Kirkaldy fastest at Donington test

Andrew Kirkaldy, who endured a difficult season with Stewart Racing in last year's F3 championship, was fastest in testing yesterday with his new team

Kirkaldy fastest at Donington test

Ex-Benetton engineer Nigel Clyde set up team Avanti around Kirkaldy, in order for the Scot to re-enter the series. The move would appear to be paying dividends.

"I am delighted with the way it's gone," said Kirkaldy.

"The main difference between here and previous rounds is that I have been able to get some sleep because the team is just me, an engineer and a mechanic so I have been doing a lot of work on the car rather than just driving. Now We had a good day's testing at Pembrey last week and that helped me get used to the car. Don't forget that everyone else has had thousands of miles' driving this season and I'm still new."

Second fastest was RC Benetton Junior driver Nicolas Kiesa. The reigning Formula Ford champion was second fastest in the morning session, and quickest in the afternoon, but he was unable to topple Kirkaldy's morning time.

Andy Priaulx was an impressive third in the so-far recalcitrant Promatecme Dallara. He professed himself to be happy with progress the team has made between the last round at Brands Hatch on June 4th and Donington.

"We have been making small improvements," said the Guernseyman, "and we have been looking at making improvements in the chassis and my driving. We had a good test at Pembrey and I reckon that we have a good set up for the weekend."

Series leader Antonio Pizzonia was third fastest in the morning session, but was bumped down to fourth by Priaulx's improvement in the afternoon. Silverstone winner Takuma Sato was fifth, followed up by Kiesa's team-mate Milos Pavlovic.

Series second-placed man Tomas Scheckter was sixth in the morning, but slipped back in the afternoon, as did Carlin Motorsport's Ben Collins, Sato's team mate who secured pole at Brands.

The two test sessions were the only opportunity the teams had to set the cars up around the 2.5mile Grand Prix circuit, where the double header meeting will take place this weekend.

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