For its return to Silverstone after a four-year absence, the track record in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 was improved by nearly one second. Jake Hughes (Koiranen GP) lowered the previous reference time set by Carlos Sainz in 2011 with a lap completed in 1:57.708. Second in the general classification, the British driver led from Kevin Jörg (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and championship leader Louis Delétraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Sahara Force India Academy protégé, Jehan Daruvala (Fortec Motorsports) was the fastest rookie on the day after posting the best time in the opening session.
Daruvala ahead early on
In cool conditions, Matevos Isaakyan (JD Motorsport) and Thiago Vivacqua (JD Motorsport) were the early leaders before Ben Barnicoat (Fortec Motorsports), Callan O’Keeffe (Fortec Motorsports), Kevin Jörg, Jehan Daruvala and Louis Delétraz battled for the top spot. In the final eight minutes, rookie driver Jehan Daruvala set lap times of 1:59.297 and 1:58.831 to lead the way ahead of Kevin Jörg, Louis Delétraz, Matteo Ferrer (Cram Motorsport) and Callan O’Keeffe.
Hughes in the lead on home soil
In the afternoon, it wasn’t until the second half of the session that Jake Hughes then Ben Barnicoat bettered the morning’s quickest time. Kevin Jörg improved, but Jake Huges answered, stopping the clock with the day’s best lap of 1:57.708. The Koiranen GP driver preceded Kevin Jörg, Louis Delétraz, Jack Aitken (Koiranen GP) and Anthoine Hubert (Tech 1 Racing). Jehan Daruvala was seventh in the session and once again the best placed rookie.
Jake Hughes: “Not a bad day! This morning, I ran on quite used tyres before switching to fresh rubber in the afternoon. The car was really well-balanced but there was some wind. It was hard to keep the tow especially in sector one. I am happy but the top six is extremely tight and I’ll have to work to keep this advantage. I live just 45-minutes away, it is kind of my home race, but I won’t have an advantage compared to some competitors who raced here in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC round.”
Kevin Jörg: “To end the day with the second best time twice is an indication for a pretty good weekend. Louis has a huge points advantage. He is fast but I think I can be even faster and I hope I can reduce my deficit to him. The marshals also have to closely watch the drivers that abuse the track limits. I can’t wait to battle tomorrow! ”
Jehan Daruvala: “I raced at Silverstone in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC round. I struggled a lot, but since then I have worked very hard with the team, especially my coach Oliver Rowland on the simulator. He helps me a lot. This morning, I used a set of new tyres to help me to get more confidence for the second session. Once I am one the track, I try to do my best and go as fast as I can. For my first time in the Eurocup, I would like to finish in the top eight. We will see how it goes!”