Formula Renault 3.5 World Series

On the Belgian circuit of Spa Francorschamps, as a support to the 24 hours of the FIA GT World Championship, went on track the thirty drivers registered in the 2006 World Series Championship.

Once more the results obtained during the races don’t reflect the real potential. Two free practice sessions on Thursday gave the opportunity to the Team Prema and its drivers, Belgian Greg Franchi and Sammarinese Christian Montanari, to perfection the cars’ set up. Yellow flags in the final minutes of the free practice didn’t allow being among the real protagonists.

Greg finished both sessions in fifteenth place while Christian finished eleventh. The following day, two qualifying sessions were held in order to determine the starting order for both races. In both sessions a set up, that wasn’t the best possible one, compromised both drivers’ performance.

The results were the same for both qualifying sessions with Christian finishing in seventh place of his group and Greg eleventh. A result certainly not positive for both the Team and the drivers. Just before the first race, on Friday afternoon a strong rain started pouring in the Ardennes zone, where the Spa circuit is situated.

The race started with a Safety-car regime for safety reasons and the race direction decided to send in the safety-car many times during the race due to many cars going off track. There were only a total of four real laps without the presence of the safety-car.

In a conditioned race as this one, Christian concluded in seventh place while Greg spun at La Source during the first stages of the race and finished in twentieth position.

Saturday’s race was held in dry track conditions. Christian was fighting for the positions in the points’ zone, when in the straight line before the “bus stop” chicane his right rear tyre exploded forcing him to reenter in the box. When he reentered the race, he had the same pace as the race leaders, demonstrating his potential. Greg finished the race in eighteenth place.

Massimo Lombardi, Technical responsible of the Vicenza-based Team: “I believe that this was the worst weekend since PREMA registered in the World Series Championship. We have to deeply analyze everything during these few remaining before the Nurburgring meeting in order to return as protagonists from next weekend’s German meeting and on.”