Alan van der Merwe’s performance in BAR Honda’s test sessions at Jerez impressed the team’s senior race engineer, Jock Clear, and the South African driver is confident of getting another opportunity to pilot the 006 in the near future.

Alan van der Merwe’s performance in BAR Honda’s test sessions at Jerez impressed the team’s senior race engineer, Jock Clear, and the South African driver is confident of getting another opportunity to pilot the 006 in the near future.


CARtoday.com reported last week that former British F3 champion Van der Merwe and Britons Adam Carroll and James Rossiter would each have two-half days of running in this year's BAR Honda at Jerez as part of the second stage of the Brackley-based team’s Young Driver Programme.


Coached by Clear and fellow senior race engineer Andrew Shovlin, Van der Merwe was the first to drive on Wednesday and was able to get moderately dry running just before the end of the session and set the 12th fastest time. Van's second session on Thursday took place in ideal weather conditions and the South African completed six runs to set the tenth fastest time of the day.


"We were not surprised at the speed at which they (the trio of drivers) settled into the team and the car. Their running was hampered by the difficult and changeable weather conditions, but their ability to adapt and remain in control was admirable. The next step is for us to evaluate the programme to date and consider the performances we have seen this week," Clear said.


Van der Merwe suggested at the weekend that he might get another opportunity to evaluate the BAR Honda, and said “I can't wait to get back in the car again.


"It's been a very positive few days despite the unpredictable weather. I was lucky to get the best of running during a brief dry spell on Thursday, and my first run in the car was awesome. I thought I knew what to expect but after feeling the power and grip, I was quite taken aback, really,” he added.