James Walker continued his impressive pre-season form by emerging fastest in the morning session at Valencia's Formula Renault 3.5 test for the second day running
The P1 Motorsport driver's 1m22.023s edged out Spaniard Miguel Molina by a tenth of a second. Molina's compatriot Adrian Valles was third fastest for Epsilon Euskadi.
"We used just one set of tyres," said Walker, "so it is pleasing to see others chucking new rubber on and being unable to match the time. I think that a 1m21.8s was achievable, as I was held up a little on my best lap.
"We will be working on our race set-up in the afternoon, although I am not too sure how much running we are likely to do. The long radius corners here and Mickey Mouse stuff does have relevance to a few corners at Barcelona [location of the next test], so we will work on that."
Walker, who remains the only confirmed driver with 2008 champion P1 Motorsport, recorded his time within an hour of the session starting. With just three sets of new tyres per two-day test provided as part of cost saving measures introduced for this season, there were few changes in the classification as the three and a half hour test drew to a close.
Bertrand Baguette slipped to an eventual fourth with Draco, having briefly held the fastest time overall. The Belgian, now decked out in Force India style overalls thanks to his team's association with Vijay Mallya's Formula 1 squad, said Draco was broadening its understanding of the revised 2009 aero kit.
"I find that the car is quite different to last year," said Baguette. "We're trying to get the correct balance in high speed corners, like Turn 1, which will be useful to the race in Barcelona. This circuit is a bit special, though, being anti-clockwise. I managed four laps at 1m22.2s, trying out some different lines into corners, so I hope now that we have a finger towards the right set-up."
Brake trouble restricted his Draco team-mate Marco Barba from improving on his eighth position.
Britons Oliver Turvey and Greg Mansell briefly topped the timesheets as the session got under way. British Formula 3 runner-up Turvey set the initial running with a 1m22.972s, before Greg Mansell fitted new tyres at the half hour mark to move ahead. Turvey concluded the session in seventh position, two spots higher than Mansell.
"Second fastest overall yesterday was good," said Turvey, "but I have just had traffic on my new tyres. They are quite peaky compared to what I have been used to in British F3."
Tech 1 Racing's Frankie Provenzano did not take to the track. The Italian, who is not confirmed in a race seat with the Toulouse team, had ended Saturday at the bottom of the classification. Tech 1 and Renault Sport engine experts Solution F were examining whether or not an engine problem may have contributed to the disappointing performance.
Morning session times:
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. James Walker P1 1:22.023 22 2. Miguel Molina USR 1:22.170 61 3. Adrian Valles Epsilon 1:22.197 27 4. Bertrand Baguette Draco 1:22.216 31 5. Charles Pic Tech 1 1:22.264 33 6. Marcos Martinez Pons 1:22.305 34 7. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1:22.331 42 8. Marco Barba Draco 1:22.435 21 9. Greg Mansell USR 1:22.514 59 10. Jaime Alguersuari Carlin 1:22.522 38 11. Tobias Hegewald Interwetten 1:22.701 23 12. Chris van der Drift Epsilon 1:22.863 31 13. Sten Pentus Fortec 1:22.928 35 14. Fairuz Fauzy Fortec 1:23.036 53 15. Edoardo Piscopo Prema 1:23.172 38 16. Federico Leo Pons 1:23.183 28 17. Anton Nebilitskiy Comtec 1:23.303 44 18. Alexandre Marsoin Comtec 1:23.453 38 19. Julian Leal Prema 1:23.549 68
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