The final day of the Formula Renault Eurocup pre-season collective tests went the way of Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing). With a lap this morning of 1:54.356 on the Nürburgring, a new track record for the category, the French driver led the way from Will Palmer (R-ace GP) et Max Defourny (R-ace GP). Red Bull Junior Team driver and rookie, Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) set fastest time in the final session before the field heads to the Autodromo di Monza for the 2017 season opening weekend.
Under bright skies, Sacha Fenestraz broke the Nürburgring Formula Renault Eurocup track record in the opening hour. The Frenchman then lowered the time to 1:54.356 to pull away from Will Palmer and Max Defourny. Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) and Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing), respective rookie members of the Red Bull Junior Team and Renault Sport Academy, completed the top five.
In the afternoon, the pace slowed with Richard Verschoor atop the time sheet. His lap of 1:55.611 was 1/1000ths of a second faster than Grégoire Saucy (AVF by Adrián Vallés). Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport) and Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) completed the top five in the final pre-season session.
With eight different leaders in 12 sessions, the Formula Renault Eurocup will next head to the Autdromo de Monza from April 20-23 for a test day followed by the first meeting of the season.
Stiff neck record for Fenestraz
Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) : “This time is ideal for turning up at Monza full of confidence, even though my stiff neck didn’t help ! It meant I could only do 25 laps yesterday. But I knew I could put in a good time. So, I didn’t mind suffering a little to beat the record. I then looked after my neck with a lighter program in the afternoon. The tests have been positive. We were regularly up front while saving the tyres beginning at Magny-Cours. I am sure this well thought out decision with the team will bear long-term benefits.”
Positive outlook for Fewtrell
Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) : “I am really satisfied with my pre-season. The relationship with Tech 1 Racing strengthened during the tests and we had some real satisfactions, like being in the top five this morning and our second best time at Magny-Cours. It was more complicated at Circuit Paul Ricard due to the constantly changing track conditions, but we were always competitive against drivers who are into their second or even third year. I am very positive as the season is about to begin !”
Simmenauer continues to progress
Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (JD Motorsport) : “As I know very few of the circuits on the calendar, my transition from karting to single-seater will be difficult, but the Formula Renault 2.0 is one of the best cars for learning in a high-quality championship. There have been a lot of positives during my preparations. I think we have made a lot of progress and I am sure we will improve our results by the end of the season. My integration into the team has gone well, the atmosphere is good and things are going better and better. It is up to us to continue to progress !”
Saucy raises his targets
Grégoire Saucy (AVF by Adrián Vallés) : “For a first season in the Formula Renault Eurocup, the results of the tests are positive although I still have much to learn. We worked a lot to get the second best time in the afternoon on a track I first drove on yesterday ! It is always positive in coming into a new category. Our objective was to aim for the top 15 before coming on strong during the season, but our current form has us thinking about points, even better, beginning at Monza.”