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GP Week : Issue 21
>>F1 INSIGHT With Love from Spain: The circuit looks as if it will provide plenty of postcard-perfect photos, left. Not uncommon with new street circuits was a bit of loose tarmac, above, while around the circuit the traffic, including trams, carried on unworried, right. been a point of reference for the travellers of days past, so today would they form a visual reference point for the world and the travelling F1 circus, and housed within them would be the VIP Paddock Club. The building, known in Valencia as “Tinglados”which means “mess”in the Spanish language would now be the epicentre of F1 chic… although it’s not hard to imagine the hustle and bustle inside those buildings, something similar to a modern F1 paddock. As a test to check that everything was on course for August’s European Grand Prix, it was decided that a round of the Spanish F3 and GT championship would race on the streets of Valencia, and this weekend past saw the cars take to the street track for the very first time. It was to be a crucially important test, and also a chance to put the finishing touches to the painting. All the organisational VIPS were in attendance with President Camps at the front. As well as Camps, Mr. Fernando Roig, President of Valmor Sports, the company who owns the rights of the Grand Prix and President of the Villarreal – spanish football team, current runner up of the country’s league – were also in attendance. Next to them, Jorge Martinez “Aspar”, four times motorbike world champion and the CEO of the Grand Prix and the staff of the “Ricardo Tormo Circuit”of Cheste, in charge of the media and sporting relationships. But it wasn’t just VIPS… a few drivers decided to come along for the weekend to try the new track. While F1 schedules were tight, a number of GP2 racers came along to race in the GT championship. Trident’s Mike Conway and Ho Pin Tung were the maiden winners at the circuit, sharing a Dodge Viper in the GT “B” class. The Briton was delighted with the circuit. “They made a very good job”says “because it is a fantastic circuit. I like the first part of the track after the main straight, with the two first chicanes and the entrance of the bridge. If you manage to do it well, you can gain some time. I think we will enjoy it, it’s going to be a really fast track with the GP2 car!” For his Chinese team-mate the circuit is “very challenging. Long straights and heavy breaking. The braking zone before the hairpin is the most difficult point of the circuit, in my opinion, because you’ve come from a very long straight and it’s a place to gain some tenths”. Ho Pin also says that “it’s not what you can expect from an urban circuit since it’s very wide and quick”. Russia’s Vitaly Petrov was also competing in 25