Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) set best time of the collective tests at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps ahead of the next round of the Formula Renault Eurocup. With a lap of 2:20.236s, the SMP Racing protégé weaved between the falling rain to lead from Renault Sport Academy rookie Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) and his team mate Will Palmer (R-ace GP). Leader in the general classification, Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) finished fourth.
On Tuesday, 33 drivers were at Spa for six tests sessions. For these drivers who will return to Belgium next Friday, this test day took added importance because they will have just one collective test session during the penultimate meeting of the season.
Defourny and Verschoor in the wet
Right at home on a drenched circuit, Max Defourny (R-ace GP) set the pace in the opening session with a time of 2:38.527s. Following his debut in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, the Belgian native then wager on improving conditions and slick tyres before the showers returned.
Red Bull Junior Team rookie, Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) took over with a best time of 2:35.894s ahead of Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Alex Peroni.
Shwartzman leads before the skies re-open
After the lunch break, the track was nearly dry and Robert Shwartzman led the way in 2:20.236s ahead of Britons Max Fewtrell and Will Palmer.
The rain returned and in these conditions, the Josef Kaufmann Racing team topped the time sheet in final three sessions led by Yifei Ye (2’41’’979s) and Sacha Fenestraz (2’39’’414s then 2’39’’737s).
Next Friday, the 30 Formula Renault Eurocup drivers and 5 from the Formula Renault NEC will return to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for one 50-minute collective test then both qualifying sessions (20/5/20 for Q1, 15/5/15 for Q2).
Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP): “There was just one dry session from the six, but there is always something good to learn from a day like this. The car was good, which confirms the work we did here in the earlier test. Everything went fine, even if we struggled a bit with vibrations in one set of wet tyres and my driving in the first session. Nevertheless, we were not far off, so everything wasn’t so bad. I would have liked to have run more in the rain to better understand the tyres. I hope everything will go well and that we will have nice weather next week.”
“There was just one dry session from the six, but there is always something good to learn from a day like this. The car was good, which confirms the work we did here in the earlier test.”
Max Defourny (R-ace GP): “We had a good start to the day although I only managed to get in three fast laps due to the red flags and the short 35 minute sessions. We did a good job in setting best time before the second session, in which we came in to put on slick tyres as it started to rain again in sector two. The wager didn’t pay off, but we felt it wasn’t useful anymore to run on wets and that it is worth it to stay out to pick up data.”