Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport) set best time of the penultimate day of the Formula Renault Eurocup pre-season collective tests. With a lap of 1:58.580s, the Danish rookie led from fellow Renault Sport Academy member Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP) and Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Preparations will conclude tomorrow at the Nürburgring.
At the Nürburgring, the field expanded to 29 cars with the presence of two drivers entered in the Formula Renault NEC, which will join forces with the Eurocup at the Spa-Francorchamps, Hungaroring and Nürburgring meetings.
Before the cars went out, the rain was coming down over the German circuit. Yifei Ye was quickest in these soaking conditions with a lap of 2:17.763s and was followed by rookie Alexander Smolyar (Tech 1 Racing).The SMP Racing protégé took over from the Chinese driver with a time of 2:08.649s to lead session two.
Christian Lundgaard then took over in session three, which also saw the rain return. With a lap of 1:58.580s on slick tyres, the Dane lead from Max Fewtrell, Yifei Ye, Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP) and Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport). The top five on the day remains unchanged because Alexander Smolyar posted the best time in the final session of the day in just 2:11.836s.
First success for Christian Lundgaard
Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport): “It is always tricky to run on a drying track, but it is even more so when it is your first time at the Nürburgring! I think I did a good job using the dry parts of the track to post the best time. I was pleased with my lap and it is a real confidence boost to be up front. This winter, we were often in the top five. This is in line with our goals, but now we have to see if we can bring it all together. The first race of the season will be really interesting!”
Alexander Smolyar quickest in two sessions
Alexander Smolyar (Tech 1 Racing): “I’m not really satisfied with how I did in the first four days of testing. This morning, it rained and I am quite fast in these conditions, but it doesn’t mean much except for your confidence! Once it was dry, we worked on set-ups and everything went well with the team. We are really looking forward to the first race to see where we are as my goal is to be the top rookie.”
The Mexicans go top five in the rain
Axel Matus (AVF by Adrián Vallés): “We’ve had a tough start to the year, but we have steadily improved. We were able to test several set-ups and I think everything will be where it needs to be next week for the first race of the season! I hope I can finish in the top five. It would be a perfect start to the year.”
Raúl Guzman (Fortec Motorsports): “It feels good to have a good day where we were regularly in the top five! The preparation has been really complicated, but I am still confident we have the potential to compete for the top. I also have more responsibilities at Fortec. Last year, I was the only newcomer and now I’m surrounded by nothing but rookies! However, they are fast team mates and we learn from one another. I made significant progress during my second season in F4. Let’s see if we can do the same in Formula Renault Eurocup!"
Sami Taoufik taking a big leap
Sami Taoufik (Arden Motorsport): “My dad gave me a kart for Christmas when I was five years old. I went on to do ten years of karting. This represents more than half of my life! After following Arden and Daniel TIcktum last year, I made the choice to head directly to Formula Renault rather than a year in F4. In my situation, I think that it was the best decision to take. I will have to learn and adapt to the car while being the youngest driver in the field. With the help and data of my teammates, I hope to fight with the older rookies. In any case, I feel ready and I can’t wait for the first race!"