The Marseillaise rings out for Arzeno Matthieu Arzeno (Epsilon Sport), a native of Marseille, claimed his first race win in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 today, getting the better of his fellow countryman Charles Pic (SG Formula). It is Pic,...
The Marseillaise rings out for Arzeno
Matthieu Arzeno (Epsilon Sport), a native of Marseille, claimed his first race win in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 today, getting the better of his fellow countryman Charles Pic (SG Formula). It is Pic, however who takes the ten points, as Arzeno is making a one-off appearance here. Frank Kechele (Motopark Academy) was the third man on the podium.
With the rain virtually incessant all afternoon, the track was drenched by the time the first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race of the weekend got underway. The Clio Renault Sport safety car was therefore brought out for the first three laps.
Brendon Hartley held his rivals at bay early on, but, once the safety car disappeared, Charles Pic immediately launched an attack on the leader. Fabio Leimer remained in third place ahead of Matthieu Arzeno (Epsilon Sport), who took advantage of an error by Jon Lancaster (SG Formula) to move into fourth. Frank Kechele (Motopark Academy) was lying in fifth after lap 4.
Making light of difficult conditions, Arzeno then overtook Leimer. Further back, Nelson Panciatici (Boutsen Energy Racing) snatched eighth position from Oliver Turvey (Jenzer Motorsport).
On lap 6, just as he looked set to secure a fifth race win, Brendon Hartley made a mistake. Charles Pic inherited the lead, but could not hold off Matthieu Arzeno for long.
Arzeno wasted no time in putting some track between himself and the chasing pack. By the end of lap 8, the Epsilon driver had built up a 3-second lead over Pic, who had his work cut out trying to keep Fabio Leimer at bay. Pic knew that, in the context of the championship, second-spot would do just fine: Arzeno, competing in his first Eurocup meeting of the season, would not be eligible for any points.
On lap 10, Anton Nebiltskiy and Stephane Richelmi collided at the last chicane before the line. Richelmi's car ended up in a potentially dangerous position, but in the end there was no need for the safety car.
Further down the field, Pierre Combot (Cram Competition) moved up to seventh place. The Frenchman than set about chasing Epsilon Red Bull duo Stefano Coletti and Jaime Alguersuari, who were jostling for position ahead of him.
On the final lap, Frank Kechele found a way past Fabio Leimer on the Adelaide hairpin. The Swiss driver resisted, but ran into his rival and went into a spin. Coletti eventually took fourth place ahead of Leimer, Alguersuari, Turvey, Oakes, Combot and Zampieri.
Matthieu Arzeno: "All I wanted to do was to do well in this race, so to win is the best possible outcome! The first few laps were difficult because visibility was limited, but once I took the lead everything was fine..."
Charles Pic: "The track was really slippery but I thought I was in a position to win. When Matthieu passed me I realized he was going a lot quicker than me and so I settled for hanging on to second place."
Frank Kechele: 'It was a little bit easier for the drivers competing in the French Championship, because they had their qualifying session on a wet track. Maybe I could've done better in a longer race."