While Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) dominated the two Formula Renault Eurocup collective tests, Max Defourny (R-ace GP) was quicker in qualifying to take the pole position for race one at the Red Bull Ring. Tomorrow, the Belgian driver will start from pole for the second time this season ahead of Renault Sport Academy driver Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) and Sacha Fenestraz.
Fenestraz dominates the collective tests
On a green track following heavy overnight storms, several drivers held the top spot early on. Will Palmer (R-ace GP) led the way heading into the final sprint initiated by Sacha Fenestraz. The Frenchman then improved to set the fastest lap of the morning in 1:28.999 ahead of Max Fewtrell, Alexey Korneev (Fortec Motorsports), Max Defourny and Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP).
The pace picked up in the afternoon. After another busy start to a session, Sacha Fenstraz lowered the benchmark time from the morning session. The French driver finished on top of the time sheet in a session, prematurely interrupted by the stoppage of Alexey Korneev. His lap of 1:28.774 saw him to the top spot ahead of Will Palmer, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) and Max Defourny.
Defourny takes pole position
In the first group on track in the first qualifying session, Max Fewtrell posted the best time in 1:28.962 ahead of Will Palmer and Robert Shwartzman. In the second group, the duel between Max Defourny and Sacha Fenestraz saw both improve on the Brit’s reference time.
Thanks to his lap of 1:28.793, Max Defourny will start from pole position ahead of Max Fewtrell, Sacha Fenestraz, Will Palmer, Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) and leader of the general classification, Robert Shwartzman. Tomorrow, the drivers will take part in the second qualifying session at 11:10am before race one, scheduled for 3pm.
Max Defourny (R-ace GP): “The entire team did a great job. We did some good work despite a few uncertainties during the second collective test session. However, we kept calm to make the right decisions and it paid off in qualifying. It didn’t take long for the rain to disturb our group! Tomorrow, we will do everything we can to get the second pole position up for grabs and win race one. It is time to take points from the leaders!”
“The entire team did a great job. We did some good work despite a few uncertainties during the second collective test session. However, we kept calm to make the right decisions and it paid off in qualifying.”
Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing): “We had good pace in the tests. I made a mess of myself in the second session, but was able to put it together in qualifying. I’ve always known we could battle in the top three and we finally did it with this row one starting spot. We have a good chance of getting our first real podium, but anything could happen. I have to do the job tomorrow!”
Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “It was an almost perfect day with the best times in the two collective tests. I tried to do my best in qualifying, but I made a minor error in the second sector. I think that I had enough to pick up the tenth of a second we lacked, so it is a shame. The Red Bull Ring and its long straights are favourable for overtaking. It will be an interesting race and my two main rivals will start behind me. We will give it our all to stay ahead of them, no matter the conditions!”