TEAM NEWS: Hitech Racing continued its superb pre-season testing pace with both Austrian Walter Grubmüller and Max Chilton briefly holding the top spot during today’s second day at Snetterton. Yesterday Reigate-based Max led for most of the session until the closing minutes before dropping to third when the others switched to new tyres, just ahead of 19 year-old Grubmüller.
Today after posting the fourth and sixth quickest times in the morning session, the teams took to the track for the second three-hour session, Walter winding up fifth quickest just ahead of Max. The reigning British Formula 3 champions, who dominated last season winning 11 of the 22 rounds, also had Briton Jonathan Kennard continue his development work in the third car who was replaced by Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez in the afternoon.
Grubmüller’s impressive pace as he embarks on only his second full season in motor racing and that of his 16 year-old team-mate Max, also in his second year, is a continuation of last week’s superb performance at Pembrey. Now though, with the season just three weeks away, signs are that the Buckingham-based team will start the season as a leading contender to retain the coveted crown.
For the David Hayle-led team, next week sees a return to their home circuit of Silverstone as the series undergoes its official launch and will mark the first time the team will have run its new Dallara F308 Mercedes HWAs at its home circuit.
With a fantastic team effort putting both confirmed 2008 drivers comfortably at the sharp end of the time sheets once again, Hayle is relishing a return to the Northamptonshire circuit.
“We’ve had another two fantastic days with Walter and Max and I’m absolutely delighted that once again they’ve been running up at the front for most of the time, both quickest overall at one point”, said David. “For them that’s a huge confidence boost and for the team and everyone else it’s an indication of their true potential.
“Both Jonathan and Rodolfo drove a good few laps and were able to give us some more valuable feedback and now we head home to Silverstone for our next session on Thursday looking for another good performance.”
Walter Grubmüller: “We’ve had another couple of good days and I’m very happy with how things are going. We’ve had no problems, a pretty solid couple of days and worked on the set-up since Pembrey which has definitely improved the car. I still think there’s more time to come though and I’m looking forward to getting to what is effectively my home circuit where I expect to be on the pace.”
Max Chilton: “It was a good test, I think we’ve learnt a lot over the last two days and I’m very happy to be running at the front again. One thing I’ve really learnt about working with Hitech is that it’s not all down to the car set-up; a lot has to come from the driver too, like learning how to keep your exit speeds up. My pace at Pembrey was a bit of a surprise but I’d expected to go well at Snetterton as I’d done most of my testing there so I’m looking forward to Silverstone International as it’s another track I know well.”