Ocean Racing Technology continued its pre season program at the Barcelona circuit in Spain this week ahead of their debut season in the GP2 Main Series. The Portuguese team was constantly on the pace and recorded the best time of the day in three of the six half day sessions. Álvaro Parente and Karun Chandhok progressed in two areas, being qualifying and race pace and Parente is pleased with the way the team is working.
"These three days have been productive and very satisfying for me. The car is much better than it was during the last test and I feel confident. The car is really fast in qualifying trim and its behavior is consistent and reliable in regard to race set-up. I feel at home with the team and now I'm looking forward to returning to Barcelona for the season opener," Parente said.
Karun Chandhok also confirmed the progress of the Portuguese team's single seater. The Indian driver covered a great number of kilometers as well as collecting lot of data that will prove crucial in the upcoming championship. Karun recorded the sixth best time on Tuesday, however he was well on his way to the best overall time of the day before a red flag and traffic slowed down his dash.
"No question, the car is better than it was on the Paul Ricard track a week ago. It is proof that we are going in the right direction and that the team is handling all the new parameters perfectly. I did four race simulations without any problems, which shows we are very good reliability-wise. We also made some nice improvements in the qualifying area. We have to keep up the good work because certain things could be better, but we have left Barcelona with a good reason to think we should be competitive this season," Karun guaranteed.
As for team manager of Ocean Racing Technology, the past three days of testing prior to the start of the championship have made it possible for the team to gain in confidence and competitiveness. However, Dave Ward also underlined that the team should not rest on their laurels. "We are making some important progress and the results are positive and have given motivation to the team. I think we will be able to reach a satisfying level for the first half of the season but we must not forget we are a new team and the GP2 Main Series is an extremely competitive championship. One thing is certain, no one wants to be at the bottom of the time sheets and things are close. It is a championship where the competition is fierce but we want to show what we are made of."
The two directors of the team, Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes, have revealed that they too are very satisfied after closely following their team's work. Tiago has underlined the fact that although a beginner in the championship, Ocean Racing Technology is beginning to benefit from their individual experiences. "The team gets better every day. It is a difficult job that only great professionals such as the ones we have hired could handle and reach such a high level in only a few weeks. We know that race weekends are a different story to test sessions and it's only after the first race in Barcelona that we will know where we are. But we already know which way to go and we will give our best efforts."
The first races of the GP2 Main Series will take place on May 9 on the circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona Spain. Meanwhile, Ocean Racing Technology will have to concentrate on the final two rounds of the GP2 Asia Series, in Malaysia (April 4) and the Kingdom of Bahrain (25 and April 26).
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