The 2016 running of the famous Montpellier GP kicked off with beautiful winter sunshine. The south of France is of course known for its mild winter climate (and perhaps better known for yachts, playboys, fast cars and faster women 😉 ) and this day will be the perfect example of a bit of that stunning Arizona-esque sunshine that sets Montpellier apart.
As usual the club and its president, Franck Caizergues & his team did a fantastic job and prepared a nice track. The track layout has been modified, but not excessively enough to give the illusion that the drivers know the track well which is not really the case.
Many drivers are present for this typical outdoor ‘season-opener’ and amongst them a good bet for the European elite this year – Elliott Boots, the winner of last year, Robert Batlle still fast in Montpellier, Darren Bloomfield, & “Italian gang” with young and supremely faste drivers like Riccardo Berton, Alex Zanchettin, Marco Baruffolo & Davide Ongaro etc … and the french pilots with one that attracts a little more attention as it’s his debut since signing with TLR; Reno Savoya.
With Friday practice 2 drivers fairly clearly distinguished from the others: Robert Batlle and Reno Savoya. But it must still provide some clarification and explanations. Batlle was always fast in Montpellier and although his speed is exceptional enough is not a real surprise.
The performance of Savoya is more interesting since much of his equipment is new to him – a new car and Spektrum radio and no doubt after the acrimonious split, he’ll be wanting to exorcise some demons and ‘show them what they’re missing…’
To put the odds on his side Savoya spent two days at Padova this week getting to grips with the new car and obviously this practice has proved beneficial. He’s going fast and also seems to have still room for improvement. But practice is what it is… Tomorrow, qualifying will likely throw up another story and changing weather conditions could completely revitalize early predictions.