CVD shows splendid form during Formula 3 test at Vallelunga!06-12-06
Less than a week after the successful Signature-Plus test at Magny-Cours Carlo van Dam put the Prema Power Team Formula 3 car through its paces on the Italian Vallelunga circuit. The Dutchman had to sit out the morning session because of thick fog but in the afternoon Van Dam managed to improve his times continuously and ended the day as the fastest driver out on the track. For the moment this was the last Formula 3 test for Van Dam. In the coming weeks Van Dam and the people of S-T-A-R-T will continue to work hard on getting the sporting and financial details right and try to get a seat in the 2007 Formula 3 Euroseries.
Today’s Prema Power Team test was not the first one Carlo did for them. On October 4 the driver from Vlaardingen, Holland drove his first laps in a Prema Formula 3 car on the Italian circuit of Magione and last month he tested with the team at Hockenheim (Germany). Because of the persistent fog around the track Van Dam only managed to do some laps around lunch time to get used to the track. The circumstances were far from ideal. The track was very dusty and did not have a lot of grip to set a fast time. Despite the fact that Van Dam was troubled several times by some slower Formula Renault 2.0 drivers, who tested at the track at the same time, he set a decent time on used tyres. After an installation lap Van Dam upped the pace and drove around 60 laps on the 4.085m long twisty track. Using worn tyres he clocked a fastest lap time of 1:30.5, beating his Italian team-mate Alessandro Ciompi.
Not only was Van Dam given the instruction to set fast lap times at Vallelunga, he was also testing the suspension and new dampers of the Formula 3 car. After a successful test with these parts Van Dam tried to improve his lap times at the end of the afternoon, with new Kumho tyres mounted on his car. Unfortunately his attempts were hampered by two red flags, which meant he had to put with the 1:30.5 he set earlier in the day. Nevertheless the 20-year old driver was the fastest of the day, just like it was at Magny-Cours.
CARLO VAN DAM: “I had a great day of testing. Unfortunately we lost a lot of valuable track time because of the persistent fog around the track. The team had put together a full schedule for me which I had to work through in record pace, because I only had 4 hours of effective track time. Taking the track conditions into consideration I managed to set a reasonable fast time. I could have gone below the 1:30.0 easily though, but the red flags that came out twice forced me to abort my runs. I really like the Vallelunga track because it has some extremely challenging corners! Once again I would like to thank the Prema Power Team for giving me this testing opportunity, because I learn a lot in these sessions. I think that Formula 3 is, at this point, the best option to get further in my career. After my Formula Renault 2.0 successes in recent years a switch to this series is a logic choice. Many drivers that ended up in Formula 1 have gotten there via this route. The next couple of months will be about financial and sporting matters and we hope to have things clear as soon as possible. We are really going for it!”