World Series Formula Renault 3.5- Saulnier Racing hand over to Tech 1 Racing

07.03.2006: World Series Formula Renault 3.5- Saulnier Racing hand over to Tech 1 Racing

One final change has been confirmed to the starting line-up of the 2006 World Series Formula Renault 3.5: Tech 1 Racing will take the place left vacant by Saulnier Racing. Although it will remain involved in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy, the team close to Simon Abadie's heart is therefore taking on a new challenge. Belgian Jérôme d'Ambrosio is the first confirmed driver of the Toulouse-based team.

Founded at the start of 2000 by Simon Abadie and his sister Sarah, the Tech 1 Racing team has been a loyal supporter of Renault Sport championships. Initially involved in the French Formula Renault 2.0 championship, the Toulouse outfit switched to the Eurocup Mégane Trophy last year. The switch brought immediate success, as the driver-manager won in Monza, whilst young driver Matthieu Lahaye finished as runner-up in the Junior championship!

Tech 1 Racing will continue to participate in 2006 with three Mégane Trophy cars. But the Toulouse workshops have also been busy working on two Formula Renault 3.5 cars over the last few days. «We started to discuss matters with Serge Saulnier at the end of last year and the project really came together about a month ago. I quickly sensed that it was a great opportunity for us», explained Simon. «When we first created the team, our ambition was to step up to an international championship. This is going to be a big challenge, but I felt it was critical for the future of the team. Our profile is going to be significantly raised by taking part in the World Series by Renault flagship category. We have had to restructure accordingly, particularly by taking on additional, experienced personnel and two talented drivers!»

Fourth in last year's Italian Formula Renault 2.0 championship, Belgian driver Jérôme d'Ambrosio moves up to the World Series with Tech 1 Racing. His team mate will be announced in the following days. In Mégane Trophy, Tech 1's line-up features Matthieu Lahaye, Pierre Hirschi and a third driver (TBA).

Saulnier Racing switches its focus to new horizons with a programme that will include the Le Mans Series. «I have been interested in taking part in an Endurance racing programme for some time and our plans came together over the winter. We did not however have the required resources to take part in the World Series programme at the same time. I know Simon well as he drove for the team in F3 until 2003. He was keen to take on a new challenge with his team, so I was only too pleased to share our experience and skills with him. This marks the close of a chapter for Saulnier Racing, as we will not be racing in a single-seater category in 2006. But I will be coming to a few World Series by Renault meetings to offer my support to Simon. I would like to thank Renault Sport and RPM with whom we have had some great seasons.»

Jean-Paul Mari, Renault Sport Technologies' Motor Sport and Communications Director, is delighted to see a young French team at this level of motorsport: «Simon Abadie represents a new generation of teams. At just 27, he will be the youngest Team manager in the championship! We think that Tech 1 Racing has the potential to rise to the challenge that it is taking on. The team received a good grounding in the French championship before getting a taste of international motorsport in the Mégane Trophy. I wish the team the very best of luck, just as I hope that Serge Saulnier will be successful in Endurance racing.»

-Blanca de Foronda-

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07.03.2006 / MaP

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