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MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
Sepang International Circuit. 26 March 2019
February 24, 2019

 

The WTF1 GPVWC Superleague crowd moved onto China for the second pre-season test of four and were greeted with something that doesn't strike a chord with most people, rain.
Whilst most people despair at the sight of rain, it does give the teams a chance to test their cars in a condition that doesn't show itself off very often therefore it is critical to get laps done. It gives them a chance to check tyre wear, fuel consumption and set up changes which they would normally not get the opportunity to test in an official session.

What the rain does mean however, that the time sheets were even more topsy turvy than last time out as the rain eased away in the final hours of the test session. And Jarl Teien, the Edge driver who has stepped back into the testing role for this year, mastered the drying conditions to go fastest with a 1.32.809 on the Ultra Soft compound. The fastest driver on the intermediate tyre (out of the 4 to do their fastest lap on the compound) was Tom Parker with a 1.39.787 (12th overall) and the fastest driver to set their best time on the Wets, which was the majority of the drivers, was Stephane Rouault with a 1.42.601 (15th overall). This shows the speed difference between the dries and wets rather well and how wet the track was during the test towards the beginning.

Trying to look into the average lap time of the teams during this session isn't the easiest of jobs, what with the disparity in tyres and weather conditions. However, it is still very possible to check which teams did the 'perfect' run. For this test session, the perfect run accounts to 25 laps of which 23 of those are timed. Last time out, only two teams managed to do this so it will be interesting to see if any teams have decided to go with a perfect run attempt from their drivers in such a tricky test session.

The answer? Once again it was only two teams to complete the run perfectly. However, the two teams are completely different than last time out. The first team to do so were Evolution Motorsports, the German team run by owner/driver Dennis Jordan. The second team were Scuderia Basilea, the Swiss team who are embarking on their first season in the top tier. On the flip side to this, rather than only one team not getting the maximum R&D points for the session as was the case in Mexico, a total of three teams did not meet the required laps needed for maximum points. Madcape again only fielded two drivers therefore retaining a 66% hit rate. The second team, surprisingly, were Green Stripes Racing who managed to actually do the perfect run last week. They did however field all three drivers but Ben Horrill missed out on the lap count by 10 laps. The final team to miss the cut were Storm Racing, who only fielded two drivers, therefore attaining 66% of the R&D points available for this test.

What we can now look at however, is who has completed the least laps over the entire pre season so far, therefore retaining the most money and keeping their finances in check. Of the 12 teams to have gotten 100% R&D points for the pre season thus far, Scuderia Basilea have done the least amount of laps so far. They have an almost 100% record, only missing out on perfection by one lap (172 laps total). There are several teams very close behind however, with Flag-to-Flag and Streetfighter Racing Systems both only two laps behind (174 total) and Evolution one further back from that (175 total). It will be interesting to see which team can keep the momentum going in keeping it perfect for the entire pre-season.

For next week, we move to the Spanish track Circuito de Jerez, a track which is much tighter and twistier than the ones we have visited so far, giving the teams a great opportunity to focus on the aerodynamics of the car and adjust their set ups to suit this. It is also a much better chance of some much wanted sunshine!

I will be back next week with the full lowdown on the test, which will (hopefully!) have a return of the teams average lap time, more in-depth analysis of the best times from the session and an update on who is doing well on lap count.

For a full snapshot of the test session results, please follow the link below:

http://en.gpvwc.com/competitions/results/?comp_id=1&target=1004&sess=T


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