Renault bounces back as Magnussen racks up the laps in Barcelona

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Renault continued to bounce back from a difficult start to the first Formula 1 test of 2016 in Barcelona on Thursday as Kevin Magnussen logged over 150 laps in the R.S.16 car.

Jolyon Palmer endured a tough two days of running earlier in the week as he was limited to just 79 laps in total before handing the car over to Magnussen.

The Dane was more fortunate though, completing more than 260 laps in total over two days despite suffering a few minor setbacks.

Magnussen admitted that it felt good to be back behind the wheel of an F1 car after almost a year without driving one, and feels that he is already gelling with the Renault team.

“I certainly have had a workout over the last couple of days with over 260 laps completed!” Magnussen said.

“It feels so good to be back in an F1 car and working through the programme and making strong progress. Our race simulation went well and I’m really gelling with the team.

“It’s a real pleasure to be driving here and I can’t wait to get back in the car on Tuesday.”

Renault racing director Frederic Vasseur was pleased with what the team had accomplished in its first F1 test since buying out Lotus over the winter.

“This has been a productive first test for us,” Vasseur said.

“The initial R.S.16 planning meetings took place at the end of September last year so it’s clear that everyone at Enstone and Viry-Châtillon has made a tremendous effort to produce it and facilitate the performance we’ve seen today and this week.

“Jolyon and Kevin have demonstrated themselves to be an accomplished and hungry pair of drivers. With the mileage accumulated over the last two days we have a good baseline.

“We have a lot of work yet to do, but it’s a solid start to the season.”

Pre-season testing resumes on Tuesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III