Starting from pole position, Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) won race one of the Formula Renault Eurocup at the Nürburgring. The Russian was followed by team mate Max Defourny (R-ace GP) and Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing). With this fourth win of the season, the SMP Racing protégé retakes the lead in the general classification ahead of Will Palmer (R-ace GP), who finished eighth today. Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) won the rookie division in crossing the finish line in fourth place.
Fourth pole for Shwartzman
This morning the first qualifying session turned to the advantage of Robert Shwartzman. Running in Group B, the Russian quickly beat the benchmark time set by Max Defourny to clinch his first pole position since Pau.
With a lap of 1:54.750, Robert Shwartzman started from pole ahead of Max Defourny, Daniel Ticktum, Sacha Fenestraz and Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing). Championship leader, Will Palmer started tenth on the grid.
Fenestraz responds in Q2
The second qualifying session determined the starting grid for race two. Robert Shwartzman was leading in the first group on track before his best lap was disallowed for causing a red flag. In Group A, Sacha Fenestraz clocked a lap in 1:54.741 to take the pole. Sunday he will line-up ahead of Daniel Ticktum, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Robert Shwartzman and Max Defourny.
Shwartzman, new leader
When the lights went out, Robert Shwartzman held on to the lead ahead of Max Defourny who was under pressure from Daniel Ticktum before the Brit was surprised by Sacha Fenestraz on lap one.
While the leading duo exchanged fastest laps as Sacha Fenestraz looked on, Max Fewtrell tried to get the better of Daniel Ticktum. The Renault Sport Academy driver was overtaken in the wake by Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés), who started eighth on the grid.
In the lead, Robert Shwartzman didn’t waver to take the victory ahead of Max Defourny. Sacha Fenestraz completed the podium ahead of Red Bull Junior Team rookie Daniel Ticktum. Henrique Chaves was fifth, followed by Max Fewtrell, Yifei Ye, Will Palmer, Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) and Zane Goddard (Arden Motorsport).
Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP): “It’s great to back on the top step of the podium and I couldn’t be happier. Our pace in the collective tests wasn’t terrific, but we turned it around in qualifying. The race was a bit tough as Max was pouring on the pressure and made me keep looking into my mirrors. The track conditions changed a lot and I had to manage over-steer in final laps. Now it is up to me to stay on top of the general classification, but I know just how fast my rivals are. They are not going to give up until the last race!”
“It’s great to back on the top step of the podium and I couldn’t be happier. Our pace in the collective tests wasn’t terrific, but we turned it around in qualifying. The race was a bit tough as Max was pouring on the pressure and made me keep looking into my mirrors.”
Max Defourny (R-ace GP): “I am happy with the points I picked up, but I am not here to finish second! Today, we had the speed to win. Qualifying went well, but I was in the first group in Q1. In the race, I was able to pressure Robert for a long time even though it is hard to follow another car closely at the Nürburgring. The tyre degradation was also an important factor. The result is not completely satisfying, so I will re-enter the battle tomorrow despite a somewhat disappointing Q2.”
Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “This time, I didn’t jump the start like I did at the Hungaroring! It was a good race. I overtook Daniel on lap one, but then it was difficult to catch the leaders. So, I decided to take care of the car and settle for third place. We did a good job in getting the pole in Q2. I am looking forward to tomorrow to go for the win and catch up to the leaders in the general classification.”
Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport): “I had no grip in the first three laps. It was somewhat unusual, considering I got an excellent start before I had to slow in the first series of corners to avoid under-steer. A little later, Sacha got passed me on the outside of T11. He made a very nice move. Max Fewtrell caught up to me at half-distance. We both locked up the wheels heading into the chicane. It was touch-and-go, and I preferred to cut the corner to avoid the curbs and all the collateral damage to my car, but Max was too far behind for me to wait for him. I received a five-second penalty for this, which I was expecting.”
|1. Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP)||194|
|1. Will Palmer (R-ace GP)||178|
|3. Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing)||167|
|4. Max Defourny (R-ace GP)||123|
|5. Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing)||116|
* Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications.