The 30 drivers entered in the Formula Renault Eurocup had two three-hour sessions on the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Yifei Ye lowered the reference time set yesterday by Jarno Opmeer, but Gabriel Aubry ended the morning on top with a time of 1:35.305. Max Fewtrell gave Tech 1 Racing a lockout of the top two spots, ahead of Yifei Ye, Max Defourny (R-ace GP) and Alexey Korneev (Fortec Motorsports).
The times did not improve in the afternoon. Daniel Ticktum went to the top of the time sheet late in the session thanks to a lap clocked in 1:36.136. The British rookie was followed by Renault Sport Academy member Jarno Opmeer (MP Motorsport), Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports), Gabriel Aubry and fellow member in the Austrian program, Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport).
The competitors in the Formula Renault Eurocup will continue pre-season testing at Circuit Paul Ricard on March 23 and 24.
Aubry wants to capitalize on his experience
Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) : “We had not been on track since December 16 at Barcelona, which means I was very happy to be back in the Formula Renault 2.0 ! It is already quite a feeling when getting back in the car, but it is tenfold when it goes so well. We posted an excellent time this morning and the rest went smoothly. We are not thinking about a possible psychological war during the tests, but we are following a very structured program according to our agenda. The work I did on my mental approach over the winter is paying off. I am confident in the car and I credit all my confidence to Tech 1 Racing. The goal is truly to capitalize on last year to win the title.”
Peroni gets on pace
Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports) : “The tests have gone quite well, even if the priority was to get back into the groove, blend into a new team and get used again to Formula Renault 2.0. If we overlook this shameful mistake yesterday, when I went through the chicane too quickly before contacting the wall on the pit straight, everything went nicely ! What is important for this year is to be competitive enough to be regularly in the top ten, even though everyone obviously aims for the win.”
Yifei Ye is ambitious
Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) : “The first collective tests of the season were rather good, especially after a four month break ! My goal is to regularly be among the top five, even the top three. I am happy but not too surprised with the results. I knew the track after having competed last year in the France F Championship and I was able to further develop my relationship with Josef Kaufmann Racing alongside talented team mates. I still need to gain experience, especially with new tyres and on the long stints. I will be working on this in the upcoming weeks.”
Mark Burdett aspires to make progress
Mark Burdett, Team Manager : “After many years in Formula Renault UK and in the NEC, the move up to Eurocup will be difficult with two rookies, but we will all work together to make progress. We take things one step at a time. The more we run, including on a circuit that is not on the calendar, the better ! This allows us to refine our methods and their driving. Every lap is also useful in their development. Presley is in only his second day in the car, but he learns quickly to make up for his lack of experience against those with a year in the Eurocup and those drivers who tested over the winter. Meanwhile, Julia is making great progress compared to last year. We are ready for the next tests.”