Daniel Ticktum and Arden Motorsport had a perfect Saturday in taking their first pole position and win in the Formula Renault Eurocup. Fastest race lap made it a clean sweep for the English driver who was followed to the flag by Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver, Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport). In finishing 19th Will Palmer (R-ace GP) sees Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) and Sacha Fenestraz respectively close to within three and eleven points in the general classification.
Maiden pole for Arden and Ticktum
In wet conditions, the first qualifying session went the way of Daniel Ticktum. While Sacha Fenestraz was quickest in Group A, the Englishman put in the fastest lap in Group B with a time of 1:56.198 to start ahead of Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing), Thomas Randle (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP).
Fenestraz and Aubry answer back in Q2
The track was dry at mid-day for the second qualifying session to determine the starting grids for the two races scheduled tomorrow. Gabriel Aubry set the benchmark in the first group, but Sacha Fenestraz went quicker with a time of 1:41.012. The battle for the second best times went to Gabriel Aubry who clocked in with a lap of 1:41.619. Sunday morning, Sacha Fenestraz will start from pole ahead of Gabriel Aubry, before they swap positions for the final race of the weekend.
Daniel Ticktum makes it happen
Starting from pole for the first time, Daniel Ticktum fended off the attacks of Sacha Fenestraz and Gabriel Aubry on the opening lap that saw Bartlomiej Mirecki (BM Racing Team) and Thomas Randle drop out. On the next lap, the safety car was called into service for the removal of the car of Luis Leeds (Josef Kaufmann Racing).
The restart was short-lived. While Daniel Ticktum controlled Sacha Fenestraz, Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport) –who started ninth –managed to overtake Gabriel Aubry. Behind them, Thomas Maxwell (Tech 1 Racing), Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) and Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports) were involved in an incident and all retired.
At the second restart, Daniel Ticktum held on to the lead from Sacha Fenestraz to take the win. Neil Verhagen kept his cool to claim his first podium result of the year ahead of Gabriel Aubry, Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport), Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Robert Shwartzman. Renault Sport Academy member Jarno Opmeer (MP Motorsport) finished eighth to score his first points of the season ahead of Zane Goddard (Arden Motorsport) and Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Yifei Ye was then penalized 25 seconds for provoking an accident. Najiy Ayyad bin Abd Razak (Fortec Motorsports) picks up the final point on offer.
Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) : “Before this weekend, I knew that the Hungaroring better suited my driving style. I always pray for a few drops of rain, because I have often done well in these conditions. It doesn’t happen very often, but it did this morning ! A mistake on my penultimate lap put pressure on me, but I managed to put in a good final lap I did not expect it to be the pole position ! In the race, it was hard to manage the two consecutive safety car periods, but I stayed focused to make it happen. It is impressive to see a team take its driver to the top step of the podium as early as the first half of his maiden season in a category. With Ben Salter and my engineer Matt Callaghan, we have worked every weekend to progress and reach our goals : to be the first member of the Red Bull Junior Team to be the best rookie and to win. Today it is mission accomplished with the fastest race lap to boot !”
“It is impressive to see a team take its driver to the top step of the podium as early as the first half of his maiden season in a category. With Ben Salter and my engineer Matt Callaghan, we have worked every weekend to progress and reach our goals : to be the first member of the Red Bull Junior Team to be the best rookie and to win. Today it is mission accomplished with the fastest race lap to boot !”
Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) : “I knew that Daniel was fast and I tried, to no avail, to catch him on the opening lap. I tried to brake hard, but he was better positioned. Nevertheless, I am satisfied to finish second. I wanted to avoid unnecessary risks with the track limits that have caught out a number of drivers since the start of the weekend. This result brings a good points haul and in starting from pole and second tomorrow, I could do a lot of good for my championship hopes. We have to pay close attention to the conditions and do our best no matter what happens.”
Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport) : “Everything is new to me this season and discovering these tracks for the first time is a big part of my learning process. It makes things a little harder, but I never back down from a challenge ! In seeing Daniel try to pull away from Sacha, I prepared a nice move on Gabriel Aubry. This podium represents a step in the right direction, even though we still haven’t shown our full potential. The team continues to make progress and we should be able to battle for even better results as the year goes on.”
|1. Will Palmer (R-ace GP)||144|
|2. Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP)||141|
|3. Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing)||133|
|4. Max Defourny (R-ace GP)||78|
|5. Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports)||67|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications.