Van Dam hits hard Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) may well be unrelated to his namesake Jean-Claude, but he certainly packs quite a punch! The Dutchman took pole position in both Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races. He will be joined on the front row...
Van Dam hits hard
Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) may well be unrelated to his namesake Jean-Claude, but he certainly packs quite a punch! The Dutchman took pole position in both Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races. He will be joined on the front row by Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon-Euskadi) in race one and then Tom Dillmann (SG Formula) in race two.
With eight minutes gone, the session came under "full yellow", meaning that all lap times were neutralized, after Bruno Fechner (SL Formula Racing) crashed off the track. At this point, Kasper Andersen (JD Motorsport) topped the timing screens.
When the session resumed, the Eurocup regulars did not take long to take back control of proceedings, as Tom Dillmann (SG Formula), Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon-Euskadi), Johan Charpilienne (Pole Services) and Nelson Panciatici (Epsilon-Euskadi) all set fast times.
Chris Van der Drift (JD Motorsport), Laurent Groppi (Graff Racing), Henkie Waldschmidt (Prema Powerteam) and Yann Clairay (SG Formula) then took it in turns to launch their assault on pole position.
But obviously everyone had to wait until the drivers put on their second set of tyres in order to get a clearer idea of who was really in with a shout of claiming pole position.
At the half-way stage, the two SG Formula drivers were leading: Tom Dillmann and Carlo Van Dam. These two were followed by the two Epsilon-Euskadi cars, driven by Nelson Panciatici and Bertrand Baguette.
With ten minutes to go, all the drivers rode into the battle once again. Dillmann held his ground well, regularly improving his best time. Pierre Combot (Pole Services), who cut his teeth in single-seater racing in the Belgian Formula Renault 1.6 championship, surprised many by joining the leading group.
There were only five minutes of the session remaining when Van Dam and Baguette pushed Dillmann back into third place. Chris Van der Drift and Yann Clairay were also right on the pace over the final few laps.
Carlo Van Dam could not be dislodged, claiming the best two times. Bertrand Baguette held onto a front row spot for race one. Tom Dillmann made it a 100% SG Formula front row for the second race.
With 3rd and 5th positions, Chris Van der Drift is well placed to wrap up the Eurocup title this weekend. His main rivals did not qualify well: Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport) could only manage 15th and 14th, whereas Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Academy) will start from 19th and 18th.
Carlo Van Dam: "I am very pleased with my first pole position in the Eurocup. It's great to achieve this result in France, in SG Formula's home country. I am full of confidence. I am having fun with the car. I hope I can get a good start -- that will be the key to having a good race."