Two BMW teams – ROAL Motorsport and Liqui Moly Team Engstler – spent a few days in Italy, testing at Vallelunga circuit from Monday to Wednesday.
Augusto Farfus took also part in the test, at the wheel of a BMW Motorsport BMW 320 TC car; the Brazilian driver carried on with the technical development of the new 1.6-litre turbo engine built for the WTCC teams and completed 143 laps (nearly 590 km) with no technical problems.
RAVAGLIA: WE ARE QUITE HAPPY WITH THE NEW CAR
Roberto Ravaglia’s ROAL Motorsport tested at Vallelunga on Tuesday and Wednesday with a BMW 320 TC driven by Tom Coronel.
After solving a few electrical issues that prevent them from hitting the track on Tuesday morning, the Italian outfit.
"We are quite happy with this test that was the first one with the new car and the new driver. Therefore our priority was to establish a good understanding between Tom and the team. So far the car is going well. Compared to the 320si with the 2-litre aspirated engine, the 320 TC is a little bit more complicated to run, especially in terms of the engine itself and engine management. Though I must say that BMW Motorsport is providing a great technical support for the engine development, so we can focus on the right set up for the first races in Curitiba," team principal Roberto Ravaglia said and then added.
"I think that Coronel was the best choice we could make. I know him since his maiden touring car race, back in 1991 or 1992, when we shared a BMW M3 in Pergusa. I like him, because he is a professional and very fast driver, but at the same time he is also capable of adapting himself to the team, rather than asking the team to adapt to his wishes."
The ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC of Tom Coronel during the Italian test
CORONEL: I WILL BE FIGHTING FOR PODIUM RESULTS
At Vallelunga Tom Coronel had his first proper test with ROAL Motorsport and the new BMW 320 TC car.
"I was impressed by the team. They are very professional and focusing on my car only. And furthermore, as a former driver, Roberto Ravaglia understands motor racing. And I really can feel this. The test went well and the engine ran fine, so we were able to concentrate on the car’s set up. Because you need to change it a lot," the Dutchman said, and then added.
"It’s a drastic change in the driving style, especially because in the last six years I raced front-wheel drive cars. When the turbo kicks in you suddenly have a lot more power and find yourself drifting out of the corners. This is not good for the tyres, so we have to find a set up that is conservative with them. You have to work on lower revs and listen carefully to the engine; on the other hand you can brake into the corners and be more aggressive with the throttle. This test made me very optimist for the season. I am confident that with the combination we have I will be fighting for podium results."
THREE DRIVERS FOR LIQUI MOLY TEAM ENGSTLER
The Liqui Moly Team Engstler ran two cars in Vallelunga, from Monday to Wednesday for three drivers: team principal Franz Engstler, Kristian Poulsen and Hong Kong racer Marchy Lee.
"We had a few technical problems on the first day with the power steering. But after we sorted them out everything was working fine. The car is a lot of fun to drive; with the turbo engine you also have a lot of power. I think is going to be good," Poulsen commented.
Engstler echoed: "I like the car. It is nice to drive. However it will take some times to get used to it, because it is important to change the driving style compared to the BMW 320si we were racing until last year. That one required a very smooth driving while the 320 TC needs a more aggressive style."
Marchy Lee listens to Franz Engstler’s advise before taking the wheel