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Formula Renault 2.0

Oliver Rowland (Manor MP Motorsport) was the fastest man in collective testing at Moscow Raceway on Friday. The British driver, who finished on the podium in Russia last year, outpaced Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing) and Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsports) to head a highly competitive field, with 30 drivers finishing within the same second.

In bright sunshine in Moscow, the 35-strong Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 opened the Russian round of the World Series by Renault with the first collective testing session of the weekend. The opening minutes were keenly contested, with Esteban Ocon (ART Junior Team) and Oliver Rowland pushing each other hard.

Rowland sat comfortably atop the timesheets at the session's mid-point, but was dislodged ten minutes from the end when Pierre Gasly went fastest. The British driver responded five minutes later, however, before improving with a final effort of 1:32.817. It was Roland, then, who finished the first session fastest, ahead of Pierre Gasly, Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Mikko Pakari (Fortec Motorsports) and Nyck De Vries (Koiranen GP).

In the afternoon, the lap times continued to improve. Esteban Ocon was fastest in the early stages, before the session was interrupted to remove debris from the track. Jake Dennis then moved top after the restart, before Hans Villemi (Atech Reid) went off and prompted a second red flag.

Pierre Gasly and Oliver Rowland traded fastest times in the final ten minutes, before Egor Orudzhev (Tech 1 Racing) brought a third and definitive halt to the session. Rowland finished on top with a lap of 1:32.594, just five thousandths ahead of France's Gasly. Jake Dennis, Oscar Tunjo and Nyck de Vries completed the top five, with 30 drivers finishing in the same second as the session leader.

What they said

Oliver Rowland: "With the updated car, this circuit is even more enjoyable. I didn't manage to complete a clear lap. The fact that I recorded my fastest time on the very last lap is proof of that. We’re sure to see much quicker times tomorrow, whether it’s us or our rivals that set them."

Pierre Gasly: "The performance was there in both sessions. We still need to fine-tune a few details to get ahead of Oliver Rowland. If we want to claim pole position tomorrow, we mustn't make a single mistake. Judging by the gaps separating us today, the key will be to get a clean lap. I'll try my best to make it happen."

Konstantin Tereschenko: "It's always a joy to drive on your home circuit. We had a promising morning, and we continued to work hard this afternoon. I hope to have a solid weekend, and we'll do everything we can to make sure I do."

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 21 June 2013
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