The 3-day end of season test at the Motorland circuit, Aragon (20-22/11/2013), brought the curtain down on what has been a tough and eventful season for Comtec Racing. The morning of the first day was allocated to a rookie test where Jake Dennis of Great Britain (previously 4th in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup) and Dennis Oslen of Norway (previously 3rd in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC) made the step up to test the Formula Renault 3.5 car with Comtec.
The end of the three and a half hour test session saw Dennis Olsen finish in 19th place overall (9th fastest rookie) with a time of 01.42.380, while Jake Dennis finished an impressive 8th (4th fastest rookie) posting a time of 01.41.342, 1 second off Raffaele Marciello of Strakka Racing, who finished on top spot.
The second and third test days saw Liam Venter and Nico Muller (a former Monaco race winner with Draco) join Comtec for the final test sessions of the season. An impressive start for Nico meant he ended the morning of the second day in 5th, 7 tenths off Marciello, whilst Liam was unfortunately involved in an incident that saw himself (and the car) out of action for the remainder of the event.
That afternoon Muller posted his quickest time of the meeting, a 01.40.228, placing him 11th overall, again 1.25 seconds of pole man Marciello who also posted his quickest time, a 01.38.976. The third and final day saw Nico finish 12th and 15th in the morning and afternoon sessions respectively and thus completing what had been a very productive test event for Comtec Racing.
We are now looking forward to the Christmas break and of course the up coming 2014 season.
The post season two-day test at Jerez (27-28/11/2013) saw Liam Venter of the European F3 Championship jump into an Auto GP car for the very first time, pairing up with the Comtec by Virtuosi Team.
Going up against established Auto GP drivers such as Tamas Pal Kiss and Meindert Van Buuren, Venter settled in quickly on his first days testing, ending the afternoon session in 9th place. Building upon this experience the South African then posted his quickest time of the meeting in the morning of the second day, with a time of 01:32.036 (1.9 seconds of Pal Kiss) putting him in 6th position come the end of the session, eventually going on to finish 8th in the afternoons testing.
Former Comtec Racing drivers Nick Yelloly and Stefano Coletti rejoined their former Formula Renault 3.5 team for the two-day post season test at the Circuit De Catalunya, Barcelona (22-23/10/2013). With Nick currently lying 7th in the GP3 Championship and Stefano 4th in the GP2 Championship, both drivers were quick to find their feet again within a world series car, with Nick ending the first days testing 11th quickest overall with a time of 01:30.623, 1 second off Carlos Sainz in top spot and Stefano P13 with a time of 01:30.898 (using only old tyres).
Day 2 brought about slower lap times from the entire field in comparison to that of the first day, with Coletti again setting his quickest time in the morning session ending the day P13 (01:31.386), 1.1 seconds of Marlon Stockingers quickest lap time whilst Yelloly finished position 15, setting a 01:31.549 lap time in the afternoon session.
Comtec Racings next outing is at the Motorland circuit, Aragon, for a three-day post season test running from the 20th-22nd of November 2013.
After a tough 2013 season, SMP Racing by Comtec were looking to finish the year at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, for the 9th and final round of the Formula Renault 3.5 championship on a high note. Unfortunately qualifying 1 did not provide the result the team was looking for, with Daniil Move placed in 21st and Lucas Foresti in 22nd position for the start of Race 1. However a first lap incident (in race 1) involving Marco Sorenson of Lotus and Norman Nato of DAMS meant that Daniil immediately moved up to 9th with Lucas up into 14th place. The subsequent impressive race pace from both drivers saw Daniil finish in 8th place picking up 4 championship points and Lucas being overtaken by Oliver Webb of Fortec Motorsport on the last lap to deny him 10th and the possibility of his first point of the season.
A fog interrupted qualifying 2 session the following morning provided mixed fortunes, with Daniil Move qualifying in 23rd and Lucas in 14th place, with a time of 1:32.372, 8 tenths off Kevin Magnussen who was on pole for Race 2. An electrical fault 12 laps into race 2 however meant that Daniils final race of his 2013 campaign came to a premature end (finishing 22nd overall in the drivers championship), whilst Lucas crossed the line in 15th.
At a very cold Brno Circuit in the south eastern quarter of Czech Republic, where air temperatures failed to exceed 8 degrees, Roberto La Rocca in the Comtec by Virtuosi car finished the second free practice session in 14th place with a time of 1:46.568, 2.9 seconds off Narain Karthikeyan of Super Nova in top spot. Qualifying that afternoon saw La Rocca improve his best free practice lap time by 1.6 seconds finishing in 11th place, with Vittorio Ghirelli (again of Super Nova) taking his second pole position of the year with a time of 1:42.833, picking up an additional championship point in a bid to clinch the title in his inaugural season.
An impressive effort from La Rocca throughout Race 1 meant he gained 3 places finishing in 8th position, picking up 4 championship points and obtaining the reverse grid pole spot for race 2. The following day saw Comtec by Virtuosi finish 7th in the final race of the year, picking up an additional 4 championship points, ending with a season points tally of 20 (from the last 3 races of the calendar), finishing 16th out of 24 competitors overall. Despite the fact that Kimiya Sato took the victory in race 2, this wasn’t enough to deny Vittorio Ghirelli clinching the Auto GP title (who finished the race in 3rd), ending the season with a total points tally of 222 from Sato in second place with 213.
Round 8 of the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship at Paul Ricard began well for SMP Racing by Comtec with Daniil Move and Lucas Foresti finishing the second free practice session in 11th and 12th place respectively. Carrying this momentum into qualifying 1, Lucas managed an 11th place grid position for race 1 with Daniil in 14th, however an unfortunate spin on the opening lap of race 1 from Foresti meant he was unable to capitilize on his 3rd highest grid position of the year. In contrast, Daniil Move showed impressive race pace to cross the line in 9th picking up 2 championship points.
Qualifying 2 and race 2 on the Sunday unfortunately faired less well for the team, with Lucas crossing the chequered flag in race 2 as he qualified – in 17th position, with Daniil gaining one place in the pitstop race finishing in 21st.
The team is now looking forward to the final round of the season at the Circuit De Catalunya, Barcelona, on the 19th and 20th of October.