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pic 07/03/13 Racing Engineering complete pre-season testing at Barcelona and is ready for the start of the 2013 GP2 season.

The final pre-season testing before the start of the 2013 GP2 Series began on Tuesday...
The final pre-season testing before the start of the 2013 GP2 Series began on Tuesday with the Circuit de Catalunya beset with heavy rain and strong winds. Most of the teams opted to wait until the weather improved before setting any lap times and, not surprisingly given the conditions, once the cars took to the track the session was interrupted by several red flags. Both of the Racing Engineering drivers managed over 20 laps each as they set up their cars for the wet conditions and Fabio Leimer finished the session in 4th with a fastest lap of 1:52.316s, his teammate Julián Leal finishing right behind him in 5th with a best time of 1:52.334s.

The weather had improved for the afternoon session, although the track was still damp at the start, but lap times soon began to fall as the track dried out. Fabio was once again amongst the fastest runners finishing 6th after setting a time of 1:30.335s after 16 laps. Julián was just over a second slower as he continued to set up the car to his liking, finishing with a time over 1:31.520s.

The weather for both of the Wednesday sessions proved to be equally uninviting with more rain and low temperatures. Once again wet weather tyres were required and Fabio and Julián both completing 26 laps in a morning session delayed by two red flags. Fabio’s best time was 1:52.594s with Julián less than half a second slower on 1:52.946s.

The afternoon session saw Julián right on the pace setting a best lap of 1:53.524s after 37 laps to be 8th quickest, less than 0.8 seconds behind the fastest lap. Fabio completed 22 laps for the 11th fastest time on 1:53.920s. Once again three red flags disrupted the session.
The weather finally improved for the final day of testing with the teams being greeted with blue skies although the track was still damp meaning that wet weather tyres were needed for the first half of the session. With both Fabio and Julián concentrating on setting their cars up for the dry conditions neither driver went for a quick time and Fabio finished the session with a best lap of 1:30.244s with Julián less than a second slower on 1:31.220s.

The work done by the Racing Engineering team in the morning meant that both drivers were able to improve their times considerably in the afternoon and Fabio was amongst the fastest cars on the track, finally setting a best lap of 1:29.862s for the 4th fastest time of the session while Julián was once again very close to his teammate with a lap of 1:30.601s for 14th place on the timing list.

The Racing Engineering team will now be returning to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base to prepare for the first round of the 2013 GP2 Series to be held on the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia from the 22nd to the 24th of March.

Team Comments:

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “We had a difficult three day test here at Barcelona with the weather greatly affecting out testing program, reducing the time to test different solutions. The tyres were once more the centre of attention during the test, and we discovered some quite interesting things. We performed well with both compounds and will now finish the preparations for the first race in Sepang.”

Fabio Leimer:  “Generally this test was very useful as we had two days in the wet and in the end one day with a dry track, because of this we were able to work on our dry and wet set up. We were also able to obtain more information on the tyres. Generally we gathered a lot of information during these three days and we have to analyse it now, but I am quite confident about the season opener in Malaysia.”

Julián Leal: “We had a lot of rain during the first two days here in Barcelona and were able to test a lot of things on the car. We did a good job and found a fast car for the rain, where we finished almost all the sessions in the top 10. We suffered a bit more in the dry, but continually improved and made several steps forward. With restricted running time in the dry we were not able to try everything we wanted, but my engineer understands me and my driving style really well now, so I think we will be do a good job from the first race on.”
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