Matthieu Vaxiviere (Tech 1 Racing) made a perfect start to the 2013 season by claiming his first pole and race win in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 at Motorland Aragon on Saturday. Completing a French one-two-three in the race were Esteban Ocon (ART Junior Team), who took second, and Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing), the third driver over the line.
Cloudy skies, a damp track and buffeting winds greeted the drivers for the morning’s qualifying session, with Matthieu Vaxiviere handling the conditions best of all to grab his first ever pole in the category. Fastest in Group B, Esteban Ocon took second place on the grid, followed by Pierre Gasly, Egor Orudzhev (Tech 1 Racing) and William Vermont (ARTA Engineering).
Making a perfect start beneath sunny skies, Matthieu Vaxiviere quickly took command in the season’s first race and led the way from fellow Frenchmen Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly. Tucked in behind them were William Vermont and Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsports), who both got the better of Egor Orudzhev when the lights went out. It was not long before the leading quartet began to pull away, with Pierre Gasly pushing Esteban Ocon hard and William Vermont putting in the fastest lap. There was plenty going behind them too as Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Oliver Rowland (Manor MP Motorsport), Nyck De Vries (Koiranen GP) and Ed Jones (Fortec Motorsports) fought an entertaining battle for the minor placings.
The front four had pulled away from the bunch by mid-distance, leaving Jake Dennis out on his own in fifth, closely followed by Steijn Schothorst (Josef Kaufmann Racing), who had slipped into sixth at the expense of Egor Orudzhev only for the Russian to close right back up on him.
The closing laps were nothing more than a formality for Matthieu Vaxiviere, who opened out a small gap over his closest pursuers en route to his lights-to-flag win. Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly and William Vermont battled it out for second all the way to the flag, though they would finish in that order, with Jake Dennis, Steijn Schothorst, Egor Orudzhev, Oscar Tunjo, Nyck De Vries and Oliver Rowland following them in the points placings.
What they said:
Matthieu Vaxivière: “I’ve done a very good job along with the team. I got off to a great start and that’s what made the difference because I wasn’t that much faster than my closest challengers. This is very pleasing for me after a tricky first year in the Eurocup.”
Esteban Ocon: “It’s a very important result. Consistency is the key to winning the Eurocup. I don’t think I had the speed to race. Pierre was faster than me and I was on the limit.”
Pierre Gasly: “It’s important to score big points to do well in the championship. Third place is a good result for the first race. I hope to improve tomorrow and go for the win.”