Valsecchi : morning p6 (1:29.726) – afternoon : p7 (1:29.877)
Nasr : morning p19 (1:30.907) – afternoon : p15 (1:30.393)
- Day 2
Valsecchi : morning p4 (1:28.785) – afternoon : p19 (1:33.485)
Nasr : morning p19 (1:29.865) – afternoon : p18 (1:33.461)
- Day 3
Valsecchi : morning p2 (1:29.318) – afternoon : p7 (1:31.197)
Nasr : morning p24 (1:31.029) – afternoon : p4 (1:30.740)