McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member Nyck de Vries (Koiranen GP) made it pole number five of the season in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Saturday. In doing so, the Dutchman set a new track record in the category, and will share the front row with Lotus F1 Junior Team member Alexander Albon (KTR). Egor Orudzhev (Tech 1 Racing) was third-fastest, ahead of the French trio of Aurélien Panis (ART Junior Team), Andrea Pizzitola (Manor MP Motorsport) and Anthoine Hubert (Tech 1 Racing).
The drivers in Group A were the first out on the track, with the benchmark times quickly tumbling before championship leader Nyck de Vries took control of proceedings, the Dutchman posting a new track record of 2:02.895 to finish the session ahead of Egor Orudzhev and Andrea Pizzitola.
Hongli Ye (Koiranen GP) and Dennis Olsen (Prema Powerteam) were the first to impress in Group B before Aurélien Panis and Alex Albon powered to the top of the timesheets, though neither were able to dislodge Nyck de Vries from pole.
The weekend’s opening Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race at the Circuit Paul Ricard starts at 16.05.
Nyck de Vries: “I knew that we’d done a good job in practice, gathering as much data as possible, in line with our plan. We had to be focused and we did it. I don’t think I’ve had too many bad starts this season, and that’s obviously going to be the key to keeping the lead. After that, we’ll just see what happens.”