Racing Steps Foundation driver James Calado topped the timesheets on the first day of British F3 testing yesterday as a field of 22 got to grips with the first sessions of 2010.
The 21-year-old Worcestershire racer tackled the damp and cold Norfolk track in his Volkswagen-powered Carlin to emerge quickest in the wet morning session by three-thousandths of a second.
He went faster still in the drier afternoon conditions to end the day on top despite making his first acquaintance with the series. His team also announced the final member of its line-up – joining Calado at Carlin will be Brazilian Adriano Buzaid.
Close on his tail and third overall was local boy Alex Brundle, switching to British F3 International following a 2009 season spent in Formula Two, and making his debut for T-Sport team on what he described as one of his favourite tracks.
William Buller has joined the Hitech team while Oli Webb is driving in the series for Fortec. Returnees from last year included Hywel Lloyd and Jay Bridger while 2009 National class winner Daniel McKenzie is stepping up to International class.
Also taking part in the session was reigning Formula Ford champion James Cole, driving this year for T-Sport in the National championship. The 21-year-old from Merseyside said: “I’m itching to get back in a race car and I’m delighted we’ve concluded a deal with T-Sport, as I have tremendous respect for the team and believe we will be a winning partnership.
“I’ve done my foundation work in Formula Ford and it’s now time to move up a gear, with a faster, more powerful car.
“Adding in aerodynamics and a higher level of competition gives me the next challenge on my motor racing career path and I’m ready to continue my education behind the wheel with proven race winners, T-Sport.”
He is set to be joined in the National class by fellow Brit Alex Jones and British-born Bahraini Menasheh Idafar.
Teams spokesman Peter Briggs said of the Snetterton test: “We have 50 per cent more cars at our first test this season than last, and that’s a great and very encouraging result.
“It’s fantastic also to see so many international drivers choosing British F3; the prospects are bright for a superb season.”
Testing is set to continue at Snetterton ahead before moving to Rockingham in Northamptonshire for a further two-day session.
Keep up with news and results from the test sessions at the series website here.