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A couple of instructive days’ work for DAMS

08.02.2011 After kicking off the season with two days’ very productive testing last week, the DAMS team continued fine-tuning its cars on the Abu Dhabi circuit on Sunday and Monday learning a lot in the process. The French squad was faced with a heavy workload in the additional two- day pre-season GP2 Asia Series test. On Sunday, the team ran through a series of setups on the car, as well as numerous pit stop rehearsals. The next day was devoted to racking up the kilometers and assessing tyre behavior. In such conditions, the times on the first day were of little significance. Romain Grosjean, the quickest man last week, was out to confirm his excellent performance, and was on the pace on used tyres. Towards the end of the session, just after he shod a set of new rubber, he was the unfortunate victim of a collision and was unable to improve his time. The team’s rookie, Pal Varhaug, showed just how well he’s adapting to GP2 with a series of runs on used tyres at a cracking pace. He pursued his apprenticeship, in particular learning the difficult art of putting together his best sector times over a single lap. Loïc David, General Manager: “We’ve collected a lot of interesting data over the last two days; we’ve run through the setup options from A to Z, and we’ve also had a good pit stop rehearsal session. It’s a pity we weren’t able to highlight our car’s potential with a good time. With only two sets of new tyres per day, and such a tightly-bunched hierarchy (one-and-a-half seconds covered the first 23 cars!), the slightest glitch dropped you right back down the time sheets. But we’re still feeling 100% confident before the first round.” Romain Grosjean: Sunday: 1m 37.076s (P 12) Monday: 1m 37.219s (P 20) “Another two days’ work and analysis. I’m a bit disappointed not to have been able to confirm that with a good time, but I know we’re working in the right direction to make the car quick. I don’t really understand what happened between Davide Valsecchi and me. We collided and the car was damaged putting a premature end to my session. It’s a pity, but I’m sure that we’ll draw positive conclusions from our sessions, and be ready for the first Asian GP2 event.” Pal Varhaug: Sunday: 1m 37.734s (P 21) Monday: 1m 37.311s (P21) “I’m feeling more and more at home in the car and that’s very positive. On old tyres I was able to string together a good series of laps. But I’ve still got to learn how to get the best out of new rubber to combine my best sector times in a single lap. It’ll all come together very soon!” Next rendez-vous: First Asian GP2 race on 11th/12th February.
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