Soucek fastest in FP2
Andy Soucek celebrated his recent announcement as driver of the Turkey – Galatasaray car by topping the timesheets in Friday’s second Free Practice session at the 2011 Superleague Formula Nations Cup season-opener at Assen.
The 25-year-old Spaniard, a front runner in the series last season, was only 11th quickest in the first session, but lowered his morning’s best time by 2.3 seconds in the afternoon – a 1:25.471 proving to be the benchmark time.
Robert Doornbos (Netherlands) continued his strong start to his home event with the second best lap, just one tenth slower than Soucek, while Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands – PSV Eindhoven) completed the top three having topped the morning’s times.
John Martin (Australia) was fourth ahead of Alan Docking Racing team-mate Craig Dolby (England), although, on old tires, both were more than one second adrift of the quickest trio.
Frédéric Vervisch (Luxembourg), Tristan Gommendy (France – Girondins de Bordeaux), Neel Jani (Belgium – RSC Anderlecht), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Filip Salaquarda (Czech Republic – Sparta Prague) completed the top ten, although none were able to improve their best times from FP1.
Ho-Pin Tung (China) was able to lower his previous best effort, but was still only 12th behind Antonio Pizzonia (Brazil) and ahead of Maria de Villota (Spain – Atletico Madrid). Duncan Tappy (Japan) again didn’t take part in the session as his team prepares his car for qualifying on Saturday.
Andy Soucek (Turkey – Galatasaray): “That was a good session, definitely a lot better than the first one! It was difficult in FP1 because the car hasn’t run since November, but we worked hard afterwards, analyzed all the data and put some new tires on for one lap to see how the car would behave tomorrow. The Netherlands car did the same and we’re one tenth quicker so I’m hoping for a good performance in qualifying. A big thank you to the team who worked until 6:30am to get the car ready and only slept for one hour! Hopefully they can finish early today and get some sleep!”
Robert Doornbos (Netherlands): “First I’d like to thank the organizers for inviting me back into the series. This is my home race and I have been looking forward to it because Assen is a great venue. It’s a long time since I have driven a proper race car so it’s good to be on the pace straight away. Also a thank you to Anthony Reid, the team and my sponsors and we’re now looking forward to a good performance on Sunday.”
John Martin (Australia): “So far, so good. Having not raced since Navarra last year, the first session was about getting ready and working on everything. The car seems quick on old tires so it’s looking really good for the race. We didn’t use new tires today because we were focusing on race set-up. My best lap was the penultimate one so that is a positive sign for Sunday. We’ll see how qualifying goes tomorrow now.”