Nicolas Navarro à l’aise en Malaisie

Nicolas Navarro à l’aise en Malaisie

01.04.2008: Nicolas Navarro à l’aise en Malaisie

Nicolas Navarro, pilote Speedcar Series #71

Sepang, Grand Prix de Malaisie

3ème et 4ème manches de la Speedcar Series, 22 et 23 mars 2008

Pour la première fois de sa jeune histoire, la Speedcar Series a eu le privilège d’évoluer en lever de rideau de la Formule 1, dans le cadre du 10ème Grand Prix de Malaisie. Nicolas Navarro s’y est encore montré à son avantage. Les problèmes techniques qui l’ont assailli en qualification et au départ de la course 2 ne l’ont pas empêché d’effectuer de belles remontées et d’encaisser de nouveaux points au championnat.

Le pilote du Team First Centreville retrouvera le grand cirque de la Formule 1 à Bahrein les 4 et 5 avril pour l’avant-dernier rendez-vous de la saison 2007/2008.

La F1 retrouve ses « anciens »

Ils étaient cinq à la première course, ils sont maintenant huit anciens pilotes de Formule 1 sur la liste des engagés de la Speedcar Series ! Chistian Danner, le premier champion de Formule 3000 de l’histoire, a pris le départ de 36 GP de 85 à 89 avec une 4ème place pour meilleur résultat. Alex Yoong, qui a couru pour Minardi en 2001 et 2002, est aussi un régional de l’étape puisqu’il est originaire de Kuala Lumpur. JJ Lehto a connu les honneurs du podium à San Marino en 91, et son palmarès fait état de deux victoires aux 24 Heures du Mans, en 95 sur Mac Laren et 10 ans plus tard pour le compte d’Audi.

Johny Herbert et Jean Alesi ont quant à eux disputé le tout premier Grand Prix de Malaisie, en 99, terminant respectivement 4ème et 7ème. Comme on le voit, la Speedcar Series n’est pas en manque de clients sérieux, ce qui ne peut que valoriser les performances d’un jeune pilote tel que Nico, qui lutte sans complexe face à ses glorieux ainés.

Pour mettre toutes les chances de son côté, Nico n’oublie pas de soigner sa préparation physique. « Je m’attendais à un temps chaud et humide, j’ai donc fait beaucoup de sport. Avec Romain Grosjean, nous nous sommes entraînés ensemble entre Sentul et Sepang. »

Nico et Romain sont tous les deux originaires de la région du Lac Léman, ils ont couru dans le même team en karting, puis ils sont devenus champion rookie et champion de France de Formula Renault 2.0 la même année… et leurs disciplines respectives, le GP2 Asia et la Speedcar, se produisent dans les mêmes meetings en ce début 2008.

Décevante qualification

Le planning serré imposé par la compagnie de la Formule 1 limite les entraînements à une simple séance, qui détermine par conséquent la grille de départ de la course 1. Pour sa découverte du circuit de Sepang, Nico évolue dans le Top 5 en pneus usagés. En fin de séance, les voitures reçoivent des gommes Michelin neuves. « J’ai voulu tenter un dernier réglage en cours de séance, ce qui ne m’a laissé que deux tours pour me qualifier en pneus neufs.

J’ai fait un tout droit dans la première boucle, et un tête à queue dans la seconde. Sur le coup, je m’en suis voulu d’avoir commis ces erreurs et de n’avoir pas amélioré mon chrono du début de séance. Mais en examinant la voiture, l’équipe a diagnostiqué un problème sur un amortisseur avant, ainsi que plusieurs soucis au niveau du freinage. » Le mal est fait, et Nico dégringole en 11ème position sur la grille... à seulement 6 dixièmes de la 5ème place.

Revigorante course 1 !

Nico retrouve pour la première course une auto aussi en forme que lui. On va voir ce qu’on va voir ! Pour ajouter du piment, plusieurs pilotes s’accrochent à l’avant du peloton dans le tour de formation, et le pilote Haut-Savoyard est contraint de freiner, au point de ne pointer que 15ème au moment où le drapeau vert libère les bolides rugissants. « Je suis remonté place après place jusqu’à la 7ème place.

