Molina ends Jerez test on top

The final day of running at Jerez's Formula Renault 3.5 collective test on Wednesday concluded with Miguel Molina adding weight to his title aspirations with a stranglehold on the top of the timesheets

Molina ends Jerez test on top

The USR driver headed Frenchman Charles Pic and Draco's Marco Barba, as several drivers utilized ideal conditions to substantially lower the Formula Renault 3.5 track record.

Starting as he had left off on Tuesday, Tech 1 driver Pic was initially quickest, before several rookie drivers came to the fore. Chris Van der Drift's feat of setting the provisional fastest time for Epsilon Euskadi was repeated first by Molina's USR teammate, Greg Mansell, and then Spanish, British F3 champion, Jaime Alguersuari.

The tumbling laptimes set the tone for the proceedings that were to follow imminently. Adrian Valles pulled out a 1m29.612s to dip under the circuit record of 1m29.750s, set last year by 2007 World Series champion Alvaro Parente (in a development version Formula Renault 3.5 Dallara).

This was a prelude to a major breakthrough by Miguel Molina, who scorched around under the 1'29 mark, stopping the clocks with a 1m28.933s.

Warmer weather in the afternoon contributed to fewer changes in the standings. Without reaching the heights of his morning's performance, Molina confirmed his strong form by posting the fastest lap of the session.

"The new aerodynamic set-up is very interesting indeed," said Molina. "There is less downforce in the bends and the car is faster in the quick sections. I really like this single-seater. It is genuinely like an F1 car!"

Draco took the decision to pack up and miss the afternoon session, having deemed themselves satisfied with the progress made in the morning. Marco Barba and Bertrand Baguette had completed 35 and 30 laps respectively.

Another contender, Briton James Walker, was also absent from the afternoon; conserving energy and, crucially, tyres ahead of the next collective test at Valencia on March 14th and 15th.

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