Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Amaury Cordeel ended pre-season testing as the fastest driver on day three, topping the timing sheets in the afternoon with a 1:24.487.

The Belgian was pleased with his and the team’s efforts over the course of the three days, stating that they achieved a great deal over the test and made adjustments that improved his confidence in the car going into the next leg of the season.

“I think they were three really good test days,” he surmised. “On the first two days I struggled personally a bit getting to grips on the car and setup, which I also struggled a bit with the Melbourne.

“We worked with the engineers and everybody to make the car come my way because there was a setup and I was not feeling really confident with it, but I think we made some really good steps to make it more to my liking.”

Having topped the final afternoon session, Cordeel says that there was more time on the table, but overall, the direction the team adjusted to go in was predominantly focused on one lap pace.

Hitech have made a positive start to 2024, with Cordeel’s teammate Paul Aron currently second in the Drivers’ Championship and the team sits third in the Teams’ Standings heading to Europe.

Coming out of testing, the Belgian driver says that he is feeling more confident about his chances in the next round.

“In the afternoon I was fast, but I think we were much more competitive. I had some mistakes in my lap so it could have been much better. The potential’s there. I think the first two days I struggled quite a lot but with the team we did a did a good job to fix it.

Cordeel rounded out testing on top finishing the final afternoon session as the fastest driver
Cordeel rounded out testing on top, finishing the final afternoon session as the fastest driver

“If you look at the laptimes compared to the morning and the long runs in the afternoon, I think we were quite competitive against the others. So, it was really positive. I think the long runs always have been positive, but I think now we are also stepping up Qualifying runs, so I think it's good for the rest of the season.

“The changes were more focused around one lap pace, because the race pace has always been good. It's just more the Qualifying that we worked on to find more a balanced setup for me which I think we did some great steps in the test, and I hope it will pay off in Imola.

“We also did some other work that the team had to do. They have a good knowledge about the new car, a lot of tests that they could go further with, so that's good. So, I think overall three positive test days.”

“Jeddah was really good for me. In Bahrain, the potential was there, and then the same in Melbourne. So I think without some issues, we would have more points”

So far, Cordeel says the season has been strong, with his drive to P5 in the Jeddah Feature Race the high point so far. He narrowly missed out on adding to his tally in Melbourne, with a P11 finish on Sunday, while three DNFs have otherwise blunted a strong opening to the campaign.

Asked what the difference has been this year, Cordeel says his intensive preparations over the winter and the strong starting point Hitech have found with the new car have helped generate momentum from the off.

“I think I had a good prep over the winter. Also with the new cars, Hitech has done a good job. I think I struggled a bit more with the car, it was not really the way I liked but I think we solved that at the test.

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“Jeddah was really good for me. In Bahrain, the potential was there, just some incidents cost us the chance to score good points and then the same in Melbourne. So just had some bad luck and I think without some issues, we would have more points.”

Looking to the upcoming weekend and the prospect of Imola, the Hitech driver says that he expects to continue his momentum. With the in-season test in the books and Cordeel confident he and the team have found a good direction with the car, the Belgian driver says he is in a good place for Round 4.

“It’s a good point for me because usually around the European tracks I’m much, much better. I don't know why, but it seems like the last two years around the European ones I'm much quicker. Imola is a good track for me and I really like it, the combination of fast and slow corners is really nice. I’m looking forward to the European tracks where I can show my true potential.”