Like each Friday, three 50-minute practice sessions were on the programme for the competitors in the Renault Sport Trophy. Robert Kubica seized this opportunity to make his official debut at the wheel of a Renault Sport R.S. 01 car.
Steijn Schothorst on pace right off the truck
The day began at an elevated pace led by the R-ace GP #2 (Owens-Blomstedt), High Class Racing #11 (Fjordbach-Andersen), Duqueine Engineering #16 (Kubica-Hamon), V8 Racing #6 (Grogor-Jorda) and Team Marc VDS EG 0,0 #9 crews.
The fight turned into an internal team scrap between the two Equipe Verschuur Renault Sport R.S. 01s with the nod going to the #19 (S. Schothorst-Ramos) in 2:15.656 ahead of the #21 and the #9 Team Marc VDS EG 0,0.
Fjordbach and Pieter Schothorst pick-up the pace
Fourth in session one, Anders Fjordbach at the wheel of the #11 High Class Racing led the way in session two with a best lap of 2:15.342 ahead of the pair of Equipe Verschuur entries.
The third and final session of the day was the fastest. The #15 Team Marc VDS EG 0,0 eclipsed the previous reference time, but Pieter Schothorst lowered the bar even further with a lap of 2:14.874 ahead of the two Team Marc VDS EG 0,0 cars.
Pieter Schothorst : “It was a pretty good day despite a recurrent issue. Fortunately, the team was able to fix it step by step. We were not on peak form, but the baseline was good although there is more work to do ; I am not yet thinking about the championship. I want to finish all the sessions on top and win the races, but I am not the kind of driver to take unnecessary risks.”
Anders Fjordbach : “I didn’t have a lot of international experience on the tracks that have been on the calendar until now, but I’m quite familiar with Spa ! I raced in the 24-Hours of Spa this past summer. I was comfortable immediately and on the pace. We also fixed a minor problem with our car that turned out to give us a lot more speed. We are pleased with the day. The team continues to find its bearings in this its first year. The field is highly competitive, but we hope that the adage, one year to prepare, one year to win holds true !”
Robert Kubica : “For my first day in the Renault Sport Trophy, I am back at Spa-Francorchamps for the first time since the 2010 F1 Belgian Grand Prix with Renault ! We had three 50-minute practice sessions, but, obviously, I have to share the car with my team mate. I did eight to ten laps in each session. It went well, but we have work to on the balance of our Renault Sport R.S. 01, because qualifying is tomorrow morning. The feeling was nice. The team is trying to gain experience, as I am. It’s a fast car and quite impressive. It is a lot of fun to drive, while being sensitive and requiring to be on top of everything. I will have a lot more fun once our balance is alright !”