22 drivers were in action on the track that will host the first round of the season in one week’s time. They will be joined tomorrow morning by Nikita Troitskiy (Fortec Motorsports) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP) who was absent today with neck pain.
In the morning, Harrison Scott edged Dorian Boccolacci by 0.026s for best time in the session at 1:56.704. The two were followed by a trio of rookies : Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing), Julien Falchero and Will Palmer (R-ace GP).
While Harrison Scott was the first to improve his time in the afternoon, the Brit then saw Lando Norris and Dorian Boccolacci battle for the top spot. Lando Norris eventually came out ahead with a best lap of 1:55.860, 0.047s quicker than his countryman. Dorian Boccolacci, Henrique Chaves and Julien Falchero completed the top five at the end of the session.
Lando Norris ahead again
“We struggled a bit this morning. Basically, I grew up a bit and I wasn’t comfortable in the Formula Renault 2.0. I also needed some time to get used to it again after the BRDC British F3 meeting. In the afternoon, we made it so I could push like I usually do on the three final runs, despite the wind that complicated matters. The plan is to win as much as possible and it all begins next week. It’s going to be close racing and qualifying will be difficult. Moreover, the weather will also play an important role.”
Harrison Scott revs up
“It was a really positive day. During the tests in February, I hadn’t driven the car for several months. We could thus measure our huge progress ; the pace was good all day whether on new, fresh or used tyres. We were right in the pace at Circuit Paul Ricard and here as well. It is a really satisfying aspect, especially as we are just a week away from the first race. It is encouraging to see the progression of the team and my team mates.”
Julien Falchero, the other rookie in the top five
“I am pleased with progress I’ve made. Since the first official tests at the start of the year on this very track, they have been interesting. We have learned how we should without pressing too much. The objective will be to finish among the top three rookies and if everything goes well, maybe a podium result at the end of the season. My experience as a wild-card last year at Jerez was clearly helpful. This allowed me to get used to the battle in the race as well as the qualifying format. It is good for releasing the pressure before the start of the season.”