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Formula Renault 2.0

The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 drivers were back in action at the Paul Ricard HTTT today, a track they know well after last winter’s collective testing there. This time, though, there is the penultimate race of the season to prepare for, with Russia’s Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport) making himself right at home as he bids to keep his title hopes alive.

Joining the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 field on the track were the contenders in the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS championship. The 43 drivers taking part in collective testing were split into two groups.

Group 2:
The sun was shining as Group 2 got hostilities under way on Friday morning, with championship leader Robin Frijns among those in action. Will Stevens (Fortec Motorsports), Alex Riberas (Epic Racing), Norman Nato (R-Ace Grand Prix), Yann Zimmer (Arta Engineering) and Paul-Loup Chatin (Tech 1 Racing) were the men setting the early pace. Intent on impressing his fans, Chatin laid down an early marker, with compatriot Côme Ledogar (R-Ace Grand Prix) coming close to matching him. Kvyat upped the tempo mid-session with a time of 2:08:071, which looked set to be the fastest until Sweden’s John Bryant Meisner (Koiranen Motorsport) surprised everyone by posting 2:08:051 on his last lap, leaving Kvyat in second. Completing the top five were Frijns, Stoffel Vandoorne (KTR) and Nato, in that order.

Come the afternoon and it was the Tech 1 Racing duo of Chatin and Miki Wekstrom who raised the bar, becoming the first to better the morning’s fastest lap and dip under 2:08. Kvyat and then Zimmer took their turn at the top of the pile before Frijns reminded everyone why he tops the overall standings. It was Kvyat who had the last laugh, however, lapping in 2:06:575 to record the quickest time of the day in Group 2.

Group 1:
The Group 1 pack was second out on the track. After warming their tyres, Mathieu Jaminet (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Timmy Hansen (interwetten.com Junior), Pieter Schothorst (R-Ace Grand Prix) and Carloz Sainz Junior (Koiranen Motorsport) topped the timesheets and were soon joined by Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS driver Christof Von Grunigen (Daltec Racing). The red flag then came out as Edolo Ghirelli (One Racing) spun off, with Sainz Jr putting some distance been himself and the rest of the pack on the restart. As the end of the session neared, however, Jaminet and Hansen trumped the Spaniard, with the Swede eventually setting the fastest time ahead of the Frenchman and Felix Serralles.

Hansen kept the pace up in session two, leading virtually from start to finish before having his thunder stolen by Oscar Andrès Tunjo (Josef Kauffmann Racing), Sainz Jr and Serralles, who posted a time of 2:06:738 to top Group 1, albeit a few hundredths slower than Kvyat.

They said :

Daniil Kvyat: “We have a very good set-up here and the times are good, though it got very hot during the second session. As long as I’m still in with a mathematical chance of winning the title I’m going to give it all I’ve got. With 25 points for a win, things can still change, although there are only four races left.”

Norman Nato: “We’ve got good pace and the car’s running well, though we’ve got some work to do to catch up on the leaders. I really like this circuit, although I don’t know it any better than the others. The aim really is to win at least one race before the end of the year.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 16 September 2011
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