February 12, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
The first, historical GPVWC online test, held at the Arctic Circle Raceway in Norway, delivered two unmistakeable verdicts: the first, that Adam Rouse, who topped the timesheets at the end of the day, is a driver of outstanding talent in rFactor as he was in Grand Prix 4; the second, that in 2009 there will be plenty of opposition as talented, fast and determined to win the title as him.

The young Englishman set the clock to a record 1:00.255, but there were several threats to his claim to the title of fastest man of the day; league newcomer Janne Tanskanen and qualifying master Jeroen Jansen pushed Rouse until the very last minute of the test day, but had to eventually settle for 2nd and 3rd, their times 1:00.449 and 1:00.814 respectively. Given the results of this test, it is no surprise to know that all three drivers have already signed contracts with some teams: Rouse has agreed terms with Nordsjoen Racing, Tanskanen will line up with debutants Evans Blue Racing while Jansen retained his 2008 seats at Platform Michelangelo.

Good news for the teams looking for drivers come next. Fourth position was occupied by one of the brightest surprises of the day, Malta's own Joe Consiglio, who covered his first ever laps at the wheel of a rFactor open wheeler and recorded a time very close to the leading trio. It is not hard to imagine that most teams will engage in a furious fight to secure the services of one of the few drivers (together with William Ponissi, Mark Wicks and Mal McKee) to compete in the original GPVWC in 2002. Mark Wicks showed some early signs of form, closing his day roughly two seconds off Rouse's pace but with the knowledge of having much more to squeeze out of the car; the Cornish driver, who has re-signed with Woods Racing (his fifth straight season with the team), will surely be one of the drivers to watch at the season opener in Melbourne.

Guest drivers Chris Goodley and Ryan McConkey graced the test with brief appearances that still led to some interesting results. But the managers' eyes were all for available drivers such as Nikos Evangelidakis and Pedro Pinheiro - and it is to expect that this duo, who has shown much promise at their first ever appearance on a GPVWC car, will be offered a contract before the start of the Championship. Other interesting results include the impressive showing of managerial duo Dave Candie and Michelangelo Manrique, the latter piling up the incredible amount of 283 laps.

Full results for the session are available HERE.