“Blank Signature”

This should have been a time of anticipation for the returning Signature Racing.

An occasion when the famed French company thrust their hand upon the FIA European F3 Championship and brought the fight to the Volkswagen and Mercedes-powered entries.

However when the Renault-engined squad launched into testing at the Hungaroring recently and later the Red Bull Ring, something was dreadfully wrong.

Where the likes of Prema Powerteam, Carlin and van Amersfoort fought for the leading places and times during the sessions, Signature were struggling.

The cars, initially piloted by Oscar Tunjo and Tatiana Calderon, proved slow during their first running at the Hungarian circuit and things would go no better on the following day.

For the second test at the Spielberg circuit, Marco Sorensen replaced Tunjo in an effort to bring in a more experienced head, but he could do no better.
Reports emerged of a 20 kph deficit on the straights began to emerge, as the French black-and-gold cars remained rooted to the foot of the time sheets.

Come Silverstone and it’s all over. With the engine unit homologated for the season and therefore pinned for the season, Tunjo was withdrawn and Calderon transferred to Zeller Racing with Mücke.

Signature were left with no drivers and an under-powered engine that few would touch. There are no prizes for last position, but lots of potential to damage reputations and no sensible driver would risk that.

And so the curtains are drawn, before light had even had an opportunity to shine. Whether Renault or Signature return to make amends in 2015 though…

© Leigh O'Gorman.
© Leigh O’Gorman.

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