Adrian Quaife-Hobbs continued an intensive test programme in preparation for his assault on the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and North European Cup, posting the second quickest time at Le Mans this week. The French test comes on the back of two days in Barcelona last week where the Sackville school pupil kicked off the programme which will see him on track for nine successive weeks.

The 18 year-old from Tonbridge contested his first season in Formula Renault last year, undoubtedly the most competitive single-seater series in Europe, and was immediately on the pace. The BRDC Rising Star took victory and several podium finishes during the season, going on to finish fourth in the Italia Cup and now joins reigning champions Motopark Academy for 2009.

Last weeks test in Spain was primarily a settling-in session in which the Kent youngster was acclimatising to the car, his first run of 2009. This week’s opening session at Le Mans was held on a wet track with Adrian in one of three groups. In each session, he was consistently in the top four and finished the day eighth overall from 30 runners.

“The Barcelona test was pretty much just a roll-out test as I’d been out of the car for a while. It was more a case of getting back into a good rhythm and re-establishing a good feel for the car ready for this weeks test. On the opening day at Le Mans it was wet and the times were pretty much dependent on which group you were in and the weather conditions at that time. However despite that I was happy to be consistently in the top four in each session and winding up eighth overall.”

On the second day the conditions improved and Adrian and Albert Costa spent much of the day trading places for the top spot, Adrian improving his times throughout the day to finish just a tenth shy of the fastest time. “Day two was dry and a far better indication of a driver’s performance. Right from the start myself and Costa were trading places but overall I’d say he was the quicker early on. We tried a few different set-ups throughout the day and I gradually improved and at the end was only a tenth away from Costa so I’m very happy.”

With the schedule now confirmed for both championships, the early part of the year will see the teenager undergo a hectic opening two months which continues with testing for the North European Cup at Spa-Francorchamps on Monday and the Nürburgring on Wednesday and Thursday.

Adrian will kick off his 2009 racing campaign with the opening rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup which takes place at Zandvoort on April 13 with the Eurocup opening rounds getting underway a week later in Barcelona.