Formula Renault 2.0
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion Robin Frijns (Josef Kaufmann Racing) sent a strong message to his rivals in Friday’s collective testing in Barcelona, posting the fastest time to aid his team’s bid to win the 2011 team title. Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport) went fastest in the first session, putting the heat on Carlos Sainz Jr. (Koiranen Motorsport) as they continue their fascinating duel for second place in the overall standings.
For the first time this season the 38-strong field formed a single group for collective testing. Making his reappearance was Danish driver Johan Jokinen, a competitor in the discipline in 2008 and 2009 and who is now giving the benefit of his experience to his compatriots at Keo Racing, having tried his hand at Formula 3 and then Formula 2 in the last two seasons.
Will Stevens led the way in a hectic start to testing, the Briton recording a string of fastest laps, with Paul-Loup Chatin (Tech 1 Racing), Miki Weckstrom (Tech 1 Racing), Alex Riberas (Epic Racing) and Kvyat all doing their utmost to match his fastest time of 1:46:631.
Kvyat, Riberas and Stoffel Vandoorne (KTR) stepped up the pace in the second half of the session. The Russian, who has his sights firmly trained on the second place currently occupied in the championship standings by his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, waited until the end of the morning before trimming the fastest time to 1:45:130, which left him ahead of Vandoorne, Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsport), Sainz Jr and Jokinen.
Vandoorne kicked off the afternoon by recording a new fastest lap, and after a brief delay in proceedings when Denis Nagulin (Cram Competition) spun off, Sainz Jr picked up the pace to post a time of 1:45:031 and head the timesheets from Riberas and Timmy Hansen (Interwetten.com Junior).
Stevens raised the stakes when he became the first man to dip under 1:45, the Briton’s time of 1:44:852 giving him the lead before Frijns reminded everyone why he is the leader of this year’s pack, the new champion recording the fastest lap of the day at 1:44:319 to finish ahead of Stevens and Mathieu Jaminet (Josef Kaufmann Racing).
What they said:
Robin Frijns: “We’re after the team title this weekend. We’ve got 23 points to make up on Koiranen Motorsport so we need to get some good results here. Just because I’ve already won the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship doesn’t mean to say I’m going to change the way I go about things. I race to win, not to finish fifth or sixth.”
Daniil Kvyat: “We’ve put in some good work today and I’m pleased with the results. We didn’t put new tyres on in session two and we still got an acceptable time. Obviously, the objective for me is to take second place overall. I’ve been feeling really good in the last few races and it’s like everything has clicked for me. I need to finish the job this weekend.”
Javier Tarancon: “Winning the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS last week has taken a bit of the pressure off me going into this weekend. I want to win at home and finish the season on a high note before I start preparing for 2012. We didn’t put the new tyres on at the right time today but I think we’re in the mix.”
Official Renault Sport Press Release.