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Formula Renault 2.0

Oliver Rowland (Manor MP Motorsport) topped the timesheets in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective testing at Paul Ricard on Friday. The championship leader finished five-thousandths ahead of Ed Jones (Fortec Motorsports), holder of the best time in the morning session. Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) was third fastest.

The first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective testing session of the weekend saw the lead change hands 15 times in the first 20 minutes. But after 20 minutes, Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsports) seized the initiative. And it was not until the final 10 minutes that his lead came under threat.

Oscar Tunjo was the first driver to challenge, followed in turn by the Fortec Motorsports pair of Ed Jones and Mikko Pakari. At the chequered flag, Ed Jones snatched the fastest time with a lap of 2:06.003. In what was a hard-fought session, Luca Ghiotto (Prema Powerteam), Mikko Pakari and Nyck de Vries (Koiranen GP) all finished less than a tenth of a second behind the leader. Ignazio D’Agosto (KTR) completed the top five.

Temperatures climbed as the skies cleared in the second session. Jake Dennis and Ed Jones exchanged fastest times in the opening minutes, with the former holding the edge. But it was in the closing ten minutes that the battle for the day’s fastest time really began.

Aurélien Panis (Prema Powerteam) was the first to challenge, followed swiftly by his rivals. Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing) then staked his claim, but, with five minutes to go, Oliver Rowland went fastest with a lap of 2:05.103. The championship leader finished five-thousandths ahead of Ed Jones, and nine-thousandths in front of Oscar Tunjo. Jake Dennis and Ignazio D’Agosto followed in fourth and fifth respectively, with 25 other drivers finishing in the same second as the leader.

What they said

Oliver Rowland: "Everything went better for us on the fresh tyres. I didn’t manage a perfect lap, so I think I can go even quicker. Qualifying will be very tight. The aim will be to do a better job than the others. The weather will be cooler, too, and that could work in our favour."

Ed Jones: "This morning’s session doesn’t matter much in terms of times. Still, it can’t do any harm to be the fastest – especially as, unlike the rest, we didn’t use fresh tyres. The car seems in good shape, we’ve got the pace and I can’t wait to get going again!"

Oscar Tunjo: "It’s important to know where we stand, even if this is only testing. Let’s hope qualifying this evening goes similarly well. It’ll be crucial to start towards the front of the field, as the long straights always play a part in the action at Paul Ricard."

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 27 September 2013
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