FR 2.0 - Daniel Mancinelli makes strong impression
25 brand new FR2.0 converge on the Valencia circuit
The first collective test sessions of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season saw twenty-five brand new Formula Renault 2.0s converge on the Valencia circuit. And for this first track confrontation of the year, Daniel Mancinelli (One Racing) came out smiling with the fastest lap over the two days. The Italian driver took very little time to get to grips with his New Formula Renault 2.0.
The 2010 season is not far off now, and for teams and drivers alike, the first collective tests mark the last straight before the season kicks off for real at Motorland Aragón on April 17. For these first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective test sessions, teams from Formula Renault 2.0 UK joined the pack on the Valencia track, taking advantage of the amended collective test regulations that allow competitors from national championships to take part in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 tests.
On Monday morning, with a few spots of rain to welcome the 25 cars to the circuit, most teams and drivers started out in reconnaissance mode. Tamas Pal Kis (Atech Grand Prix) claimed top spot early on, ahead of Harry Tincknell (CRS Racing) and 16-year old Alex Riberas (Epsilon Euskadi), who is making the step up from Karting this season.
In the afternoon, the drivers gradually upped the pace. Italian Daniel Mancinelli, winner of the 2009 Italian Formula Renault championship and 19th in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, soon began to make a showing, despite this being his first New Formula Renault 2.0 outing. After a good fifty laps, he produced the best performance of the day, lapping 1’32’’942, ahead of Epsilon Euskadi drivers, Giovanni Venturini and Alex Riberas. Tamas Pal Kis and Miguel Otegui (Epsilon Euskadi) put in 4th and 5th fastest times.
On Tuesday, in spite of a strong wind, the track seemed quicker. Drivers such as Arthur Pic (SG Formula) ran long runs, Pic notching up 55 laps over the morning. Daniel Mancinelli stood out again. He improved on his fastest lap from Monday to put himself back in the lead with a time of 1’32’’648. At the end of the morning, Will Stevens (Manor Motorsport) and Tamas Pal Kis, showing good consistency, lay second and third.
The afternoon started with the drivers working on their setups before spooling up for their final charges in the last half-hour of the session. Miki Weckström (Koiranen Bros MS) and Lewis Williamson (Manor Motorsport) vyed for position at the top of the timing charts. In the very last seconds Daniel Mancinelli drove to the fastest lap of the two days of testing, in 1’32’’563. With his last attempt, Will Stevens grabbed the second-fastest time ahead of Harry Tincknell, Lewis Williamson and Miki Weckström. The next collective test sessions will be held in Barcelona on March 9-10.
Daniel Mancinelli: “I felt good with the New Formula Renault 2.0. We started up the car for the first time yesterday, and after two days we’re already making progress on the setup! This season should be very open, with a good quality lineup of drivers. The level of racing is going to be really good in 2010.”
Will Stevens: "It felt good on track today! Yesterday, things didn’t go too well for me, but from the outset today, the car’s been feeling good. This car’s performance is a big improvement. I’m happy with my laptimes. This is good training in preparation for my Formula Renault 2.0 UK season.”
Miki Weckström: “When we fitted fresh tires at the end of the day, I was lapping faster and faster. I just love this car! This is going to be my first season in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, but my goal is going to be to win races.”