Max Defourny (R-ace GP) set best time on the opening day of the Formula Renault Eurocup collective tests at the Nürburgring. The Belgian driver’s lap of 1:55.029 was good enough for his R-ace GP team to lead the way for the third consecutive day. Max Defourny was joined in the top three by Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) and Will Palmer (R-ace GP). Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) set the pace in the morning. Fourth on the time sheet, Red Bull Junior Team driver, Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) was the quickest rookie.
The sun welcomed the Formula Renault Eurocup field at the Nürburgring. In hour two of testing, Sacha Fenestraz set a time of 1:55.436, which held up until the end of the session. The French led from Daniel Ticktum and Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports). Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) and Max Defourny completed the top five.
While Sacha Fenestraz was leading the afternoon session when it was interrupted due to a displaced water evacuation grill. The action resumed for the final half-hour. Max Defourny made the most of the moment to set best time of the day in 1:55.029 ahead of Gabriel Aubry, Will Palmer, Daniel Ticktum and Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP).
No pressure for Defourny
Max Defourny (R-ace GP): “For the team, this series continues last year strong level of performance that was always present. The winter gave them the time to accelerate their effort and the drivers have also gotten much stronger. Even though we were not always ahead in the preceding tests, we took the time to do things right and the results are getting better and better. Now it is up to us to be even stronger at Monza for the first race! I am heading into the season without any pressure. I know there are expectations, but we are going to try to stay focused on our job, do the best we can and see what happens.”
Successful adaptation for Verhagen
Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport): “We’ve had strong pace till now. I have a lot to learn on the circuits that are new for me, because this is my first year in Europe. My adaptation seems to being going well with some good times, perhaps a bit above expectations. There is more work to do, but I look forward to starting the season in this super-competitive championship where I‘ve always wanted to compete. I was very excited when Dr. Marko told me I was going to race in the Formula Renault Eurocup. The goal will be to learn as much as possible and do the best I can. Anything in the top five-ten will be good, but I always want more!”
Martono getting accelerated training
Presley Martono (Mark Burdett Motorsport): “It’s a bit of a crash course for me in a way as I’m the only driver that is getting his hands on the Formula Renault 2.0 for the first time during these tests. The category is by far one of the best single-seater ladder series with an impressive calendar and 30 of the best drivers in the world. The car is also very formative and it is the perfect stepping stone for preparing what comes next. I feel like I am progressing every time I get in the car thanks to the support of the team. I have learned a tremendous amount and we have another day of testing tomorrow and another before the Monza weekend. The objective will be to keep improving throughout the long season while doing what I can for the result to follow, with maybe a top-three finish in the rookies class.”
Kaufmann On the right track
Lars Kaufmann, Team Manager: “Even if our times aren’t always at the top, we are confident as we’re up to plan so far! Sacha is doing an excellent job, as is Yifei who is unfamiliar with some tracks like this one and Luis. We are also making the most of the new use of tyre quotas over the season to save new ones. This will let us be more flexible in having more options for choosing which to use depending on the circumstances. We can’t wait for Monza to come to know who are really the fastest. Until then we will continue to work!”