A knock-out battle for victory! Arthur Pic confirmed that he is a serious title contender in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship by qualifying on the front row and on pole for the first rounds of the 2010 season. On Saturday and Sunday,...
A knock-out battle for victory!
Arthur Pic confirmed that he is a serious title contender in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship by qualifying on the front row and on pole for the first rounds of the 2010 season. On Saturday and Sunday, the Tech 1 Racing driver was involved in a ding-dong battle for victory with a young Brazilian. The result? Both drivers left Spain with a blank scorecard!
Arthur Pic won the 2008 Formul'Academy Euro Series Championship (since renamed F4 Eurocup 1.6), and last year he won the Champion Rookie award in the Formula 2.0 West European Cup. In Spain, he set the fastest time in the test session on the Motorland Aragon circuit at the end of March. Thus, he is one of the favourites for the title in his second year in the championship. But he had to cope with a sudden bolt from the blue, when the team for which he drove last year and was hoping to continue with in 2010 , threw in the towel only a few weeks before the start of the season due to financial problems. Luckily, an agreement was reached with Tech 1 Racing, which has several titles to its name in the upper echelon, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The overall human and technical environment was preserved, and Arthur has continued to display his talent on the back of his top-class performances in the opening round.
Qualifying took place on a wet track under low clouds. Pic held the fastest time for most of the session until he was pushed back to second. This gave him a place on the outside of the front row for race 1. In Formula Renault 2.0 the grid for race 2 is decided on the basis of the best second time of each driver, so the Frenchman was on pole for the second heat.
The first start took place in the rain. Pic slotted in behind the pole sitter Negrao who looked as if he was going to pull away in the opening stages. By half distance, the Frenchman was all over his rival, and on lap 8 he attempted to overtake him in the chicane before the long straight. Unfortunately, it all ended in tears as the cars collided! "It was my fault," admitted Arthur. "I was able to continue and fight back to fifth but the stewards gave me a twenty-five second penalty after the finish."
At least he had the guts to admit it was his fault. The scenario of the first lap of the second race was very similar to that of the first heat, except that the track was dry and the gap between the two leaders was tiny as Pic was glued to Negrao's gearbox. On lap 3, as the cars came into the hairpin, the Frenchman pulled out to overtake under braking but the Brazilian brutally changed line from right to left. The "Equipe de France" driver found himself off the track on the wet verge and spun ending his race in Negrao's rear wheels.
"I'm disappointed with the overall result but I'm very happy with my performance here. The team's really strong and I think we'll be among the front-runners on a regular basis." Arthur and Tech 1 Racing are determined to confirm their promise on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on which the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup will race on 1st - 2nd May.