Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) set the new Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 record for Circuit Paul Ricard this Saturday. The British driver lowered the old mark of Nyck de Vries set in 2014, with a lap of 2:02.616. 2015 rookie of the year Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés), was next ahead of Sahara Force India Academy protégé, Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Lando Norris also continued his dominance among the newcomers against the likes of Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) and SMP Racing driver Nikita Troitskiy (Fortec Motorsports). The final pre-season collective tests for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will be held at the Nürburgring on March 15 and 16.
The list of runners went unchanged on this second day at Circuit Paul Ricard, which was split into two one-hour morning sessions and one two-hour session in the afternoon.
On a drying track surface following overnight showers, Lando Norris led the way in the opening hour with a time of 2:06.885 ahead of Nikita Troitskiy and Bruno Baptista (Fortec Motorsports). His team mate Jehan Daruvala picked up the pace with a lap of 2:03.202, ahead of three Tech 1 Racing cars, before seeing Lando Norris retake the top spot in the waning moments in 2:02.616.
Harrison Scott sandwiched between the Josef Kaufmann Racing duo
“Everything went well on my first day at Circuit Paul Ricard. I learned so much yesterday before making a lot more progress today. I felt a lot more comfortable both on the track and in the car. The improvements made since the prior tests at Motorland Aragón are excellent and the work the team did is paying off. After a difficult winter where I didn’t do any testing, I hope that we can build on this momentum at the next test at the Nürburgring and the first meeting at Motorland.”
Fenestraz progresses among the rookies
“Our progress is continuing nicely. We are finding our marks for a year that looks like it will be extremely competitive. We learn something each day and we are building on this to make progress while maintaining the strengths we procured at the end of last season. There are a few days left to work on eliminating the weak points and to catch up to Norris, who put in a very good time with a new lap record. This show us that we still have work to do, but it will be even more satisfying if we can beat him in races."
Mark Godwin, MGR Motorsport Team Manager: “Establish ourselves as an honourable team”
“For MGR Motorsport, the Formula Renault 2.0 is a category whose importance is underlined by the number of drivers who have come thought its ranks throughout the years. The discipline will play an even more important role in the motor racing pyramid with the gap between F4 and F3. The car is competitive and fantastic for working and learning one’s way to the higher levels. And the choice of tyres is excellent for learning how to manage peak performance and the calendar is prestigious. All drivers should consider the Formula Renault 2.0.
After our two titles in Protyre Formula Renault, we raced last year in NEC. Despite the testing restrictions, we picked up some good results. Our first season in the Eurocup will be tough, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enter this category. I have always had the desire to run my own team in Europe; and especially in the Eurocup. The objective is to establish ourselves as an honourable team and we are excited to see this project come together.”