21-year-old American Juan Manuel Correa carried out his final preseason test at the Montmeló Circuit in Barcelona Wednesday and Thursday this past week and was comfortably in the top-ten on the results sheet by the end Thursday’s morning session. With the first event taking place at the same facility alongside the Formula One World Championship May 7-9, the ART GP and Step One Automotive Group branded driver completed 81 laps of testing on Wednesday and followed that up with an additional half day on Thursday.
The morning of the first day of testing was in the wet as Correa was able to get comfortable on the slick surface should similar conditions present themselves during the race weekend.
“It has been interesting to drive in the rain and in poor grip conditions,” explained Juan Manuel. “The car has given me a very good feeling. It is predictable, fun and I really liked the way it handled. My two teammates and I were very close on times which is very promising for the entire program.”
For the afternoon the track was dry and the FIA F3 competitors were able to test in full dry conditions and the day wrapped up very promising for Correa.
Correa continued, “The afternoon session went well and with every passing lap I was able to feel more comfortable in the car. I have to improve consistency and put everything together on the same lap and with that there will be a significant improvement. I am excited and happy that the first races are here in Barcelona, close to home, on a circuit that I really like, but we are going little by little and we will see my improvement.”
“Overall, it was a very promising series test. Yesterday we focused on qualifying simulations with low fuel, new tires, and ultimate pace. It was decent, but we have a little work that we need to do from my side. This morning we did three more qualifying simulations, and there was a clear step forward from my side and I was very happy about that. The pace was actually good, and I was in the top-ten. Everyone was on the same program, so it was quite good. The pace in our last simulation was good and what we will be shooting for in a few week’s time,” added Correa. “Sadly, at the end of the morning session today when we were starting the first race sim my car caught on fire as a short ruined the wiring loom. Fortunately the damage was repairable and the crew got right to work and changed the loom and a bunch of other parts. It took four hours to make the changes, so I was only able to get one long run in the afternoon compared to my teammates and most other drivers that did three or four simulations. Not ideal, but at least it was good to get one race run in before the event as the burn damage was quite extensive, so I was surprised to even get what I did.”
Correa continued, “So overall I am happy how it went and as I said before, there has been a clear step forward compared to my last test at the Red Bull Ring. There is still room for improvement from my side and I am not expecting to close the gaps by the first race weekend but if we can consistently improve, we will get there. That is the best we can hope for and I am excited for the first race. I think the team is in a good place, we know what is needed from the car and the changes that we need to do for the race weekend.”
The FIA F3 Championship will kick off May 7-9 at Montmeló Circuit in Barcelona.
JM Correa would like to thank all his marketing partners for their continued support including Step One Automotive Group, NOE Sushi Bar and Bell Helmets.
For more information on Step One Automotive Group please visit them online at www.StepOneAutomotiveGroup.com. For more information at Juan Manuel Correa, please visit him online at www.JMCorrea.com or visit him on any of his social media channels.
Raffaella Fant – Sponsor Representative – rfant@StepOneAuto.com
Mike Maurini – Media Manager – Mike@RTD-Media.com
Photos: Joan Codina – fotoformulak.com