Formula Renault 3.5 World Series

Christian MONTANARI and the Team PREMA obtained their first seasonal victory in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 Championship at the German circuit of Nürburgring. This victory was the fruit of the work in the box and on track. The Vicenza-based Team’s strategy was remarkable as it anticipated the mandatory pit-stop. Outstanding was also Christian who performed twenty-three laps without committing any mistakes. This is a deserved result that partly “pays back” the hard work of the Team in this first half of the season.

The weekend started on Friday with two collective test sessions where from the beginning our drivers were competitive. Unfortunate Greg FRANCHI missed the second session due to a gearbox problem. MONTANARI on the other hand who worked on the cars set up didn’t use new tyres at the end of the session because of the rain that was pouring in the Eifeland region. On Saturday, during the qualifying session that determined the starting grid for Race 1 Christian MONTANARI didn’t manage to do better than the fourth position due to a “FULL YELLOW” condition in the last five minutes. In the other session, Greg FRANCHI had set up problems and concluded the session with the twelfth chronometric time of the group. Both sessions were characterized by damp track conditions because of the rain that had poured previously.

In the first race, Christian’s start was good as he overtook many opponents. When he arrived at the first corner he braked too late which cost him a few positions. During the race he encountered a brake problem that was getting worse progressively and that didn’t allow him to be efficient, finishing in eleventh position. Eighteenth position for Greg FRANCHI. The following morning was held the second qualifying session. Under a pouring rain Christian obtained the third position of his group which made him start the race in fifth position. Greg concluded the session in the eleventh position of his group.

Race 2 started with dry track conditions and a good start from Christian. Our drivers were on two different strategies. MONTANARI who was in fourth position in the first lap entered for his pit stop in the early stages of the race. FRANCHI on the other hand retarded at the maximum his pit stop. Christian, at the end of the mandatory pit stops was the virtual leader of the race. FRANCHI was recovering positions until the points zone when he was penalized with a drive through penalty for positioning beyond the white line on the starting grid. Under the chequered flag Christian obtained the deserved victory that was missing since last year’s Monaco race. This success rewards the Team’s efforts in the first year in this category promoted by RST and RPM. Greg concluded in sixteenth place.

Angelo ROSIN, Team Principal of the Vicenza-based Team: “An enormous success for the Team and driver. Christian performed a race always pushing very hard and never committing mistakes, the team on the other hand was rewarded by a remarkable mandatory pit stop strategy. Now is the time for a deserved break before the race in the beginning of September at Donington. This result must be the stimulus for future events where we want to be protagonists.”

Greg FRANCHI: “An unfortunate weekend. In the second race we were in the point’s zone when I was penalized for my irregular starting position. I’m sorry. The team did a very good work, the car was competitive. We must only obtain what we are capable of.”

Christian MONTANARI: “This was a great race. A success built from the first to the last lap with smartness and determination. Our strategy was excellent. The mechanics were very fast during the tyre change and I could only push very hard. For us this is an important result after a difficult and unlucky start to the season.”