Comme à Dubaï et à Sentul, la grille inversée m’offrait une belle opportunité de jouer le podium. » Mais comme lors de ces deux épreuves, la glorieuse incertitude de la technique allait jouer un vilain tour au pilote de la Speedcar n°71…

Un mauvais solo de batterie…

A Dubaï, Nico était largement en tête quand la fixation du pont arrière l’avait envoyé dans le décor en vue de l’arrivée. A Sentul, il a vu le drapeau à damier, mais avec une voiture au comportement dégradé. Le chat noir s’est encore glissé dans le cockpit au moment du départ de la course 2 en Malaisie. « Je n’ai tout simplement pas pu démarrer sur la prégrille à cause d’une batterie déchargée.

J’ai dû partir des stands après le peloton. Dommage, car nous avions fait quelques réglages qui se sont avérés efficaces, comme le démontre mon 4ème temps en course. » Cet avatar va au moins fournir à Nico l’occasion d’effectuer une des plus belles courses de sa jeune carrière. Il enfile les dépassements comme des perles et finit une nouvelle fois 7ème. Avec deux nouveaux points à la clé en guise de lot de consolation.

Message reçu sept sur sept !

Les numérologues vont adorer la conclusion de ce meeting malais : Nico a terminé deux fois 7ème à Sepang, pour pointer 7ème du championnat avec 7 points au compteur ! Tous les espoirs sont donc permis pour la prochaine course, qui sera la septième depuis le lancement officiel de la discipline, si l’on inclut les deux manches de Dubaï, disputées hors-championnat. Rendez-vous à Bahrein, les 4 et 5 avril, pour une nouvelle apparition de la Speedcar Series en lever de rideau d’un Grand Prix de Formule 1.

Résultats

Speedcar Series, Grand Prix de Malaisie à Sepang 3ème et 4ème manches, 22 et 23 mars 2008

Course 1

1 J. ALESI 19 tours en 42:06.705
2 J. HERBERT à 0.286
3 M. LAUDA à 18.566
4 U. ALZEN à 21.348
5 A. MIKOLA à 23.894
6 S. JOHANSSON à 28.279
7 N. NAVARRO à 28.547
8 D. TERRIEN à 32.939
9 G. MORBIDELLI à 35.038
10 H. AL MAKTOUM à 46.177
etc…

Meilleur tour : J.ALESI 2:12.234

Course 2

1 U. ALZEN, 18 tours en 40:05.212
2 D. TERRIEN à 1.936
3 J. ALESI à 9.334
4 J. HERBERT à 11.381
5 G. MORBIDELLI à 15.059
6 S. JOHANSSON à 20.630
7 N.NAVARRO à 22.467
8 H. AL MAKTOUM à 32.445
9 A. YOONG à 33.029
10 J. LEHTO à 42.795
etc…

Meilleur tour : J. HERBERT 2:12.535

Classement du championnat après 4 courses :

1. Jean Alesi, 34 pts ; 2. Uwe Alzen, 21 pts ; 3. Johnny Herbert, 21 pts ; 4. David Terrien, 19 pts ; 5. Mathias Lauda, 18 pts ; 6. Ananda Mikola, 11 pts ; 7. Nicolas Navarro, 7 pts ; 8. Stefan Johansson, 6 pts ; 9. Klaus Ludwig, 5 pts ; 10. Gianni Morbidelli, 4 pts ; 11. Ukyo Katayama et Hasher Al Maktoum, 1 pt.

Prochaine épreuve : Grand Prix de Bahrein, 4 et 5 avril 2008 Circuit de 5.411 Km.

Calendrier 2008 :

Sentul (Indonésie) 16/17 février
Sepang (Malaysie) 22/23 mars
Bahrein 4/5 avril
Dubaï (Emirats Arabes Unis) 11/12 avril

Speedcar : principales caractéristiques

Châssis tubulaire, poids total 1200 kg
Moteur 6 litres V8 620 chevaux à 7500 tours/minutes
Boite de vitesses 4 rapports en H
Pneus Michelin

Repères Nicolas Navarro:

Né le 18 septembre 1984 à Annemasse (Haute-Savoie), réside à Massongy (Haute-Savoie)

2003: 3ème au championnat de France de Karting Espoir

2004: Vice-Champion de France de Formule Campus

2005: Champion Rookie de Formula Renault 2.0

2007: Championnat de France GT3 (1 pole, 4 podiums), Championnat d’Europe GT3 (3ème à Silverstone, 4ème à Bucarest, 2 victoires en Lamborghini Manufacturers Cup)

www.speedcarseries.com

 

Romain Didier / future racing commm aussi photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/speedcar-series-nicolas-navarro-bahrein-team-first-centreville-resultats---35006.html

01.04.2008 / MaP

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